Brenda L. Norris (Yellowknife, NT)
Brenda is an Inuit from Inuvik. She witnessed, as she grew up, how the local housing policies that prevented extended families to live under the same roof had tremendous negative effects on her people; separating families and loosening familial ties, which resulted in the language and many cultural practices to be lost from one generation to another. Brenda studied marketing, business and public relations at Kwantlen University College. She has occupied various positions at the Government of the Northwest Territories in the communications, human resources and finance departments. She has been Executive Assistant for the Tsawwassen First Nation and the Dene Nation as well as Constituency Assistant for the MP of the Northwest Territories. In her current consultation and communications business, she works as a communication advisor for the Treaty 8 Group to negotiate a treaty between various First Nations, Métis and non-Indigenous communities.
Daniel Brant (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, ON)
Daniel is First Nation (Mohawk) who grew up on reserve, in a family of 10. He has extensive knowledge of Indigenous communities across Canada. Daniel has held various senior management positions during his career, including Director of Aboriginal Affairs at Environment Canada, Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Minister at Indian Affairs Canada, CEO of the Assembly of First Nations and CEO of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association. Daniel has done research on housing issues and collaborated on various policy documents. In his current consulting business, he has completed housing feasibility studies for First Nations in Atlantic Canada, Western Canada and his home community in Ontario. Daniel holds a bachelor degree in architecture, 2 master degrees in construction management and public administration, and a PhD (all but dissertation) in First Nations Governance from the Nipissing University.
Holly Cooper, Vice-President, Indigenous Relations at CMHC
Holly has worked in the Indigenous community and corporate Canada for nearly three decades. She is a recognized and respected thought leader committed to advancing Indigenous reconciliation, promoting corporate cultural change, and developing positive community relationships.
Before joining CMHC, Holly was the Head of Indigenous Banking and Relations at ATB Financial, where she established the Indigenous banking market, and designed and implemented the horizontal reconciliation strategy.
Holly is a member of the Kahkewistahaw First Nation in Saskatchewan, but lived in Ottawa for almost two decades before she moved out west. During that time, she represented Indigenous-owned companies as a Business Development Leader and provided business advisory service to the federal government and crown corporations.
She is currently also a Board Director with Pride at Work Canada, and she is proud to promote the inclusion and belonging of 2SLGBTQIA+ team members with employers across Canada. As an experienced Board Director, she has served the Public Sector Aboriginal Business Association, Kahkewistahaw Economic Management Corporation, and Indigenous Works/Aboriginal Human Resource Council of Canada.
Juanie Pudluk (Iqaluit, Nunavut)
Juanie is a professional Engineer with over 14 years of progressively challenging experience in building infrastructure. He is the first ever-accredited Inuk Engineer. Hailing from one of the most Northerly communities in Nunavut, the Canadian High Arctic community of Resolute Bay, Juanie is highly proficient in Inuktitut and has a close connection to the land, his culture, and community. He brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of Inuit culture and values into his work. Last year Juanie joined the Nunavut Housing Corporation as their new director of Infrastructure where he oversees new residential units, maintenance, procurement, health, and safety. His previous experience includes retrofitting gensets with Qulliq Energy Corporation and managing projects with Community and Government Services. Juanie is driven, hardworking, and effective at leading many types of projects to successful completion. His overall goal is to help Nunavut build infrastructure efficiently. He is an excellent team leader with a proven track record of successfully leading large and complex projects by maintaining excellent relationships with essential stakeholders.
Justin Marchand (Sault Ste. Marie, ON)
Justin is Métis and is the Executive Director at Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS). Justin is passionate about helping people and firmly believes housing is a fundamental human right. Justin believes Indigenous people who have safe and affordable housing will have an opportunity to fully participate in their communities and to have the dignity every person deserves. In his 12 years of senior management positions, he was able to successfully deliver many large and innovative projects such as the $60.2 million Aboriginal Housing Trust, support the development of a new, culturally-appropriate Supportive Housing Program in Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, and Sudbury and procure an innovative non-government financing model with Bank of Montreal. He is a collaborative influencer and a strategic thinker with strong financial comprehension. He holds a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation as well as 16 years of experience post-Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) certification. Justin also has a Chartered Institute of Housing Chartered Member (CIHCM) designation.
Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash (Waswanipi, QC)
Maïtée is a member of the self-governed Cree Nation. She works for the communication services of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay, for which she took part to studies on mental health and where housing was identified as a major determinant of health. Maïtée is also a columnist for the Montréal Metro newspaper and the Nation magazine where she mostly writes about Indigenous issues and fights stereotypes about her people and other Indigenous nations. She has been involved with many youth organizations and is one of the co-founders of the initiative Faut qu’on se parle (2016). Her life trajectory also included episodes of homelessness and poverty and she can easily speak of the housing challenges faced by young Indigenous on and off reserve.
Pamela Glode Desrochers (Windsor Junction, NS)
Pamela is a Mi’kmaw woman from Millbrook First Nation and lives outside of Halifax. Pamela is the Executive Director of Micmac Native Friendship Society and has worked there for 29 years. She has recently been appointed on the National Housing Council. She is very passionate in representing and supporting her community – urban Indigenous and her family on reserve. She has deep understanding of housing and homelessness issues and challenges that Indigenous people face. She has developed and worked with the urban Indigenous community to complete a needs assessment, and community plans for addressing the needs of the Halifax urban Indigenous community. Pamela sits on several boards, including the board of directors for the National Association of Friendship Centres. Pamela believes in the power of partnerships, which is demonstrated at her Friendship Centre by providing over 40 wrap-around programs and services to address the interconnected issues holistically. In 2017, Pamela received the Governor General Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers for Outstanding Indigenous Leadership.
Percy Lezard (Toronto, ON)
Percy is a registered member of the Penticton Indian Band from the Okanagan Valley. They are an academic with professional and activist experience in community building, social engagement, teaching and research. Their intersecting identities (Indigenous, 2 Spirit, Trans, Disabled) pushed them to leave the reserve to urban settings where they experienced homelessness for extended periods of time. Percy is pursuing a PhD in Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto and is currently Assistant Professor in the Indigenous Studies Program at the Wilfrid Laurier University. They have worked in both mainstream and Indigenous social service agencies, and at several post-secondary institutions. Wherever they go, they bring a specialization in Indigenous knowledge, 2Spirit pedagogies and anti-racist praxis and combines these theories, research approaches and frameworks of understanding to create relationships that honour treaty. Their focus is on ensuring the reciprocal relationship culture is fostered and supported within higher education spaces.
William Goodon (Brandon, MB)
William is a citizen of the Métis Nation. He has held the position of Minister of Housing and Property Management for the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) for 6 years, where he provides oversight for the department of housing, as well as the property management division that manages MMF owned properties. William is currently co-chair of the National Steering Committee for the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative, and has been chair on numerous committees previously. He has travelled across Manitoba and Canada to speak with Métis Nation citizens on a range of housing topics. He has advocated provincially and nationally for the rights of Indigenous and Métis Nation, including on housing. He has also advocated internationally at UN conferences. William has extensive knowledge of the housing needs and barriers that Métis Citizens face, and is very passionate about ensuring the voice and perspective of the Métis Nation is considered.