Board of Directors

Meet Nokiiwin's Board of Directors

Back to Board of Directors

Joe Donio
President

AZA Logo Animbiigoo Zaagi'igan Anishinaabek

Joe Donio is the Director of Nokiiwin Tribal Council and has been since its inception ten years ago. He was instrumental in the creation of Nokiwin along with several visionary leaders in the Robinson Superior Region; who saw the need for the creation of a regional tribal council to support the First Nations and to work together for mutual benefit.

Joe is currently the Development Manager for Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek First Nation. He holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Toronto and a Master of Business Administration from Athabasca University. He has over two decades of experience working with numerous Aboriginal communities and organizations as well as governments and industry from across Canada.

With over twenty years of professional experience and many of those years in senior management positions, he has proven experience in Aboriginal engagement and leading complex negotiations which is evident in his work as Development Manager at Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek. Joe led a team to secure over $15 Million in public and private sector funding to support the upgrading and training of hundreds of First Nations’ citizens, during which time he developed mutually beneficial relationships with many industry representatives.

With AZA, Joe played a lead role in implementing an agreement between the First Nation and the governments of Canada and Ontario, which led to the creation of the First Nations’ new Reserve land base at Partridge Lake in the Municipality of Greenstone. Joe followed up this work by initiating and managing a comprehensive community and land-use planning process for the First Nation to guide the community in all of its future development. During this process, Joe worked extensively with AZA leadership and community members to ensure a high level of engagement and input from the members and this led to a successful, well-received plan from the community. The plan also received national recognition when the Canadian Institute of Planners honoured AZA with an award for planning excellence in 2013. Joe firmly believes in the adage “failing to plan is planning to fail”.

Joe has worked on a number of projects including the creation of a partnership of 27 First Nations to own and operate the 104 room Landmark Hotel in Thunder Bay. Joe has led and continues to lead a number of negotiations for his community on flooding settlements, land claims, resource development projects in the energy sector including waterpower and transmission as well as mining and forest products.

Volunteering and assisting organizations in the sectors that he is knowledgeable in is something that Joe takes great pride in. He is involved with Waaskiinaysay Ziibi Inc. to promote regional energy projects as well as Anishinabek Employment and Training Services, providing strategic direction for the organizations in the management of multi-million dollar training to employment fund.

Nokiiwin Tribal Council is honoured to have Joe Donio as President, leading their dynamic Board of Directors team, where they strongly believe and support the mission statement of working in unity with the member First Nations to enhance growth and prosperity.

Back to Board of Directors

Ian Bannon
Vice-President

Fort William First Nation Logo Fort William First Nation

Ian Bannon is a life-long resident and member of Fort William First Nation and holds the position of Vice President for Nokiiwin Tribal Council. Ian started his career as a Journeyman Electrician, directly upon graduating from Selkirk Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Thunder Bay, Ontario, serving his apprenticeship with Transport Canada and the Ministry of Transportation. After starting a family, Ian seized the opportunity for a career change to Property Management, managing a portfolio of residential units dedicated to victims of family violence. In 1996, he decided to bring his experience back to his community of Fort William First Nation and joined the Anemki Mountain Corporation as the General Manager. After eleven years of service, he was managing over 150,000 square feet of commercial office space and a corporation, which was the stepping-stone for FWFN’s extensive commercial development. Throughout these years, Ian also served five years as the Native Community Corrections worker for his community with the Ministry of Corrections (Probation and Parole) and as a Councillor for FWFN in four consecutive terms.

In 2007, Ian expanded his career by accepting the role of Manager of Lands and Claims Negotiations for FWFN, where he served as Lead Negotiator in five successful Specific Claims, one of which was acknowledged as the largest claim settlement in Canada. In 2014, Ian received the Commissioner of Oath Designation and his Certificate of Qualification as a Certified Lands Manager, which is a vital tool in facilitating the long-term strategy of FWFN’s First Nations Land Management Act.

Today, Ian continues his work in the FWFN Lands Department, as the Director of Lands and Property Management and recently received offer on the largest Railway Expropriation in Canada, the FWFN Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Claim.

Ian is the proud father of two daughters, Meagan and Caitlin and a loving grandfather to his pride and joy, granddaughter Jace.

Back to Board of Directors

Crystal Vincent
Secretary-Treasurer

Pic Mobert Logo Pic Mobert First Nation

Crystal Vincent is a member of Pic Mobert First Nation and is the Secretary/Treasurer of Nokiiwin Tribal Council. Crystal has over twenty-five years of experience in the administration and financial field. She is a graduate of the Office Administration Program from Confederation College and has also received training in Accounting from Confederation College and Pay Roll from CDI College in Thunder Bay. Crystal was originally from the Lac Seul First Nation transferring to Pic Mobert in 2002.

In 1991, Crystal started career with Equay-wuk (Women’s Group) Inc., as an Office Manager and Book Keeper. She then took those skills to her next position as Office Administrator for Wahsa Distance Education Centre, where she was responsible for a variety of duties including; accounts payable and taking minutes in the native language for NAN Chief’s meetings. She is a translator in both the Ojibway and Oji-Cree dialects. In 2001, using the expertise and knowledge she received over the years, Crystal made the journey to Pic Mobert First Nation, accepting the position of Finance Clerk, where she also gained managerial and supervisory experience. In 2009, she accepted the role of Payroll/ Benefits Administrator and currently is responsible for processing payroll for approximately 70-100 employees bi-weekly. She also maintains the benefits program for the First Nation among other Human Resource related functions.

During the years 2011 and 2012, Crystal started working with the White Lake Resource Corporation while still responsible for Pic Mobert’s payroll. In 2013, Crystal was promoted from a Finance Clerk to Finance Manager of White Lake Resource Corporation which is an economic development entity of Pic Mobert First Nation and has a number of joint ventures and provides contract labour to businesses in the area.

Crystal is always building her professional development and has served on the following boards over the years including; Sioux Lookout Area Aboriginal Management Board, alternate Chair Person at the regional level for RAMBO and Vice President of Nokiiwin.

In her spare time, she enjoys fishing, hunting and the outdoors.

Back to Board of Directors

Audrey Mandula
Director

BNA Logo Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek

Audrey Mandula is a member of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek and is a Director of Nokiiwin Tribal Council.

Back to Board of Directors

Tamara Bernard
Director

KZA Logo Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek

Tamara Bernard is from Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation) and is the newest member to the Board of Directors of Nokiiwin Tribal Council.
Tamara carries a wealth of experience and involvement within Indigenous relations across different communities as a student, leader, mentor, administrator, volunteer and advocate. She specializes in decolonization of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women by advocating the hidden truth of the Sisters.
She is currently attending Lakehead University; completing her final year research thesis in Master of Education with a specialization of Indigenous Education. In 2015, she graduated from Western University receiving her Bachelor of Arts: Social Sciences: Double Degree in Sociology and First Nations Studies. She also has two diplomas from Fanshawe College in Autism and Behavioural Studies and Early Childhood Education.

Tamara has an impressive career history ranging from Student Administrative Assistant at Fanshawe College in 2006, ILSAT Project Development Consultant, and Learning Resources Centre Mentor at Western University to CTV Producer and Indigenous Developer/Researcher “See Me” Showcase for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women. She has also been employed by Best Start, Brass Bell as a Community Resource Coordinator. In 2016, she moved back to Thunder Bay to accept the position as Aboriginal Education Recruiter and Promoter at Lakehead University then moving on to her current role as Aboriginal Education Professor at Lakehead University and Administration Support at Seven Generations Education Institute.

Volunteering and giving back is also extremely important to Tamara and she values the time she spends with the many organizations she has contributed to over the years. Ranging from Co-Chair of the First Nations Student Association at Fanshawe College, a Student Placement through Intercordia-King’s College affiliated with Western University in Honduras to various Yoga Instructor positions using traditional medicines in London and Nipigon. Most recently, Tamara was one of the featured speakers at Thunder Bay’s TedxTalks on the subject of Decolonization of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

Tamara is a valued asset to Nokiiwin Tribal Council Board of Directors and she looks forward to providing guidance and direction in this exciting role.

Back to Board of Directors

Michael Hardy
Director

BZA Logo Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek

Michael Hardy is a band member of Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek and the Executive Director of Anishnawbe Mushkiki.  His vision to help the aboriginal communities in the north is expansive.  He sees the need for family health care, adult addiction treatment, children’s mental health, and so many other services that aboriginal peoples require.  Michael Hardy is a graduate of Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario with degrees and studies in Arts, Education and Social Work.  His vast knowledge of the aboriginal culture, necessities, and concerns has brought him forward as a leader in First Nation services.  From business owner to elementary school teacher to Chief of Rocky Bay First Nation to Executive Director, Michael’s accomplishments continue.  His family is an important part of his life.  His golf swing gets better as the years go on as does his accomplishments.

Each affiliated First Nation of Nokiiwin Tribal Council has appointed a member to serve on the Board of Directors.