Our Team

Network Council

  • Marjolaine Tshernish

    Marjolaine Tshernish

    Directrice Générale

    Institut Tshakapesh

    Click to view team member biography.
    Marjolaine Tshernish

    Marjolaine Tshernish

    Directrice Générale, Institut Tshakapesh

    Marjolaine Tshernish is a member of the Innu community of Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam, on the North shore of the St. Lawrence River. As Director General for the Tshakapesh Institute, she is responsible for ensuring the mission of the organization, which serves all communities of the Nation Innue, safeguarding and promoting Innu culture and the Innu Language and ensuring the preservation of natural heritage, linguistic development and encouraging artistic expression. 

  • Gillian Staveley

    Gillian Staveley

    Director of Culture and Land Stewardship

    Dena Kayeh Institute (DKI)

    Click to view team member biography.
    Gillian Staveley

    Gillian Staveley

    Director of Culture and Land Stewardship, Dena Kayeh Institute (DKI)

    Gillian Staveley is a Kaska Dena citizen whose heritage lies in the Muncho Lake region of Dena Kēyeh in Northern British Columbia. She is passionate about promoting and educating others about the importance of multi-generational Indigenous knowledge. In her work as a director for DKI, a Kaska-run charitable organization, she helps tell the story of Kaska Stewardship within her traditional territory and works to ensure that relationships with her people and the land are done so through UNDRIP’s obligations and commitment.

  • Melody Lepine

    Melody Lepine

    Director of Government & Industry Relations

    Mikisew Cree First Nation

    Click to view team member biography.
    Melody Lepine

    Melody Lepine

    Director of Government & Industry Relations, Mikisew Cree First Nation

    Melody Lepine has been working for her Nation since 2003 and is mandated to lead all consultation matters pertaining to natural resource development within the Mikisew Cree’s Treaty 8 territory. She is very passionate about her stewardship role and notes her significant accomplishments have been the development of their land use plan that supported the creation of the recent Kitaskino Nuwenëné wildland park, a significant conservation area within the Athabasca Oil Sands region. She also oversees the Mikisew community-based environmental monitoring program that continues to monitor the ecological health of the Peace-Athabasca Delta within Wood Buffalo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ex Officio Council Members

The council includes three ex officio members—people who provide advice but do not have voting privileges.

  • Miles Richardson, Indigenous Leadership Initiative
  • Curtis Scurr, Assembly of First Nations
  • Julie Boucher, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Shaunna Morgan

Interim Executive Director

Shaunna Morgan Siegers

Shaunna Morgan Siegers was born, raised and currently lives on Treaty 1 traditional lands. She is a member of The Crees of Waskaganish First Nation situated on the southern shores of James Bay in Eeyou Istchee and lived there before completing university. A scientist with bachelor and master degrees in botany, she possesses more than 30 years of research, Indigenous Knowledge, climate change, environmental science and ethnobiological experience. Shaunna has lived and/or worked with many First Nations across Turtle Island and for more than a decade her work has been focused on Indigenous land use planning, Indigenous Guardians, Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, Indigenous community engagement and supporting First Nations with their ongoing relationships with their territories.

First Nations-Federal Joint Working Group

Supporting the First Nations National Guardians Council is the First Nations-Federal Joint Working Group.

The members of the Joint Working Group include eight First Nations Guardians knowledge keepers across the country, one federal representative from Department of Environment and Climate Change and may include a limited number of agreed upon advisory members.

First Nations Joint Working Group members were nominated in May 2023 at the First Nations National Guardians Gathering. The NGN Council also selected the First Nations members (also referred to as the First Nations Caucus) to sit on the Joint Working Group until March 31, 2026.

Collectively, First Nations members of the Joint Working Group have over 100 years of hands-on experience in managing and coordinating Guardians initiatives and are leaders in this field. Efforts were made to ensure regional and language (French/English) representation from territories across the country.

The federal member of the Joint Working Group is experienced in managing funding initiatives for Guardians-like activities across the government. The federal government continues to provide a secretariat to support the work of the Joint Working Group and these duties will pass to the network in April 2024.

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