Current Advisory Board Members' Biographies

Elisabeth Cayen, Board Member since November 2012

Photo of Elisabeth Cayen

Elisabeth Cayen is currently the Executive Director of the Nunavut Fisheries Training Consortium in Iqaluit. She has held a number of positions with Aboriginal groups in the North, including Executive Director of the Aboriginal Futures Society, Consultant with the Tetlit Gwich'in Council, and Education and Training Consultant with the Gwich'in Tribal Council.

Mrs. Cayen brings with her a solid knowledge of Northern issues and many years of experience working with community members for various community based programs. Her experience in the evaluation of several projects of the Aboriginal Head Start program will certainly benefit the Board.

Nellie Cournoyea, Board Vice Chair since November 2010

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Ms. Cournoyea brings to the Board substantial experience in territorial and regional Aboriginal government, having served in numerous positions connected to social and support programs. During her many years as an elected representative for the riding of Nunakput in the Northwest Territories, she held several ministerial portfolios, including Health and Social Services, culminating with a four-year term as Premier of the territory. Today she is the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the corporation with the mandate to receive the Inuvialuit lands and financial compensation resulting from the 1984 land claim settlement.

Born and raised on the land, Ms. Cournoyea was educated through the Federal Aklavik Day School and by Alberta correspondence courses.

Marie-Josée Gauthier, BSc, Board Member since November 2010

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Ms. Gauthier is a Public Health Nutritionist with the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services. The focus of her work is to help improve and maintain the health and well-being of the populations of Nunavik's 14 communities. Ms. Gauthier has experience working with partner organizations such as the Kativik School Board and the Kativik Regional Government to develop, implement and evaluate community-based health promotion initiatives. She brings to the Board knowledge and expertise in health promotion, nutrition and food security in northern communities.

Ms. Gauthier has a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition from Laval University.

Steve McDougall, Board Member since November 2010

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Mr. McDougall is an active member in his home community of Garden Hill, Manitoba. He has held various positions with the Garden Hill First Nation over the past decades including Band Councillor, Community Health Representative, Economic Development Officer and, at present, Executive Director. Several years ago, when he learned the Food Mail Program was not being utilized in Manitoba, Mr. McDougall, then a Funding Services Officer for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, was instrumental in introducing the program to isolated communities in his home province. Later, he became the unofficial program "specialist" as he assisted members of eligible communities to understand the program and the benefits it would bring.

Mr. McDougall is also an avid photographer whose work attempts to capture the natural beauty of the land by transferring scenes from the northern landscape to paper.

Wilfred Wilcox, Board Member since November 2010; Chair since May 2012

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Mr. Wilcox is an active member in his home community of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. He has sat on the Hamlet council for multiple terms, both as mayor and councillor, and has extensive experience as a board member for several organizations, including Nunasi Corporation, Kitikmeot Corporation and Kitikmeot Foods Ltd. In the past, he has held different positions with the Government of the Northwest Territories. Mr. Wilcox owns a family business that has been operating for 20 years and brings to the Board a solid understanding of financial and organizational management, business planning and strategic management. In 2009, he was named Business Person of the Year by the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Wilcox has a diploma in Management Studies and Business Administration from Grant MacEwan Community College as well as a Red Seal Journeyman Certificate in plumbing and gas fitting.

Michele Wood, BA, Board Member since November 2010

Michele Wood is currently employed by the Department of Health and Social Development for the Nunatsiavut Government, a regional Inuit government within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. She is a Researcher/Evaluator and is particularly interested in addressing aspects of food security and community wellness for the communities within the Nunatsiavut region of Labrador. Formerly employed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs, she administered the Air Foodlift Subsidy program as part of her duties. The Air Foodlift Subsidy is a provincial program that pays a subsidy to retail stores to offset the high cost of flying perishable goods to Labrador's isolated coastal communities.

Ms. Wood has a BA from Acadia University and is working on a master's degree in Information Management at Dalhousie University; she is very interested in coordinating and implementing research which focuses on the involvement of communities in knowledge transfer and implementation processes.

Danielle Medina, BSc, Technical Advisor since November 2010

Danielle Medina has a Bachelor's of Science in Dietetics from Laval University and did graduate work on community nutrition at the University of Montreal. In 1980, she founded her own company with the intention to improve the health and well being of all Canadians. President and CEO of Medina International Inc., she has frequently been recognized as a successful female entrepreneur who has also made significant contributions to community and country.

Among her many accomplishments, she, along with the Crees of Northern Quebec, created Oudenhemin Foods in 1991 for the purpose of promoting Canadian aboriginal cuisine within Canada and abroad. In 2000, she transferred the company to the James Bay Cree.

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