Our Team

We are a dynamic and supportive team of many diverse backgrounds, with the goal of providing a safe cultural environment for the unconditional support required of individuals and their families.


Meet The Team

Featured image for “Amber Weasel Head”

Amber Weasel Head

Communications Manager - Nehiyawaskiy Indigenous Peoples Art Co-operative
Amber is a Aakíí(wa) from the Kainai First Nation is a graduate of the Portage College Community Social Worker and Native Cultural Arts Diploma programs. Her visual artwork has been accepted into Provincial/ National and International Exhibits presenting her craftsmanship in the field of technical communication and social media. By having her work included in these three significant exhibitions Amber not only showcased her exceptional arts and crafts, but in the words of the Alberta Craft Council, the artwork also creates awareness of “Aboriginal culture, reconciliation and revival and the florescence of traditional and contemporary craft and art work.”
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Annette Collins

Support Worker
Annette is a Nēhiyaw /Métis Iskwew and a member of the Kikino Métis Settlement community. She is a graduate of Northern Lakes College Social Work Diploma Program and is a registered social worker with the Alberta College of Registered Social Workers. Prior to her career within the human services field, Annette provided a vital administrative support role within the secondary school system.
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Danielle Lynis

Support Worker
Danielle is a Nēhiyaw /Métis Iskwew born and raised in the community of Lac La Biche. Prior to her current position, she begat years of experience working within Indigenous and non-Indigenous helping organizations. Danielle is currently enrolled in the Community Social Worker Diploma Program.
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Donna Webster

Executive Director
Donna a Nēhiyaw /Métis Iskwew raised in the community of Owl River. She holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Professional Human Services, is a Certified Life Skills Coach and has been a Registered Social Worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers for over twenty five years. She has seventeen years’ of employment experience within the post-secondary education system, numerous years as a volunteer in various non-profit board member positions and over twenty years in the management of Indigenous organizations.
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Hannah Rauser

Support Worker
Hannah comes to the Friendship Centre from the farming community of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. She is completing the second year of her Child and Youth Care Diploma with Lakeland College.
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Jamie John

Project Developer - Nehiyawaskiy Indigenous Peoples Art Co-operative
Jamie is both Neheyaw Napew and Salteaux decent rom the Kehewin Cree Nation. His work is geared towards the preservation of culture and knowledge. He is an Independent Filmmaker, a Certified Native Cultural Arts Instructor and a multidisciplinary artist who incorporates carving, painting, sculpture, print making, nature crafts and ceremonial/powwow regalia into his work. Jamie’s works and performances have been showcased in galleries and various venues throughout western Canada. Upon returning to his territory in 2005, he became employed with the Confederacy of Treaty Six as a filmmaker being involved in over 40 productions ranging from promotional films to full length documentaries over the past fifteen years.

John Ritchie

Tourism Project Development Officer
John Ritchie is Nēhiyaw /Métis Napew from the Kikino Metis Settlement. He comes with extensive training and experience in both the hospitality and tourism industry as well as retail sales. John is the proud owner/operator of Hideaway Adventure Grounds https://www.hideawayadventuregrounds.ca/ cultivating unique Metis Indigenous Cultural Experiences while incorporating comfort camping in canvas wall tents. He brings with him numerous certifications in the facilitation of a group development workshops, including that of the I Am A Kind Man series.
Featured image for “Kristina Desjarlais”

Kristina Desjarlais

Receptionist / Support Worker Assistant
Kristina is Ojibway from the First Nation in Barrie, Ontario. Prior to her current position with the Lac La Biche Friendship Centre, she played an active role as a youth worker within the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres. Kristina is a certified Indigenous Doula from University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills and is in the process of obtaining her certification as an Indigenous Birth Worker under the tutelage of the Alberta Indigenous Birth Workers.
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Liz Shaffer

Finance Manager
Liz is of Irish Celtic heritage and names her main place of origin to be Winnipeg Manitoba. A graduate of the Accounting/Bookkeeping Certificate program from Portage College, she brings to her position over twenty one years of practice in the field and extensive hands on expertise within the hospitality and tourism industry.
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Maranda Cardinal

Support Worker
Maranda a Nēhiyaw Iskwew from the Beaver Lake Cree Nation is in the final stages of completing her Community Social Worker Diploma with Portage College. She brings to her position the added experience of working within an Indigenous governance system and the knowledge and artistic practice of traditional land based teachings.
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Nicole Cardinal

Support Worker
Nicole a Nēhiyaw Iskwew from the Bigstone Cree Nation is a graduate of the Portage College Community Social Worker Diploma program. She has been a Registered Social Worker with the Alberta College of Registered Social Workers for the past ten years. The Centre is proud to acknowledge Nicole’s volunteer role as a firefighter and one of a few women within the Lac La Biche County Protective Services.
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Nicole Lavallee

Program Coordinator
Nicole a Nēhiyaw Iskwew/Métis with the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, was born and raised in the community of Lac La Biche. She is currently completing the final courses to obtain her Diploma as a Natural Resource Technician Diploma with Portage College. As a champion Métis jigger many times over, she readily shares her culture and heritage while instructing members in the art of traditional Métis dance.
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Serena Cardinal

Sanitation Engineer
Serena is a Nēhiyaw /Métis Iskwew raised in the community of Lac La Biche. She is currently upgrading courses to further her education in university studies.
Featured image for “Winston Desjarlais”

Winston Desjarlais

Support Worker
Winston is a Nēhiyaw Napew from the town of Lac La Biche. He is a Diploma graduate of the Portage College Community Social Worker Program and has been a registered social worker with the Alberta College of Registered Social Workers for seven years. Winston brings to the Centre his added experience of serving in the Canadian Military.