Thank you to the Elders and Knowledge Keepers who supported the project with their knowledge, wisdom, and expertise. Learn more about them below.

Art Cunningham

President, Roundtable Consulting

Roundtable provides leading services in Indigenous relations. Art Cunningham has more than 35 years of experience incorporating and engaging the private and public sectors in successful Indigenous relations.

He was the Senior Indigenous Corporate Policy Adviser, and Relations Practitioner for TransCanada Energy for 30 years. Art continues to instruct at the University Of Calgary’s Indigenous Relations Training Program on Indigenous Relations and Resource Development. Presently Art is consulting for the Metis Nation of Alberta as a Business Relations Liaison. Art serves on the board of Metis Crossing which oversees a Cultural Gathering Centre. He is also a Board Member of Momentum, and an Elder Mentor for the Circle of Wisdom Calgary.

Art is one of the founding directors of Circle for Aboriginal Relations (CFAR) which is an aboriginal liaison practitioners networking organization that promotes the resolution of aboriginal issues through building strong relationships. He currently sits as a CFAR advisor. He was also past-president of Alberta’s Interprovincial Association on Native Employment and national vice-president.

Art was a previous co-chair for Children and Family Services, a previous United Way board member, former chair of Calgary Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Opportunities Committee, senator of Calgary Friendship Centre, and governor of Calgary Aboriginal Women’s Shelter.

He received the Chief David Crowchild Award in 1997 for creating bridges of understanding between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. He was also recognized by the International Rotary Foundations when they awarded him the Paul Harris Fellowship Award for contributions to the community. In 2005, he received the Alberta Centennial Award for outstanding service to the people and the province of Alberta.

Marina Crane

Elder Marina Crane (Hapan Kinyewakan) identifies culturally as Sioux; her spiritual practices are Dakoda, and her home is Tsuu T'ina First Nations.

As a visual artist whose practice focuses on healing through traditional teachings, Marina's artistic spirit is guided by Kainyewakan (flying holy) and influenced by culture and language. She sees art as her magic wand, addressing oppression through a creative expression unique to her voice and lived experience.

Fluent in the Sioux language, as a child, she was given a new identity on her first day of school when a teacher instructed Hapan Kinyewakan that she would be called Marina from that day forward. Her new spoken language was to be English. Navigating the psychological and emotional wounds she experienced in Indian Day School, Residential School, and the city schools she attended have strengthened Marina's resilience and social activism. Through the years of resisting, moving through, and overcoming prejudice, discrimination, and racism, Marina has deepened her reflections on the extensive damage systemic racism has on humanity, culture, and identity. The fuel of these reflections continues to feed the fire in Marina's unyielding determination to name acts of oppression through art, activism, and the desire for authentic reparation.

Dr. Michael Lickers

Dr. Michael Lickers is a well-known Mohawk educator from Six Nations of the Grand River. Michael is a Senior Advisor of Indigenous Relations for Suncor Energy. Founder and past Executive Director of the Ghost River Rediscovery program, Michael has over 30 years of experience in leadership, cultural outdoor education, community development and youth leadership development. Michael is well recognized for his knowledge and work with Indigenous peoples in Canada and internationally, he is continuously engaged in presentations, training seminars and conferences.

Michael holds a Master’s in Leadership and Training (MALT) and a Doctor of Social Sciences (D.Soc.Sci.) from Royal Roads University with a focus on Indigenous Youth Leadership Development. Michael is author of “Urban Aboriginal Leadership: The Delicate Dance Between Two Worlds,” and has published several articles on Indigenous epistemology, Indigenous youth leadership, international youth programs, non-profit management, community development and Indigenous methodology.

Michael currently teaches at Royal Roads University in the School of Leadership (MAL) and Interdisciplinary Studies (Global Indigenous Ways of Knowing), serves as the Indigenous Scholar in Residence and is currently assisting in the development of the MA in Climate Action Leadership in the School of Environment and Sustainability. Michael has previously taught courses at the University of Calgary (Werklund School of Education and International Indigenous Studies: Indigenous Knowledge Land Based Course) and St. Mary’s University (Introduction to Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Ways of Knowing - Cultural field course).

Michael brings a unique combination of rigorous professionalism, wide program development, including International teaching and work, outdoor education, cultural education and leadership experience, grounded in traditional cultural teachings.