Purdy Crawford Chair Project Team
Mary Beth Doucette, Executive Director
Mary Beth Doucette is a Mi’kmaw who has excelled as a scholar, obtaining a SSHRC Canada graduate scholarship during her graduate studies at CBU. She is a dedicated community volunteer which, when combined with her background in industrial engineering and community economic development, made her a very strong addition to the management group at Membertou as Director Quality Assurance and ISO Compliance. It is this combination of talent and commitment to the community at large that contributed to her nomination for the prestigious award of Aboriginal Women of Distinction. Her graduate research in CBU’s MBA (CED) focused on community economic development in First Nations, examining the role of cultural tourism as one aspect of the research. She then did primary research with Elders and Band administrators at Membertou in regards to a proposed Heritage Park. Mary Beth will be the prime contact with Membertou coordinating interviews and primary research with Elders, community members and Chief and Council.
Ann Terese Doucette, Marketing Specialist, Aboriginal Affairs
Ann Terese Doucette is a Mi’kmaw from Membertou. She is the Marketing Specialist for Aboriginal Affairs at Cape Breton University. Ann Terese joined the team early in 2014, but was a mentor in the Nova Scotia Business Network for Aboriginal Youth for the three years prior to joining the team. She will be in charge of implementing day to day marketing activities of the Chair and Unama’ki College. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm) from St. Mary’s University with a Major in Marketing. Ann Terese is a Membertou Band Member who grew up on the outskirts of Sydney and currently resides in Sydney. Before joining the Purdy Crawford Chair team at CBU, she worked as a Finance Officer for the Membertou Band Council for over seven years.
Alyce MacLean, Special Projects Manager
Alyce MacLean is the Special Projects Manager for the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies. She was born and raised in Cape Breton, then went on to study English Literature at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick and receive her Masters of Arts in English Literature and Cultural Studies from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Alyce sits on the Board of Directors for New Dawn Enterprises, Chairs the Lumière Arts Festival Association, and she sits on the Next Steps for Arts and Culture Committee, which is a Mayor’s round table working towards the development and sustainability of arts and culture within the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Alyce moved home to Cape Breton in 2011 and loves taking advantage of Cape Breton Island’s hiking trails, beaches, and beautiful coastal drives.
Celia O’Shea, Executive Assistant
Celia O’Shea is the Executive Assistant for the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies at Cape Breton University. Prior to joining the Chair in 2014, Celia had a 22 year career at IBM, working in both Canada and New Zealand. During her time with “Big Blue,” Celia held a variety of roles but her passion and primary area of expertise is Operations Management. She will assist the Chair wherever her skills can be applied, with a particular focus on streamlined reporting, financial accountability, office administration and process efficiency. Celia has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from St F.X. University. A proud Cape Bretoner with strong family ties to the Island, Celia is married and lives in Sydney with her husband.
Janice Esther Tulk, Senior Research Associate
Janice Esther Tulk is the Senior Research Associate with the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies. Her current research is focused on the Membertou model for economic development, the Unama’ki economic partnership model, and best practices in Aboriginal economic development. Tulk’s research of the past ten years has revolved around Mi’kmaw music and culture. She holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours) from Memorial University (2001), a Master of Arts in Music from University of Alberta (2003), and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Ethnomusicology from Memorial University (2008). Her dissertation, titled “Our Strength is Ourselves”: Status, Identity, and Cultural Revitalization Among the Mi’kmaq in Newfoundland, explored the way in which contemporary music-making practices such as powwow were localized to express both Mi’kmaw identity and First Nations identity more broadly. She is currently authoring a book that examines the relationships between Mi’kmaw musical expressions, local soundscapes, and histories of encounter. Tulk is the recipient of a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2008-2010) and a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral), and is a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
In.Business Project Team
Brian Smith, General Manager – In.Business
Brian Smith is a Mi’kmaq from the Glooscap community in Nova Scotia. As National General Manager for the In.Business program, Brian’s primary responsibility is the development and delivery of a national business mentorship network for Indigenous youth. In.Business operates in five regions with 300 students and 50 mentors from all provinces and territories in Canada each year. Brian works with managers in the five regions: Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Pacific and Northern, to deliver the program. Brian began his business career as a Financial Controller for a Nova Scotia First Nation. He moved on to work with the Royal Bank of Canada, beginning as a Business Banking Account Manager, later taking on the role of Atlantic District Manager for Strategic Markets (Aboriginal Banking). He opened the Atlantic office of the Canadian Executive Services Organization and served as its first Atlantic Regional Manager. He was also the Director of Operations for the National Centre for First Nations Governance, responsible for five Regions across Canada. Brian sits as a Board of Director for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, currently serving on the Executive Committee as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committees. Brian is a husband and a father of six children. He holds a BBA from Acadia University and a MBA from St. Mary’s University.
Koren Bear, Pacific Regional Manager – In.Business
As the Pacific Regional Manager – In.Business, Koren’s primary responsibility is the yearly rollout and management of the In.Business: A National Mentorship Program for Indigenous Youth, in the Pacific region. Her program includes high school students, business mentors and peer mentors from British Columbia and Alberta. In.Business uses social media, smartphone technology, and in-person conferences to link Aboriginal high school students with Aboriginal business mentors. The primary goal of the program is to attract Aboriginal high school students to the study of business at the post-secondary level. Koren has had a 20 year career in project management and community development, honing her project management and business skills in several sectors including engineering, aquaculture, energy production, education and healthcare. Koren has extensive experience working with First Nations across the Prairie Provinces and in British Columbia. She became interested in business when she began managing First Nation shellfish aquaculture projects on Vancouver Island, and realized that these operations would not succeed without sound business planning and training. Koren has worked as a program manager for Vancouver Island University, managing a training program for First Nation communities. Koren is located in Nanaimo, BC at Vancouver Island University, the program’s Pacific Region partnership institution and works closely with Dave Twynam (Dean of the Faculty of Management, Vancouver Island University). Koren was the first female First Nation graduate from the University of Manitoba’s Civil Engineering Program and holds a certificate in Community Economic Development from Simon Fraser University.
Nina Kent, Atlantic Regional Manager – In.Business
As the Atlantic Manager – In.Business, Nina’s primary responsibility is the yearly rollout and management of the In.Business: A National Mentorship Program for Indigenous Youth, in the Atlantic region. Her program includes high school students, business mentors and peer mentors from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In.Business uses social media, smartphone technology, and in-person conferences to link Aboriginal high school students with Aboriginal business mentors. The primary goal of the program is to attract Aboriginal high school students to the study of business at the post-secondary level. Nina has a background in community economic development holding a bachelors degree from Algoma University furthered by Cape Breton University’s masters of business administration program both with a community economic development concentration. She became interested in business during her undergraduate studies, and as a result started her own small business incorporating Aboriginal knowledge into bath and beauty products. Nina has extensive experience working with First Nations in Ontario and specifically the northern, more remote, communities. Nina has worked in various capacities in Indigenous organizations in Ontario ranging from program coordinator of friendship centre youth programs to consultation in service planning and development of Ontario Works programs in Northern Ontario. Nina’s office is located in the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies office in Membertou, Nova Scotia.
Hanwakan Whitecloud, Central Regional Manager – In.Business
Hanwakan (which means Northern Lights in Dakota and is pronounced with silent n’s) is Dakota-Ojibway from the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation in Manitoba. As the Central Regional Manager – In.Business, Hanwakan’s primary responsibility is the yearly rollout and management of the In.Business: A National Mentorship Program for Indigenous Youth, in the Central region. His program includes high school students, business mentors and peer mentors from Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In.Business uses social media, smartphone technology, and in-person conferences to link Aboriginal high school students with Aboriginal business mentors. The primary goal of the program is to attract Aboriginal high school students to the study of business at the post-secondary level. Hanwakan previously worked for the Aboriginal Business Education Partners at the Asper School. He is currently based at the University of Winnipeg, the program’s Central Region partnership institution and works closely with Wab Kinew (Vice President of Indigenous Affairs at the University of Winnipeg) to tailor the program for the Central region. Hanwakan is an avid skateboarder and has one cat, Puff. Hanwakan holds a BComm (Honours) from the Asper School of Business in 2011.