Jesse j. simon

executive director

Jesse is a Mi’gmaw from Elsipogtog First Nation, New Brunswick. In his capacity as guidance counselor, teacher and principal of the Elsipogtog School, Jesse gained first-hand knowledge of the socio-economic impact of historic and systemic discrimination on the most vulnerable members of his community. This experience fueled his decision to enter into the public realm of First Nations politics and serve two terms as Chief of Elsipogtog. During this time, he played an integral role in Trilateral negotiations between the First Nations of NB, the Province and the Federal Government on such issues as Child & Family Services and Education, and was successful as the lead representative in the case of Simon vs AGC regarding Social Development. In order to further his cause, Jesse was heavily involved in developing governance policies for First Nations, as well as improving communications and public relations with the Federal Government towards enforcing Aboriginal & Treaty Rights to fisheries, forestry and natural resources. Jesse also worked with former National Chief, Phil Fontaine, on energy issues affecting First Nations in New Brunswick, and also served as the Executive Director for the 3 largest First Nations in the province. 

As Executive Director of Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn, Jesse is committed to promoting and supporting the recognition and implementation of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights of Mi’gmaw people in their unceded traditional territory.

Cecelia Brooks

Director of INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGe

Cecelia’s grandmother is Mohawk from Kanawake and her great-grandfather is Mi’gmaq from Bear River, Nova Scotia.  She is a member of the Maliseet First Nation of St Mary’s in Fredericton, New Brunswick Canada. Cecelia completed her B.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  She began her career in medical research and then worked for 10 years managing the organic extractions laboratory in an environmental laboratory.  She then managed a municipal water and wastewater laboratory and received her Grade IV certification.  While living in Tennessee Cecelia developed an herbal products business with a focus on locally available medicinal plants.  Since returning to Canada in 2006 she has worked with several indigenous organizations and academia in New Brunswick, as well as expanding her herbal products business with a continued focus on local medicinal plants.  Cecelia has focused on bridging the communication gaps that exist between academia and Indigenous communities, to ensure Indigenous Knowledge is given equal consideration as scientific data in research projects.  She is currently the Director of Research and Indigenous Knowledge Mi’gmawe’l T’plutaqqn Inc.,  Cecelia and her research team have developed the Mi’gmawe’l T’plutaqqn Indigenous Knowledge Study Guide for the collection of Indigenous Knowledge to support the consultation process between New Brunswick Mi’gmaq and the governments of New Brunswick and Canada as well as with industrial proponents interested in natural resource development.

Tracy Anne Cloud

Director of Lands and Conservation

Tracy Anne Cloud is a proud member of Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation. Over the past 15 years Tracy has developed a diversity of professional skills from her work experience within the Atlantic Indigenous communities. Tracy’s eclectic professional experience include working within the Federal system at Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada, in the Land & Trusts Directorate; at the National Center for First Nation Governance, as a Policy & Implementation Officer; and from 2012-2016, Tracy served her community, holding public office on Metepenagiag Band Council. Much of Tracy’s work has focused on facilitating dialogues on all aspects of governance, leadership, and nation rebuilding. Tracy is a mother of 3 children and a grandmother of 3 grandchildren.

Steve Ginnish

Director of Forestry and Natural Resources

Steve comes to MTI with experience across many resource sectors; Mr. Ginnish is a seasoned Forestry Specialist from Eel Ground First Nation, a local businessman; as well as a successful Class 2 commercial fishing captain.

Steve also has extensive experience promoting community employment and supporting work readiness within his community through his leadership under the Aboriginal Skill Development Partnership.

Steve has also received the Canadian Forest Service Merit Award  in 2006 and held the position of Natural Resource Director for Eel Ground First Nation. In 1998 he was presented with the James M. Kitz Award from the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) for his individual contributions made in Sustainable Resource Management. Steve brings a wealth of technical expertise, local knowledge, and long term planning skills to his new role as Director of Forestry and Natural Resources.

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Devin Ward

FISHERIES COORDINATOR

Devin was born in New Market, ON but was raised in Eel Ground First Nation, NB. A local Graduate of Miramichi Valley High School, he attended Dalhousie University where in 2007 he was accepted into the Dalhousie Integrated Science Program. In 2011 he graduated with his Bachelors of Science specializing in Microbiology & Immunology. Since 2011 he has been employed by Anqotum working in their environmental services unit. Devin has aided the environmental services in their development of their stable isotope research with Striped Bass, which is an ongoing area of research at Anqotum.

He has also obtained his project coordinator certificate with the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN). Devin enjoys mechanics, carpentry, astronomy and movies.

Samantha Robichaud

Energy and mines coordinator

Samantha is a Mi’gmaw from Esgenoopetitj First Nation, New Brunswick. She graduated from a francophone school and speaks french fluently. Growing up, she constantly wanted to be outdoors using her imagination, which was when she discovered her passion for Mother Earth and it’s life sources. As a recent graduate of the Environmental Monitoring Technician at NBCC, she is excited to be pursuing her passion working to help with the environment. She has since been recognized as the first aboriginal to work as a Community Aquatic Monitoring Program (CAMP) Coordinator in NB by the Moncton Department of Fisheries and Oceans. While working as a CAMP Coordinator, she realized the need for watershed management in her community and made it her goal to implement one. She is proud to say that she has realized her goal by opening the Esgenoopetitj Watershed Association which is also recognized as the first aboriginal watershed in NB.

She is looking forward to setting new goals with MTI while ensuring that Mi’gmaq rights are recognized, affirmed and protected. She will help the Mi’gmaq obtain better opportunities by advancing energy projects that are safe and sustainable for the environment which will help mitigate impacts of climate change.

Kristy Barnaby

Science & Indigenous Knowledge Researcher

Kristy is from Natuaganeg First Nation, a community of which she attributes as the source of her well-being and communal identity.   Kristy attended Dalhousie University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science with a focus on neuroscience and psychology.  In her later postsecondary years, she completed courses on Indigenous historical issues, treaties, title and contemporary issues.  Ms. Barnaby has had a lengthy career in the health field with an expertise in chronic disease management, harm reduction and community-health.  Kristy is a co-investigator and researcher on several published academic journals in the field of epidemiology, community-based research and public health.  Her love and commitment to the Mi'kmaq Nation coupled together with her goals to build on the documentation of Indigenous bodies of knowledge have lead her to working with Mi'gmawel Tplu'taqann Incorporated.