Lea Bill, RN, BScN
Knowledge Holder and Traditional Cree Practitioner
Lea is a Registered Nurse for the past 25 years. As a Cree woman she originates from the Pelican Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan and currently is the Research and Oversight Engagement Manager Project at Alberta First Nations Information Governance Centre. Lea served on the Board of Directors for the Aboriginal Nurses Association from 1990 -1994 and as President from 1994-1999. Lea is a Traditional practitioner applies an integrated approach to her practice combining her Indigenous knowledge with her nursing knowledge, Bio-energy sciences and the research field.
Lea has been leading people in her native spiritual discovery processes for more than 25 years through ceremony, vision quests and teaching the beauty and the wisdom of indigenous technology specifically the use and application of circle knowledge and nature's wisdom. With more than 30 years of experience working in the health field in Community Health, and Home Care, Lea continues to advocate for health equity for First Nation, Inuit and Métis people.
Her nursing career has provided the opportunity to work in many First Nation communities, including the NWT, at the local and the national level.
Diane Poitras, RN, BScN
Indigenous Knowledge Keeper
Cree/Saulteaux – Peepeekisis First Nation. Treaty 4 Territory- File Hills Qu’appelle Tribal Council. South Saskatchewan Community
Registered Nurse - Graduated in 2007.
Currently employed as a Home Care Nurse Practice Advisor for Indigenous Services Canada. Diane assists with the 14 Southern First Nation Communities in the province of Saskatchewan. I recently obtained programmed experience working as a Home Care Nurse for Onion Lake First Nation, a Community Health Nurse for Health Canada for 7 years. CHN -Nursing relief for PBCN – Pelican Narrows. Carry the Kettle First Nation CHN in 2009. I have 4 daughters, 5 grandchildren, and a supporting partner of 28 years. I am proud of my Cree/Saulteaux background, and Home, and Treaty 4 territory.
Angeline Letendre, RN, PhD
Dr. Angeline Letendre is Treasurer, and Research Chair at the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association. Dr. Letendre completed her doctoral research in Nursing in 2008 with Cree and Cree-Métis women in Alberta on the topic of cervical cancer and cervical cytology screening. Building on more than two decades of front-line nursing experience, the focus of Dr. Letendre’s career has been to contribute to the improved wellness of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. This has included work in cultural competency skills development in Indigenous Nursing, community-based research and partnered activities at local, provincial and national levels, as well as cancer care strategy and program planning. Currently Angeline is a Lead Research Scientist at the Alberta Cancer Prevention and Legacy Fund of Alberta Health Services leading strategy development in cancer prevention and screening with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities in Alberta, as well as, the primary co-lead for two 3-year projects funded through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people of Alberta and Alberta Health Services.
Recently, Dr. Letendre has joined forces with researchers from Australia, New Zealand and the United States to investigate the cancer research interests for Indigenous peoples from these countries. Outcomes of this work promise to include the development of international researcher-level partnerships for the exploration, strategy development and recommendations in cancer-related research with Indigenous populations in the associated countries.
Throughout her nursing career, she has had the privilege to meet nursing leaders, and has been mentored by some exceptional nursing professors and political leaders.
Melanie Littletent, RN, BScN
Independent Board Member
Originally from Kawacatoose First Nations in Saskatchewan, Melanie Littletent is part of the Touchwood Hills people and the Treaty 4 area. Melanie grew up in Southern Alberta, and now calls Calgary, Alberta her home.
Her educational journey started with her achieving her Diploma program in Exploration Technology from SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology). She then pursued work as a Geological Technologist in the Oil and Gas sector for six years.
Melanie changed her career path and enrolled in the Bachelors of Science program in Nursing and proudly graduated in 2014 from the University of Calgary.
During her studies in nursing, she casually worked as a research assistant for the Department of Community Health Science’s, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Subsequent to completing her Nursing program, she worked in Long Term Care until the opportunity to work as a Community Health Nurse in a Northern First Nations community Her dedication and commitment with Community Health kept her in this area for seven years. Currently, she has started working with AFNIGC (Alberta First Nations Information Governance Centre) as a Research Associate. I am very excited to continue to work with First Nations Communities to help improve the health and wellbeing of their communities.
Esther Maani Ulujuk Powell, RN
Independent Board Member
"Maani Ulujuk" is Esther's Inuk name, she was named after her great great grandmother. Naming is very important and used to be ceremonial in her culture.
She grew up in Arviat, Nunavut and attended high school in Rankin Inlet and lived in a residence. Esther attended Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario where she took the Nunavut Sivuniksavut Program and studied Inuit Political History and English. Esther attended nursing school in Yellowknife which is affiliated with the University of Victoria, BC in 2006 and worked as a Community Health Nurse in Arviat, Rankin Inlet and as a float nurse for the Kivalliq region. She worked in Coral Harbour, Baker Lake, Whale Cove, and Sanikiluaq as well.Esther worked as an Institutional Nurse in the Rankin Inlet Healing Facility which is a medium security correctional facility. During her career as an Institutional Nurse, she developed an abstract titled Diverse Populations and spoke on Northern Nursing and Inuit Culture at the Biennial Custody and Caring Conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In addition to nursing, Esther is a mental health first aid, master trainer for Inuit with the Mental Commission of Canada and a board member with the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association.