January 29, 2019
New CEO at Wanuskewin Heritage Park – Darlene Brander (right photo)
CEO Darlene Brander (L), Elder Mary Lee (C), Board Chair Candace Wasacase – Lafferty (R)
For Immediate Release: Tuesday January 29, 2019
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Wanuskewin is thrilled to announce Darlene Brander as the new
Chief Executive Officer, effective March 4, 2019. Chair of Wanuskewin’s Board of Directors,
Candace Wasacase-Lafferty made the announcement today at the National Historic Site. Ms.
Brander was appointed to the position following a comprehensive national search that
attracted a strong field of candidates.
Lafferty is quoted: “We had nearly 100 applicantsfrom across Canada apply for this position, and
we are thrilled to welcome Ms. Brander back to Wanuskewin. She began her career here many
years ago, and brings with her a wealth of experience that will positively impact the growth of
this important place. Darlene has demonstrated a deep commitment to Wanuskewin and the
people we serve. Her reputation as a community leader along with her strong sense of business
expertise make us confident that she will lead Wanuskewin well into the future.”
Brander leaves her position as Director of Human Resources for Athabasca Catering Limited
Partnership, a 100% Saskatchewan First Nation owned company that offers remote site catering
services after 7.5 years with the company. In addition to her positive track record of increasing
retention of Indigenous talent and improving service delivery for clients, Brander is an active
community volunteer. She serves on the boards of the Nutrien Children’s Discovery Museum of
Saskatchewan, Canadian Association of Police Governance and is Chair of the Saskatoon Board
of Police Commissioners.
Brander is quoted: “As an Indigenous woman, I am honored to be Wanuskewin’s next CEO and
lead an organization where the story of the land and its first people can be shared as a collective
narrative. Wanuskewin has been a gathering place for Indigenous peoples for more than 6000
years, and it will continue to be a gathering place for the generations to come. I look forward to
working with the staff, Elders and board to honour the Park’s past, thrive in the present and
realize the future. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve, and I am humbled to be a part of
Wanuskewin Heritage Park.”
Nearly two years ago, Wanuskewin publicly launched Thundering Ahead, a capital fundraising
campaign and renewal project. Brander joins the project as construction of an expanded facility
is underway and will help to build the team and strategy as Wanuskewin prepares for its grand
reveal in Summer 2020. All aspects of the project are expected to be completed by then, including
the building expansion, exhibit reintroduction, grassland restoration, and the first bison returned.
The bid for UNESCO World Heritage designation will follow.
“The Board of Directors would like to thank the Elders for their contributions to the selection
process in hiring Ms. Brander, and to the senior management team for their leadership during
this time of transition. We are looking forward to continuing to work with this group of talented
individuals as we move forward.”
Chair, Wanuskewin Board of Directors