We are a team of people passionate about Indigenous cultural preservation and celebration.
Darlene Brander, B.Ed., CPHR
The significance of Wanuskewin was apparent the first day I walked on the land, and to this day, is it the safe sense of space to be who I am, an Indigenous woman, walking her journey. This land has been a gathering place for thousands of years, and over those thousands of years, intergenerational, the spirt and connectedness of this land welcomes everyone. I work here as a steward to honor the past, thrive in the present and realize our future. I work here, knowing that a legacy for the current and upcoming generations will be left for them.
Felix Thomas has served on the Wanuskewin Board of Directors since December 01, 2017 and was appointed Chair in 2019. During Felix’s time on the board he has over seen and provided direction on the following four pillars: returning bison back to Wanuskewin after 150 year absence, completion of the Thundering Ahead capital campaign, championing Wanuskewin’s bid to become a UNESCO world heritage site, and the rejuvenation of the Opimahaw Valley.
Felix Thomas has over 30 years of senior governance and management experience with First Nations. Born and raised on the Kinisitin Saulteaux Nation, Felix graduated from Pleasantdale School and the University of Saskatchewan. Chief Thomas has a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education and Bachelor of Arts.
First elected as a councillor in 1991 Felix was the first elected chief in 1993 until 1999. Felix was also Executive Director of FSIN’s Health and Social Development Commission from 1999-2002.
Chief Thomas was re-elected in 2003 until 2008 when he was elected Tribal Chief of the Saskatoon Tribal Council until 2017. He has since returned to Kinistin Governance as Chief.
Over the years, Chief Thomas has been instrumental in national, regional and local volunteer boards. Chief Thomas has co-chaired Assembly of First Nation, Chiefs Committee on Health, and was Chairman of Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority. Chief Thomas is currently chair of the First Nations Power Authority.
Chief Thomas is married to Dawne and father to Lindsay, Lana, Shayna and Joshua.
Dr. Ernest G. Walker
Wanuskewin is unique because it represents the sacred relationship between a very special prairie landscape and Pre-Contact bison-hunting cultures over 6,000 years. The archaeological record at Wanuskewin is tangible evidence of this connection and the values these Indigenous peoples attached to this place. These values were not only economic, but social and spiritual as well.
The story of Wanuskewin is about the restoration of grasslands, the return of the bison, and the resurgence of Indigenous Plains culture. Our community came together to tell this story more than 40 years ago. However, this is not just a local story, or even a national one—it’s a story of international importance. This is the hope and promise of Wanuskewin.