Current Board Of Directors

As a non-profit and charitable organization, Wigwamen Incorporated is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The members of this Board are highly experienced and committed to providing decent, affordable housing for individuals and families of Indigenous ancestry. Biographies for the current Board of Directors of Wigwamen are below.

President: Arnold May

Arnold May retired from Ontario Power Generation in 2002 as Senior Analyst of Aboriginal Relations. He has been on Wigwamen’s Board since 1996. Arnold is Ojibway and a member of Nipissing First Nation where he served as Councillor for 6 years. His career was devoted to working with First Nations in the Province of Ontario in resolving grievances that they had filed with the provincial electricity generation and transmission company. Upon retiring, Arnold set up a consulting business (Beedaubun Enterprise) and did consulting for various corporations by providing advice and guidance and acting as a facilitator for ongoing discussions related to various initiatives, projects and partnerships. Arnold is certified in Conflict Resolution; Training System Design, Development and Delivery; and, is a qualified Industrial Mechanic Millwright and Machinist. He has been a Director on various Provincial Boards in the past, and continues to sit as Director.

Vice President: Suzanne Brunelle

Suzanne Brunelle is Métis with Menominee, French, and Irish roots. She earned her Bachelors’ degree at York University’s Glendon College, subsequently dedicating over forty years to federal public service, including 15 years in Real Property. She serves as the Senator of the Toronto & York Region Métis Council and is an active member of the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council, the City of Toronto Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Committee, and the Centennial Aboriginal Education Council. She is also the coordinator of the Community Ethics Network, a membership-funded collective of over 50 community health and support sector organizations that promote quality community healthcare and support services.

Suzanne joined the Board of Wigwamen Incorporated in July 2020 and looks forward to contributing to the goals of the organization as well as the learning she will gain along the way.

Secretary-Treasurer: Valerie Kendall

A Certified Management Accountant with experience in the property management field, Valerie works as a Controller for a real estate investment company. She has been a member of Wigwamen’s Board of Directors since August 1996. In her spare time, she works toward her goal of becoming an accomplished roller-blader, and enjoys bird watching.

Director: John Arciuch

John Arciuch worked for a number of years in the area of Aboriginal relations at Ontario Power Generation, and prior to that, in the environmental and forestry services field. He joined Wigwamen’s Board in February 2000. John has worked with many groups in the Toronto area to develop co-housing project proposals and holds an MBA degree from York University.

Director: Tabatha Bull

Tabatha, a proud member of Nipissing First Nation, holds the distinction of being named CEO of the Year for 2022 by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2023, and named as Top 100 Lobbyist in Canada four years in a row. As the President and CEO of CCIB, she is dedicated to rebuilding and strengthening the path towards reconciliation and fostering a prosperous Indigenous economy for the benefit of all Canadians. With a background in electrical engineering, Tabatha is committed to promoting Indigenous inclusion and diversity in Canada’s energy sector.

In her role at CCIB, Tabatha serves the Indigenous community by supporting the Indigenous economy and sits on various boards, including the Dexterra Group, Wigwamen Incorporated, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and Catalyst CEO Advisory Board in Canada, among others.

Tabatha’s dedication to diversity extends to her efforts in removing systematic barriers to enhance opportunities for Indigenous businesses and women across all industry sectors.

Director: Glen Jennings

Glen Jennings has been a member of Wigwamen’s Board of Directors since 2006.  In addition to his volunteer work with Wigwamen, Glen has served on the Board of Frontiers Foundation as Secretary-Treasurer. Glen is a solicitor practicing in Toronto in the area of criminal law, focusing on complex fraud and Charter litigation. His practice has included a wide variety of criminal matters at both trial and appellate levels, as well as regulatory and disciplinary matters.  Glen was called to the Ontario Bar in 1994 after completing his articles at a leading Canadian criminal law firm.  Glen is also involved with lecturing at various leading continuing education programs in the legal profession.

Director: Kathleen Cieslak

Kathleen Cieslak joined the Board of Directors of Wigwamen Incorporated in 2014. Kathleen holds an Honours BA from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University. She works for Ontario Power Generation and has held positions in the Real Estate division, Human Resources Talent and Change department, and currently is an Advisor in OPG’s First Nation and Métis Relations division. Kathleen has worked with non-profit companies in the past and is looking forward to being an active Wigwamen Board member. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, snowboarding, rock climbing and mountain biking.

Director: Waylon Iserhoff

Waylon Iserhoff is a member of Taykwa Tagamou Nation. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer for the Six Nations of the Grand Development Corporation, which manages Six Nations’ economic interests and its economic development opportunities. From 2015 to 2019, Waylon was Taykwa Tagamou Nation’s Busines Development Officer where he provided support to its Chief & Council with their various business interests. Waylon has over 25 years of experience in a variety of finance and accounting roles with Thrive Cannabis, Hudson Bay Company, Loblaw Companies Limited, Moody’s Investor Services and Deloitte. Waylon is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Toronto and a BA from the University of Western Ontario. He joined the Wigwamen Board in 2017.

Director: Ian Jacobsen

Ian Jacobsen is Mohawk from the Mohawks of Kanesatake First Nation and is currently the Director of Indigenous Relations at Ontario Power Generation.

For much of his career Ian has worked for and with Indigenous communities and organizations. Over the past 15 years, Ian has worked in various areas of Ontario’s energy sector including Transmission and Distribution, Waterpower, and Nuclear Generation. Ian’s passion and focus is dedicated to building strong, collaborative relationships with Indigenous communities, organizations and businesses with a focus on creating opportunities for prosperity and mutual benefits within Ontario’s energy sector.

In 2021, Ian led the development of the Ontario Power Generation’s inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan. A key commitment of the plan includes growing the company’s economic impact with Indigenous communities and businesses to $1 billion by 2031.

Former Wigwamen Director Biographies:

Julie Rice 2009-2023

Julie joined the Board of Directors in June 2009, and served as Director and Vice-President until 2023. Julie is Ojibway from Wasauksing First Nation, and a long-time resident of Toronto. She works for an Aboriginal organization in the city where she has had many opportunities to learn about non-profit board processes. Over the years, she has utilized many of Toronto’s Aboriginal services and wishes to give back to the Aboriginal community. She also wishes to inspire and encourage Aboriginal people to live up to their fullest potential and strive for what life has to offer. Julie has a knack for sports and is involved in volleyball and baseball.

Donna Niven 1976-2021

President Donna Niven served on the Wigwamen Incorporated Board of Directors from April 1976 to February 2021. She has given her volunteer time to the community in many ways, having served as a Director on the Board at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto for five years, served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the North American Indian Club for twelve years, and was once voted Native Big Sister of the year. Donna enjoys theatre, music and creating native crafts. She enjoys selling her crafts at community powwows, and meeting and talking with the people attending them. With years of volunteering in the community, Donna brings diverse experience to Wigwamen.

Bill Kinoshameg 1977-2018

Bill joined the Board of Directors of Wigwamen Incorporated in 1977 and became President of the corporation in 1995. His other volunteer experience includes: a 25-year membership (including having served for some time as President) with the Toronto Indian Club; having been a Director of Habitat for Humanity; and involvement with various seniors and other charitable organizations. Bill spent most of his working life in the field of maintenance and construction and in October 2000 he retired as Supervisor of Operations at Trent University in Peterborough. Born in Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island, Bill spent much of his childhood at Garnier College Residential School.

Marie Rogers 1996-2006

Marie Rogers is originally from Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island but has been living and working in Toronto since the early 1970s. She is employed with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce as an Administrative Assistant in Retail and Small Business Credit. Marie has served as a Director for Wigwamen since 1996 and beyond her involvement with the corporation, she volunteers with the Native Peoples’ Parish. In the past she has assisted in a number of fundraising campaigns for groups such as the United Way and Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital. Her interests include figure skating and country music.

Eric Carlson 1974-2006

Wigwamen’s longest serving Director Eric Carlson joined the Board in September 1974. He is a retired employee of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, having worked there for 30 years. Prior to that, he taught French and Latin at a variety of Ontario high schools, and worked with the South Saskatchewan River Development Commission. An active volunteer in the City of Toronto, Eric is also a driver for Meals-on-Wheels and the Canadian Cancer Society, and is a Board member with Frontiers Foundation. For many, this kind of community involvement would leave little time for hobbies, but Eric also manages to squeeze in some international travel and hiking.

Delma Cooper 1976-2010

Another longtime Board member, Delma Cooper joined Wigwamen in April 1976. Now retired from the Victorian Order of Nurses, she volunteers at St. Michael’s Hospital, and is as a very active member of the Native Peoples’ Parish of Toronto. Past volunteer experience includes having served as the Executive Secretary for the Friendship Centre and as a Big Sister with Ahbinoojyak, a former Native children’s program in the city. Delma is originally from Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island, but has lived in Toronto since the 1960s. Her interests include theatre, critically-acclaimed movies and books, Scrabble and playing the keyboard.

Karen Wheeler 2009-2014

Karen Wheeler joined the Board in July, 2009. She retired from the Ontario Public Service as a senior policy advisor in 2005 and currently does part-time consulting on public policy issues. She has been on the boards of several Toronto-based non-profit housing co-operatives and has held senior volunteer positions in OPSEU, AMAPCEO, and CUPE. Karen has a strong belief in the social and economic benefits of not-for-profit housing and has been involved in organizations devoted to supplying and managing such housing since 1968.

Diana (Dee) Lewis-Campbell 1994-1997

Diana (Dee) is Mi’kmaq and served on the Board from 1994-1997. She lived and worked in Toronto for 23 years but now lives in Nova Scotia where she works for the Union of Nova Scotia Indians Tribal Council. Having earned a Master of Resource and Environmental Management degree (2010) from Dalhousie University in Halifax, she has almost completed a PhD degree, focusing on environmental health, and is using her expertise to help a local First Nation impacted by industrial pollution from a pulp and paper mill. An avid runner, Dee tries to participate in 10k runs wherever her travels take her.

About Us – Board of Directors
Click on a link below to view the former Board member's biography.
Julie Rice (2009-2023)
Donna Niven (1976-2021)
Bill Kinoshameg (1977-2018)
Nona Bedwell (1972-1973)
Elise Bergasse (1983-1986)
Clare Brant (1972-1994)
Harvey Brant (1973-1983)
Robert Brant (1974-1976)
Diana Lewis-Campbell (1994-1997)
Eric Carlson (1974-2006)
Thomas Charles (1972-1974)
Philomena Chechock (1987-1994)
Delma Cooper (1976-2010) Margaret Cozry (1972-1976)
Mel Dokis (1976-1987)
Ted Dowbiggin (1987-1993, 1994)
James Hopkins (1998-2001)
Bernard Jacobs (1972-1973)
Basil Johnston (1973-1975, 1981-1983)
Verna Johnston (1972-1974)
Larry Leong (1978-1996)
Glen Maracle (1976-1977)
Bella Marshall (1976-1977)
Peter Mishibinijima (1972-1976)
Kristine Pinter (1994-1999)
Mildred Redmond (1972-1973)
Marie Rogers (1996-2006)
Travis Seymour (1994-1996)
Norm Smith (1983-1987)
James Turner (1972-1980)
Karen Wheeler (2009-2014)
Lavinia Whetung (1973-1976)
Anna Williams (1996-1998)
Maintenance Request Form
Application Request Form