Staff

We Are All Treaty People

Mary Culbertson

Treaty Commissioner of Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan’s first woman Treaty Commissioner is Nahkawe and Irish/Scottish English descent. A member of the Keeseekoose First Nation, she was the first member to earn a Juris Doctor from U of S Law and practice law in Saskatchewan. In January 2018, Mary Culbertson became the Treaty Commissioner for Saskatchewan.

Her professional experience spans federal government departments, provincial government ministries, National and territorial Indigenous organizations, Tribal Councils, provincial and community-based organizations as well as volunteerism and advocacy. She is the daughter of a residential school survivor whose family has persevered through intergenerational legacies and trauma. She is the mother of four grown children who have made her a proud Kokum.

She grew up seeing both worlds on the family farm north of Pelly, SK in Treaty 4 territory across the river from Fort Livingston site and her Nation of Keeseekoose across from Fort Pelly. She is the granddaughter of late FSIN Senator Roy Musqua and Nellie Brass who instilled the torch of self-determination in their children and grandchildren.

She firmly believes the personal and professional experiences she has lived have shaped her journey, knowledge and determination. It is her hope that other children and grandchildren of the residential school legacy can say if she did so can I. Whether it was serving soup at the Friendship Centre in Yorkton, being a single parent with support of family trying to get finished a Grade 12 with toddlers in tow, to working in organizations First Nations governments, federal governments, provincial governments, in communities and tribal councils in addictions, education, research to having the honour of being legal counsel for Indian residential school survivors to being the first woman Treaty Commissioner. She firmly believes that everything we have experienced in this lifetime, our families' experiences to our collective experiences shape who we are.

Angie Merasty

Executive Director

Angie is Woodland Cree from the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation. After working with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner as the Project Coordinator – Youth in Service since July 2019, Angie became the Director of Operations, and is now the Executive Director.

The Youth in Service project, which ended in May 2020, involved the coordination of promoting the civic engagement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, to enhance and build upon the efforts of OTC, particularly related to reconciliation.

Angie was born and raised in Pelican Narrows, currently lives in Saskatoon, SK and she is fluent in the Cree language.

Angie brings a wide variety of experience having worked as a Ministerial Assistant to several Cabinet Ministers and Special Advisor to the Premier of Saskatchewan with the Government of Saskatchewan; a Workforce Planning Specialist, Human Resources for Cameco Corporation; Band Councillor for the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation where she held the portfolio for youth and justice; Victim Services Coordinator within the Pelican Narrows RCMP Detachment for the NorthSask Victim Services; Project Manager for the Northeast Youth Violence Reduction Partnership; and most recently she worked as a Jordan’s Principle Coordinator for PBCN Health Services.

Rhett Sangster

Director, Reconciliation and Community Partnerships

Rhett Sangster works with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, coordinating efforts to engage both the public and community leaders on the nature of reconciliation in Saskatchewan. This process aims to work with as many partners as possible to identify shared priorities and a broadly-owned vision for the future.

Rhett grew up in Treaty 6 territory (Tisdale, Saskatchewan) and is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan (B.A. Political Studies). He moved to Ottawa in 2000 to become a Foreign Service Officer and has spent the majority of his career working on issues of international conflict and peacebuilding. He spent three years posted as a diplomat in Turkey, led a successful effort to improve dialogue and cooperation between Afghan and Pakistani border officials, and coordinated Canadian international policy on mediation, peace processes and the effects of war on women and girls. Rhett accepted a Rotary Peace Fellowship in 2012 and graduated in 2014 with a Masters in International Development Policy from Duke University. His thesis focused on conflict prevention and reconciliation in Saskatchewan.

Rhett is married and has three young children.

Charmaine Gardiner

Sr. Administrative Assistant/Treaty Learning Network Coordinator

Charmaine joined the OTC as Administrative Assistant, Reconciliation in April 2017 as part of a partnership with the City of Saskatoon.

She loves work on Reconciliation because she likes to see the positive change in the community, while bettering the lives of youth, who are our future leaders of tomorrow. Her personal call to action is Listen, Learn, Show Up and Share.

Charmaine was born and raised in in Ile a la Crosse, but has lived in Saskatoon on and off since 1995. She has two children, Bryden, 22, and Desiree, 18. She loves to spend time with her partner, Clarence, and her family -- and she likes a good read or drama series.

Sheldon Krasowski

Director of Research and Archives

Sheldon Krasowski was born in Treaty Six territory in Saskatoon and attended the University of Saskatchewan and received a BA with a major in Indigenous Studies from the University of Saskatchewan in 1995. In 1998 he received an MA in Indigenous Studies from Trent University and completed the thesis “A Numiany” The Prayer People and the Pagans of Walpole Island First Nation.” In 2011, he received a PhD in history from the University of Regina for the dissertation, “Mediating the Numbered Treaties: Eyewitness Accounts of the Numbered Treaties Between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples, 1871-1876.” This research became the basis for No Surrender: The Land Remains Indigenous which was published by the University of Regina Press in 2019 and includes a foreword by Dr. Winona Wheeler.

Dr. Krasowski has taught in both history and Indigenous Studies departments at First Nations University of Canada; Vancouver Island University; the University of Saskatchewan; Blue Quills First Nations College; the University of Calgary; and Athabasca University. He has completed research for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Metis Nation of Ontario, and is currently a co-investigator on a research project with the Montreal Lake Cree Nation on the Treaty 6 Adhesion of 1889. Sheldon began his research journey with the office of the Treaty Commissioner in 1998, and after a hiatus of almost 20 years is currently the director of research and archives at the Office of the Treaty Commissioner in Saskatoon.

Elaine Sutherland

Director of Treaty Education

Elaine Sutherland is a proud Willow Cree woman from the Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation in Treaty 6 territory.

She graduated from University of Saskatchewan – ITEP, and was a professional educator for 24 years before joining the OTC team. During that time, Elaine worked for First Nation Schools as well as urban non-First Nation schools across Saskatchewan. She loved teaching and molding the future minds of tomorrow.

Elaine joined the OTC as the Director of Treaty Education in the spring of 2022 and loves everything about her role and all it entails. She is passionate about Treaty Education and wants to ensure all Treaty people have the opportunity to learn about their rights and obligations. 

Elaine attributes her success to her parents and her two amazing sons. She lives in Saskatoon with her family, enjoys a good crossword puzzle, sewing, and loves her new family here at OTC.

 

Sage Merasty

Digitization Technician

Sage Merasty was born in Treaty Six territory and is a member of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation. 

Sage first joined OTC in 2019–2020, as part of the Youth in Service program where he was a youth advisory member for OTC. He began working as an employee in January 2021 working as a Research and Archives Assistant and in 2022 has now transitioned into a Digitization Technician working directly with the Director of Research and Archives.

In 2015 he graduated from St. Mary Highschool in Prince Albert and attended the University of Saskatchewan for two years enrolled in Arts and Science. He has always had an interest in Dentistry and hopes to one day return for these studies. Sage enjoys the roles he has obtained at the Office of the Treaty Commissioner. He has gained valuable experiences, has been a part of several projects and is always learning something new every day.

In his time off, he enjoys long boarding, photography, and travel. 

Joni Brass

Student Mentor

Joni is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in Saskatchewan on Treaty 6 territory.

She was valedictorian when she graduated the Wapawikoscikan Community School in 2012, and spent time as a special education teachers’ aide at Wapawikoscikan school before going on to the University of Saskatchewan. Joni studied crime law and justice studies while at university and grew her passion for social justice during her studies.

Joni attributes her success to her late grandparents and their teachings, and says these play a huge part of her life today.

She joined the Office of the Treaty Commissioner in 2021 and is very happy to be part of the OTC family.

Autumn Baptiste

Student Mentor

Autumn Baptiste is a youth mentor at the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, working as an assistant to the Treaty Commissioner of Saskatchewan. She is from Thunderchild First Nation in Treaty 6.

In 2020 Autumn graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with Bachelor of Education through the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP). She has a passion for learning and educating others in traditional Indigenous knowledge, language and treaty history.

Shaid Heimbecker

Student Mentor - Public Education

Shaid Heimbecker is a member of the Muskoday First Nation on Treaty 6 territory. She was eager to learn about the Treaties, Canada’s history and the importance of her culture when she was in her adolescence and had the opportunity to work casually for the OTC from 2010 to 2015 where she prepared Treaty Kits, Prepared DVD’s and educational binders, attended booths at various events, and was also a daycamp leader where various traditional activities were done, traditional food was prepared and also helping the children to understand their culture.

Shaid has completed both her 4th and 3rd class power engineering through Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies.

Her return at the OTC in fall of 2021 has allowed her the opportunity of gaining a deeper understanding of Treaties and the history of Canada as well as her own culture, all of which she is passionate about. She is working with the public education team in the Speakers Bureau Department fulfilling the online requests as they come in.