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.

Kayla Peters

Student Mentor

Kayla Peters was born and raised in Prince Albert until the age of 15, when she moved to Saskatoon with her parents. She is from Sturgeon Lake First Nation in Treaty Six Territory. As a youth, Kayla was coached by her father in soccer and badminton, and attended the First Nation Summer and Winter Games with Team PAGC (now known as the Tony Cote Games). Kayla graduated grade 12 at Tommy Douglas Collegiate in 2013 and went on to attend the University of Saskatchewan; first in the Indian Teacher Education Program and later as an English major, she would eventually complete a 3-year Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Indigenous Studies. Kayla graduated in 2019, receiving Honours with Distinction and winning the Tania Balicki Memorial Award in Indigenous Studies. In addition to her studies, she completed the 2-year wîcêhtowin Theatre program. 

Kayla began work at the Department of History’s Collaboratorium while still completing her remaining credits and working part-time at the Roxy Theatre Saskatoon. It was there that she began to do community-engaged research with the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) History Project, and she was able to complete her summer internship and become a Research Assistant. Her duties included digitizing archival materials and adding them to an online database, creating timelines and using ArcGIS mapping technology to bring awareness to the Indigenous territories in which NAIG has taken place in the past. Here, she was able to work with Oral Histories as well; editing and organizing interviews of individuals that attended the Games. Kayla was given the opportunity to interview her own father, Robert Whiteman from Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation, for the project. He had attended the Games on two occasions, once in Prince Albert in 1993 and again in Denver in 2006. Kayla maintains that she would not have been so successful so far, if it hadn’t been for the support and love of her parents. She now lives in Saskatoon with her partner Benji Noon and enjoys time spent with her step-daughter when she has the chance.

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.

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.