Board of Directors

The current 6-member Board of Directors brings decades of knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal sport, physical activity, and recreation priorities and issues in urban, rural, and on-reserve contexts across the country, as well as extensive experience in Indigenous research and policy development and evaluation at the local, regional, and national levels.

Rob Newman

Rob is a proud citizen of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. Growing up in rural Saskatchewan, Rob learned the importance of sport and volunteerism.

His focus on volunteerism started early as a board member for Saskatoon Youth Soccer. This then continued as he assumed a role as a board member and then President of Saskatchewan Soccer. From here, he then served on the board of the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) for 9 years. With CSA, he was the vice president responsible for governance, which led to the changes that are still in place today.

He is currently the CEO of Sport BC. In addition, Rob also sits on the national boards of KidSport Canada and The National Sport Trust Fund.

He believes that sport can help build happier and healthier communities. While at the same time, provide important life lessons to children and youth.

Janice Forsyth

Janice Forsyth, member of the Fisher River Cree First Nation, is an Associate Professor in Sociology at Western University, where she is also the Director of Indigenous Studies. As the former Director of the world-renown International Centre for Olympic Studies at Western, she is well informed about the mainstream sport system, from the community level to the highest levels of world organizing. She has extensive volunteer experience in the non-profit sport and physical education sector in Canada. You can read more about her work here:

Cheryl McCallum

Cheryl devotes her time to inclusive initiatives, which focus on children and youth development. She is currently an active volunteer board member for a number of organizations. These include the Aboriginal Sport Circle, KidSport Canada, and Orchestra's Canada.

Dale Tamara Plett

Dale is a proud member of the Fish Clan from the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. She is happily married, raising three children with her husband on Williams Treaty Territory, Ontario.

Dale loves sport and the power it has to transform lives. She is passionate about seeing more meaningful implementation of the TRC Calls to Action within sport and ensuring safe care and access to sport for Indigenous children within the foster care systems within Canada.

Dale was elected as the first female President of the North American Indigenous Games Council in October 2018, and like many, learned the complexities of navigating the rough waters of a global pandemic during a Games year.

Brendon Smithson

Brendon is the former Executive Director of Games Delivery for the North American Indigenous Games Host Society in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). One of his main deliverables was providing a safe and supportive environment to over 5,000 Indigenous youth from across Turtle Island. Following NAIG, Brendon continued his work with the Province of Nova Scotia as a Sport and Recreation Consultant supporting the growth of sport, recreation and physical activity within the Mi'kmaw communities. Previous to his time with the Province, Brendon worked in Municipal Recreation for 10 years as a Director where he focused on creating inclusive environments for all participants.

In Brendon's free time he can be found in and around the lacrosse community in Nova Scotia where he is a player, coach, board member and official. When not on the lacrosse floor he enjoys all the Nova Scotia has to offer, especially its great outdoors and passionate football fans.

Edward (Sonny) Albert

Edward Albert, also known as Sonny, is a proud member of Norway House Cree Nation located in northern Manitoba, Treaty 5 territory.

Sonny's passion for sports and recreation developed at a young age as he watched his father provide recreational opportunities in his remote northern community.

This led Sonny to pursue an undergraduate degree in Recreation Management which he attained from the University of Manitoba and a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Sport and Recreation from the University of Alberta.

His experience includes providing recreation management at the grassroots level and at the provincial level.

Sonny's enthusiasm and leadership have led his drive to increase the holistic perspective and bring Indigenous ways of life to modern sport and recreation. He seeks to create complete communities through holistic models and practices.

Bryan Winters

Bryan C. Winters is a Nunatsiavut beneficiary of Inuk and Irish Newfoundland settler descent from Happy Valley - Goose Bay, Labrador. His work that advocates for the rights of Urban Inuit in Toronto, as well as other cities across the country, is influenced by both his professional trajectory as well as where he was raised and his home community's culture of sport.

Bryan attended Saint Mary's University in Halifax and Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront campus in Dartmouth, NS. His initial education led to a career as an Electronics Maintenance Technician on the North Warning System (NWS). During his time on the NWS, he was fortunate enough to see a great deal of Inuit Nunangat, much of it by helicopter or while spending time in communities. After relocating to Toronto, he was the inaugural program coordinator of the Igloo Tag Trademark Program at the Inuit Art Foundation.

He is the Executive Director of the Toronto Inuit Association and studies Public Administration and Governance through First Nations Technical Institute in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and Ryerson University in Toronto. Additionally, he serves on the Aboriginal Education Council of Centennial College, the Board of Directors at the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, and co-chairs the Aboriginal Affairs Committee (AAC) an advisory body to Toronto City Council.