Board of Directors

The Board of Directors brings decades of knowledge and understanding of Indigenous 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 grew up in rural Saskatchewan and is a proud citizen of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. Rob's journey as a volunteer began when he joined the board of Saskatoon Youth Soccer. Increasingly aware of the value of sport and volunteerism, he was next elected as a board member and then President of Saskatchewan Soccer. Rob then sat on the board of the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) for 9 years. While with the CSA, he served as the vice president responsible for governance, which led to changes that are still in place today.

Rob is currently the CEO of Sport BC and SBC Insurance. In addition, Rob is the Chair of the National Sport Trust Fund and Vice-Chair of KidSport Canada.

Rob strongly believes that sport can help build happier and healthier communities, while at the same time providing important life lessons to children and youth.

Janice Forsyth

Janice Forsyth, member of the Fisher River Cree Nation, in Treaty 5 territory, is an award-winning scholar whose research, service, and advocacy focuses on Indigenous sport development in Canada. Her work, which combines history and sociology to explore the relationship between sport and culture from Indigenous points of view, has informed policy and program development across sectors, including youth and community development, justice, education, citizenship, and health, in addition to sport and physical activity.

She is co-editor of Aboriginal Peoples and Sport in Canada: Historical Foundations and Contemporary Issues (2013) and author of the recently released Reclaiming Tom Longboat: Indigenous Self-Determination in Canada Sport (2020). She is an Associate Professor in Sociology and Director of Indigenous Studies at Western University.

More detailed information about Janice's work can be found on her research website at

Brendon Smithson

Brendon is the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the 2023 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) 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. Brendon is currently on secondment from 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 that Nova Scotia has to offer, especially its great outdoors and is a passionate football fan.

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 underpin 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.

Angella Pinay

Angella is a member of the Zagime First Nation in southern Saskatchewan in Treaty 4 Territory. Involvement in sport was a value instilled in her as she grew up in her community. She began as an athlete and from this branched into many areas of leadership, including volunteerism.

She competed in volleyball in four of the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). Angella has degrees in physical education and education, as well as a Master of Business Administration, has coached club volleyball, badminton and track in Alberta and Saskatchewan. She also served as a coach for Team Saskatchewan at the 2008 NAIG.

She has been a Board Member for Sask Volleyball; a Board Member for Sask Soccer; and currently is a Board Member of Sask Sport Inc. She held the Board Chair position for Sask Sport Inc from June 2020 to June 2021, and currently maintains a connection to the board in the past chair role.

She looks forward to contributing to the Aboriginal Sport Circle in supporting the health and wellbeing of Indigenous peoples and communities through participation in sport, physical activity, and recreation.

Charly Buyck

Charly is a citizen of the Nacho Ny'ak Dun First Nation with maternal roots in the Mohawk Territory. She was born and raised in a small village in Northern Yukon, where she participated in every sport and recreation opportunity provided with the aim of participating in the Arctic Winter Games. Multi-sport games became a passion and the start of a lifelong career in the sport, physical activity and recreation sector working in government and government relations.

Charly has participated in 28 games in various roles from athlete, coach, Chef de Mission and many Host Society Roles which includes 5 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG). She has been a representative on various committees with the ASC and the NAIG Council for 15 years and opened the Yukon Aboriginal Sport Circle (transitioning it from a previous board).

Charly believes that sport and recreation can bring communities together and is passionate about Indigenous sport and its possibilities, Charly is excited to apply her skills in service of the members and Canada's youth.

Robert Henry

Robert is Metis from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. While a youth, Robert was involved in different sports that included hockey, baseball, and dog racing. Robert played competitive youth hockey from the age of 12 and had the opportunity to play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. He also coached youth hockey while obtaining his Bachelor of Education.

Robert is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. He is a community-engaged researcher whose research focuses on the improvement of Indigenous justice, health, and well-being, specifically through arts-based research methods. Much of his research focuses on youth and families engaged in street lifestyles.

Robert believes that sport provides opportunities to build life-long relationships, which then leads to healthier communities. Robert believes that sport, and access to sport, are needed to provide safe spaces for Indigenous youth and communities to come together in healthy ways.

Jolyne Watson

Jolyne comes from the Chacachas Band of Ochapowace Cree Nation. Growing up on and off reserve in Saskatchewan, Jolyne had access to numerous recreational and competitive sporting opportunities and a supportive community for youth in sport. Entering competitive sports at a young age and continuing her engagement in various capacities has given Jolyne a solid understanding of the benefits, challenges and issues affecting Indigenous people in sport within Canada.

In addition to her Teacher and Administrator roles within the education system over the past 15 years, coaching and volunteering for our youth has always been a top priority for Jolyne.

Jolyne believes sport can create and develop holistically healthier and happier individuals, families, and communities. She sees Indigenous youth participation in sport as a catalyst for change in our communities on and off reserve.