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, is a Professor of Indigenous Land-Based Physical Culture and Wellness in the School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Education, at the University of British Columbia. She has devoted her entire career to supporting and advancing Indigenous sport development in Canada through research, teaching, and service. She is co-editor of the recently released Decolonizing Sport (2023) and, previous to that, authored and co-edited two award-winning books, Reclaiming Tom Longboat: Indigenous Self-Determination in Canada (2020) and Aboriginal Peoples and Sport in Canada: Historical Foundations and Contemporary Issues (2013). 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.

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.

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.

Kerrie Buchberger

Kerrie is a proud citizen of the Metis Nation of Alberta. Kerrie grew up in rural Saskatchewan where sport was a focus since an early age for her and her family. She played for Team Saskatchewan Volleyball from 1986-1989 where her team won gold in the 1989 Canada Games. She went on to play for the University of Regina from 1988-1991. After University, Kerrie played for Team Canada Volleyball from 1991-1988 and was a member of the 1996 Olympic team. She continued her love of volleyball playing 5 years of professional volleyball in Europe. Kerrie continues to play but has moved towards coaching and development for youth. Kerrie has been inducted into the University of Regina Hall of Fame and Saskatchewan Volleyball Hall of Fame as an individual and as part of the 1989 Saskatchewan Team and 1996 Volleyball Canada Team.

Kerrie currently is a coach with Aspire Volleyball and volunteers to go to First Nations in the area to help their volleyball teams on both skill development and system plays.

Kerrie believes that sport provides many life skills to individuals as well as meeting and developing lifelong connections with others. Sport brings communities and families together.

Derry (Manny) Yellowfly

Manny is a proud member of the Siksika Nation, but also calls Tsuut'ina Nation home. Manny is a husband and father of 5 (4 girls, 1 boy). He grew up playing competitive sports (Hockey and Fastball) and continues today meanwhile sharing his passions with his children and mentoring other young individuals in the community. Inspired by his passion for sports, Manny pursued a degree in the Bachelor of Health and Education with a specialization in Sport and Recreation Management.

Manny has been on committees that brought the first "Every Child Matters" hockey game with the Calgary Hitmen and the first "Indigenous Celebration Night" with the Calgary Flames. Manny is currently the Fitness Manager at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex in Tsuut'ina Nation, where he also owns the hockey pro shop.

Manny believes sport is way that empowers our youth and builds our communities. In his spare time, he also builds different sports and recreation programs for departments in southern Alberta with the hopes of helping their communities also.