Board of Directors - Mikinakoos
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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Colleen Martin

Chair of the Board

Colleen grew up in Atikokan, as part of a large family. She attended Carleton University in Ottawa, obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Accounting. Returning to the north she settled in Thunder Bay with her best friend, husband Bruce.  Married in 1987, their family grew with two children, Tamara and Jarred, their children’s life partners, Jeff and Lexy, and two beautiful grandsons Noah and Billy. Colleen’s personal career led her through a journey with First Nations for more than 25 years. As a result, one of her passions is to bring awareness of history and Indian legislation to create an understanding of, and compassion for, the challenges still faced by First Nation peoples in Canada. She has facilitated dialogue and efforts to improve quality of life for First Nation peoples through activities of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada. Since 2015, Colleen has represented the League nationally, as part of a coalition of Catholic partners focused on renewing and strengthening relations with Indigenous people of Canada through activities focused on reconciliation. Her work to improve quality of life for First Nation’s children continues as a member of the Board of Directors of Mikinakoos Children’s Fund.

Brian Calleja


Brian works as the Chief Financial Officer for the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority. Brian moved to Sioux Lookout from Ottawa with his family in 2018, after working in tax administration at the Canada Revenue Agency for 17 years and holding positions of increasing responsibility including the Assistant Director of Service Delivery Relations and the A/Director of Information Management. Brian holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Laurentian University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant, CGA. In his off time, Brian enjoys fishing, participating in outdoor activities and spending time with family and friends. Brian joined the Board for the Mikinakoos Children’s Fund because of his desire to improve the quality of life of First Nations Children in remote Northwestern Ontario communities. He looks forward to working with the communities and stakeholders to ensure the organization moves forward in meeting its mission and vision.

James Morris


James was born in 1947 and is from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake), in Northwestern Ontario. For the first nine years of his life, he lived with his family on their trap line. At nine years of age, he contracted tuberculosis and was sent to a hospital in what is now Thunder Bay for 22 months. It was here that he learned to speak English, his first language being Anishinabe. James began his career in education and communications, playing a leadership role in the creation of the Wawatay Native Communications Society and continuing his involvement in Anishinabe communications by working for the Northern Native Broadcast Access Program in the Department of Secretary of State from 1984 to 1988. Between 1988 and 2000 James was the Deputy Grand Chief of Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN) where he was responsible for the Health and Social Services portfolio. Since 2001, he has been the Executive Director of the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority. James and his late wife, Joanne Wetelainen, have one son, Kelvin. James also has an elder son, Spencer Morris who lives in Muskrat Dam with his wife Amanda and their children Dakota, Julia, John George and Niedra.

Corinne Fox


Corinne has been a part of the Mikinakoos Children's Fund Board since its inception. She is a member of Bearskin Lake First Nation located in northern Ontario and also has familial roots with Gull Bay First Nation where her father is from. Corinne has been working with Anishnawbe children and families in a variety of roles with Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), Northern Nishnawbe Education Council (NNEC), and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She has her Masters of Social Work from Lakehead University. Corinne has also served as Vice-President of Anishnawbe Mushkiki, which provides culturally appropriate, holistic care utilizing the teachings of the Medicine Wheel. They offer primary, traditional and alternative approaches to health care throughout the four stages of life.

Tyra Ohman


Tyra is a lawyer with Cheadles LLP. She practices in the area of family law. Prior to joining Cheadles, Tyra has worked in the area of family law in Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout, Ontario.</p> <p>Tyra graduated with her Juris Doctor degree from Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law in 2017. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Guelph and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Saskatchewan.</p> <p>Tyra is born and raised in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, and enjoys everything Northwestern Ontario has to offer. While not practicing law, Tyra enjoys spending time outdoors, skiing, running, cycling, swimming, fishing, and socializing with friends and family.

Brent Massaro


Brent is co-owner of Thunder Bay Broom & Chemicals Ltd. in Thunder Bay. A lifelong resident of Thunder Bay, he is a father of two children Max and Sienna and husband to Lisa. In his 20 years of experience working in the wholesale supply and service industry, Brent understands the requirements an organization needs to meet to service the procurement, logistics and project management challenges facing remote communities throughout Ontario. Brent and his company are proud supporters of many regional initiatives and they are proud donors to many charities such as the Mikinakoos Children’s Fund, Thunder Bay regional hospitals 'Hearts for Home' campaign, the Shelter House Thunder Bay and Children’s Centre Thunder Bay.

Jessica McLaughlin


Jessica is a member of the Long Lake #58 First Nation and grew up in Nakina, Ontario she is a mother to Jaxon and they live in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Jessica has been working in Indigenous Food Sovereignty in Northern Ontario for ten plus years. She is the co-founder of the Indigenous Food Circle, a community based Indigenous food network, and is a co-founder of Gaagige Zaagibigaa, which is a collaborative based funding organization that funds grassroots projects to First Nation communities and people in Northern Ontario. Jessica has also led a number of research and action projects working with First Nation communities in Northern Ontario assisting communities reclaim ancestral food systems. Using a decolonial systems lens, Jessica has been central to empowering and supporting communities in their self-determined food system goals. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Lakehead University and an Honors Bachelor of Social Work from Lakehead University, but credits her most integral learning to be from Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers that she is honored to work and learn alongside with.

Jeff Stout


Jeff is currently the President of North Star Air, based in Thunder Bay. Despite being born and raised in Chicago, IL, Jeff’s roots in Northern Ontario go back 20+ years with his family’s long-standing interest in the airline. Upon completing his degree in Business and Entrepreneurship and his Bachelor of Science, Business Administration from Babson College in Boston, Jeff moved up to Thunder Bay to fully engage in the airline. In his 7 years with North Star, Jeff has formed strong relationships with many Northern Ontario communities, and through North Star’s revenue-sharing agreements, has helped in providing over $5m in funds back to the communities in this time frame. Understanding the unique challenges faced in many Northern communities, and the expense of logistics in the North, Jeff brings a unique skill-set and perspective to the Mikinakoos Board.