Our Team

Earl Commanda, Executive Director

Earl Commanda has lead the Robinson Huron Waawiindamaagewin (RHW) team for two years and is a member of Serpent River First Nation. He has a long political history as well, serving as Chief of his community, Serpent River First Nation, for 20 years, including serving 17 years as Chair of Mamaweswen, The North Shore Tribal Council. Earl also served as Grand Council Chief of the Anishnawbek Nation.

Earl has a passion for being part of improving the lives of our people through his various roles in health, community, economic development and now through the RHW initiative. Earl has served in management positions for more than forty years and brings much executive experience to his present role at the Waawiindamaagewin organization.

Veronica McLeod, Executive Assistant

Veronica McLeod is from Serpent River First Nation and currently calls Barrie her home. Veronica began her career almost 20 years ago working as Executive Assistant to former Grand Council Chief of the Anishnaabek Nation, Earl Commanda. She has since held roles of Employment Counselor at the Barrie Native Friendship Centre and Executive Assistant for former Ontario Regional Chief, Isadore Day. Veronica provides much needed support to the RHW Team.

Sam Manitowabi, Senior Policy Analyst

Sam Manitowabi is a member of the M’Kwa Doodem and has familial ties to Wiikwemkoong and M’Chigeeng. Sam currently lives in Little Current with his partner and their children. He brings over 25 years experience working in First Nation community and economic development to the RHW team, and values policy and partnerships that ensure mutual benefit and meaningful community participation.

Barret Dokis, Senior Policy Analyst

Barret Dokis joins the Robinson Huron Waawiindamaagewin after working at the Chiefs of Ontario for nearly five years, where he spent one year on secondment to the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation on their Consultation Policy Project Office team. As Director of Policy and Communications at the Chiefs of Ontario, he planned and oversaw the first-ever online meeting of the Ontario Chiefs-in-Assembly. Barret has ancestral relations to Dokis First Nation, Nipissing First Nation, Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and is a member of Wahnapitae First Nation, where he has served as a Councillor. He currently resides in Toronto, Ontario and will be returning home to Robinson Huron in 2021.

Cheryl Recollet, Director of Research and Communications

Cheryl Recollet member of Aujijauk Doodem, Point Grondine. Cheryl is highly interested in treaty relationships and governance. She hast strong experience in meaningful community engagement and in fostering community-based research. Her past roles include Senior Environmental Communications Analyst for the Chiefs of Ontario, Field School Instructor for the Indigenous Environmental Keepers Program at Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, and Director of Sustainable Development for Wahnapitae First Nation. In 2018, Cheryl was recognized by Northern Ontario Business as one of the Top 40 Under Forty Young Leaders in Northern Ontario.

Nicky Recollet, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst

Nicky Recollet has always had a strong connection to the land that is known as Wawnabitaybing (Wahnapitae First Nation) and places the values that her ancestors passed down to her with the utmost respect, and appreciates the roles and responsibilities of her spirit. As GIS Analyst for RHW, Nicky contributes to our mapping programs, projects and applications. Some of the applications built offer Ministry data to view and monitor activity. While other projects consist of Critical Cartography and research with our historians. Nicky is currently working on her Masters in GIS Applications, online with Vancouver Island University.

Jolene Recollet, Communications Coordinator

Jolene Recollet is the newest member of the RHW team. She is a member of the Ajijak Doodem (Crane Clan) and is from Wawnabitaybing (Wahnapitae First Nation). Jolene currently calls Sudbury her home. As an urban Indigenous Anishinaabe Kwe, Jolene was raised with each foot planted firmly in two worlds: her traditional culture and mainstream Canadian culture. Jolene best remembers her upbringing on the powwow trail with her uncle and she raises her children with the Anishinaabe culture and traditions she was brought up with. Jolene’s professional background includes various roles as a summer student with Sudbury INO-Glencore and 5 years serving her community as Economic Development Officer.

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