Shyla O’Donnell is the Executive Director of Wolastoqey Tribal Council and the Consultation Director for the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick. A Graduate of Forestry and Environmental Management at the University of New Brunswick and a Registered Professional Forester, Shyla is a tireless advocate of forest stewardship and environmental protection. Being proudly of Wolastoqey heritage, Shyla is equally passionate about Indigenous rights and culture. She has worked on biodiversity, entomology, climate change and forest management in several provinces, including BC, Newfoundland and New Brunswick, and she has been a key player on major treaty rights and consultation files with NB Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat and St. Mary’s First Nation. Shyla is a fitness enthusiast and resides in Fredericton, NB with her husband and two children.
Megan Fullarton is the Senior Advisor for WTCI/WNNB. Megan supports the Executive Director/Consultation Director in overseeing the day to day operations of the organization. Megan graduated from the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry Degree. Prior to joining the WNNB/WTCI team Megan worked for her home community, St Mary’s First Nation, as their Resource Development Consultation Coordinator. Megan is passionate about Indigenous rights and the environment, as well as social issues surrounding First Nations. When she is not staring at her computer screen Megan spends time outdoors with her son- camping, staying active or on the road riding her motorcycle.
Legal and Governance Advisor
Gillian Paul is the Legal and Governance Advisor for WNNB. She is Wolastoqey from Neqotkuk. Gillian is a lawyer who holds a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College and a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Brunswick. Gillian was previously an associate with Olthuis, Kleer Townshend LLP, an Indigenous rights law firm based out of Toronto. Gillian’s practice primarily includes negotiations and litigation involving Aboriginal and Treaty rights, including Aboriginal title and the duty to consult and accommodate.
Dr. Colin Curry
Dr. Colin Curry is the Fisheries Biologist for WNNB. Originally from Calgary, Colin Curry finished his PhD in Freshwater Ecology at the University of New Brunswick and came to WNNB in 2017 after working with Environment and Climate Change Canada. Colin has worked on a number of fisheries and freshwater environmental monitoring projects, and is motivated by a desire to protect the land and water and to ensure that Wolastoqey Aboriginal and Treaty Rights are respected.
Director of Finance
Sandra Polchies is the Director of Finance at WTCI and WNNB. Sandra is Wolastoqey from the Sitansisk. Sandra was previously employed by Sitansisk from 2001-2017 as their Finance Clerk. Upon being hired with WTCI and WNNB she enrolled with UNB Extended Learning where she gained her Human Resource Management Certificate in 2018.
Dr. Jason Hall
Jason is the Ethnohistorian for WNNB. Jason has a Ph.D. in History from the University of New Brunswick, a master’s degree in Environmental studies from York University and an Undergraduate degree in history from St. Thomas University. Jason’s work includes presentations on Wolastoqey history, and preparation of reports on historic Wolastoqey use for WNNB’s consultation work (including contributing historical components to Indigenous Land Use Studies). Jason has been working with Indigenous language speakers to help document and preserve information about traditional place names.
Thomas Herbreteau is the GIS Technician and Cartographer as well as the Executive Assistant to the Consultation Director for WNNB. Thomas has a degree in Cartography from the Nova Scotia Community College and an Applied Science Degree in Geographic Information Systems from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Understanding. Thomas assists in mapping the land use of the Wolastoqiyik throughout Wolastoqey Territory, which is extensively used in assessing impacts of proposed projects on Wolastoqey Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. Thomas also assists the Consultation Director with administration tasks.
Gail Fullarton is the Administrative Assistant for WTCI/WNNB. Gail is the first face that visitors meet when entering the office. Gail’s strong attention to detail and helpful personality is what keeps our office running smoothly. If you need anything just ask Gail and she will make it happen! Gail graduated from Stanley High in New Brunswick and has earned herself a certificate in Human Resource Management. Prior to joining the WNNB/WTCI team Gail worked in her home community of St. Mary’s First Nation in numerous managements and assisting positions. Gail keeps up-to-date with her community via Facebook and loves spending time with her family, whom she considers her biggest blessings.
Environmental Assessment Coordinator
Gordon is the Environmental Impact Assessment Coordinator for WNNB. Gordon is Wolastoqey from Pilick. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia. Gordon works extensively on files for Offshore Oil and Gas,provincial Environmental Impact Assessments, federal environmental assessments (i.e.,legislation, regulation and policy review), mining and quarry leasing and licenses.
My name is Dakota Tomah and I am from Woodstock First Nation, New Brunswick. Growing up on the reserve I became intrigued by nature and enjoyed being in the forests and fields behind my house more than anywhere else. Over time I grew to appreciate our people’s way of interacting with, talking about, and making use of what nature provides. As a student at UNB I am majoring in water management in the Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management with an honour’s thesis focused on “two-eyed seeing” in wetland management. I am working with WNNB this summer to become more familiar with indigenous knowledge studies while creating a database of plants in New Brunswick that are of traditional use. Additionally, throughout the summer I will be studying plant distribution and use throughout the Grand Lake Meadow as part of my thesis. The study I am engaged in will rely on the novel monitoring technique of environmental DNA analysis combined with indigenous knowledge to map plant communities, their distributions, and traditional uses. I hope that through my work with WNNB and through my studies I find myself involved in a paradigm shift in environmental management where indigenous knowledge, perspectives, and land uses are given the consideration they deserve.
Michael Arsenault is the Fisheries Analyst for WNNB. Michael holds a Bachelors of Science in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine and currently in a Masters of Biology at the University of New Brunswick. Michael has worked with diadromous species across the Northeastern United States and Canada conducting field surveys, site monitoring, and population assessment.
Director of Human Resources
Elder in Residence
Elder Perley will fill a critical role in WNNB’s commitment to support Indigenous perspectives, knowledge, and approaches to environmental management within consultation. The Elder in Residence will provide guidance and an Indigenous perspective for our staff, member communities, and our partners. Ed will help guide our organization in blending western and indigenous knowledge as well as helping us to promote ceremony and culture where appropriate.
Conserved Areas Coordinator
Kelsey Wierdsma is the Conserved Areas Coordinator for WNNB. Kelsey oversees projects in Wolastoqey Territory related to protected and conserved areas as well as supporting the RDCCs with community engagement. Kelsey has a Master of Environmental Management from the University of New Brunswick and an Interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts from Saint Thomas University. Prior to joining WNNB Kelsey worked in the environmental non-profit sector for over 6 years. Kelsey is well versed in New Brunswick’s conservation movement and is passionate about environmental justice as it relates to Indigenous peoples. When she is not working, you can find Kelsey spending time outdoors with her husband and two children, painting or listening to podcasts.