About Us

Bent Arrow has been serving Indigenous children, youth and families in Edmonton and area since 1994. 

Our founders strongly believed that keeping culture at the center was crucial and that this important work was best done in partnership. 

Since then, we have developed strong partnerships with many and are proud to see that culture continues to play a central role in our practice. We also support many partners in elevating their capacity to serve the Indigenous Community in a culturally relevant, authentic and sincere way. 

Our Mission

The Society is committed to building upon the strengths of Aboriginal Children, youth and families to enable them to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally so that they can walk proudly in both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. 

Board of Directors

President Don Padget  practices constitutional law with Alberta’s Department of Justice. Previously, he practiced Aboriginal law with the Federal Department of Justice where he worked to resolve Indian residential school claims, learned more about Aboriginal cultures and history and was seconded to the office of the Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Aboriginal Law. He has worked at a private law firm and appeared in courts at all levels.

Don has enjoyed work within three branches of the public service: as Policing and Law Enforcement Assistant for the Federal Solicitor General, as Law Clerk with the Federal Court of Appeal, and as a Parliamentary Intern for several M.P.s.

Don is on the Board of the U of A Centre for Constitutional Studies, co-chair of the Canadian Bar’s Constitutional and Human Rights law subsection in Edmonton, and volunteers for the Edmonton Community Legal Centre. Don holds a B.Soc.Sci. (Ottawa), M.A. (Politics), LL.B. (Alberta), and a Masters in Constitutional law. Don was born and raised in Edmonton.

Vice President Dr. Shalene Jobin is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Native Studies and Director of the Indigenous Governance and Partnership program at the University of Alberta. Shalene is Cree from her mother (Wuttunee family) and Metis from her father (Jobin family) and is a member of Red Pheasant Cree Nation, Treaty Six. Shalene is widely published and is involved in numerous community-centered research initiatives, including being a Co-lead of the Wahkohtowin Law & Governance Lodge, a partnership between the Faculty of Native Studies and the Faculty of Law (with Dr. Hadley Friedland) to provide law and governance supports to Indigenous communities. 

Board Member Leah N. Anaka graduated from the University of Alberta Faculty of Law in 1998. Prior to joining Field LLP, Leah worked in software development and design until June 2008. In April 2009, Leah began her articles and was admitted to the Alberta bar in 2010. She joined the firm of Field in July 2010.  Leah is currently a member of a legal team representing hundreds of Aboriginal clients pursuing claims for damages suffered while at Church and Government-run Residential Schools. She also practices Labour and Employment Law.

Board Member Johanne Johnson is a settler Canadian who is a consultant to organizations
seeking meaningful engagement with Indigenous Nations. She also provides human resources
services to community-based Indigenous organizations. She was previously the human
resources manager of an Inuit-owned corporation where she engaged with many Indigenous
partner organizations from Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Earlier
in her career, Johanne spent several years in human resources and operational management in
Canada’s hospitality industry.

Board Member Hadley Friedland is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law. She has a Child and Youth Care Diploma from Grant MacEwan College in and practiced in the child and family services field for a decade before completing her law degree at the University of Victoria in 2008. She went on to complete her graduate studies in law, which focused on revitalizing Cree legal traditions, at the University of Alberta. Hadley is co-lead of the Wahkohtowin Indigenous Law and Governance Lodge, a dedicated inter-disciplinary unit that upholds Indigenous law and governance through community led research and education. She was the first Research Director of the University of Victoria’s Indigenous Law Research Unit and has worked extensively with Indigenous communities across Canada to Identify and revitalize Indigenous Laws. She teaches and researches in the areas of Indigenous legal traditions, family law, child welfare law, Aboriginal law, criminal justice and theraputic jurisprudence. She is the author of the book, The Wetiko (Windigo) Legal Principles: Cree and Anishinabek Responses to Violence and Victimiztion, 2018, University of Toronto Press. She also serves on the board of Chimo Youth Retreat Centre and the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation Justice and Reconciliation Committee. 

Board Member Scott Jones has been a member of EPS for nearly 29 years and is currently the Superintendent of Integrated Community Safety Division.  Scott has worked in numerous areas including patrol, Homicide, Child Protection, was a crisis negotiator and recently was in charge of Social Policing Division. 

Board Member Dr Vicente A. Gonzalez is a Professor of Digital Lean Construction and Canada Research Chair within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta. He was faculty at The University of Auckland, New Zealand, for over 12 years before he moved to Canada. Vicente has been a prolific author in Lean Construction-based planning and control, decision-making tools, and sustainability, and Computer Applications such as AI, mixed-reality, digital twinning and BIM applied to different human and engineering problems, with 155 journal and conference publications and 1 book to date. Vicente has secured CAN$ 63 million+ in research and teaching grants and corporate sponsorships and graduated more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students in his career (including 13 PhD students). Vicente is member of construction and engineering-related organisations and boards in Canada and abroad 

Our Team

Executive Director – Cheryl Whiskeyjack

Deputy Executive Director – Murray Knutson

Executive Assistant to ED & DED – Natasha Cardinal

Communications/Media – Vernon Boldick

Senior Manager Lovette FergusonJourney to Success, Transition to Success, Orenda House, Nikihk Aboriginal Housing, Working Warriors and Eagles Nest

Senior Manager Keleigh LarsonKahkiyaw, Kinship, Foster Care and Communications

Senior Manager Lloyd Yellowbird Kahkiyaw, Practise as Ceremony, Coyote Mentoring, New in Town and COTT

Senior Manager Jolynn Stevenson – Kahkiyaw, Pehonan and Kikosewin Family Resource Network Hub

Senior Manager Candace Cleveland – Kahkiyaw, Group Care and Sacred Circle