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.
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 John Mathewson (Member) was born in Montreal in 1941 and graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in 1962. He spent the majority of his working career (30 years) with IBM Canada. Since his retirement in 1998, John has served on several boards including the Alberta Consumers Association, The Edmonton Riverview Liberal Constituency Association, and currently treasurer for the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society. In addition, he is actively involved with the Edmonton Food Bank and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
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.
Executive Director – Cheryl Whiskeyjack
Deputy Executive Director – Murray Knutson
Executive Assistant to ED & DED – Natasha Cardinal
Communications/Media – Vernon Boldick
Senior Manager Lovette Ferguson – Journey to Success, Transition to Success, Orenda House, Nikihk Aboriginal Housing, Working Warriors and Eagles Nest
Senior Manager Keleigh Larson – Kahkiyaw, Kinship, Foster Care and Communications
Senior Manager Lloyd Yellowbird – Kahkiyaw, Pehonan, Practise as Ceremony, Group Care and Coyote Mentoring
Senior Manager Jolynn Stevenson – Kahkiyaw and Kikosewin Family Resource Network Hub
Senior Manager Candace Cleveland – Kahkiyaw and Sacred Circle