Chief & Council:
Here to Serve
Welcome. Let us introduce our Cold Lake First Nations Chief and Council: Chief Bernice Martial and Councillors Dwayne Nest, Tom Piche, Michael Janvier, Travis Matchatis, Dean Janvier and Kelsey Jacko. Our Council is responsible for decisions made on behalf of the Cold Lake First Nations’ membership. This includes but is not limited to providing for health, education, transportation, recreation, government advocacy and any other governing decisions that affect the general well being of the people of Cold Lake First Nations. Our current council was elected in June of 2016 and has been providing stong leadership ever since.
Our top priority is to provide valuable services to all CLFN members. We strive to protect our members and to preserve our identity, language, culture, and many resources.
Chief Bernice Martial
Bernice Martial was born, raised and lived most of her life on the Cold Lake First Nations reserve, located in east-central Alberta. She is a fluent Dene Su’line speaker and traditional knowledge holder of the Cold Lake Dene people.
Bernice Martial was elected to her second term of office as Chief, Cold Lake First Nations, in June 2016; she was elected to her first term of office as Chief, Cold Lake First Nations, in June 2013. Prior to that time, Bernice served on Council from June 2010 to June 2013. Bernice served her first term on Council while still a young woman, from 1989 to 1991. Bernice Martial was appointed Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations in November 2014 where she served this office until July 2015. Bernice is a Certified Addictions Counsellor and has extensive work experience in this area of counselling. She worked for many years as an Addictions Counsellor Alat Dene Wellness, Cold Lake First Nations, and at the Bonnyville Indian and Metis Rehab Centre. She also worked in the area of community development and recreation at Cold Lake First Nations. In addition to her duties serving as Chief of Cold Lake First Nations, Bernice holds directorships on several boards, including:
- Ex officio board member of all CLFN wholly owned business enterprises;
- Director of Casino Dene, Cold Lake First Nations;
- Assembly of First Nations National Fisheries Board;
- Alberta First Nations Health Senate;
- Indian Resource Council, Board Member;
- Tribal Chiefs Ventures, Vice-Chair;
- Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, Executive Committee and Climate Change
Bernice is a mother of two children and has two grand-children. She also helped raise several of her nieces and nephews. Bernice’s personal interests include travelling and practising traditional cultural activities like berry-picking and food preservation. Recognition Award from Alberta Aboriginal Achievement Award for Economic Development; Cold Lake First Nations – Economic Development
Councillor Dwayne (Sonny) Nest
Councilor Dwayne (Sonny) Nest is serving his fourth term in leadership. Sonny served as Chief of Cold Lake First Nations between 2004 – 2007, and previously served two terms on Council between 1999 – 2004. In his current term, Sonny oversees the Land and Resources, Economic Development, and Health portfolios. Sonny has also assumed responsibility for fostering CLFN’s relationship with the Department of National Defense (DND).
Outside of politics, Sonny has a wealth of experience in variety of trades from Millwright to Welding to Auto Mechanics. He also has 13 years-experience as a foreman and supervisor with CM Tractor and Esso. In running for leadership, Sonny was responding to a calling from members who asked him lead and secure the rights and livelihood for future generations. In his previous and current terms of leadership, Sonny has continued to advance the Nation’s economic opportunities while promoting ethically responsible land and resource management. He is a strong proponent of protecting First Nation’s Treaty Rights, with specific emphasis on the medicine chest clause and the rights to hunt and fish. Before his term is up, Sonny would like to see a viable plan in place for 500 additional houses on-reserve, a First Nation owned hospital, improved roads and waterline (that is inclusive of all reserve land bases) and resource revenue sharing with the provincial and federal governments.
Councillor Travis Matchatis
Elected in June 2016, this is Travis Matchatis’ first term on Council. Travis and Councilor Dean Janvier both oversee the Housing and Public works portfolios.
Prior to serving on Council, Travis was a journeyman scaffolder as well as a National Construction Safety Officer Safety Advisor. Consistent with the rest of Council, Travis felt a change was needed to create a level of stability and trust between the members and its leadership. He also recognized an opportunity to improve housing and public works programs that meet the needs of Nation members living on-reserve. Travis continues to work closely with our Capital Management department toward enhancing our Nation’s housing program and improving on-reserve infrastructure (roads, water, etc.). During the remainder of his term, Travis would like to see a renewed election law as well as a viable plan for moving forward with a new community store and multi-purpose building.
Councillor Tom Piche
Elected in June 2016, this is Tom Piche’s first term on Council. He oversees the Education, Policing, Membership and Electoral Reform portfolios, while lending support to Councilor Michael Janvier with the Recreation portfolio.
Prior to serving on Council, Tom was the Manager of the English Bay Centre and coordinated services and programs for Nation members on Reserve 149b. He is also the owner/operator of Arrow Planning. In running for Council, Tom committed to fostering an open line of communication between the members and leadership. Tom is constantly interacting with the members of CLFN on social media and continues to host informational meetings for both on- and off-reserve members to ensure they are connected and involved in planning for the Nation’s future. Before his term is up, Tom would like to see an increase in community workshops, a framework for a new on-reserve school, as well the passing of a new election law and membership code.
Councillor Michael Janvier
Elected in June 2016, this is Michael Janvier’s first term on Council. He oversees the Recreation and Finance portfolios, while lending support to Councilor Tom Piche with the Education portfolio.
Prior to serving on Council, Michael was a journeyman welder and worked 7 years in the Oil and Gas industry as both a private business owner and as an employee with Seven Lakes Oilfield Services. Michael’s decision to run for leadership was rooted in the desire to bring a voice and representation to the younger demographic of Nation members. Before the end of his term, he would like to see the Business Trust fully implemented and operational as he views this as a crucial step toward separating core business operations from politics. Much like his colleagues, Michael is also keen on seeing a new election law passed that reflects our Nation’s vision for leadership, and is equitable to all members who intend to vote and/or run for leadership.
Councillor Kelsey Jacko
Councillor Dean Janvier
Elected in June 2016, this is Dean Janvier’s first term on Council. Dean works primarily with Councillor Travis Matchatis on the Housing & Infrastructure, Public Works and Health & Wellness portfolios.
Dean has a certificates in Nechi Training, Native Communications & Journalism, and a B.A. Honourary Degree in Political Science and English. Dean’s work experience includes: Researcher/Writer on specific land claims; Policy Advisor on Indigenous Issues and Natural Resources; Political Advisor for the Assembly of First Nations; as well as several years of experience in the business sector.
Dean’s motivation for serving on Council grew from his love for his Nation, as well as his sincere desire to implement positive change and create a better home for Nation members and their families. His goal is to see a unified community of CLFN members that collectively honours and respects its elders, ancestors and traditions, while continuing to enhance the livelihood for future generations.