Board Chair – Melvin Hardy

Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief (RDGCC) Melvin Hardy was elected in June of 2021 to the Leadership Council Executive of Anishinabek Nation, representing the Northern Superior Region.

At Anishinabek Nation, RDGCC Hardy currently holds portfolios in the following areas:

  • Giigoonh Dodem – Fish Clan – Lands & Resources
  • Makwa Dodem – Bear Clan – Health & Healing

Throughout his work, RDGCC Hardy aims to address the priorities of the First Nations within the Northern Superior Region, and the Anishinabek Nation as a whole.

RDGCC Hardy is a veteran of the Canadian Army, having served as paratrooper from 1979 to 1985. This service has shaped his work ethic, dedication, and commitment to the roles he takes on and has enhanced his leadership skills to the benefit of his community and the Anishinabek Nation.

RDGCC Hardy attended Lakehead University and Ryerson University in working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree and has worked in the areas of mental health, addictions, and social services. It was through this work that RDGCC Hardy developed a lifelong interest and passion for social advocacy for Indigenous people.

In 2016, RDGCC Hardy was elected as Chief of Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek (formerly known as Rocky Bay First Nation). As Chief, RDGCC Hardy was instrumental in many community developments, initiatives, and economic development successes of Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek, a position he held until 2021 when he was elected to the position of Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief.

RDGCC Hardy is the proud grandfather of three grandchildren, and frequently volunteers his times at various speaking engagements and community events in order to draw awareness to social issues, Residential Schools, and Child Welfare, among other topics.

RDGCC Hardy’s Dodem (Clan) is Mukwa (Bear) and his name “Zhoongizi” means “strong one for the people” in Anishinaabemowin.

Board Member – Cliff Meness

Cliff was instrumental in the creation of the A/OFRC as one of the founding Directors; he served as the first chairman. He has served over 17 years as a community leader (Chief 13 years and Councilor 4 years) and presently holds a position on council with the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan. He is a former member of the Union of Ontario Indians Board of Directors and the Anishinabek/Ontario Resource Management Council. He presently works on the Trapping Harmonization Agreement with Ontario, Canada and the UOI. He was also a firefighter (air, crash & rescue) with DND and holds international firefighter certification and is an instructor for Search and Rescue. Cliff is an active trapper, hunter and fisherman when time permits.

All appointments to the Chair are jointly approved by the Grand Council Chief of the Anishinabek Nation and the Minister of Natural Resources.

Board Member – Frank Kennedy

Director of the Science and Information Branch, Frank was previously Manager of Business Solutions Services-Forests. Starting his career with the OMNR in 1977, he has provided leadership with the Land Use Planning Branch and has considerable Senior management experience, including Forest Management Planning, Environmental Assessment and Land Use Planning.

Board Member – Kevin Reid

Kevin Reid joined the A/OFRC Board in September 2014. Kevin was the Fisheries Scientist for the Ontario Commercial Fisheries’ Association (OCFA) from 2002 to 2020, but he has been involved in Great Lakes fisheries research and management since 1985. A graduate of the Honours Fisheries Science Program at the University of Guelph in 1984, Kevin has worked as a professional fisheries scientist since 1989 when he graduated from Trent University with a M.Sc. degree from the Watershed Ecosystems Graduate Program while studying the rehabilitation of pike spawning habitat. He has worked with the commercial fishermen and fish processors of various Great Lakes since 1992. He previously served on numerous fisheries committees such as the Fisheries Advisory Councils for Lake Ontario (2004-2020), Lake Erie (2002-2020), Lake Huron (2003-2020) and Georgian Bay/North Channel (2010)-2020. Kevin received a doctoral degree in Ecology at the University of Guelph in 2016 where his research was focused on Bayesian methods for risk assessment and management of Great Lakes fisheries. He has successfully completed the Indigenous Canada course at the University of Alberta, and the Cross Cultural Environmental Awareness Training from 4 Directions of Conservation Consulting Services.

Board Member – Tom Whillans

Tom is an ecologist with particular interests in fisheries, fish habitat, wetlands, co-management, community development, traditional knowledge, watershed restoration, historical ecology, biodiversity, restoration ecology and related environmental problems. His Ph.D. was in fisheries ecology, in the Department of Zoology, University of Toronto. Since 1983, he has been a professor in what is now the School of the Environment, Trent University, chairing its predecessor for nine years. He helped to develop and taught in 14 undergraduate and three graduate degrees at the university and is currently Coordinator of the B.Sc. in Ecological Restoration. Relevant to the A/OFRC, he had a key role in the creation of the Indigenous Environmental degrees (B.A./B.Sc.) and related Institute. For the past 30 years he has been involved particularly in the development of the community-based research and education options at the university.

Most of Tom’s research has focused on problems in the binational Great Lakes basin, although he worked in both the Northwest Territories and South America on issues relating to Indigenous involvement with natural resources and the management of watershed and aquatic resources. His research has related notably to community-based aquatic science, especially the rehabilitation of lakes, fisheries and wetlands. He has served on the boards and management committees of various non-governmental organizations, including a long-standing role on the Committee of Advisors for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. These organizations have focused mostly on natural resource management, ecological restoration and community development.

Board Member – Frank Hardy

Frank is a First Nations member of the Rocky Bay First Nation (Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek). He has lived in his homeland for all his life, except for short periods for education or employment. He truly wants his community to thrive and become self-sufficient, as his community hold the environment as the most important resource they have. The Elders of his community continue to protect his lands. His past employment includes being a Commercial Fisherman on Lake Nipigon and Lake Superior, a Fisheries Technician with the Rocky Nay Fisheries Unit, a Senior Fisheries Technician with the Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre, and the Lands & Resources Coordinator for the Rocky Bay First Nation. Frank has been a Councillor for Rocky Bay First Nation for a total of 8 terms. Frank was part of the team that formed the current Nokiiwin Tribal Council serving a number of First Nations communities in the Robinson Superior Treaty Area. Frank currently sits on three Boards as a Director – Lake Nipigon Forest Management Inc., Waakiinaysay Ziibi Inc., and Waaskonaasay Energy Ltd.

Board Member – Nicole Monague

Hello, my name is Nicole Monague. I am from the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation.

I am a devoted Ojibwe Language and Land Based Education teacher. I have dedicated many years to my community and its’ education system both as a student and teacher.

Many of my teachings revolve around the water and the land and the importance of keeping them safe for the next seven generations.

It is a great honour to be asked to serve as a board member of the A/OFRC.

I am a firm believer that hard work, dedication and working together as a team will make the difference as we move forward!

Board Member – Tom Hildich

Information coming soon.

Board Member – Travis Boissoneau

Information coming soon.

Board Member – James Marsden

Information coming soon.