Meet the Métis Crossing Board
Our board provides the vision, oversight and governance that leads Métis Crossing to success. We are thankful for their time and commitment to making Métis Crossing a premier tourism and educational destination.
Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) President, Audrey Poitras is one of the highest profile Métis women in Canada. Audrey was elected as the first female President in 1996, becoming the longest-serving President of the MNA.
One of Audrey’s greatest achievements, in the preservation of Métis culture, history and language was the creation of Métis Crossing proving to be not only a smart business choice, but one that will remain for a long time to come.
Under her leadership, the MNA continues to be a model of success in representing and pursuing the social, political, and economic interests of the Métis people in Alberta. The credibility of the MNA continues to increase, as evidenced by activities over the past 23 years with Audrey Poitras at the helm, where the legitimacy and accountability of the MNA has risen to unprecedented heights.
Dan Cardinal has been proudly serving the Métis Nation within Alberta for over six years. He started in 2014 as the MNA Region One Vice President and was then successful in his campaign for MNA Provincial Vice President in the 2018 election. Mr. Cardinal is passionate about preserving Indigenous languages including both Cree and Michif, the language of his people. He has taught Cree with the Edmonton Catholic School Board, owned his own business, and served as a practical nurse. Proudly, the MNA Vice President sits on many boards all relating to language, tradition, and culture preservation. He currently sits on the board of Métis Crossing Experience Company.
Dan Cardinal’s main priority is advancing the Métis Nation through promoting education and Métis culture for future generations.
Knowledge Holder and Director
Art is the Métis Crossing Knowledge Holder and a Board Director. He is a key influence in guiding both the cultural and the corporate development of this organization. He brings decades of experience in developing, implementing, and providing advice and mentorship on corporate policy and principles on aboriginal and tribal relations. Art also provided advice in the development of internal corporate capacity in the areas of traditional knowledge, business, and employment to support positive aboriginal and tribal relations.
Mr. Cunningham is one of the founding directors of Circle for Aboriginal Relations (CFAR) and currently sits as a CFAR advisor. He was also past-president of Alberta’s Interprovincial Association on Native Employment and national vice-president. He is a board member and previous co-chair for Children and Family Services, previous United Way board member, chair of Calgary Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Opportunities Committee, senator of Calgary Friendship Centre, and governor of Calgary Aboriginal Women’s Shelter
He received the Chief David Crowchild Award in 1997 for creating bridges of understanding between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. He was also recognized by the International Rotary Foundations when they awarded him the Paul Harris Fellowship Award for contributions to the community. In 2005, he received the Alberta Centennial Award for outstanding service to the people and the province of Alberta.
Duane Zaraska has been proudly serving the Métis Nation of Alberta since 2014, and currently serves as President of Region II. Prior to his current role, Duane was vice-president and included being co-chair of the Culture, Veterans and Seniors portfolio. During this time he was appointed to the Métis Crossing Advisory Committee. This founding board provided direction for the building and development of the Cultural Gathering Centre which opened in November 2019.
In 2015 Duane won the candidacy for NDP Lakeland and ran in the Federal election of that year. This political experience provided life-long knowledge and enhanced leadership skills.
Duane is a proud Métis person who is honoured to share the vibrant and colorful history of the Métis. He believes strongly in the importance of promoting the Métis culture and is delighted to serve on the newly formed Board of The Métis Crossing Experience Company.
Andy has been an active member of many boards including the Aboriginal Human Resource Council of Canada and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. Andy is an Honorary Chief for Heart Lake First Nation and was also presented a Life Time Achievement Award for outstanding work in providing pioneering innovative capacity building programs from the Tribal Chiefs Institute of Treaty 8. This was the first time this award was presented to a non-Aboriginal person. In addition to a keen focus on economic development, he has also been an active volunteer with Dreams Take Flight.
Andy has previously served as VP of Aboriginal Affairs with Enbridge Pipelines and with EnCana in numerous roles including Investor Relations, Public Affairs and Government Relations. For the last 8 years of his tenure with EnCana, Andy was the Vice President, Aboriginal Relations. Since 2013 Andy has served as Vice President of NCSG Crane and Heavy Haul.