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Wapusk National Park of Canada

Meet the Wapusk Management Board

Wapusk News - Volume 5, Number 1, 2012

Conway L. Arthurson
Fox Lake Cree Nation Representative

Conway Arthurson is a Fox Lake Cree Nation Citizen and is currently employed by Fox Lake Cree Nation Trust as a Claims Officer. He worked as Technical Advisor for Fox Lake Cree Nation’s negotiations with Manitoba Hydro (1998-2007), and as Treaty Land Entitlement Representative (1997-2011). Conway served as a Fox Lake Cree Nation Band Councillor from 2007-2010.

Since 1998, Conway has actively served in a leadership capacity on numerous community committees and boards. He was on the Gillam School Advisory Committee (1998-1999), was a Fox Lake Cree Nation Compensation Committee Member/Chairperson (1997-1998), a Cross Cultural Awareness Facilitator (1997-2005), a Fox Lake Cree Nation Housing Committee Member/Chairperson (1999-2002), a Fox Lake Cree Nation Environmental Working Group Member/Chairperson (2005-2007); and served on the Treaty Land Entitlement Committee Board of Directors for two terms (2008-2011), one as Vice-President and one as Secretary. In January 2012, Conway began his term as a member representing Fox Lake Cree Nation on the Wapusk Management Board.

Conway enjoys hunting, fishing, trapping and practicing his Treaty and Aboriginal rights. He spends much of his leisure time engaged in sports activities, which include hockey, softball, volleyball, badminton, and jogging.

Flora Beardy
York Factory First Nation Representative

Flora Beardy Flora Beardy
© Parks Canada

Flora Beardy is a respected Elder of the York Factory First Nation. Until her recent retirement, she was a translator for York Factory First Nation Future Development Program, which was established to represent York Factory First Nation in negotiations regarding all hydro development projects.

Flora has served on the Wapusk Management Board as a representative of York Factory First Nation since December 1996. Her extensive knowledge of the traditional and cultural background of the York Factory First Nation is an asset to the Management Board.

A self-described “people person”, Flora worked for Parks Canada as an Historic Park Interpreter for 15 seasons. During this time she wrote the script for a video on York Factory National Historic Site. Fluent in the Cree language, she worked for four years on an oral history project with York Factory Cree Elders. The success of this project led to her being awarded both the Department of Canadian Heritage Prairie Regional and the national Treasury Board Awards of Excellence in 1996. She is co-author of Voices from Hudson Bay: Cree Stories from York Factory, published by McGill-Queens.

Marlene Bilenduke
Town of Churchill Representative

Marlene Bilenduke Marlene Bilenduke
© Marlene Bilenduke

Marlene Bilenduke has lived in the Churchill area since birth and now resides along the Goose Creek Road in Churchill. Her previous work experience in Churchill includes Duke of Marlborough School, Health & Welfare Canada and Transport Canada (retired 1996). In addition, she served on the Town of Churchill Land and Resource Use Committee for a period of 8 years from the late 1980s to early 1990s.

Marlene is interested in exploring the outdoors and enjoys hunting, fishing and landscape photography, spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She also has a keen interest in local history and collecting and preserving memorabilia associated with growing up in the area. She has been a member of the Wapusk Management Board since September 2010.

Lorraine Brandson
Town of Churchill Representative

Lorraine Brandson Lorraine Brandson
© Parks Canada

Lorraine Brandson is an employee of the Diocese of Churchill Hudson Bay and is responsible for the Diocesan Photograph Archives biannual magazine and the Eskimo Museum.

Lorraine has been a resident of Churchill since 1973 and has been actively involved in the promotion of cultural and natural heritage objectives through participation in various organizations. She has authored, co-authored, and edited five books about the North, including Churchill on Hudson Bay: A Guide to Natural and Cultural Heritage (2011). From 1989 to 1996 she served as Chair for the Working Group that undertook the feasibility studies and negotiations for the proposed national park at Churchill (Wapusk National Park).

In 1991, Lorraine was awarded the Prix Manitoba Award (category Heritage Professional) by Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson, Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship for Manitoba. Lorraine currently serves as a member of the Town of Churchill/University of Winnipeg Sustainable Development Plan Committee. She has been involved with the Wapusk Management Board since 1999.

Murray Gillespie
Province of Manitoba Representative

Murray Gillespie Murray Gillespie
© Murray Gillespie

Murray Gillespie is a wildlife biologist, photographer, and youth educator. Until his retirement in 2007, he worked for the Province of Manitoba’s Department of Conservation for 36 years. He managed Manitoba’s Game Bird Programs for more than 30 years. Over that time he worked closely with federal and provincial agencies as well as the Mississippi Flyway Council on research and management programs including studies related to Canada geese in Manitoba. He was responsible for building and managing the “Nester One” research camp in Wapusk National Park, a camp that supports research on Canada geese and a broad range of other species. In recent years, he has acted as an instructor for the University of Manitoba Field course “Wildlife and Ethno-ecology of Manitoba’s Coastal Region”, which is delivered annually in Wapusk National Park in cooperation with Parks Canada staff. He currently visits classrooms across Western Canada to present information on wildlife ecology and the environment to high school and middle school students. Murray has been a member of the Wapusk Management Board since 2009.

Daryll Hedman
Province of Manitoba Representative

Daryll Hedman Daryll Hedman
© Parks Canada

Daryll Hedman is currently employed by Manitoba Conservation as the Regional Wildlife Manager for the Northeast Region. Since beginning his employment with Manitoba Conservation in 1983, Daryll has developed considerable knowledge about the land, resources and history of Wapusk National Park. At the present time he is engaged in several research projects in and near the park involving polar bears, the Cape Churchill coastal caribou herd and wolves that frequent the park and surrounding lands. Currently, Daryll is the co-chair of the Beverly/Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board, co-chair of the York Factory Resource Management Board, and a member of the Federal/Provincial Polar Bear Technical Committee. He has been a member of the Wapusk Management Board since May 2011.

Randy Naismith Jr.
Fox Lake Cree Nation Representative

Randy Naismith Jr. is a member of Fox Lake Cree Nation and currently works as its Environmental Resources Liaison. He is an active participant in numerous working groups including the Aquatics Working Group, Mammal Working Group and Environmental Studies Working Group. He is also a member of the Fox Lake Resource Management Board.

Randy takes part in numerous outdoor activities including hunting, fishing and trapping, and also enjoys playing hockey. He began his term as a member of the Wapusk Management Board, representing Fox Lake Cree Nation, in January 2012.

Darcy Wastesicoot
York Factory First Nation Representative

Darcy Wastesicoot Darcy Wastesicoot
© Parks Canada

Darcy Wastesicoot is a member of York Factory First Nation and has represented York Factory First Nation on the Wapusk Management Board since 2008. He has worked as Community Liaison for York Factory Future Development Program, and currently is employed by Manitoba Hydro, Aboriginal Relations, Mitigation Department.

Darcy enjoys outdoor activities including hunting and fishing and holds hunting guide certification through the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council. He is active in his community teaching traditional life skills to young people at the annual “Goose Camp”, and has interests in promoting and developing resource based economic development opportunities for members of the York Factory First Nation. Through his personal interests and work with the First Nation, Darcy works to bridge the traditional Aboriginal life and the modern Canadian economy and society.

John T. Williams
Government of Canada Representative

John T. Williams John T. Williams
© Parks Canada

Wildlife conservation and management has been a lifelong commitment for John T. Williams. From 1999 to 2012 he has served as Director of several Manitoba and national not-for-profit, non-governmental conservation organizations, including the Manitoba Wildlife Federation, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, Fish Futures and the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. In 2009, he received the Manitoba Wildlife Federation Outdoor Heritage Award. John, who lives in Winnipeg, is semi-retired from his career as an independent businessman. He began his term as Government of Canada representative on the Wapusk Management Board in December 2011.