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The Manitoba government has appointed eight new members to the University College of the North (UCN) Governing Council, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today.

UCN enhances the economic and social vitality of northern Manitoba by making a broad range of educational opportunities available in the region,” said Wishart.  “I’m pleased to announce the appointment of these qualified candidates, who bring an impressive array of wisdom and experience that will benefit the college community throughout their terms.”

Albert Tait, Tracey Como and Sharain Jones have been appointed as members for terms of office expiring June 30, 2018, while Edith Sexsmith, Dayna Waring and Linda Markus have been appointed as members for terms expiring June 30, 2019.  Kelsi Hitch and Brock Kramble have been appointed as student members for terms expiring March 31, 2018.

Tait, a long-standing resident of Norway House Cree Nation, is a counsellor and elder at Jack River School, a 10-year member of UCN’s Council of Elders and a board member of the Sagkeeng First Nation's Family Treatment Centre.  He has served as an addictions counsellor and is highly regarded for his in-depth knowledge of traditional teachings along with his work with residential school survivors in his home community. 

Como, from Cranberry Portage, is the director of the Métis Employment and Training Department for the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF).  She has served as the chair of the Cranberry Portage chapter of the MMF and is a past board member of the Children’s Development Centre and Child/Family Resource Centre, both located in Cranberry Portage.

Jones, a resident of The Pas, is the director and past curator of the Sam Waller Museum in The Pas.  She is a board member of The Pas Arts Council and chair of The Pas Community Renewal Corporation.  She has also served as the fundraising chair of the Northern Juried Art Show.  Her extensive museum experience includes placements with the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia and the National Museum of the Bahamas in Nassau.

Sexsmith, also from The Pas, is a chartered accountant from the Rural Municipality of Kelsey and a trustee with the Kelsey School Division.  She also serves as the chair of the Kelsey School Division’s Finance Committee.

Waring, from Thompson, is the human resources’ superintendent of employee relations and organizational design at Vale’s Manitoba Operations.  She is a member of the Thompson Urban Aboriginal Strategy Committee and the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy.  She currently serves on the 2018 Power Smart Manitoba Winter Games executive committee, being hosted in Thompson.

Markus, from The Pas, is a student services co-ordinator with the Kelsey School Division and a long-time educator in northern Manitoba, with more than 25 years’ experience working with students.  She is a Brandon University graduate serving as a board member of The Pas and District Chamber of Commerce and is a past president of the Thompson Chamber of Commerce.

Hitch, a Thompson resident, is a third-year UCN bachelor of nursing student currently employed as a customer service agent with a regional airline.  She has prior work experience with a local non-profit agency that provides residential support for adults living with developmental disabilities in Thompson.

Kramble, from The Pas, is a first-year natural resource management technology student at UCN, pursuing a degree in environmental science.  He is a former University of Manitoba Bisons football player and youth volunteer.

The minister also announced that Thomas Goodman of Flin Flon has been selected as chair of the council.  Goodman, a member of UCN’s Governing Council since 2012, formerly served as the chief operating officer and senior vice-president at HudBay Minerals Inc., and he has spent 31 years in the mining/metals industry in technical, operations and executive management roles throughout northern Manitoba and internationally.  Raised in Flin Flon, he is active in the community and involved in a wide variety of services and charitable organizations.

UCN’s Governing Council is responsible for determining the college’s mission, vision and values, appointing the president, determining the council’s compensation, and determining the administrative and academic organization of the institution.  The council consists of not more than 20 members, serving terms of up to three years for regular members and one year for student members.

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