MKO Mission Statement

To maintain, strengthen, enhance, lobby for and defend the interests and rights of First Nation people within its jurisdiction and to promote, develop and secure a standard quality of life deemed desirable and acceptable by its First Nations without limiting the generality of the foregoing and the objectives of MKO.

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.

Incorporated in 1981 as the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), MKO is a non-profit, political advocacy organization that provides a collective voice on issues of inherent, Treaty, Aboriginal and human rights for the citizens of the sovereign First Nations we represent. The MKO First Nations are signatory to Treaties 4, 5, 6 and 10.

MKO receives its mandate by resolution of the MKO Chiefs in General Assembly. The Grand Chief, elected for a three-year term, serves as the principal spokesperson. A regionally representative Executive Council of Chiefs provides ongoing direction between General Assemblies.

MKO continues to explore ways to strengthen and promote the interests of First Nations by achieving autonomy and self-sufficiency with respect to all areas that affect the lives of Northern First Nations’ citizens. Our view is that the government powers of the MKO First Nations must be recognized as inherent and our governing systems must have an administrative branch or “civil service” to address the technical and program aspects of the First Nations governments. The full restoration of First Nations’ self-government in Northern Manitoba is envisioned by MKO as a three-part process:

  1. the repeal or amendment of The Indian Act and the dismantling of the federal government department of Indian and Northern Affairs;
  2. the transfer of federal and joint federal-provincial programs, services, and related funding allocations directly to First Nations in Manitoba; and
  3. most importantly, the legal recognition and extension of First Nations’ jurisdiction and self-governing authority over our traditional lands.

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak is the Cree equivalent of northern Manitoba Chiefs. Okimakanak means “made Chiefs,” or those persons who were chosen for the purposes of signing Treaty and who have been elected in subsequent years to govern the affairs of First Nations in a form consistent with the provisions of the federal Indian Act.

MKO Executive Council members also assume responsibility for directing work in specific portfolio areas. The MKO portfolios are:

  • Finance
  • Administration
  • Employment
  • Education and Economic Development
  • Child Welfare and Women
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Roads
  • Transportation and Capital
  • Justice
  • Land Claims
  • Treaty Land Entitlement
  • Self-government, Treaty and Bill C-31;
  • Natural Resources
  • Social Development, Youth and Recreation
  • Special Projects
MKO Communities

MKO represents citizens of 26 First Nations who are signatories to Treaties 4, 5, 6, and 10

MKO First Nations Communities

  1. Barren Lands First Nation, Brochet
  2. Bunibonibee Cree Nation, Oxford House
  3. Chemawawin Cree Nation, Easterville
  4. Fox Lake Cree Nation, Gillam
  5. God’s Lake First Nation, God’s Lake Narrows
  6. Granville Lake First Nation, Leaf Rapids
  7. Manto Sipi Cree Nation, God’s River
  8. Marcel Columb First Nation, Lynn Lake
  9. Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, Pukatawagan
  10. Misipawistik Cree Nation, Grand Rapids
  11. Mosakahiken First Nation, Moose Lake
  12. Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, Nelson House
  13. Northlands First Nation, Lac Brochet
  14. Norway House Cree Nation
  15. Opaskwayak Cree Nation
  16. O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation, South Indian Lake
  17. Pimicikamak Cree Nation, Cross Lake
  18. Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, Pelican Rapids
  19. Sayisi Dene Denesuline Nation, Tadoule Lake
  20. Shamattawa First Nation
  21. Sherridon First Nation
  22. Tataskweyak Cree Nation, Split Lake
  23. York Factory First Nation, York Landing
  24. War Lake First Nation, Ilford
  25. White Water Reserve, Saskatchewan
  26. Wuskwi Sipihk Cree Nation
Independent First Nations
Chief Marcel Moody
Nelson House, MB R0B 1A0
Phone: 484-2332
Fax: 484-2392
Chief Larson R. Anderson
Norway House, MB R0B 1B0
Phone: 359-6786
Fax: 359-4186
Chief David A.Monias
Cross Lake, MB R0B 0J0
Phone: 676-3133
Fax: 676-3155
Chief Shirley Ducharme
Box 25 South Indian Lake, MB R0B 1N0
Phone: 374-2271
Fax: 374-2350
Keewatin Tribal Council Members
Chief Trina Halkett
Brochet, MB R0B 0B0
Phone: 323-2300
Fax: 323-2275
Chief Richard Hart
OxfordHouse, MB R0B 1C0
Phone: 538-2282
Fax: 538-2220
Chief Morris Beardy
Box 369Gilliam, MB R0B 0L0
Phone: 486-2463
Fax: 486-2503
Chief Hubert Watt
God’s Lake Narrows, MB R0B 0M0
Phone: 335-2130
Fax: 335-2400
Chief John Ross
God’s River, MB R0B 0N0
Phone: 366-2011
Fax: 366-2282
Chief Simon Denechezhe
Lac Brochet, MB R0B 2E0
Phone: 337-2111
Fax: 337-2055
Chief Evan Yassie
Tadoule Lake, MB R0B2C0
Phone: 684-2022
Fax: 684-2069
Chief Eric Redhead
Shamattawa, MB R0B 1K0
Phone: 565-2340
Fax: 565-2606
Chief Doreen Spence
Split Lake, MB R0B 1P0
Phone: 342-2045
Fax: 342-2270
Chief Betsy Kennedy
Ilford, MB R0B 0S0
Phone: 288-4315
Fax: 288-4371
Chief Leroy Constant
York Landing, MB R0B 2B0
Phone: 341-2180
Fax: 341-2322
Swampy Cree Tribal Council Members
Chief Clarence Easter
Easterville, MB R0C 0V0
Phone: 329-2161
Fax: 329-2017
Chief Christopher Colomb
Lynn Lake, MB R0B 0W0
Phone: 356-2439
Fax: 356-2330
Chief Lorna Bighetty
Pukatawagan,MB R0B 1G0
Phone: 553-2090
Fax: 553-2419
Chief Heidi Cook
Box 500 Grand Rapids, MB R0C 1E0
Phone: 639-2485
Fax: 639-2503
Chief Vincent Bercier
Moose Lake, MB R0B 0Y0
Phone: 678-2113
Fax: 678-2292
Onekanew Christian Sinclair
Box 10880 Opaskwayak, MB R0B 2J0
Phone: 627-7100
Fax: 623-3819
Chief Nelson Genaille
Pelican Rapids, MB R0B 1L0
Phone: 587-2012
Fax: 587-2072
Chief Elwood Zastre
Box 65 Birch River, MB R0B 0E0
Phone: 236-4201
Fax: 236-4786
Recognized by the MKO Chiefs in Assembly as a First Nation and as a Member of MKO
Mathias Colomb Cree Nation Representative
Headman Clarence Bighetty

Leaf Rapids, MB R0B 1W0
Phone: 204-473-6002
email: [email protected]
Headman Floyd North
Sherridon, Manitoba R0B 1L0
Phone: 468-2136
email: [email protected]
Box130 Sandy Bay, SK S0P 0G0
Phone: (306) 754-0070
Fax: (306) 754-2257
Members of the Executive Council
Chief Marcel Moody
Chief Larson R. Anderson
Chief David A.Monias
Chief Shirley Ducharme
Chief Simon Denechezhe
Chief Doreen Spence
Chief Nelson Genaille
Constitution and Resolutions

The Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. Constitution was most recently amended in August of 2019

View the Latest MKO Constitution

Our First Nations leaders provide specific mandates and direction to Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) through resolutions. Our resolutions are posted in PDF format for the following years:






MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee

Read the biography of our current MKO Grand Chief

Photo above taken by George Muswaggon.

If you need a high-resolution photo of Grand Chief Settee, email us to request a copy.

Garrison Settee: Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) Grand Chief

Grand Chief Garrison Settee is from the Pimicikamak Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba. He is Ininiw and was born and raised in a Cree-speaking home. He was raised in a home with strong values and work ethics, where his parents instilled strong spiritual values that keep him grounded to this day.

He attended Frontier Collegiate and R.D. Parker Collegiate in Thompson and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Education degree from Brandon University.

Grand Chief Settee taught First Nation Studies and First Nation Law at the grade 12 level for many years. He introduced his students to the critical issues pertaining to Indigenous rights and treaties. Through his experiences as an educator, both students and Elders encouraged Mr. Settee to allow his name to stand for leadership at the community level.

Answering the call of his students and Elders, Garrison was first elected as Councillor and then nominated and elected as Chief of Pimicikamak. He served as Chief from 2008-2013.

During tenure on Chief and Council of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation, Mr. Settee was involved with a wide range of Councils and committees, including the Executive Council of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO); the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs Committee on Education; school administrator; and a member of the Peace Keeper Patrol-Gang Violence Strategy.

A gifted orator, Grand Chief Settee is a strong advocate for the North. He was elected as Grand Chief of MKO in August 2018. In his leadership position, he represents 26 Northern First Nations. He is a strong advocate for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit people; children and families impacted by the child welfare system; economic development; and education for First Nations youth. Grand Chief considers it an honour to serve Northern First Nations.

In his spare time, the Grand Chief enjoys reading non-fiction history books and biographies. He enjoys playing music and is learning to speak Anishinaabemowin. Grand Chief Settee resides in Thompson, Manitoba.

Several notable highlights include:

  • Represented MKO at UN meetings in Geneva, Switzerland and exposed Canada’s treatment of Indigenous people.
  • Represented MKO in lobbying efforts for the implementation of Jordan’s Principle, and after four days Anita Neville, MP for the Liberal Party, brought the issue of Jordan’s Principle to Parliament, and this was the first time it was mentioned in the House.
  • As Chief, Garrison was principal proponent to introduce a resolution to demand an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls at the Assembly of First Nations Assembly. He apologized to the women that not enough was done by the chiefs to pursue the issue of MMIWG.



I, Garrison Settee, duly elected by the Chiefs and Councillors of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak on this 8th day of August of 2018, recognize and accept;

  • That any authority the MKO Grand Chief may have shad derive exclusively and entirely from authority granted from time to time by the MKO Chiefs in Assembly, and
  • That as a leader who exercises mandates, authority, responsibilities and duties delegated by the MKO Chiefs in Assembly, the MKO Grand Chief holds a sacred political trust to comply in every respect with the direction given by the MKO Chiefs in Assembly and the MKO Executive Council.

and promise;

  • To uphold the Constitution of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak,
  • To uphold and to implement the direction given by the MKO Chiefs in Assembly and by the MKO Executive Council,
  • To uphold the inherent rights, Customary Laws, sovereignty and authority of the MKO First Nations,
  • To protect and ensure the exercise of the Treaty Rights of our First Nations,
  • To promote a quality of life and well-being acceptable to the people of the MKO First Nations,
  • To promote the safety and security of the people of the MKO First Nations,
  • To protect and promote the fundamental human rights of the people of the MKO First Nations and the dignity and worth of the human person, and
  • To recognize and protect the equal rights of the men, women, youth and children of the MKO First Nations and of our First Nations large and small, to the best of my ability as Grand Chief

Whereas the Creator defines our laws, rights and responsibilities, and drawing from this source, I pledge to honour and to give my full commitment to my obligations as delegated to me by the MKO Chiefs in Assembly at this 37th MKO Annual General Assembly.

MKO Staff

For a general inquiry, please leave a message via the Contact Us page.

Political Team

  • Garrison Settee, Grand Chief
  • Dorothy Smith, Executive Assistant
  • Dr. Stewart Hill, Senior Research and Policy Analyst
  • Melanie Ferris, Communications Officer
  • Brennan Manokeesick, Chief of Staff
  • Mark Sweeny, Assistant to the Grand Chief

Admin Staff

  • Kelvin Lynxleg, Executive Director
  • Virginia Goulet, Assistant to the Executive Director
  • Pat Godin, Receptionist
  • Shyanna Lynxleg, Urban Initiatives Manager
  • Nicole Brightnose, Thompson Urban Aboriginal Strategy Coordinator
  • Bernice Thorassie, Client Navigator
  • Jaiden Sandberg, Administrative Assistant
  • Agnes Dantouze, Finance Manager
  • Selena Hunter, Finance Assistant
  • Sherry Smith, Finance Employee
  • Courtney Gazandlare, Finance Employee
  • Hann Chong, IT Consultation

Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin (KIM)

  • Dr. Barry Lavallee, Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin (KIM) Chief Executive Officer
  • Moriah Davis, Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin (KIM) Chief Operations Officer
  • Sarah Cook, Chief Financial Officer
  • Joni Wilson, Executive Director
  • April Eclipse Tawipisim, Human Resources Generalist
  • Kathleen North, Director, Jordan’s Principle
  • Annica Ramkissoon, Communications Officer
  • Brian Flamand, Administrative Coordinator
  • Marcie Friesen, Administrative Assistant
  • Dr. Yvette Emerson, Medical Advisor
  • Jordan Gelowitz, Assistant Researcher for Clinical Services
  • Dr. Michael Routledge, Medical Officer of Health
  • Caroline Chartrand, Senior Nurse Advisor in First Nations Health
  • Catherine Stadnichuck, Planning and Organizational Development Coordinator
  • Joanna Thich, Registered Dietician

Anti Indigenous Racism Office

  • Ovide Mercredi, Lead Negotiator
  • Dr. Monique McKay, Senior Advisor
  • Loretta Bayer, Senior Policy Advisor
  • Piper Riley Thompson, Lawyer

The ISET Program

  • Larry Flett, ISET Program Manager
  • Leah Garson, ISET Senior Program Coordinator
  • Maryssa Oniske, ISET Program Coordinator
  • Yahnel Taite, ISET Program Coordinator
  • Kristen Dick, ISET Administrator
  • Stephanie Austin, ISET Finance Manager
  • Wade McKay, ISET Data Finance Administrator

Identification Intake; Secure Identification Indian Status Cards

  • Gina Spence, SISC Senior Identification Intake Clerk
  • Alexandra Jonasson, SCIS Intake Clerk
  • Damien Lynxleg, SCIS Intake Clerk

Traditional Healers Program

  • Duke Beardy, Traditional Healer Program Manager
  • Nora Ross, Traditional Healer Program Administrative Assistant
  • Patsy Reid, Traditional Healer Benefits Analyst


  • Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, MMIWG Liaison Unit Manager
  • Jacquie Ogemow, MMIWG Executive Assistant
  • Heidi Spence, MMIWG Two Spirit and Gender Diverse Outreach Coordinator
  • Jenny Lay, MMIWG Project and Event Coordinator
  • Oliver Veuillot, MMIWG Project and Event Coordinator
  • Natalie Thiessen, MMIWG Graphic Designer and Illustrator
  • Jennifer Samuel, MMIWG Office and Community Liaison
  • Marie Ballantyne, MMIWG Liaison Unit Grandmother


  • Edwin Wood, Justice Program Manager
  • Lacey Fourre, Justice Program Administrative Assistant
  • Trevor Constant, Restorative Justice Worker

First Nations Justice (FNJS)

  • Terry Linklater, FNJS Community Justice Worker – Nisichawayasihk
  • Tammy Weenusk, FNJS Community Justice Worker – Bunibonibee
  • Robert W. Ogemow, FNJS Community Justice Worker – Manto Sakahigan
  • Louise Denechezhe, FNJS Community Justice Worker – Northlands
  • Joseph Lloyd Daniels, FNJS Community Justice Worker – Mathias Colomb
  • Steve Martin, FNJS Community Justice Worker – Misipawistik
  • John James Easter, FNJS Community Justice Worker – Mosakahiken
  • Dora Kematch, FNJS Community Justice Worker – Chemawawin
  • Edward Cook, FNJS Community Justice Worker – Sapotaweyak
  • Leonard Flett, FNJS Community Justice Worker – Garden Hill
  • George Wood, FNJS Community Justice Worker- Wasagamack
  • Harvey Hill, FNJC Community Justice Worker – Shamattawa

Child and Family Services

  • Chris Baker, Lead Negotiator – Northern Authority

Child Welfare Secretariat

  • Shirley Allarie, Child Welfare Secretariat Director
  • Phyllis Thorne, CWS Executive Assistant
  • Colin Kinsella, CWS Senior Policy Analyst
  • Rena Stevenson, CWS Researcher/Intake
  • Janine Spence, CWS Research Assistant
  • Amanda Ouskan, CWS Administrative Assistant
  • Eva Goulet, CWS Community Engagement Coordinator
  • Lisa Cook, CWS Community Jurisdiction Worker
  • Isabelle Morris, CWS Community Language Specialist

Mobile Crisis Response Team

  • Justin Courchene, Crisis Response Team Manager
  • Greg Fontaine, Interim Crisis Response Intake and Deployment Coordinator
  • Melissa Fiddler, Crisis Response Benefits Analyst
  • Theresa Henderson, Crisis Response Team Member
  • Gloria Kejick, Crisis Response Team Member
  • Janet Head, Crisis Response Team Member
  • Trudy Stevenson, Crisis Response Team Member
  • Michele Genaille, Crisis Response Team Member
  • Trevor Sinclair, Crisis Response Team Member
  • Gregory Anderson, Crisis Response Team Member
  • River Johnson, Crisis Response Team Member
  • Stephanie Landherr, Crisis Response Team Member
  • Christine Sawatzky, Crisis Response Team Member
  • Daniel Big George, Crisis Response Team Member