Co–operatives First aims to inspire Indigenous peoples and communities to explore the co-operative model and how it might benefit them. Our goal is to spark a conversation—a conversation with us, perhaps, but more importantly, one by and for Indigenous people.
My name is Trista Pewapisconias, a Nehiyaw Iskwew, from the Little Pine First Nation. I currently reside in Saskatoon with my partner and two children. I spent my youth living in communities throughout Treaty 6 and Treaty 8, and earned an MBA from the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan. As the Director of Indigenous Relations, I am passionate about Indigenous Economic Development.
Hi everyone, my name is Audra Krueger, and I was raised on a mixed farm in the heart of Treaty 6. I’ve always been passionate about people getting a fair shake and that led me to study sociology and international development. As ED at Co-operatives First my job is to remove barriers to staff success and find the best ways to support this kick ass team.
I’m Aasa Marshall, and I grew up in the small town of Kyle, Saskatchewan in Treaty 6 territory. I have a diploma of journalism, a degree in International Development, and a Masters of Public Policy. I love to write, edit, and tell stories, and I use these skills as Director of Communications to help people understand why co-ops are great.
I’m Kyle White, and I’m from the small town of Old Perlican in Newfoundland. My wife and I currently live in Saskatoon in Treaty 6 territory. I have a degree in Geography and a Masters of Public Policy. I’m an educator with a passion for policy and governance. As Director of Education, I help our clients through the legal steps to creating a co-operative and lead our educational programs.
I’m Cathy Edwards and I’m proud to reside in Saskatoon in Treaty 6 Territory. I studied at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Calgary for Accounting and Law, respectively, but my passion is in start-ups. I have deep entrepreneurial roots and love to help groups bring a concept to life. As the Entrepreneur-in-Residence, I help co-operatives chart a path towards organizational success.
I’m Ryley Hawkeswood from Prince Albert, SK, in Treaty 6 territory. I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan. I have a passion for helping people, and my university research on homelessness comes from that passion. With Co-operatives First, I get to help groups create co-ops to address community needs or provide services. As the Community Engagement Coordinator, I provide assistance to groups based on their needs and guide them through the steps of starting a co-op.
I’m Candice Minott, a first-generation immigrant to Canada from the Caribbean island of Jamaica in the West Indies. I live in Saskatoon in Treaty 6 territory with my husband and two children. I am pursuing a Master of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan, and I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Business Administration. I am passionate about the economic empowerment of underserved communities, and as the Community Engagement Coordinator – Childcare, I support communities to start childcare co-ops.
I’m Jenna Pullen, and while I grew up in the prairies, I now call Vancouver B.C. home. I have a background in social work and a Master of Business Administration, and joined the team to expand the level of co-op support Co-operatives First is able to deliver in British Columbia. As the Manager of Engagement, I feel very fortunate that my role is to spend time getting to know local communities and people while supporting their innovative co-op start-ups.