Chief Nelson Genaille of Sapotaweyak Cree Nation (SCN) - Treaty Four Territory, is in process of completing his fourth consecutive term as chief in his community. In addition to this leadership role, he is also Chair of Clear Sky Communications and President of the Treaty Land Entitlement Committee of Manitoba. He has served as president of TLEC for eight consecutive terms. The committee represents 21 First Nations who are signatories to Treaty Land Entitlement.
A recent and major achievement he is proud to have led, is within his home community. Working with SCN Council, staff, the Town of Swan River and both the Federal and Provincial Governments, the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation has not one, but two urban reserves in Swan River! It is the only urban centre in Manitoba to have two urban reserves. With this urban reserve development and implementation of Treaty Land Entitlement, come jobs, opportunities and expansion of the community’s land base.
Over the years, Genaille has primarily worked for his community and First Nations in Manitoba. He served for three terms as an Elected Band Councillor for Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, past chairman of the Committee Health Board and as a long-time advocate of First Nations youth development. His experience also includes working in the social services field as an Employment and Income Assistance Administrator in his community of Sapotaweyak Cree Nation as well as an Economic Development Officer.
His achievements and goals are to work in unity towards a healthy and prosperous future for First Nation communities. To address the Health, Education and Social needs of remote and urban communities. Working together in achieving this future, is what he’s all about.
Chief David Crate was first elected to Council in 1985 and became Chief in 1989. Now in his 29th year, he has participated in numerous projects that have improved the community. These projects include the establishment of a Healing Center, Water and Sewer Treatment Facility, Car Wash/Laundry Mat, Fitness Centre, Castle Building Supplies Store and most recently, the Bay River Inn & Suites.
Chief Crate was also involved in a joint venture project with the Province of Manitoba for the development of 88 cottage lots in Fisher River. Focusing on long term planning and community development, currently Chief Crate and Council are implementing a 20 year community plan. This plan includes upgrading of local road, infrastructure and drainages for the Fisher River Cree Nation community.
Chief Crate’s dedication to all Manitoba First Nation’s (MFN) include his work with the Assembly of Manitoba Chief’s Gaming Committee, members of the Executive Council of Chiefs, Co-chairing the MFN Technology Council and the MFN ICT Training Initiatives Inc..
In August of 2011 and in August of 2016, Chief Crate and Council brought the National Cree Gathering to the community of Fisher River Cree Nation. The Cree Gathering highlights Cree ceremonies, traditions, and teachings.
In February 2012, Chief Crate was appointed to the board of Manitoba Hydro. It was also in 2012 the Frontier Centre for Public Policy ranted Chief Crate’s community of Fisher River Cree Nation 6th in the Aboriginal governance index within the prairie provinces and number one in Manitoba overall.
In June 2013, Chief Crate was appointed to the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development of Canada (AANDC).
In November 2013, Chief Crate’s community was approved to become a Borrowing Member of the First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA).
Chief Crate was awarded with the Manitoba Crocus Award for Conservation for his work on the Fisher Bay Park and is also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in the merit category for Public Service.
In December, 2017, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette announced the latest list of 124 remarkable Canadians to be inducted into the Order of Canada for outstanding achievements, dedication to community and service to the nation. One of those 124 remarkable Canadians is Fisher River Cree Nation Chief David Crate.