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Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business announces 2021 Indigenous Women in Leadership Award Recipient

Toronto – March 15, 2021 – Today, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) announces Chief Tammy Cook-Searson as the recipient of the 2021 Indigenous Women in Leadership Award.

Tammy Cook-Searson is the first woman Chief of Lac La Ronge Indian Band and is currently serving her sixth term. Lac La Ronge is the largest First Nation in Saskatchewan and includes the communities of La Ronge, Sucker River, Stanley Mission, Grandmother’s Bay, Morin Lake and Little Red River.

Driven by a collective vision of community, Cook-Searson played a key role in lobbying for the funding to build a wellness, treatment, and recovery centre in La Ronge. This centre can provide northerners with timely access to mental health and addictions support services, blending therapeutic treatment with traditional Woodland Cree teachings. This $16.1 million project is currently under construction in La Ronge, with completion slated for October 2021.

Chief Cook-Searson is also president of band-owned Kitsaki Management Ltd., which employs nearly 1,000 people and owns or manages more than a dozen companies including Athabasca Catering, Canada North Environmental Services, First Nations Insurance Services, Kitsaki Vegetation Services, and more.

Described as one of her finest moments, during the 2015 northern wildfire crisis, Tammy not only kept community members informed throughout the emergency, but she personally scoured the communities, including by boat for those communities not accessible by land, and assisted in evacuations.

“I am grateful to have had the privilege and honour serving the Lac La Ronge Indian Band for the past 16 years as chief and 8 years as a band councillor,” said Chief Cook-Searson. “Any success I have had, including this award, is shared with all those who have inspired, mentored, and motivated me all through the years to help shape the person I am today. My message to all the young leaders is to follow your heart and have faith that your teachings, supporters, and instincts will guide you.”

The Indigenous Women in Leadership Award is proudly sponsored by LNG Canada. On May 13, 2021, Chief Cook-Searson will be honoured at CCAB’s virtual IWIL celebration. Full event details to be released in April 2021.

“Chief Cook-Searson is the embodiment of what the 2021 Indigenous Women in Leadership Award is meant to celebrate – she is passionate, driven and a true groundbreaker,” said Susannah Pierce, Director, Corporate Affairs, LNG Canada. “We are proud to sponsor the 2021 Indigenous Women in Leadership Award and recognize the life-changing work that Chief Tammy Cook-Searson has done for her community.”

“Chief Tammy Cook-Searson’s strength, tenacity, and commitment to her community is an inspiration to us all,” said Tabatha Bull, president & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. “Through relentless determination and hard work, she is bringing to life a vision of economic empowerment for Lac La Ronge that will be felt for generations to come.”

About Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

CCAB is committed to the full participation of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s economy. As a national, non-partisan association, its mission is to promote, strengthen and enhance a prosperous Indigenous economy through the fostering of business relationships, opportunities, and awareness.  CCAB offers knowledge, resources and programs to its members to cultivate economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples and businesses across Canada. For more information visit ccab.com.

Media contact:

Amanda Charles
Communications Associate
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
647-289-2753 | acharles@ccab.com