Speakers

Jeff Beddome

Jeff Beddome

Senior Advisor Emergency Disaster Management

Alberta Health Services Indigenous Wellness Core (Calgary, Alberta)

Jeff Beddome, a proud Métis citizen residing in Calgary, Alberta, within Treaty 7 Territory and the Homeland of the Metis, is a dedicated professional with a profound commitment to serving others. With a diverse career spanning roles as a Primary Care Paramedic, Firefighter, Director of Emergency Management, and currently as the Senior Advisor for Emergency Disaster Management with Alberta Health Services’ Indigenous Wellness Core, Jeff exemplifies a steadfast dedication to public service, emergency preparedness, and cultural sensitivity.

Throughout his career, Jeff has been a vocal advocate for the integration of Indigenous voices and perspectives, resulting in the development of co-created emergency management plans and frameworks. His holistic approach and emphasis on health as the cornerstone in all aspects of the emergency management continuum reflect his unwavering commitment to improving the well-being and resilience of Indigenous communities. Jeff’s leadership and passion for supporting Indigenous peoples have played a pivotal role in the development of more resilient and culturally sensitive emergency response and recovery strategies.

With a keen focus on cultural sensitivity and community engagement, Jeff’s work serves as a vital asset in advancing emergency management practices that honor Indigenous traditions and values. His efforts continue to make meaningful contributions to building stronger, more inclusive emergency management systems for all.

Caitlin Buxton-Carr

Caitlin Buxton-Carr

Manager of Health Emergency Management

First Nations Health Authority (Nanaimo, British Columbia)

Shane Ferguson

Shane Ferguson

Fire Safety Presentations with First Nation Communities in Northern Ontario

Amber's Fire Safety Campaign and Staying Alive Fire Safety Program (Thunder Bay, Ontario)

A retired professional firefighter with 25 years with The Winnipeg Fire Department specialized in Search and Rescue, Fire Suppression and Public Fire Safety Education, 10 years experience as a volunteer firefighter in Ontario. Extensive knowledge of firefighting equipment usage and training, dedicated to fire prevention, protection, safety, and public education. A trained professional with extensive knowledge of safety procedures, knowledge of applicable codes and firefighting techniques. Eleven years experience managing a Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Program, in a community college environment. Responsible for overseeing the program for effective delivery of the Ontario Standard and NFPA Firefighter Curriculum courses. Assisted instructors with the development and editing of training materials, ensuring effective program design and delivery. Manages and schedules the physical facilities associated with the program including both the classroom and training facilities.

Proctor and Lead Evaluator for Firefighter testing for the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) Founder of the Staying Alive Program, a non-profit organization that promotes public fire safety education through classroom and community multimedia presentations. Staying Alive has developed a successful age-appropriate curriculum program targeted for K-grade 8 students in order to raise awareness about fire safety. Created a fire safety interactive game that continues to be utilized in the Northern Communities as well around the world.. Six years’ with Ambers Fire Safety Campaign, deliver Fire Safety Presentations to Schools and the Communities of Nishnawbe Aski Nation. Implemented education, training and installation of Smoke Alarms in numerous communities and following up on these initiatives. Community Fire Safety Training, Training of volunteer firefighters for NAN. Guest Speaker at the Manitoba Disaster Management Conference on Fire Safety in Indigenous Communities.

Erica Fleck

Erica Fleck

Director, Emergency Management and Community Safety

Halifax Regional Municipality

Erica Fleck is currently the Director of Emergency Management for the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). She has extensive experience in both emergency management and military operations having spent over three decades full-time as a Logistician with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) prior to joining municipal government. Erica continues to serve the CAF on a part-time basis as Commanding Officer of 36 Service Battalion in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has not only commanded at the tactical level though her current tenure with 36 Service Battalion, and previous tour as Commanding Officer of 3 Intelligence Company, but also at the operational level as Commanding Officer of the Headquarters for Joint Task Force Atlantic (JTFA).

Throughout her military career, she has had the privilege to serve in a variety of capacities within and outside of Canada. Erica has considerable operational experience that includes the following deployments: Operation SALON – Quebec, 1990, CAF support to resolve the Oka Crisis; Operation HALO – Haiti, 2004, the CAF’s contribution to a secure and stable environment in the wake of political turmoil; and Operation UNIFIER – Ukraine, the CAF’s military training and capacity-building mission to support the Security Forces of Ukraine.

Erica also spent several years as the Advisor and Real-Life Support lead planner for Exercise MAPLE ARCH, an annual multinational training event for non-NATO countries in order to establish and maintain relationships under the NATO Partnership for Peace initiative. As well, in 2016 she was the first female to teach the Operational Planning Course at the Malaysian Peacekeeping Training Centre, which also hosted the first United Nations female students.

Erica is a graduate of the Joint Command and Staff Program from the Canadian Army Command and Staff College and she holds a degree in Emergency Management from Cape Breton University. She also developed and taught at the Nova Scotia Community College for its inaugural Emergency Management Advanced Diploma program. In addition to the three Commander’s Commendations she has received over the years for her support to domestic operations, she was also recognized with a Canadian Joint Operations Command Commendation for leading the response to forest fires in Goose Bay Labrador and the evacuation of two Northern Labrador communities in 2012. She has also been recognized with two RCMP Commendations for the assistance she has provided to their operations, specifically to J Division for the shooting incident in 2014 and H Division for building operational support. As well, Erica was invested as a Member of the Order of Military Merit in 2016 and was a recipient of the Top Women in Defence award in 2021. Erica serves on the Board of Governors for the Army Museum Halifax Citadel, and on the Board of Directors for the Halifax Citadel Society. Erica is an alumni of the International Visitor Leadership Program, focusing on disaster preparedness and emergency management across the world.

She is married to the love of her life, is the proud mother of two boys, and in her “spare” time she owns and manages a martial arts gym in Sackville, Nova Scotia.

Maeengan Linklater

Maeengan Linklater

Director Of Operations

Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Kellyann Meloche

Kellyann Meloche

Senior Manager, Disaster Risk Management

Canadian Red Cross (Kahnawake, Quebec)

Kellyann Meloche, from the Iroquois Mohawk Nation of Kahnawake and is the Senior Manager of Disaster Risk Management at Canadian Red Cross National Operations. With 30 years of experience within Public Safety Management/Coordination, Kellyann’s work has included emergency management, disaster response, fire management, emergency medical services (EMS), and full-scale emergency exercises in across Turtle Island.

Casey Neathway

Casey Neathway

Director, Regional Health Emergency Management and Environmental Public Health Services

First Nations Health Authority (Vernon, British Columbia)

Shalyn Pigeon

Shalyn Pigeon

Regional Manager, Health Emergency Management

First Nations Health Authority (Kamloops, British Columbia)

Shalyn Pigeon is Nlaka’pamux and Secwepemc and is a member of the Ashcroft Indian Band in the Interior Region of British Columbia. She currently resides in Kamloops, BC with her husband and son. Shalyn’s emergency management career began in 2017, when the Elephant Hill Wildfire destroyed half of her First Nation community. Shalyn took on the role of the emergency operations center finance chief, and later became a co-recovery manager for the community. In 2019 Shalyn began working for the First Nations Health Authority and supported 2017 flood and fire impacted communities. Throughout the next couple of years, Shalyn led FNHA’s work on isolation during the COVID-10 pandemic. Her current role is the Regional Manager of Health Emergency Management for FNHA, where she supports 54 First Nations communities in the Interior Region during all four phases of emergency management.

Terry Skipper

Provincial Manager of Emergency Response and Recovery

Shared Health-Soins Communs (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Stephen Sunkwa

Stephen Sunkwa

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator (Abbotsford, British Columbia)