Our Board of Directors is accountable to the Chiefs of the First Nations within Tikinagan's service area. The Board reports to the annual Tikinagan Chiefs Assembly on our services, operations and finance.
Board of Directors
Tikinagan has an eight-member Board of Directors, which includes representatives from each of the following:
- Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations Council
- Windigo First Nations Council
- Independent First Nations Alliance
- Matawa First Nations Council
- Shibogama First Nations Council
- Sandy Lake First Nation
- Lac Seul First Nation
- Unaffiliated First Nations
An Elders Council serves in an advisory capacity to the Chiefs, our Board of Directors, our Senior Management Team and staff. It is composed of four Elders appointed by the Board.
The place of Elders within our agency reflects the respect we have for our traditions and culture. Our Elders Council acts as "Keeper of the Vision" and supports our staff and management in maintaining our vision, goals and principles.
Tikinagan is led by a team of senior managers committed to fulfilling the original vision elders and chiefs had for the agency, and to serving children and families using the Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin model.
Thelma Morris, Executive Director
A member of Kasabonika Lake First Nation, Thelma (Naomi) Morris is Tikinagan's Executive Director. She reports directly to the Tikinagan Board of Directors and is responsible for the overall organization, direction and operation of Tikinagan services as well as providing leadership to the agency as a whole.
Thelma worked several years as a Tikinagan front line worker and supervisor after graduating from Confederation College with a Native Mental Health Worker diploma in 1997. She later continued her studies, earning two degrees from Lakehead University - Bachelor of Arts (2004) and Honours Bachelor of Social Work (2006). She also gained additional work experience as a researcher and counsellor for regional health and education organizations based in Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout.
In 2009, Thelma returned to Tikinagan. Two years later she was promoted from being a service manager to director of services.
Tikinagan is a dynamic agency with a unique service delivery model that promotes inclusion, empowerment and cultural respect. It is a pleasure to work with Tikingan because it values the mandate to keep children safe while maintaining strong connections with family and community. Meegwetch.
Thelma Morris - Executive Director
Rachel Meekis, Director of Services
It was in her home community of Deer Lake that Rachel Meekis developed a working kinship with Tikinagan Child & Family Services. As a foster parent, Rachel was introduced to the strong cultural values that govern the agency and the shared principles struck a chord. She applied for and began her career with Tikinagan as a Family Service Worker in 2005.
And her work ethic has been continually recognized since. In just two short years, Rachel became a Direct Services Supervisor, overseeing several community offices in northern Ontario. By 2011, she was once again promoted, this time to a Service Manager position. The added responsibilities only propelled her to work harder. Rachel guided nine supervisors as she continued to build her knowledge base with respect to child welfare by pursuing formal education.
Her commitment to working with First Nation communities in Northern Ontario and her experience earned her a role as a member of the agency's executive management team in 2013. Rachel is continually striving to uphold and deliver the best care possible guided by Tikinagan's vision, goals and principles.
Judy Angeconeb, Assistant Director of Services
Judy started working at Tikinagan Child and Family Services on March 7, 1988, which means she has been with us now for more than 25 years. It was her first job in an office setting and she was eager to use her newly acquired skills from an office administration course she had completed.
"At that time, Tikinagan (in Sioux Lookout) was a small office. It maybe had eight workers and the switchboard had about six lines. It was small but lots for me. Those lines were always busy with people calling from the North" she recalls.
Angeconeb is grateful for having a rich and rewarding work career at Tikinagan. After her time working as a receptionist, she has filled many roles during her time with the agency, including database operator, direct services supervisor, information systems co-ordinator, family service worker, and service manager. She became the Assistant Director of Services in 2015 and in addition to her many job duties she can be found holding training for employees on our service model, Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin.
Judy and her husband Ron have three grown children and six grandchildren.
Arlene McClendon, Director of Finance and Administration
Originally from Atikokan, Ontario, Arlene and her family arrived in Sioux Lookout in 1983. Arlene studied accounting at Confederation College and worked for 17 years at CIBC before starting here in the Finance department at Tikinagan in January 2000.
By 2004, Arlene had transitioned into the role of Director of Finance and Administration.
"I can honestly say this is a job where I love coming to work every day. I love working with staff and being a part of agency that does so much to help children and families," says Arlene.
After retiring in 2011, Arlene was asked to come back in November 2015 to fill the role again until a new Director is recruited. She is enjoying this time back with Tikinagan and oversees the areas of Finance, Property Management, Human Resources, Information Technology and Occupational Health and Safety.