The Aboriginal Liaison unit, under the Office of the City Clerk, plays a lead role in establishing relationships within the City’s growing urban aboriginal community as well as with those organizations, agencies and groups representing and serving the Aboriginal community within the City.

The unit works within the Corporation to raise awareness and understanding of the cultural protocols and sensitivities involved in engaging with and serving the Aboriginal community.

Meet the staff:

John Hannam, City Clerk

Originally from Nova Scotia, John lived in southern Ontario before moving to Thunder Bay in 1989. He spent 12 years in the private sector and seven years with the Ontario Office of the Registrar General before moving to the City of Thunder Bay. For the past 15 years, John has been with the Office of the City Clerk for the City of Thunder Bay serving as the City Clerk since 2004. John has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario. He is an active member of the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario, a director at large on the association's board, member of the management committee, and is past chair of the association's Northwestern Ontario Zone 9. John has written, researched and lectured on local government issues such as municipal elections, orientation for new councils, and council-staff relations. In leading the City's urban Aboriginal Strategy, John's focus has been seeing the relationship between the City and its Aboriginal community steadily improving.

Ann Magiskan, Aboriginal Liaison

Ann Magiskan, a Lac Seul First Nation band member, is a long-time resident of the City of Thunder Bay. She studied bookkeeping at Confederation College in the early 90's, and then joined the Fort William Historical Park (FWHP) to work in the Native Heritage Program. It was here that she became fully immersed in all aspects of indigenous history, culture, teachings and world views, learning from respected community elders and in turn sharing this rich history and way of being with students, employees and visitors who passed through the Park during her 16 years as a living history interpreter. Ann then moved on to the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board to work as its Aboriginal Outreach Coordinator and worked with all levels of the school board, the broader community of Thunder Bay including businesses and organizations as well as directly with families to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to education. Ann joined the Aboriginal Liaison Unit with the City of Thunder Bay in June 2013 in the role of Aboriginal Liaison. Ann has been happily married for 26 years and has been blessed with 3 beautiful children who have continued to shower her with gifts from the Creator over the past five years. These gifts are her 3 beautiful grandchildren who help to keep her grounded and have brought and continue to bring so much happiness to her.

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