The Heart & Stroke Council on Health Reconciliation


Dr. Bernice Downey headshot

Dr. Bernice Downey (Ontario)

Dr. Bernice Downey joined the Ontario Provincial Board in 2020. Dr. Downey is a woman of Ojibwe and Celtic heritage, a mother and a grandmother. She is a medical anthropologist with research interests in health, health literacy and Indigenous Traditional knowledge and health/research system reform for Indigenous populations.

Bernice is currently cross appointed to the School of Nursing and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and is the Indigenous Health Lead for the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. She holds a Heart & Stroke Foundation - Canadian Institute of Health Research - Chair in Indigenous Women’s Heart and Brain Health.

Dr.Downey is an experienced administrator, facilitator, and an organizational and systemic change agent. She is also a life - long advocate in the work towards addressing the serious health inequities among Indigenous populations in Canada.

Jarvis Googoo head shot

Jarvis Googoo (Nova Scotia)

Jarvis GooGoo is director of health with Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat.

Raised in We’koqma’q, Unama’ki, Jarvis has been living in Kjipuktuk (Halifax Regional Municipality) for over 18 years after graduating from a Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey school. He holds degrees from Saint Mary’s University (cum laude) and Dalhousie Law School and is a non-practicing member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. Jarvis has worked as in-house counsel for the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and as a senior policy analyst with the Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs. He has extensive engagement experience with First Nations communities and organizations, mainly in health and education, and with the urban Aboriginal community. He has spoken and presented at many educational events and workshops geared towards First Nations youth and led the development of the Donald Marshall Junior Memorial Award at the Dalhousie Schulich School of Law. He also possesses knowledge on Aboriginal law, and Mi’kmaw history, culture, and language, often acting as a cultural language resource and liaison, and he has been recognized as a youth leader by numerous organizations and committees. He was also a 2010 Olympic torchbearer.

To help others live healthy and active lifestyles, Jarvis is a LesMills Group Fitness instructor with GoodLife Fitness, a passion that has led to media articles on his weight-loss success, awards, and recognitions. He was named “Instructor of the Month” numerous times, and in 2013, he received a GoodLife Core Value award. In 2018, he was one of the top six recipients of the Group Fitness Instructor of Excellence awards (throughout the company and the only one from the Atlantic). Jarvis is the first Mi’kmaw to achieve this. He travels nationally and abroad to develop his education and training. 

Jarvis joined the Atlantic Policy Congress in 2013, where he now works as the director of health and continues to do his part in working towards First Nations health. He lives in Kjipuktuk with his wife, Dr. Kerrianne Ryan.

Kimberley Levasseur Puhach

Kimberley Levasseur Puhach (Manitoba)

Levasseur Puhach – Bezhik Binese Ikwe or Lone Thunderbird Woman, is a proud First Nations woman. She is a member of the Sandy Bay Anishinaabe Nation. Her mother and several other family members are Indian residential school survivors. Kimberley is passionate about Indigenous social justice efforts and is committed to making a difference. 

Kimberley is the vice president of People, Culture and Growth at The Canadian Museum for Human Rights. She is a strategic leader with expertise in human resource management, organizational development with specialization in inclusion, diversity and equity. Kimberley has worked in private, public and non-profit sectors and in a variety of industries. Most recently, she worked as associate vice president, People & Culture – West Region for Gallagher, a global insurance provider, risk management and human capital consulting firm. Prior to that, she was with the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology as the director of People Services and Indigenous Inclusion.

Kimberley serves as chair of the Mayor’s Indigenous Advisory Circle, sits on the board of directors for End Homelessness Winnipeg, co-chairs the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council and acts as a member of the United Way of Winnipeg’s Circle of Indigenous Relations. She is past chair of an Indigenous-led community organization, Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. and past chair for the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation.

Lyndon J. Linklater

Lyndon Linklater (Saskatchewan)

Lyndon J Linklater is a traditional knowledge keeper and storyteller. He has an educational background in Indian Social Work, Indian Studies and some law.

He is a citizen of the Thunderchild Cree Nation in Treaty 6 and has roots in Couchiching First Nation (Fort Francis, Ontario) in Treaty 3.

Presently, Lyndon shares work with the Remai Modern Art Museum in Saskatoon as their Indigenous Relations Advisor providing advice to their board and staff and delivering cultural programming and has worked for the Office of the Treaty Commissioner as a Speakers’ Bureau member since he was appointed in 2000. Since that time, he has spoken to well over 75,000 people, delivering awareness and enlightenment on Treaty and First Nation worldview.

Clayton Norris standing in front of a snow covered mountain.

Clayton Norris (Alberta)

Clayton Norris, CAFM, MBA, CPA, CMA, is the vice president of MNP's Indigenous Services. He leads the team across Canada, which currently provides services in consulting, accounting and tax in over 225 Indigenous Nations. Clayton is a member of the Cold Lake First Nations.

Based in Calgary, Clayton works closely with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in an advisory capacity, assisting clients in the areas of business and strategic planning, human resource issues, corporate finance, training and economic development consulting. With his extensive experience working with Indigenous business and communities Clayton understands the unique requirements. He takes great pride in being a close professional advisor to the individuals and organizations that support development within the Aboriginal community.

Clayton played a key role in the development of MNPs EASE cloud accounting services and Aboriginal self-employment and management training programs. As a member of the AFOA Alberta board in 2005, Clayton was awarded the Deputy Minister’s Pride and Recognition award for excellence in leadership. He was a member of the 2008 Governor Generals Leadership Conference. He is a current member of the MNP board, and former treasurer of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and several First Nation economic development boards. 

Diane Roussin

Diane Roussin (Manitoba)

Diane Roussin is a dedicated community leader and a proud member of the Skownan First Nation. Diane has worked tirelessly for over two decades, primarily in Winnipeg’s inner city, with organizations and projects that respect the ability and the right of Indigenous families, children and individuals to care for themselves and thrive. She is a strong believer that families must determine their own solutions in order to create sustainable and equitable change.

Most recently, she became the project director for The Winnipeg Boldness Project, a research and development project focusing on improving outcomes for children in the North End of Winnipeg, through social innovation and social lab processes. Diane presented at TEDx Winnipeg in June 2018 on the topic of Indigenous social innovation. In January 2018, Diane received the Governor General’s Award for Outstanding Indigenous Leadership.

Diane holds bachelor of arts and bachelor of social work degrees, and sits on a number of boards, including the Winnipeg Foundation and Winnipeg Art Gallery. She is a cherished member of a large extended family and a loving mother of two daughters whom she adores.

Kory Wilson

Kory Wilson (British Columbia)

Kory Wilson, BSc. JD, is the executive director of Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships for British Columbia Institute of Technology.

She is Kwakwaka’wakw. Kory is chair of the national Indigenous education committee of Colleges and Institutions Canada and she has over 20 years of experience in post-secondary education, community development, and the legal profession.

She has a deep commitment to education and has dedicated her working life to ensuring that under-represented learners succeed, both within learning institutions and the larger community.  Good governance and supporting communities to move towards self-government is a passion for. Innovative and creative solutions are needed to move Reconciliation into ReconciliACTION.  Education is the key and access to knowledge is vital to move everyone forward.