Board of Directors

Richard Kistabish, President
Elizebeth Palfrey, Secretary/Treasurer
Dr. Marlyn Cook
Cindy Swanson

Please scroll down to read all Board biographies:

Richard Kistabish, Chairperson

Mr. Kistabish is an Algonquin from the Abitibiwinni First Nation, Quebec, who speaks English, French and Algonquin fluently. He is the former president of Social Services Minokin and has been involved in the field of health and social services at the regional and provincial levels for many years. He served as administrator and manager of the health committee, at Kitcisakik First Nation. He was Chief of Abitibiwinni First Nation, and Grand Chief of the Algonquin Council of Quebec for two terms. His publications include Mental Health and Aboriginal People of Quebec, the Green Book Position Paper of the Algonquin Nation on Environmental Issues, and the National Inquiry into First Nation Child Care. He is the Vice-Chair of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and the President of Legacy of Hope Foundation. Mr. Kistabish has served on the Board of Directors of the Legacy of Hope Foundation since 2002.

Elizebeth Palfrey, Secretary/Treasurer

Ms. Palfrey is a Métis grandmother born in BC and currently residing in Manitoba. For three decades she lived and worked in Nunavut. With a long history of community development initiatives in both the public and private sector, she has had extensive experience as a Managing Partner and board member of several privately owned businesses. Ms. Palfrey served as Chair of the Keewatin Regional Health Board for eight years, working diligently with other board members to foster increased health accessibility for residents of their communities. She was a member of theNWT Health Care Association and a board member of the Churchill Hospital Board and the Winnipeg Regional Health Board. She has contributed to many other local and regional community groups and boards as a volunteer. She served as Director of the Business Loan Fund and as a member of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Business and Economic Issues. She was President of the Tourism Industry Association for several years and was an active participant in fostering increased business development and employment opportunities as a board member with the regional Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Palfrey continues as a community service volunteer with a special interest and focus on Aboriginal youth initiatives.

Ms. Palfrey has served on the Board of Directors of the Legacy of Hope Foundation since 2002.

Dr Marlyn Cook

Dr. Cook is a member of the Grand Rapids First Nation in Manitoba. A graduate of the University of Manitoba (M.D.), she currently practices Family Medicine in her home community of Grand Rapids as well as in Sagkeeng First Nation. She left the James Bay area where she was Chief of Staff and Director of the Traditional Healing Program in 2012. She has also worked in Pikangikum in the Sioux Lookout zone, and in Akwesasne in the past. Among her previous positions are Co-Chair, First Nations Task Force on Child and Family Services (in Winnipeg, MB), Consultant to the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (Winnipeg, MB), Province of Manitoba Medical Examiner, University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine’s Traditional Teachings Program – Debriefing Tutorials, and Assistant Director, Clinical Operations, at the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada (Winnipeg, MB). Marlyn Cook has sat on numerous Committees and Boards including the Swampy Cree AIDS Steering Committee, the Manitoba Chapter of the College of Family Physicians of Canada Board, the Mino-Ayaawin Advisory Committee of the Native Women’s Transition Centre, the Thompson General Hospital Perinatal Mortality Committee, and the Balancing Choices and Opportunities in Sciences and Technology for Aboriginal People National Steering Committee. She was also the Chair of the Facility Planning Committee and a Board Member at the Sioux Lookout Mino-Ya-Win Health Centre. Dr. Cook was a Member of the Ontario College of Family Physicians, co-chairs the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch Drug Therapeutic Advisory Committee, and sits on the advisory Council of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

Dr. Cook has served on the Board of Directors of the Legacy of Hope Foundation since 2005 and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation since 2003.

Cindy Swanson

Cindy Swanson is a Cree Métis woman from Edmonton, Alberta, who is currently a PhD student in the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development in the Faculty of Elementary Education at the University of Alberta. Her doctoral studies will focus on the experiences of Indigenous children and their families as they first enter into school spaces. She will narratively inquire into how their familial curriculum-making world is shaped within, by, and in-between, their experiences in the school curriculum-making world. Prior to entering the PhD program she taught elementary children for twelve years with the Edmonton Public School Board. She has also served on the Board of Directors with the Aboriginal Healing Foundation since 1998.