Aboriginal Women's Professional Association

A born descended of the Plains Cree of Treaty 6, member of Montana First Nation Vickie has attained her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta in 2010.  Vickie has worked in her community of Maskwacis and in Edmonton in the Human Resource, Employment and Training, Administration and Business Development for the past 10 years.  She served on the Maskwacis Employment Centre Board for 3 years providing direction to lead the Aboriginal workforce to opportunity.  A passion for assisting others and connecting she has been providing leadership to the Aboriginal Women’s Professional Association of Edmonton since 2014 and elected as President in 2016.  Currently working as Executive Director of Akamihk Management for Montana First Nation business entities including: Green Arrow Corp. Akamihk and Akamihk Community Development Society.  Green Arrow Corp. Akamihk is a member of First Nation Power Authority, Solar Energy Society of Alberta and has a seat on the Alberta Electricity Working Group working towards renewable energy initiatives. In addition to working with many Indigenous communities in Alberta on green projects.

Please allow me to introduce myself my name is Shayna Mah. II was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. I am a registered member of Heiltsulk Nation/Bella Bella. I am a student at the University of Alberta, and my goal is to eventually enter law and to become a lawyer. I am looking to gain and increase my administrative skills and use my talents where I can. I love to organize and spend time with my friends, family and dog Atticus. As the youth Board member I feel there is much to learn and am grateful for this opportunity to volunteer, to give back to the urban community. I am looking forward to learning new skills and being able to be mentored by my fellow Board members. 





Meet the dIRECTORS





​​Meagan Schroder comes from the Treaty 8 territory.  Coupled with a desire to help others, while also to learn about her heritage, Meagan joined the Aboriginal Women’s Professional Association (AWPA) in February 2016.  As an accountant who owns her own firm, it was only natural that she eventually volunteer for the role of Treasurer with AWPA.  Meagan has volunteered her time with various organizations and activities throughout the community, but feels AWPA is most aligned with her personal goal of helping other Indigenous women realize their potential, whatever that may be, and help them grow to achieve their own goals.  “We all have the ability to be great, and if I can help, than why not?”



Darlene Johnson is from the Samson Cree Nation in Treaty 6 territory. She is committed to building a stronger world for Indigenous women and children. Her educational background and experience in business and economics includes speaking the language of our ancestors as well as a facilitator for Human Rights / Violations. Her education and knowledge of Indigenous values and teachings have helped her to become a community mobilizer, an educator and a social innovator. She has a deep understanding of the legacy of our Canadian history (residential schools) on Indigenous communities and its continued impacts on our women as well as our children, yet today. The challenges we still face as Indigenous Peoples is unacceptable. The continued destruction of our lands and waters is a grave concern. Because of these challenges, social injustice and human rights violations are continually at play and every one of us needs to educate and position ourselves for the next 7 generations. 

Tanya Dequaine is from the Treaty 8 traditional territory of Bigstone Cree Nation. She grew up the majority of her life in Good Fish Lake and in Cylde, Alberta. Tanya’s passion is the arts. She attended the Cosmopolitan Makeup Artistry College and is looking at furthering her education in the human textiles. Tanya is planning to enrolling into the Transition Year Program at the University of Alberta. She is a professional makeup artist and she would like to use this gift to empower other women. Some of her experience include planning events such as being involved in the entertainment industry. Tanya is a designer she makes customized ribbon skirts. She is an advocate for First Nations peoples, women and children. As a volunteer, she sees the importance of giving back to the community. She is a member of the Canadian Art Council, an Ambassador for the Alberta Ballet and is an helper at traditional ceremonies. 

The AWPA board help shape the Aboriginal community of Treaty 6 by ensuring relationships with Aboriginal women are embraced, relationships are established and opportunities to build capacity are readily made available to the women.The AWPA Board believes by investing and empowering in the lives of Aboriginal women begins at the infant, child, adolescent, adult and elder stages of life. It is about making strong connection with current and future generations of Aboriginal women who make the City of Edmonton there home.

Delilah Mah is Saulteaux decent from Keeseekoose First Nation - Treaty 4 Territory. She graduated from the University of Alberta, with a Bachelor Degree in Education. Delilah is owner and founder of a  a few businesses -consulting, art and photography. Delilah acknowledges the women in her family who gave her life - the teachers, the healers, the achievers.  She believes as a First Nations women it is now her turn to be givers of life to give back, to lead, to share, to support, to teach, to commit, to give hope,  to inspire. It is our role as women to continue to breathe life into others by sharing our gifts, our teachings, our resiliency with others who need it at that very moment. With the vision to make a difference, the passion of empowering women by building relationships Delilah is appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of building a strong foundation for all Indigenous women who call Treaty 6 territory their home. 


Youth Director


Vice President

April Eve Wiberg is an advocate, survivor and founding member of the Stolen Sisters & Brothers Awareness Movement (SSBAM), a 100% grassroots movement raising awareness on the national epidemic of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Men and Boys (MMIWGMB). Formerly named the Stolen Sisters Awareness Movement, the Stolen Sisters Awareness Walks were created in May 2007 to support families and survivors and to raise international awareness to the disproportionate number of missing and murdered Métis, Inuit, Non Status and First Nations Women and Girls in Canada. Ms. Wiberg is an Edmontonian and member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation whose traditional territory covers a large portion of Northeastern Alberta - Treaty 8. She is a proud working mom and currently and serves as a volunteer board member for the AWPA whose vision is to support and promote Indigenous women. To read  full bio click here


Melissa Desjarlais was born in Sidney, British Columbia; her mother originally from The Tsawout First Nation, and her Father from Saskatchewan. Melissa’s parents migrated and married in Alberta. Melissa Achieved her Business Administration Diploma at Mount Royal College in 2000. She went on to work for Calgary Co-operative Association Limited as a Front-End Cashier / Supervisor from 2000 – 2007. Melissa unfortunately suffered a stroke in 2007, returned to Mount Royal University, achieving a Bachelors of Arts & Science, enrolled in The Aboriginal Education Program.  Melissa later moved to Edmonton, AB in July of 2008 in order to continue her studies at Grant MacEwan University and pursue her new found talent as an actress. Melissa joined Aboriginal Woman’s Professional Association as a member back in 2012. Melissa is also currently the Vice president of Brightveiw Elementary Parent Council Advisory Board, where her son attends, as of February 2018. To read full bio click here.

MEET THE executive