Our team

The FNQLSDI relies on a multidisciplinary team, cumulating many years of experience in the various fields of sustainable development:

Michael Ross, Director

Michael is a member of the Essipit Innu First Nation. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology and a Master’s degree in Renewable Resources Management at McGill University. His Master focused on the impacts of windmills on birds of prey migration. After working three years as a biologist for his community, Michael joined the FNQLSDI to work towards the protection of First Nations rights and the defense of their core issues. Initially hired as project officer, he became the FNQLSDI’s director in 2012. He has since then been involved in projects related to fauna, land-use planning, geomatics and forestry issues, while maintaining a dynamic team environment and efficient management practices.

Alain Bédard, Assistant Director

Alain is a member of the Wendake Huron-Wendat First Nation. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Forest Environment and Management, as well as a Master’s degree in Environmental Biogeoscience at Laval University. A member of the Quebec Order of Forest Engineers, he gathered diverse work experience by joining Environment Canada, Parks Canada, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Fauna, and the Council of the Huron-Wendat Nation. In the course of his career, he has worked on issues related to forest management, environmental assessments, law application, First Nations issues and resource conservation. Alain joined the FNQLSDI as project officer from 2011 to 2016. Since then, he’s been involved in analyzing laws, regulations and policies related to environmental and natural resources issues. Specifically, he developed projects, training sessions and workshops on various topics, such as forests, mining, certification norms, residual materials management, as well as consultation, and strategic and community planning. Now strategic advisor since 2016, Alain assumes an advisory role within the Institute while continuing to work on strategic projects for First Nations.

Sarah Zammit, Coordinator of the Centre of Expertise in Consultation

Born in Marseille (France), Sarah holds a License inGeography and a Master’s degree in Environment. Before joining the FNQLSDI, she worked in environmental management and sustainable development, with both municipalities and industry. Among others, she worked for the Quebec Federation of Forestry Coops, where she assisted the coops with their ISO 14 001 certification processes. She first joined the FNQLSDI in 2013 as project officer to work on forestry and mining related issues. Among others, she has been involved with the uranium mining issue, and taken part in discussion tables between First Nations and the Quebec government, whose focus were consultation and accommodation with respect to forestry. In June 2016, she became the coordinator of the Centre of Expertise in Consultations.

Katherine Tremblay, Waste Management Coordinator

After growing up on the south shore of Quebec, Katherine finished her Bachelor’s degree in Natural and Built Environments at Laval University in 2016. During her studies, she completed a waste management internship, and worked on several projects in land-use development and planning. Katherine joined the FNQLSDI’s team in May 2016 as a waste management project officer in order to develop a regional portrait on the topic. Her frequent visits of the communities allowed the FNQLSDI to have a better regional vision of the challenges related to waste management in First Nations communities, and to develop the necessary expertise to support their efforts in this field. In 2017 and 2018, the waste management projects (and the team) grew substantially, and Katherine became waste management coordinator in April 2018.

 Catherine Lortie, Operations and Communication Manager

Catherine joined the FNQLSDI in July 2016 in support of the administration and to develop various projects related to communication and the use of social media. With her experience in project management and use of technology for multiple purposes, her mission will be to promote the institute among First Nations communities in addition to the coordination of daily operations. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences as well as a Ph.D. in Experimental Medicine.



Jason Fournier, Planning Project Officer

Raised on the North Shore of Quebec, Jason completed a Bachelor’s degree in Social Development and a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences. His expertise encompasses strategic planning as well as project development and management. Jason has realized various projects related to community and aboriginal forestry management as well as stakeholder participation in environmental and territory protection processes. Over the years, he has coordinated the implementation of an economic development plan, and the creation of a cooperative convenience store. He worked as as a project officer with the strategic planning team, and he’s now devoted to develop community engagement tools and good practices.

Laura Morgan, Waste Management Project Officer

Originally from Saguenay, Laura completed her Bachelor in Industrial Engineering with a concentration in supply chain management engineering at Université Laval in 2016. She did internships in logistics and continuous improvement. She did various procedure optimization projects – notably in the fields of food processing, aluminum production and wood transformation. Following graduation, she decided to apply her industrial engineering knowledge to the field of sustainable development for First Nations. Laura joined the FNQLSDI team as energy efficiency counsellor in October 2016. This experience in the heart of native communities allowed her to develop her knowledge and sensitivity about First Nation issues. She has been a project manager for the waste materials team since May 2017 and is currently working on waste management plans and waste characterization.

Marie-Pier Breton, Consultation Project Officer

Marie-Pier holds a master’s degree in spatial planning and regional development, a bachelor’s degree in architecture and an environmental certificate. She joined the FNQLSDI’s Consultation Expertise Center in November 2016. Marie-Pier specialized in northern local governance and in integration of Indigenous culture in planning. Her knowledge gives a complementary and practical vision to her team. As a project officer, her current works relate to energy development projects that affect First Nations territories and for which consultations with various levels of government take place.



Andréanne Ferland, Climate Change Project Officer

Andréanne has completed a Bachelor of Environmental Sciences from McGill University as well as a double Master in International Ecology and Environmental Management from the Université de Sherbrooke. Passionate about the protection of biodiversity and the well-being of human populations, she has various experiences in research, environment and international work. She has worked in Argentina on habitat selection by cougars, as well as in Vietnam, where she acted as an environmental consultant to cooperatives. At the FNQLSDI, Andréanne is currently working on a project examining First Nations housing vulnerability to extreme meteorological events, in collaboration with local partners and research institutes.

Nathalie Hardy, Administrative assistant

Nathalie is a member of the Mashteuiasth Innu First Nation, and has worked for the First Nations for more than 17 years. She worked for the FNQLHSSC first as secretary and then as administrative support clerk in the finance department. Thus, Nathalie had direct contact with people and had the chance to visit communities and to appreciate its cultures. She joined the FNQLSDI to take up new challenges and share her expertise with the rest of the team in December 2016.


Isabel Lemus-Lauzon, Consultation Project Officer

Isabel joined the Centre of expertise in Consultations of the FNQLSDI in September 2017. She holds a Ph.D. in geographic sciences from Laval University and has several years of experience working as a research coordinator on projects related to northern governance and the social impacts of mining for indigenous communities. She also worked on the creation of knowledge mobilization tools, such as an interactive map on the links between mining activities and migratory caribou in northern Quebec. During her years as an academic, she worked on the relationships between indigenous peoples and their territory and the development of collaborative research. Moreover, Isabel collaborated to indigenous youth education programs. Isabel brings an interdisciplinary vision to her team and, as a project officer, works on different issues affecting First Nations, including fisheries and navigation.

Claudel Babineau-Boulé, Environmental Project Officer

After ten years in Montreal, Claudel came back to her hometown, Québec, in order to join the team of the FNQLSDI. After completing in 2011 her degree, double majoring Political Science and International Development at McGill University, she completed in 2014 a Master in Environmental Management at the Université de Sherbrooke in Longueuil. Since then, she has been working as a project officer in environmental site assessment for different firms. She has also been working in many parts of the world on different projects dealing with international cooperation and sustainable development issues. She is now since October 2017, a rehabilitation site project officer for the FNQLSDI.

Karine Labrosse-Lapensée, Climate Change Project Officer

Karine holds a Master’s degree in Environmental management and politics from Sherbrooke University and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Montreal University. Interested in environmental issues she participated in the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that was held in Marrakech. As an observer she was able to follow the negotiation sessions on the issues of energy, clean technology as well as those related to mitigation and adaptation to climate change. With the perspective of enhancing the integration of First Nations priorities and values in climate change policies, Karine joined the FNQLSDI in November 2017 as a climate change project officer.

Isabelle Courchesne, Sustainable Development Project Officer

Isabelle has completed a Bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in marine biology at Laval University in 2014. To push further her understanding of the impacts of climate change on northern marine ecosystems, she began a master’s degree in biology that she finished in 2017. During her master, she worked several times in polar regions, particularly in the Canadian Arctic. Her passion for protecting the environment and sharing knowledge on this subject led her to join the FNQLSDI team in November 2017 as a project manager. Isabelle worked on a portrait of renewable energy projects in First Nations communities and is now devoted to coastal habitats protection in collaboration with indigenous organization and impacted communities.

Lydia-Juliette Picard, Consultation Project Officer

Lydia-Juliette is a member of the Innu Nation. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in international studies and modern languages and a certificate in Political Sciences at Laval University. Her interests range from international relations and humanitarian cooperation to the preservation and the promotion of cultures and languages. Sensitive to First Nations issues, she joined the FNQLSDI in November 2017 to work on the FNQLSDI Sustainable Development Strategy. She now works with the Center of Expertise in Consultations since April 2018.


Anabel Caissy, Waste Management Project Officer

Anabel holds a bachelor’s degree in Natural and Built Environments at Laval University and a technical diploma in bioecologie. With her different experiences, she has gained a diversified background in environment in various ministries and in the sector of university research. Furthermore, she worked on the implementation of a pilot composting project for the MRC des Etchemins. Anabel joined the FNQLSDI’s team in November 2017 as a waste management project officer. She is currently developing awareness tools that are adapted to the contexts and needs of communities and is carrying out educational activities for young people in various First Nations school.


Laury Tétaut Malek, Financial Assistant

Innu from the community of Nutashkuan, Laury joined the FNQLSDI in January 2018 as Financial Assistant. She completed her professional diploma in accounting at CDFM in Wendake, in partnership with CFP Neufchâtel, in December 2017. She also has administrative support experience working in her community and in various Indigenous organizations during her student jobs. Strongly attached to the nation she belongs to, working for an Indigenous organization in the sustainable development field is one of her greatest professional achievements.

Laurence Maher, Lawyer

Member of the Maliseet Viger First Nation and having growing up in Quebec city, Laurence is a member of the Barreau du Québec since 2018. In addition to her law studies at Université Laval, Me Maher completed an English certificate from McGill University. Laurence joined the FNQLSDI’s team in April 2018 as a junior lawyer in order to expend the Centre of Expertise on Impact and Benefits Agreements team. She collaborates with different members of the FNQLSDI in purpose to conclude agreements who will have positives social economics impacts for communities.

Patrice Bellefleur, Forestry Project Officer

Innu from Pessamit First Nation, Patrice Bellefleur holds an Integrated Bachelor degree in natural and built environments from Laval University. His academic path allowed him to gain some expertise in environmental management, planning and land and resources management from a multidisciplinary standpoint. He accumulated work experiences in various organisations engaging with First Nations during his student internships such as Tribal Councils, Band Councils and the federal government. Furthermore, he finishes a masters in Forest Sciences at Laval University during which he worked on a land planning approach that would be culturally adapted to Pessamit First Nation needs and interests in the context of forest management and planning. He joined the Centre of Expertise on Impact and Benefits Agreements team in April 2018, in the forestry sector.

Pascale Ayotte, Consultation Project Officer

Pascale holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences from Montreal University and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, with a specialization in ecology, from Quebec University in Montreal. Passionate about animal ecology, she continued her studies by completing a Master’s degree in research at Laval University. As part of her master project, she studied the impact of population density and environmental factors on the body condition and reproduction of white-tailed deer on Anticosti Island. Pascale joined the FNQLSDI in 2018 as a consultation project officer. She is currently working on maritime issues which may affect First Nations, as well as issues related to wildlife management and conservation.

Natalie Fontaine O’Connell – Waste Management Project Officer

Originally from Ontario and raised in Montreal, Natalie joined the FNQLSDI in May 2018. Her academic career led her from the study of music to international development with Latin American First Nations communities, ending in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering specialized in infrastructure from Concordia University. She remained involved in social change during her graduate studies, assuming the role of Vice President of Global Engineering with the Concordia chapter of Engineers Without Borders and she participated in a research internship in fiberglass-reinforced concrete at the Technical University of Rhine Westphalia, in Germany. She has worked on the rehabilitation of steel and concrete structures for a few years, notably on certain support structures for the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Scaffolded by this multidisciplinary experience, she now fulfills the mandate of acting as technical support for First Nations communities in waste management. In particular, she conducts feasibility studies, prepares plans and specifications, and works on planning the implementation and construction of ecocentres.

Dany Levesque – Waste Management Project Officer

Raised in Quebec City, Dany obtained a diploma in media art and technology from the Cegep of Jonquiere. After a few years working in northern Canada, he went back to school and completed, in 2015, a Bachelor in Physical and Environmental Geography where he completed a waste management intership. In 2017, he finished a master’s degree in Land management and regional development from Laval University. His master’s project was about groundwater knowledge transfer for water stakeholders in the Chaudière-Appalaches region. He organized and hosted interactive training workshops for better land management and aquifer protection. Dany joined the FNQLSDI’s team in May 2018 as a waste management project officer in order to develop training and awarness tools to sustain first nation’s communities in their waste management efforts.

Chloé Leduc – Waste Management Project Officer

Chloé holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography with a specialization in territorial planning and sustainable development from Rimouski University and is currently pursuing a minor in Native Studies from Montreal University. Since January 2018, she manifests her interest for the First Nations and environmental issues and her experience in communication by collaborating with the residual materials management team of the FNQLSDI as a consultant. Chloé joined the team in June as a project manager and develops awareness tools for the various projects underway. She is also working on an eco-patrol training project for communities.

Maïté Blancquaert – Consultation Project Officer

Maïté holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Montreal University. She also completed a master in Environmental Sciences, which led her to take part in a field lesson in Baie-James and Nunavut on environmental issues specific to northern indigenous populations. Also as part of her masters’ studies, Maïté worked as a project manager in urban agriculture and politics analyst for the protection of endangered species. She joined the Consultation team of the FNQLSDI as a project officer in June 2018.


Catherine Bergeron – Waste Management Project Officer

Catherine holds a bachelor degree in Geography and a master’s degree in spatial planning and regional development, both from Laval University. In the context of her masters, she studied lichens as bioindicators of air quality in the Quebec region. Then, she got involved in projects of natural and landscape heritage enhancement, and greening of collective spaces in urban areas. She joined the FNQLSDI in 2018 as a project officer in waste management. Her mandate is to accompany First Nations communities in their composting implementation projects.




Joëlle Guérin, Geologist

Consultations and accommodations’ team




Catherine Beland, Planning Coordinator

Planning team



Olivier Courtemanche, Lawyer

Impact and Benefits Agreements (IBA)’s team



Marie-Christine Roussel-Gray

Waste Management’s team


Éloïse Ouellet-Décoste, Lawyer

Impact and Benefits Agreements (IBA)’s team



Please feel free to contact our team members by calling 418 843-9999 or by sending an email to info@iddpnql.ca.

You want to join our team? Information on available positions is available here.