PANELISTS

Paul Karchut - Panel Moderator

Paul Karchut is the host of Daybreak Alberta, the province’s weekend morning show on CBC Radio One. 

A self-confessed radio nerd — Paul Karchut grew up on Vancouver Island, where CBC Radio was a mainstay in his family home. 

Before taking over the reins on Daybreak Alberta, Paul was the director of the Calgary Eyeopener, having spent time as the associate producer and technician on the show. He brought his love of skiing and the outdoors to the airwaves with his weekly Real Ski Report and summer Outdoor Reports.

During his time at CBC Calgary, Paul has worked on many side projects including his role as CBC Radio's national car columnist with his weekly feature Karchut on Cars, six years of teaching broadcasting students at Mount Royal University, a stint with CBC Calgary's Filipino Bureau, and producing the Calgary Eyeopener's award-winning and groundbreaking "walking show" broadcasts. Paul’s first position was as a sound engineering assistant with CBC Vancouver, and he also spent time interning at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the CBC Victoria bureau.

Paul completed the radio broadcasting program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

When not at work, you'll still find Paul in the mountains, enjoying nature and time with his family.

Paul_Karchut_Headshot_edited.jpg
Firth Sisters_edited.jpg

Sharon Anne Firth

Sharon Anne and Shirley Anne Firth applied the lessons they learned while living a traditional Gwich’in way of life with their family to achieve monumental success with the National Cross Country Ski Team. They competed in four World Ski Championships, four Olympic Winter Games (1972, 1976, 1980, and 1984) and were members of the National Cross Country Ski Team for an unprecedented seventeen consecutive years.

 

The Firth sisters together accumulated 79 medals at the national championships, including 48 national titles. Their athletic accomplishments remain unprecedented in their sport, and nobody in Canada has come close to accumulating these numbers. They were inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 1990, the Northwest Territories Sport Hall of Fame in 2012, and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

Kendra Jessie Rosychuk

Kendra Jessie is a Cree and Ukrainian woman from Sucker Creek First Nation in traditional Treaty 8 Territory in northern Alberta. Kendra has a Bachelor of Sport Management Honors degree from Brock University and she is a fancy shawl dancer, certified fitness trainer, and wellness advocate. Kendra played ice hockey growing up for 15-years and also competed at the university level. Her passion for health, wellness and movement is driven by her experiences as an athlete. Through her work she has goals to inspire the future generations, and reclaim space for Indigenous People and their voices within the wellness and sport industries.

Kendra Jessie_edited_edited.png
James Lavallee - with photo credit - scene 1_edited.jpg

James Lavallée

When canoe-kayak sprint athlete James Lavallée won three medals at the Canada Summer Games, he proudly wore his Métis sash on the podium. In 2016, he was named to Canada’s national canoe-kayak sprint team. In 2017, James Lavallée received the Tom Longboat Award, which was established in 1951 to recognize Indigenous athletes for their outstanding contributions to sport in Canada. It remains the longest standing and one of the most prestigious awards for Indigenous athletes in the country. Lavallée was also a member of the 2019 Canadian delegation to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, where participants from around the world discussed how to generate, transmit and protect traditional knowledge.

Shannon Dunfield

Shannon Dunfeild_edited_edited.png

Shannon is the President of Indigenous Sport Council Alberta, an Aboriginal Sport Circle member organization. Shannon represents the Aboriginal Sport Circle membership on the following Federal Provincial/Territorial working groups: Canada Sport Policy Working Group, Domestic Franchise Holders Working Group, and the Standing Working Group for Indigenous Sport Development.

In October 2020, she was elected President of the North American Indigenous Games Council (NAIG) by NAIG’s international membership. As a community-focused volunteer, Shannon holds a number of positions. She is Vice President for Métis Local 1990 and Co-Chair for the Grande Prairie Aboriginal Circle of Services. In July 2021, Shannon was named to the University of Alberta Senate. Shannon has a Master of Arts in Leadership. She has worked in both education and health and is currently the Manager for Indigenous Health and Diversity for Alberta Health Services’ North Zone.

 

While her home community is Kelly Lake, British Columbia, Shannon lives in Grande Prairie, Alberta, with her wonderful husband. They are the proud parents of two amazing young adults.

Scott McLeod_edited.png

Scott McLeod

Scott McLeod is a proud member of the Songhees Nation, located on the Southern Tip of Vancouver Island. Scott has built a career working in Indigenous Relations and community & business development.  For the past 15 years Scott has worked with communities in Canada and south America. Scott has had the privilege to work on all sides of the table including Government, industry, Indigenous administrations and internationally. Scott’s passion continues to provide valuable contributions towards economic reconciliation, capacity development and increased sustainability in community.

Janice Smith

Janice Smith has worked in the sport museum field in Canada for 38 years and is currently the Vice-President & COO of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.   In collaboration with Senior Management, she had developed a ten year Indigenous Relations plan for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and was instrumental in the creation of the Indigenous Sport Heroes Education Experience indigenousheroes.ca online digital book.  She is passionate about the importance of the role sport plays on the road to Reconciliation.

Janice Smith_edited_edited_edited.png