FMCC Board of Directors
Bill Murdoch, Clear Sky Connections (Manitoba)
Bill Murdoch is the FMCC Chair and provides Business and Information Technology (IT) solutions to government and commercial clients. He is known for innovation, customer satisfaction, and fulfilling commitments to all of his clients. He offers a full range of management and technology services including Program/Project Management, IT Strategic Planning, IT Engineering Management, Technology Architectures, Database Planning & Development, and System Planning and Development.
Tim Whiteduck, First Nations Education Council (Quebec)
Tim Whiteduck is the FMCC Vice-Chair. Tim is the Director of Technology for the First Nations Education Council (FNEC) based in Wendake First Nation, Quebec. FNEC represents and serves 22 First Nations communities in Quebec, The First Nations Education Council. FNEC aims to achieve full jurisdiction over education while “respecting our unique cultural identities and common beliefs, and promoting our languages, values and traditions.” A core element of this vision is to use technology effectively to support the autonomy and democratic development of First Nations communities. Tim and his team have been working with the First Nations, developing strategic partnerships to design and install community broadband infrastructure, deliver online and IT training programs, and support the delivery and engagement of broadband-enabled community services including education, health and many others.
Rob McMahon, University of Alberta (Alberta)
Dr. Rob McMahon is the FMCC Coordinator and Secretary. He is an Associate Professor in the Media & Technology Studies Unit and the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. His work focuses on the appropriation of broadband and internet technologies by First Nations and Inuit communities. Rob’s award-winning research highlights the many innovations taking place at the so-called ‘peripheries’ of the emerging network society. Rob has published several journal articles and book chapters, including collaborations with First Nations and Inuit community researchers. He also has experience in regulatory and policy interventions. Rob has a PhD (Communications) from Simon Fraser University.
- Linkedin: Rob McMahon
- Google Scholar: Rob McMahon
Sally Braun, Western James Bay Telecom Network (Ontario)
Sally Braun is FMCC Treasurer and former General Manager of the Western James Bay Telecom Network . Ms. Braun has consulted on cellular and fibre optic connectivity projects with Mushkegowuk Tribal Council, Omushkego Education, Laurentian University, Northern College, Contact North, the National Research Council, and the Internet Society of Canada. She sits on the Connect Humanity Indigenous Connectivity Institute Advisory Committee. Ms. Braun holds a degree in Law and Justice (Honours) from Laurentian University and an Honours Diploma in Library and Information Technology from Georgian College.
FMCC Board Members
Allan MacKenzie, Atlantic Canada First Nations Help Desk (Nova Scotia)
Allan MacKenzie is the Director of Atlantic Canada’s First Nation Help Desk / Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey based in Membertou First Nation, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Rhea. Dianne Doolan, First Nations Technology Council (British Columbia)
Rhea is a member of the Nisga’a Nation from the village of Gingolx, Ts’msyen from the village of Metlakatla, and has mixed European ancestry (Norwegian, Scottish and British). As Senior Policy Lead at the First Nations Technology Council, her work sits at the intersections of Indigenous sovereignty and the global digital revolution. The central focus of her work is to support the implementation, exercise and recognition of BC First Nations’ inherent Title, Rights and Treaty Rights in a world where digital and connective technologies are transforming economic, social, cultural, legal and political spheres at an unprecedented pace.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and is grateful to have the opportunity to continue to listen and learn in her efforts of supporting the advancement of Indigenous Peoples self-identified goals. An Indigenous feminist, she is dedicated to approaching her work from a strength-based and systems-thinking perspective in the examination of how government policies influence the unique and nuanced experiences of wellbeing within Indigenous communities. In addition to her role at the Technology Council, she proudly serves as an Advisory Council member for the Indigenous Connectivity Institute and as a member of CIRA’s Community Grant Evaluation Panel.
Keewaytinook Okimakanak K-Net Services (Ontario)
Represented by Jesse Fiddler
Jesse Fiddler – Director of K-Net
Keewaytinook Okimakanak & K-Net LP
Jesse Fiddler has been involved with building Community Networks and ICT applications through K-Net for the last 20 years. Originally from Sandy Lake First Nation, Jesse understands the various challenges Indigenous communities face when building their own networks. As a person with a myriad skillset, his experiences range from local development within the community to regional deployment of ICT projects across Northern Ontario in Canada. Jesse believes that community owned networks and use of ICTs in our indigenous communities allows us to build communities and keep our connection to our traditional areas while participating in a global community.
First Nations Technical Services Advisory Group Inc. (Alberta)
Matawa First Nations Management (Ontario)
Represented by David Paul Achneepineskum
David Paul Achneepineskum is the Chief Executive Officer for Matawa First Nations, a Tribal Council group of nine First Nations located within the Treaty Number Nine Territory. David Paul has been working for his First Nations Peoples since 1971 where he started as Councillor then as
the Band Manager for his home community of Marten Falls. Since 1975, David Paul has worked in various management and executive capacities for organizations such as Constance Lake First Nation, Chiefs of Ontario, Rainy River First Nations and Nishnawbe Aski Nation. David Paul has
spent more than 45 years working for his Peoples.
David Paul comes from one of the original families of Marten Falls, the “Achneepineskums”. His father and his grandfather’s gathering and hunting territory are within the Gichi Siipii and Kenogami River basins where he and his siblings were born and raised on the land. His mother was from the Cree Nation who originated from the English River Post known as Mammattawa. David Paul attended residential schools during his primary education and went on to graduate from Geraldton Composite High School in 1970. David Paul can be reached at the Matawa First Nations office where he started in July of 1988 as the Executive Director. David Paul took a 10-year hiatus from Matawa in 1995 to work and gain further experience with other First Nations and Nishnawbe Aski Nation. He has since devoted
working with Matawa as Chief Executive Officer since 2006 and loves devoting many hours working for his Peoples. His dream is that someday his Peoples will be self-sufficient and independent like they were more than a hundred years ago.
Broadband Communications North (Manitoba)
Represented by Jason Neepin
Eeyou Communications Network (Quebec)
Alfred Loon is a founding member and the president of ECN.
FMCC Founding Members & Research Associates
Susan O’Donnell (New Brunswick)
Dr. Susan O’Donnell, the former FMCC Vice-Chair, is currently Adjunct Research Professor in the Environment & Society Program at St. Thomas University and was with the UNB Department of Sociology from 2004 to 2023. Her research focuses on technology adoption (the social, community, economic, cultural and political aspects of technologies) starting with digital technologies and communications (from 1995 to 2019) and now with energy technologies. From 2005 to 2018, she worked with First Nation partners and rural and remote First Nation communities in Canada, as the lead investigator of the First Nations Innovation project and co-investigator on the First Mile project. Susan has conducted research in Canada, Ireland and for the European Commission. Prior to her research career, Susan was a senior editorial consultant in Ottawa specializing in Aboriginal issues, including work with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and Assembly of First Nations. She has a PhD from Dublin City University, an MA from Cardiff University and a BA from the University of Ottawa.
- Personal website: Susan O’Donnell
- St. Thomas University: Susan O’Donnell
Brian Beaton (Sioux Lookout and Fredericton, New Brunswick)
Brian Beaton (1953-R.I.P. 2021) was an FMCC founding member and the former FMCC Treasurer as well as a Doctoral Candidate in the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Education. Brian began developing and working on innovative ICT projects with First Nations in 1983. His work began with developing and delivering IT training projects in Northern Ontario. In 1987 this work expanded to developing and supporting the delivery of distance education programs with remote First Nations. In 1994 he became the Coordinator of KO-KNET with the Keewaytinook Okimakanak (Northern Chiefs) Tribal Council based in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Working with his team and collaborating First Nations, he supported the development of local First Nation broadband infrastructure in many First Nations, regional backbone networks, a First Nations social media service and email service, the Northern Indigenous Community Satellite Network and the innovative Keewaytinook Mobile cellular service. KO-KNET supports the Keewaytinook Internet High School (KiHS) and KO Telemedicine (KOTM). Since 2004, Brian has also been a partner on several national research initiatives, including the First Nations Innovation and First Mile projects. Brian earned a BMath (Mathematics / Computer Science) from the University of Waterloo and an M.Ed. (Critical Studies) from the University of New Brunswick. The NB Media Co-op published Brian’s obituary.
Heather E. Hudson, PhD, JD
Dr. Heather E. Hudson is Professor of Communication Policy at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), University of Alaska Anchorage. She is a dual Canadian and U.S. citizen. Her research focuses on applications of information and communication technologies for socio-economic development, regulatory issues, and policies and strategies to extend affordable access to new technologies and services, particularly in rural and developing regions. She has planned and evaluated communication projects in the Canadian North and Alaska, the Asia-Pacific, and in more than 50 developing countries and emerging economies. She is the author of several books and numerous articles, and has testified on communications policy issues before the CRTC, the FCC, and the U.S. Congress. She has consulted for international organizations, government agencies, and consumer and indigenous organizations and the private sector. She received an Honours BA from the University of British Columbia, MA and PhD in Communication Research from Stanford University, and JD from the University of Texas at Austin.
- LinkedIn: Heather E. Hudson
Kevin Burton (Atlantic Canada)
Kevin Burton was one of the founding members of FMCC and views the organization as a pivotally important and strategic development in the struggle for equitable First Nation connectivity. When Atlantic Canada’s First Nation Help Desk was founded in 2000, all Atlantic First Nation communities except one had only dial-up connectivity. By the time of his retirement in 2020, all Atlantic First Nation schools and health centres had access to fibre optic connectivity, state of the art videoconferencing, and were connected by one of the best First Nation wide area networks in Canada.
Benjamin Klass, PhD Candidate
Benjamin Klass is a PhD student at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication. Benjamin’s research focuses on communications policy, industry, history, and economics, with particular regard for telecommunications and broadcasting in Canada. He has lectured on communications policy, regulation, and legislation at York University, Carleton University, the Universities of Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Manitoba. He has authored or co-authored numerous reports on matters including common carriage regulation of telecommunications services, competition policy and telecommunications mergers, and broadcasting regulation and advertising. Benjamin regularly contributes research and analysis to the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project, and sits on the Internet Society of Canada’s policy committee. He has testified before the CRTC on several occasions, and regularly participates in communications regulatory proceedings. Benjamin holds an Honours BA from the University of Toronto (2006) and a MA from the University of Manitoba.
Fenwick McKelvey, PhD
Fenwick McKelvey is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. He studies algorithmic media — the intensification of software within communication infrastructure. Dr. McKelvey has been a researcher with the VideoCom (now First Nations Innovation) project partnering with First Nations to explore the role of videoconferencing in community development.
- Concordia University: Fenwick McKelvey
- Personal Website: Fenwick McKelvey
Tricia Toso, PhD Candidate
Tricia Toso is a PhD candidate at the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. She researches the role of infrastructure, policy and policy processes in colonialism and decolonization. She has worked on a volunteer basis for Eeyou Communications Network (ECN) and James Bay Cree Communications Society (JBCCS) as a policy researcher since 2018. She became part of the FMCC team in 2021.
Concordia University: Tricia Toso. LinkedIn: Tricia Toso
Denise Williams, First Nations Technology Council (British Columbia)
Denise Williams is the former Executive Director of the First Nations Technology Council in BC. Denise is Coast Salish from Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island. She is an advocate for social justice and has spent her career seeking out opportunities to play a role in the advancement of Indigenous sovereignty and social change. For the past ten years Denise has worked under the mandate of First Nations communities to address specific capacity building efforts in education and technology. She has worked to gain experience at the federal, provincial and local levels and has enjoyed using a genuine approach to collaboration and partnership development to build strong networks across organizations.