CCAB is proud to honour and recognize the 2021 Indigenous Woman in Leadership recipient
Chief Tammy Cook-Searson
A member of Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB), Tammy Cook-Searson was raised on the family trapline near Brabant Lake, Northern Saskatchewan. A fluent Cree speaker, Cook-Searson is exceptionally proud of her First Nations heritage, and is a strong advocate of culture and language, maintaining strong ties to the land. Elected LLRIB Councillor at the age of 25, she served three terms before she was elected as the band’s first female Chief in 2005. Cook-Searson is currently serving her sixth consecutive term. As Chief of LLRIB, Cook-Searson is President of Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership, which manages the bands economic development activities. The Kitsaki portfolio is diverse, with investments in insurance, engineering, mining, utility project management, environment, hospitality, transportation, and more. Kitsaki is committed to long-term, sustainable business, and continues to develop opportunities that meet the appropriate profitability, risk and employment criteria.
In recognition of her leadership to develop solutions for social challenges, advocacy for Indigenous issues, and community service, Cook-Searson has been recognized with many awards, including: Canadian Armed Forces Special Service Medal (2020); honorary Diploma of Business Administration from the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (2019); Louisa Sanderson Memorial Award, La Ronge Native Women’s Council (2019); Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Award for Community Leader of the Year (2017); honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Regina (2016); Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012); Saskatchewan Centennial Medal (2006); and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).
Cook-Searson serves as Board Director with multiple organizations, including: the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority Board, the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, and the Assembly of First Nations. Her role as LLRIB Chief also means she is an active member of the Prince Albert Grand Council and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. As a Canadian Ranger with the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, she assists with search and rescue operations in the region.
Driven by a collective vision of community, Cook-Searson recently played an instrumental role working with others to lobby for the funding to build a Wellness, Treatment and Recovery Centre in La Ronge. This Centre will provide northerners with timely access to mental health and addictions support services, blending therapeutic treatment with traditional Woodland Cree teachings. This $16.1 million project is currently under construction in La Ronge, with completion slated for October 2021.
Cook-Searson is involved in many cultural events and fundraising activities. She leads a healthy lifestyle and is an active member of her community. Cook-Searson enjoys spending time with family and friends in the bush and on the lake. She loves berry picking, photography, running, and learning new skills..