Gary MerastyWinnipeg, Manitoba
Gary Merasty is a proud member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and the chief development officer and executive vice president of the North West Company. He was president and CEO of a First-Nation-owned Group of Companies. He was vice president at Cameco Corporation of Corporate Responsibility, Government Relations & Communications and also chief of staff to the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. In politics, he was grand chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council from 1999 to 2005, and was a Liberal member of Parliament for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, Saskatchewan. He played a key role in facilitating the Government of Canada’s apology to the Residential School survivors by lobbying Parliament with a motion in the House of Commons in 2007. He has held several board positions including as chair of West Wind Aviation, and was on the boards of the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, the Canada West Foundation and the Prince Albert Development Corporation. He is well known for community support and received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the 2005 Saskatchewan Centennial Commemorative Medal. The University of Saskatchewan named him in the Top 100 Alumni of Influence, and he received an honorary diploma in business from Saskatchewan PolyTechnic.