Board of Directors & Executive Director

Victoria Sedgwick - President


Victoria Sedgwick, President of VJS Coaching & Consulting provides clients with an effective combination of Indigenous community and corporate expertise.

Victoria has over 36 years of experience specializing in Indigenous engagement, supporting inclusive work environments and community and individual capacity development.  Victoria is a recipient of the Senator Thelma Chalifoux award for supporting Aboriginal Education, to recognize the many years of work she has done to support our youth in furthering their education.

Victoria has a very personal connection to the Indigenous community and is a very proud mother of two and grandmother of four precious grandbabies.

It’s hard to see where Victoria’s work and personal life start and end as she keeps busy connecting with the community, offering her experience and guidance as a current member of the Canadian Foundation of Aboriginal Relations (CFAR); the Aboriginal Opportunities Committee of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce; member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee supporting Careers: The Next Generation and a long term Senior Associate with the Indian Events Committee - Calgary Stampede.  Victoria is currently the President of the Board and Chair of the Personnel Committee for Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society – Emergency Women’s Shelter.



Teri Matula - Treasurer

Teri Matula

Teri Matula has been a Board member since 2007 and brings over 20 years of project management and business consulting experience to Awo Taan in her roles as Treasurer and Chair of the Governance Committee. Her connection to aboriginal community is through her Metis roots, as a descendant from the Papaschase Band near Edmonton. She has grown up seeing and experiencing many of the issues that face the Indigenous community, and is committed to lending her time and skills to help those dealing with Indigenious women's rights and issues.


Colleen Waskewitch Runner – Vice-president


As a Tsuut’ina Nation member, Colleen Waskewitch Runner brings a wealth of valuable experience and leadership to her role as Vice President of the Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society board of directors.

Colleen is a Guest Services Manager at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino since May 2014 up to present. Her many executive roles on the Tsuut’ina Nation include leading the negotiations for the newly formed Tsuut’ina Police Force’s Tripartite Agreement. She plays a key role in the communication, promotion and representation of the Tsuut’ina People’s Culture and Traditions, while educating others on the Treaty 7 First Nation People.

Colleen was a finalist for the Mayor’s White Hat Award in 2018. She is also the recipient of the 2020 Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award. She also is Chair of the Wisdom Keepers Standing Committee.


 Executive Director


Anett  Chicomny Pon - Secretary


Po kaa tsi ki na ki (Little Messy Haired Woman) Anett joined the Board in 2013 and was Secretary since 2015. She holds Bachelor degrees in Arts abd Education and a Master's in Education. Her majors are in Sociology and Psychology, with a concentration in Criminal Behaviour and Justice. Anett has taught mathematics for more than 18 years at Siksika and Stoney Nakoda Nations and has forged relationships with many community members; many whom she calls family. Other professional experience includes being self-employed and as budget finance officer. She gives generously to the Treaty 7 community; has sewn for the Calgary Red Ribbon Skirt Campaigns, walked with Sisters in Spirit, and currently chairs both Awo Taan's Fund Development and Community Government and Public Relations standing committees.




Robert Vander Wees - Board of Drector

Robert (Rob) joined the Board in 2021. He is currently on the following committees: Building and Fund Development. 

Rob hails from Thunder Bay, Ontario. As a young child, Rob came to understand much about the Indigenious world when his parents fostered two sisters for a number of years from the nearby Fort William First Nation. That experience led him to want to learn more and do more with Indigenious people.

Earlier in his career, Rob worked with a Cree Tribal Council in Northern Manitoba helping area entrepreneurs start businesses and apply for the necessary funding to aid in economic development in their respective communities. He also developed an entrepreneurship course for Indigenious students at Lakehead University.

Rob's 30+ year career includes across Canada with specialties in finance and real estate. He joined Awo Taan board in 2020 because of the foundation in everything that Awo Taan does around The Seven Sacred Teachings as a way of healing and moving forward.

Rob is a business graduate of the University of Western Ontario and has lived in Calgary with his wife and three sons since 2016.


 Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society is A Women's Emergency Shelter in Calgary, Alberta