Winona Embuldeniya – WAGE/FGCE

Winona Embuldeniya joined the Policy and External Relations Branch July of 2022 as the first Director of Indigenous Partnerships and Reconciliation at Women and Gender Equality, after beginning her career with the federal government in September 2001.

Previously, Winona was Acting Director General for Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation in Nòkwewashk. Not only did she lead the sector’s renaming, but she was also responsible for Indigenous Policy and Engagement files.

Prior to working at NRCan, Winona was Manitoba’s Acting Regional Director General (RDG) for Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) where, among other RDG priorities, she led the regional response to COVID-19 in First Nations communities, including working remotely in First Nation communities with the Canadian Armed Forces who were responding to urgent life needs in remote communities. Prior to that was the Director of Programs and Partnerships at ISC and was responsible for the delivery of education and social programs, including Urban Programming for Indigenous People, CFS, Education, Income Assistance and the First Nation Youth Employment Stategy .

Winona is a member of the Black River First Nation (Treaty 5) and works in Treaty 1 territory. She has a son, Marc, who is pursuing his commercial pilot’s license, which is quite the investment: Winona hopes that the future flight discounts she will get will help offset the costs of travelling in her retirement.