Mandy Gull-Masty was elected in 2021
Mandy Gull-Masty is a member of the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi; the second woman elected Deputy Grand Chief, the first woman to be elected Grand Chief in the Cree Nation.
First elected to public office in 2014, she served as Deputy Chief of her home community, the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi. She held the Finance, Administration, Housing and Mining negotiation portfolios. She had a seat on the Executive Committee and led files that included mandates in implementing financial management and strategic planning for the community. As negotiator holding the mining portfolio, she ensured a solid relationship with and understanding of the mining industry and the companies operating in the Cree territory. Taking on a mandate to develop the economic role of mining for her community, she was vital in engaging partnerships and developing Waswanipi as a critical player in the mining industry. Her successes included creating successful community-owned joint ventures in Camp and Janitorial services, Drilling and Exploration, and a construction company. In addition, she was instrumental in establishing Waswanipi as a key player within its traditional territory and ensuring that mining explorations align with community concerns and environmental protection.
Mandy has also represented the community to protect the last intact forest in the Cree territory. It included developing partnerships with various non-governmental organizations and presenting the community’s positions at multiple venues that showcased the importance of protected areas for the Cree community. She had the unique opportunity to present the community’s position at the Sustainable Fashion summit in New York City and the Skoll Foundation at Oxford University in England.
She has also served as a representative of her community on the Cree Nation Government’s Council.
Mandy successfully pursued an educational path that included Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Sciences and another in Public Affairs and Policy Study from Concordia’s School of Community and Public Affairs. In addition, she has over 12 years of experience in administration and management, working for various Cree entities and organizations at both the local and regional levels.
She also ventured out as an entrepreneur and for a number of years operated the first female Cree-owned management consulting firm — Kapatakun Consulting — which provided support and services to clients throughout Eeyou Istchee.
Mandy has always been an active community member. From an early age, she has taken on responsibilities on numerous boards and councils, such as Vice-President of her Student Council, President of the Cree School Board’s Montreal Student Association, Board member of Awash Daycare, Waswanipi local President of the Cree Women of Eeyou Istchee Association, and Board member and Corporate Secretary of Mishtuk Corporation.
In July 2017, Mandy Gull-Masty was elected to a four-year term as Deputy Grand Chief and Vice-Chairperson of the Cree Nation Government. She was pleased to serve Eeyou Istchee in mandates that included Chairmanship of the Eeyou Land Use Planning Commission, Justice Committee Member, and leading the Cree-Quebec Table on Environment and Protected Areas. She is also a member of the Cree Nation Government Executive Committee, a Board member of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government, and Honorary Member of the Cree Women of Eeyou Istchee Association.
On July 29, 2021, the Cree Nation elected Mandy Gull-Masty to a four-year term as the Grand Chief and Chairperson of the Cree Nation Government. Mandy believes four pillars are vital to unlocking a healthy future for Eeyou Istchee:
- A Cree Based Model for Governance and Financial Planning requiring sound and genuine evaluation and planning to bring forward strengthened transparency, accountability and the key to unlocking many of the answers to the issues we face in Eeyou Istchee;
- Investment in the Cree language and Cultural Preservation. She strongly believes this starts with collecting Elders’ knowledge and gathering this information for future use.
- Protection of Eeyou Istchee and the Cree Way of Life. She believes the land is our source of Cree resilience and the basis of our tradition and language.
- A Cree mixed economy is the backbone of the Eeyou economy. She believes there is a strong need to focus greater efforts on creating self-sustaining opportunities for a rapidly growing Nation.