Your BBC Team

Big Bear Creek Trustees

The Big Bear Creek Trust Agreement specifies that the Trust will be managed by 5 Trustees. The Trust is comprised of four Member Trustees, two that reside on the First Nation and two that are resident in Ontario but not on the First Nation. A Trustee Appointment Committee was formed to assist in the selection and screening of potential Member Trustees. As well the Trust must have a Corporate Trustee at all times.  The Corporate Trustee is a qualified trust company that is licenced to conduct business in Ontario. The Member Trustees were appointed to four year terms by Council Resolution and the Corporate Trustee was appointed initially to a two year term by Council Resolution.  The role of the Trustees is to hold the Trust Property in trust for the benefit of Chippewas of the Thames as beneficiary, according to the terms of the Trust Agreement.

It a pleasure that I introduce myself Ramona Sault, as the Chair for Big Bear Creek Trust.  I grew up in Sagamok Anishnawbek, I am a member of Chippewa of the Thames and my family is from New Credit.  I have four beautiful children and new grandson of which I’m very proud!  My entire career has been working with various organizations that support First Nation families and children.  Currently I work with Thunderbird Trust as General Manager which has provided me with a great deal of experience for my role.  As I become more familiar with Big Bear Creek Trust agreement, I will work diligently to ensure that I foster the vision of the beneficiaries and future members.  I am excited to meet everyone and learn of your needs and how we can improve on meeting them for both on and off reserve members.

Hello, my name is Barb Dejonckheere and some of you might remember me as Barb Kechego.

I have called COTTFN “my community” for 43+ years.  I have two children that keep me active and forever learning.

My educational background consists of full-time studies straight out of high school and part time studies throughout time since then. Currently,  I am continuing with my studies in Human Resources at McMaster University via their Continuing Education program.   I have been fortunate enough to achieve the following during my educational pursuits:

  • Comm from Laurentian University (part-time Continuing Education studies) (2007)
  • CPA/CGA (Certified Professional Accountant) Designation (2000)
  • Business – Accounting Diploma, Fanshawe College (1987)

My full-time work experience includes 30+ years spent in the Automotive Manufacturing, Plumbing Distribution and Property Management industries.  All positions focused on Accounting/Finance/Payroll roles and responsibilities and they started out right after college in entry level positions and I progressed to Management level positions.

I am honoured and very proud to have been chosen to be a BBC Member Trustee and I am very excited about our work over the next four years and I have quickly realized that we have “big shoes” to fill given the work of the previous BBC Member Trustees and I hope that we are able to make as many valuable contributions to the BBC Trust as they did.

Chi Miigwech to everyone who made this opportunity possible for me!

Steve Partridge - Corporate TrusteeSteven B. Partridge, BBA, STI, TEP

Director, Trust Services Eastern Canada

Steve brings over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Steve has been supporting First Nations for 14 years, working closely with numerous communities across the country. He has experience using best practices to achieve successful outcomes for beneficiaries and communities.

Steve joined BMO Private Banking in 2003, taking on the responsibility for the management and administration of Personal Trust Services in Southwestern Ontario, including Aboriginal Trust services across the province. Steve has recently taken on the exclusive role of Aboriginal Trust administration in the eastern half of Canada.

He graduated from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in 1991 with an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He also completed the Canadian Securities course in 1999 with Honours and received the Specialist Trust Institute Diploma.

Trust Admin ManagerBoozhoo!

Tehkep Kwe n’dizhnikaaz, Courtney Riley zhaagoonaashiinh nooswin, nimkii binishiinh n’dodem, Deskaan Ziibiing n’doonjabah. My spirit name is Spring Water woman, my English name is Courtney Riley, I represent the Thunderbird clan and I come from Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.

I was hired as the Trust Administration Manager in July 2013. I bring many years of experience in the finance industry to this position. I hold a Business Administration Accounting diploma which I obtained from Fanshawe College in 2006. I worked in a small accounting office for three years where I was responsible for the bookkeeping and year end returns for 25 companies and I prepared over 400 income tax returns annually. In 2009, I was hired by Canada Revenue Agency and spent the majority of my time there as an Auditor and gained very valuable experience. I am thrilled to be in my current position and to have the opportunity to bring back all the knowledge I have acquired into my home community

My name is Michelle French and I am a member of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. I am married with 2 children and my husband is also a member of this community. I am originally from Tyendinaga, near Belleville, Ontario but moved to this area 25 years ago—I have been in this Community ever since. I am very happy in the professional working environment of Big Bear Creek Trust and I really appreciate being involved in a community I have grown to love. I have worked in the banking industry in Maryland and Michigan until moving back to Canada in 2004, where I continued my focus on banking with TD, and then with BMO for the past 10 years.  I have a diploma from Fanshawe College in Office Administration with a concentration on Finance, as well as a degree in Anthropology from UWO. I have been in the Finance/Banking field since 2003, and currently hold a Trustee role with Thunderbird Trust, which I believe has helped me effectively fulfill my duties with the Big Bear Creek Trust.  Apart from that, I also own a small business which keeps me active in the community and surrounding area.  It has been a pleasure serving Chippewa and I look forward to continuing this journey with you.

BMO Private Investment Counsel Inc.

Contact:  Paul D. Hebert, CA, CFA

Vice-President & Senior Investment Counsellor

The definition of an Investment Manager is defined in the Trust Agreement as a firm who has obtained registration in the category of advisor with the Ontario Securities Commission as Investment Counsellor & Portfolio Manager, or as the term is amended from time to time, whose revenue is derived solely or primarily from the discretionary management of investment portfolios and is experienced in managing trusts.

T.E. Wealth

Contact:  Jack Jamieson

Vice-President, Aboriginal Services Division

For the purposes of this Trust, the Financial Advisor provides advice on the development of the Investment Policy, selection of the Trustees, selection of Investment Managers and evaluation of portfolio performance.

Currently in the process of seeking new legal counsel.

The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation Council has a unique partnership relationship with the Big Bear Creek Trust. The Trust and the First Nation Council share a collective responsibility to ensure the successful operation of the Big Bear Creek Trust.