About NHCN Health Centre of Excellence
Norway House Cree Nation Chief and Council
Councillor Anthony Apetagon, Councillor Hubert Hart, Councillor Deon Clarke, Chief Larson Anderson, Councillor James Dixon, Councillor Darlene Osborne, Councillor Langford Saunders (from left to right)
Norway House Cree Nation
Health Centre of Excellence Project Team
Rupinder Brar – Project Director
Rupinder is a leader in General and Administrative Management with over fifteen (15) years of experience in the health services industry, having worked with both public and private sector stakeholders to introduce innovative, patient centric health delivery models that improve outcomes and provide operational efficiencies.
Since 2009 Rupinder has worked with Indigenous organizations to support advocacy efforts and secure resources that empower Indigenous stakeholders to establish and enhance community-based programs and services, which have also resulted in education, training, employment and economic development opportunities.
Rupinder has achieved tremendous corporate governance experience through is involvement with the Seven Oaks General Hospital Board of Trustees since 2009 and is currently Vice Chair of the Board and a member of the Governance committee. His philanthropic endeavours also continue to support health and wellness initiatives as he is also the current Chair of the Seven Oaks Hospital Foundation, which supports Hospital Operations, the Wellness Institute and the recently established Chronic Disease Innovation Centre.
Rupinder has worked with Norway House Cree Nation since 2015 as the Health Director and was recently appointed, Project Director, Norway House Cree Nation Health Centre of Excellence.
Alexandra Cropp – Project Coordinator
Alexandra is a Norway House Cree Nation (NHCN) community member, who recently graduated from the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba with a double major in Human Resources and Supply Chain Management. An experienced Health Specialist with a demonstrated history of working with government relations specific to Indigenous organizations.
Driven by her desire to make a positive impact within her home community, Alexandra returned to Norway House Cree Nation to work in their Health Division immediately upon graduation. Supporting both the financial and operational planning of the Health Division, while focusing on the overall Human Resource needs of the department to promote further education and training for all healthcare professionals. This has resulted in a formal partnership with the University of Manitoba whereby over the past two (2) years, the Cree Nation has established a community-based training program for health care professionals within the Faculty of Health Sciences. This program also incorporates culturally based training to support practitioners in their pursuit of rural and remote career opportunities.
In addition to the Health Division, she has supported the Health Centre of Excellence project since 2016.
Alexandra is an advocate for victims of domestic violence through her work with Ending Violence Across Manitoba, the Silent Witness Project and the Laurel Centre. She continues to support local agencies through creative and collaborative events to help increase awareness and support women of all backgrounds within Manitoba.
Christie Spencer – Health Transition and Human Resource Support
Christie Spencer is a Norway House Cree Nation (NHCN) community member. She is an experienced Human Resource Specialist with a focus on Indigenous planning, recruitment and retention. Working alongside a leader in the industry for three (3) years, supporting candidates and their placement with large corporation and small business across Canada. Success came from a collaborative approach, providing individualized support to candidates while developing and educating those employers with the proper tools and resources to foster a successful professional relationship.
In addition to Christies work as a Human Resource Specialist, she has spent several years working in the Financial Services Industry. Utilizing her communication and management skills to support the financial needs of community members through local credit unions and larger financial institutions within the region. Christie quickly grew within her role, demonstrating her leadership and management skills. In this role, Christie managed teams as large as twenty (20) individuals and was able to build the organization through clear identification of its trends, objectives and ultimately, its business needs.
Christie lives in Niverville MB with her husband and two (2) children. When she is not at work you will find her in the stands at her son’s hockey games or watching her daughter’s gymnastics events. Volunteering is a big part of their family and how they give back to the community that they are a part of.
“I’m truly thankful for the opportunities I’ve had but have found working for and with my people to be the most rewarding”
Alyssa Czemerynski – Administrative Assistant
Alyssa is a Norway House Cree Nation (NHCN) community member, who is completing her Bachelor of Business Administration 4 year major in Marketing with the University of Winnipeg. Alyssa is actively involved with the Aboriginal Student Service Center where students have a safe space to study emphasizing the importance of Indigenous perspectives through traditional knowledge keepers and regular cultural events.
Alyssa is an experienced customer service representative through her over five (5) years of retail experience in which she has developed a tremendous amount of interpersonal and time management skills. She also had the opportunity to participate in a Cultural Exchange Program with the Walt Disney World Resort and Theme park where she gained valuable experiences and knowledge of cultures from around the world.
Alyssa is passionate about business and is driven by the opportunity to support her home community of Norway House Cree Nation. She is pleased to give back to the community in such a meaningful way that will create a positive impact not only on the community, region and province of Manitoba for Indigenous peoples.
Dr. Courtney Campbell Leary – Senior Medical Advisor
Dr. Courtney Campbell Leary is an Indigenous family physician in her home community of Norway House, Manitoba and is also a member of the Norway House Cree Nation. Dr. Leary attended the University of Manitoba after graduating from Norway House High School & Warren Collegiate Institute where she obtained a Bachelor of Science 4 year major in Microbiology and minor in Psychology. She then attended and graduated from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine in 2008 and pursued post-graduate training in Family Medicine. Dr. Leary also attended and graduated from the University of Manitoba CCFP-Emergency Medicine post graduate training. She practiced emergency medicine at the Thompson General Hospital and in 2014, Dr. Leary became employed by Ongomiizwin Health Services (formerly J.A. Hildes Northern Medical Unit) in her home community of Norway House. She is the medical education lead for the Norway House family medicine training site for the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. She has also developed a program to introduce Traditional Indigenous Healing practices into the curriculum for medical learners who visit Norway House. Dr. Leary’s goal is to showcase the diverse experiences and resiliency of the Indigenous population in her home community and to encourage other young Indigenous scholars to pursue careers in the health care fields. Recently Dr. Leary became the Chief of Staff of the Norway House Hospital and the Senior Medical Advisor to Norway House Cree Nation.
Dr. Adrienne Morrow – Senior Medical Advisor
Dr. Adrienne Morrow is a Family Physician who practices rural/remote medicine in the community of Norway House Cree Nation, in Northern Manitoba. She has served as Chief of Staff of the hospital for the past four (4) years, for a team of eleven (11) physicians employed through Ongomiizwin Health Services, based at the Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing at the University of Manitoba. She has successfully advocated for a formalized teaching program for medical students and residents, and established an outreach, school-based clinic for children with ADHD, in order to improve access to care for youth in the community.
In addition to her clinical work in Norway House, she serves as the Senior Medical Advisor on the Norway House Health Centre of Excellence Hospital Transition team, as well as an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, in the role of Co-Director of the Population Health Course in undergraduate medical education.
Other leadership roles include being recently elected to the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences Executive Council, and recently named co-lead of the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Provincial Clinical Team for Shared Health Services Manitoba. Research interests include medical education, and she is currently co-primary investigator for a grant through the University of Manitoba Indigenous Initiatives fund entitled “Supporting medical learners through faculty development: An innovative teaching module focusing on the delivery of culturally safe, anti-racist healthcare provision in rural/remote First Nations communities”.
She completed her MSc in Epidemiology from Université Laval (2006), her MD from the University of Manitoba (2010), Family Medicine and Public Health & Preventive Medicine Residency training from the University of Manitoba in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
Edward (Sonny) Albert – Community Liaison
Sonny is a Norway House Cree Nation (NHCN) community member with an extensive background in the field of Recreation and Community Development with an emphasis on sport, leisure, exercise, tourism and health. Sonny began his academic career upon graduation from Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Resource Centre in NHCN with an undergraduate degree in Recreation Management and Community Development from the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Manitoba in 2014. Sonny went on to complete a post-baccalaureate certificate in Indigenous Sport and Recreation with the University of Alberta.
Sonny has successfully supported and lead the development of Indigenous specific recreational programming through the promotion of health and wellness protocols with the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Council in Winnipeg and with Fisher River Cree Nation and the Recreation Director.
Driven through sport and recreation from a young age while growing up in Norway House, Sonny is a leader in health and wellness through the promotion of Indigenous specific sport programming and life-style choices that support the children and youth of NHCN and Indigenous communities across Canada. Sonny follows a long line of community advocates and leaders from his father Edward Sr. and mother Celestine Albert, both instilling the pride and joy associated with contributing to the health and wellbeing of your home community.
Sonny recognizes the positive impact of healthy individuals through the promotion of long-term proactive health and wellness measures coupled with sport and recreation and its impact on building a strong and vibrant community.
Sonny is accompanied by his beautiful wife and three daughters. Representing his community is incredibly important and integral to every endeavour he undertakes, whether it be playing in local hockey tournaments or supporting major community events.
Playgreen Development Corporation
Community Maintenance Department