The Four Rivers team consists of a very passionate and dedicated group of professionals from a diverse set of backgrounds.
Manager of Environmental Programs
Sarah has been with Matawa First Nations Management for over ten years and currently oversees operations of all divisions of Four Rivers. Raised in a multi-generational entrepreneurial family in southern Ontario, Sarah moved to Thunder Bay in 2000. She then pursued an Honours degree in Science at Lakehead University, graduating from the Water Resource Science Program. Her undergraduate work included an intensive Honours thesis, studying geochemical rock-water interactions at the former open-pit mines at Steep Rock, near Atikokan, Ontario. Sarah also holds an associates certificate in Project Management. Sarah is well versed in scientific concepts, tools and techniques related to field collection, laboratory analysis, the organization of data and GIS. Since serving at Matawa First Nations Management, she has worked very closely with multiple First Nations on planning and developing community lands and resource offices and support systems. She has been responsible for the development of regional environmental programs and services throughout the Matawa member First Nations homelands in northern Ontario, which included the development of the Four Rivers department in 2011, and Four Rivers Inc. in 2017.
Kimberly Jorgenson, M.Sc.
Environmental Services Coordinator
With over fifteen years of experience in the environmental sector, Kim applies her diverse skill set to a variety of projects at Four Rivers Group. Since 2011, Kim’s role has included the oversight and coordination of environmental projects, from environmental site investigations and assessments to community-based Cultural Impact Assessments. She regularly coordinates and facilitates large gatherings (from community open house events to large-scale conferences) to communicate complex environmental processes and issues such as climate change and environmental monitoring. Kim is fluent in the fields of biology, environmental legislation, research science and geographic information systems. As a skilled field researcher in aquatic environments, including the collection, analysis and interpretation of scientific data and its synthesis, Kim develops a variety of technical reports and presentations on technical topics. Kim holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science degree from the University of Manitoba, and a Master of Science degree in Biology from Lakehead University. Kim was previously employed in the environmental consulting sector, where environmental baseline data collection and contaminated site compliance monitoring were part of her regular duties.
Education and Training Coordinator
Dawn Desmoulin is the Education & Training Coordinator within Four Rivers and has been working with Matawa First Nations Management for 9 years. Prior to that, she spent 5 years working within education in her home community of Long Lake #58 First Nation. Before coming to Four Rivers she had been working with Matawa’s Employment & Training Sector for 5 years within a number of capacities, specifically Project Coordination and Outreach. Dawn has a Bachelor in Education with a teachable in history and an HBA in Indigenous Learning where much of her studies focused on Qualitative research with the Elders of her First Nation Community.
Mineral Development & Information Support Officer
Peter is a member of Pic River First Nation. Peter attended Confederation College and graduated with a Technical High School Diploma and continued his education at George Brown College graduating in Instrumentation Technology. After a brief retirement from the Pulp and Paper Industry as an Instrumentation Technician and Instrumentation Supervisor in 2003, he joined the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines as the First Nation Minerals Information Officer. His role was to provide education, information, advice, and expertise regarding geology, mineral exploration and mining to First Nation Communities throughout Ontario. Peter retired from MNDM in February 2014, and joined Matawa First Nations Management as the Mineral Development Information Support Officer within Four Rivers Environmental Services Group. In 2017, Peter received the prestigious Skookum Jim Award from PDAC recognizing his significant contribution to Canada's mineral exploration and mining industry through his work with companies, government, and Aboriginal communities.
Environmental Projects & Training Officer
Gord Parker is an experienced Fish and Wildlife Technician, having graduated from Sir Sandford Fleming College's School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences. Having worked in the environmental industry for over fifteen years, he has experience working with First Nations communities, private industries, consulting firms, and in the mining and forestry sectors. Gordon has worked in many remote locations across the country, including time on the west coast in the fishery industry and completing stream surveys in the northern mountains of B.C. within the forest industry. Gord also assisted Fish and Wildlife Officers with remote northern hunting regulations and GPS/GIS delineations, carrying out all related environmental duties as the Environmental Technician at active mines, and completing various contracts and jobs in isolated exploration camps.
Gord brings his diverse background to multiple programs at Four Rivers, including training community members on effective and accurate environmental monitoring techniques for species at risk (such as wolverine, bats and lake sturgeon) and benthic bio-monitoring (including the OBBN and CABIN protocols). Other projects include remote lake sampling and clean-up plans, environmental assessments of legacy mine sites, and youth environmental outreach. Gord is always available for advisory services between projects and is passionate about environmental integrity and community involvement.
Charlene Wagenaar is originally from Kenora, Ontario. She moved to Thunder Bay in 2008 to pursue an Honour’s Bachelor of Science in Biology at Lakehead University, and graduated in 2012. Afterwards she attended Red River College in Winnipeg to acquire her Advanced Diploma in GIS Technology. Her first major GIS project involved building a geodatabase for the Manitoba Fisheries Branch to track historical walleye movement on Lake Winnipeg using pre-GPS data.
Since starting in the Four Rivers Department at Matawa First Nations Management, Charlene has put a lot of work into the Matawa Broadband Project to support and enhance routing decisions. Her analysis of land cover, and cost estimates based on land cover, have helped provide more information on potential routing options. Mostly she works with community members on map and training requests, manages Four Rivers’ geospatial data, and designs databases. Lately, she has been working on the Four Rivers website, and managing/curating the Regional Ecological Data Collection Project and Open Data site.
Geomatics/ Project Manager
With over 6 years of experience in the environmental and mineral sector, Jennifer applies her geomatics knowledge to a variety of projects at Four Rivers Group. Over the past 4 years, Jennifer’s role at Four Rivers has included capacity building, training, community engagement and project coordination of several initiatives, all with a geomatics component. Jennifer is fluent in the field of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and is a talented cartographer, having created hundreds of custom maps along with two ESRI Canada award-winning maps (published nationally in their annual calendar). As a skilled Geomatics Professional, Jennifer has worked on a variety of different mapping projects including, but not limited to: mineral exploration and tenure mapping; traditional knowledge data collection and mapping; interactive online mapping applications; and, field data collection using GPS and UAV technology. Jennifer has an Honours Bachelors of Arts degree in Geography from Lakehead University and completed her undergraduate thesis research on Traditional Knowledge with a remote Eastern Arctic Inuit community. Jennifer was previously employed in the mineral exploration consulting sector for over 3 years, where GIS, research and report writing were part of her regular duties.
Geomatics Technician/ Information Systems Facilitator
Brian has spent the last 15 years leveraging GIS and spatial sciences to support local communities across Ontario. Brian has developed and utilized leading edge technology to enhance many organization’s GIS and database capabilities. In addition to being a qualified GIS Application Specialist (Sir Sanford Fleming’s Post-Graduate GIS program), he also holds an Honours Bachelors degree in Geography with a minor in Environmental Science from Lakehead University. He has led teams of GIS and field survey crews to conduct multidisciplinary geospatial surveys in many different industries across the province. Brian is an expert in the fields of data mining, data storage, web GIS, predictive analytics, GIS customization and model building, as well as advanced cartography. Brian enhances his technological experience and knowledge through his ability to provide training and build capacity in the field of Geomatics. He has successfully proven that he has a strong capacity to apply GIS to many different real world problems and can present these ideas in a clear and consistent manner. Since joining the Four Rivers Team, Brian’s focus has been on streamlining and enhancing geomatics workflows and capacity building through training and community engagement.
Environmental Coordination Officer
Laura Prior started work with Matawa First Nations Management in 2013 in the Communications Department. By 2014 she transitioned to the Environmental Services Group, Four Rivers as the Environmental Coordination Officer, to focus on outreach and capacity building initiatives. Her experience and expertise in the communications field pairs well with many environmental projects in the department. She can provide assistance in various communication areas, from creative design projects to information sessions to youth engagement. Laura graduated from Lakehead University with her HBA degree in Sociology. Her previous work experience includes marketing and customer service. Both her schooling and past employment bring valuable knowledge to Four Rivers, strengthening the department’s scope.
Jasmine Baxter is the Office Administrator with Four Rivers, responsible for coordinating project logistics and financial management. Jasmine has a background in social work, having graduated from Confederation College’s Native Child & Family Services program. She is the main point of contact in the Four Rivers office, and is skilled in coordinating the travel and venue logistics of large-scale events, and is responsible for purchases, service procurement and invoicing. As a proud member of Marten Falls First Nation and a mother of five children, Jasmine brings her superior multi-tasking and organizational skills to the Four Rivers team. Jasmine is passionate about watershed stewardship initiatives and Indigenous language preservation.
Kevin is the Linguistics Officer at Four Rivers Group., and is a member of Nibinamik First Nation (Summer Beaver) in northern Ontario. Kevin provides both oral and written Ojibway and Oji-Cree translation and interpretation of documents. He also provides communications and public relations support for various Four Rivers projects. He is bi-lingual and is able to speak in Oji-Cree and English fluently. He is capable of reading and writing in syllabics in the eastern Oji-Cree dialect. He has the ability to provide translation of documents into syllabics and provide interpretation for staff that aren’t able to communicate effectively with Elders from the Matawa member First Nation communities who only speak in Oji-Cree, Cree, or Ojibway. Kevin has over 7 years of experience in Administrative Support Services for multiple of First Nations organizations and communities.