Nadleh Whut'en First Nation Nadleh Whut'en First Nation

Our People

Member Profiles

The Nadleh Whut'en First Nation is honoured to profile some of its members that have made some major contributions during their life to their community.  These people include:

Cheryl Bear-Barnetson


Dr. Marjorie "Maggie" Hodgson


Noeleen McQuary

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Cheryl Bear-Barnetson

Official website


My name is Cheryl Barnetson and I am the daughter of Susie George and Fred Schaefer and Granddaughter of Alec George.  I am part of the Bear Clan (Dumdenyoo).

I completed my Master of Divinity degree from Regent College, and my Doctorate from The King’s University in Los Angeles.  I am a singer/songwriter who shares stories of Indigenous life: the joy, sorrow, faith and journey, through story and song.

My portfolio includes Lands & Trust/Natural Resources and Education. 

I was first elected as a band councillor in April 2014, and was re-elected in April 2016.

She is an award winning singer songwriter:

  • Native American Music Award: Best New Artist 2007
  • Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award: Best New Artist 2007
  • Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award: Best Songwriter of the year 2007
  • Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award: Best Single of the Year - Hey Cuzzin'! 2007
  • Two Covenant Awards: Best Aboriginal Song 2008, Best Aboriginal Album 2008. 

Cheryl has three cd's, the self titled Cheryl Bear album, The Good Road and just released A' BA in January 2012. 

Cheryl has a Bachelor of Arts from Pacific Life Bible College in Surrey, plus a Master's degree (Mdiv) from Regent College, Vancouver, BC. In 2009, Cheryl Bear earned a Doctorate of Ministry from The King's University. 

Cheryl says, "I always introduce myself as Nadleh Whut'en. As Indigenous people, what we do is not as important as where we are from. We know the land and the land knows us. We are shaped by place.     

Dr. Marjorie "Maggie" Hodgson


Dr. Maggie Hodgson is a healing and wellness activist, educator, author and residential school survivor. As member of the Nadleh Whut'en First Nation, Maggie has worked on justice and healing initiatives nationally and internationally. She has received honorary doctorates from St. Paul University and from the Law University of Alberta and has received dozens of awards from diverse groups – from the United Nations to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Some of the awards include the:

  • Champions of Mental Heal Award
  • National Aboriginal Achievement Award
  • UN Community Development Award
  • Alberta Aboriginal Role Model Award
  • Officer of the Order of Canada
  • Canadian Public Health Community Development Award Association
  • Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission Award of Excellence
  • International Award for Leadership in International Development from Health Canada in New Zealand
  • Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse Award of Excellence

The youngest of six children, Maggie Hodgson was born in Nadleh with her mother had survived the Lejac Indian Residential School. As a result of the Lejac experience Maggie grew up in a cycle of mistreatment, emotional devastation, and substance abuse. Maggie married at 17 and was a mother of two by age 18. As an activist in poverty law, she was plunged into a lifetime of work when she spurred the investigation of the abuse of 26 aboriginal foster children. As director of an aboriginal training institute, she began researching and developing methods of education, intervention, and healing, which for the next 34 years would transform communities worldwide. Cofounder of the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation, as well as Healing Our Spirit Worldwide, Maggie believes that individuals, families, and communities that have lived with tragedies have a thirst to celebrate even the smallest successes. The success of her own movements is testimony to her beliefs. She developed the world's first National Addictions Awareness Week, which began with no funds and 25 aboriginal communities; in three years it had grown to 1,500 communities with 700,000 participants. She conducts healing workshops across Canada with both perpetrators and victims and is working on a process to settle cases outside court for the 13,000 aboriginals who are suing the government for physical and sexual abuse. She is co-chair of a working caucus that advocates for policy changes and which has convinced the government to allocate $74 million for counselling services for residential school survivors and $10 million for commemoration activities.

She has presented at many conferences across Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and Norway on community healing. She has been a community developer, church and government policy lobbyist, co-author of four books, and has managed an Aboriginal education research and health promotions institute for eighteen years. Thirty eight colleges and universities utilize one of the books, “Nation to Nation”. The proceeds from her writing serve to provide bursaries for third world students to study addictions. She has been involved in the development of six non-profit/societies and foundations locally, nationally and internationally. She has sat on 12 boards of directors for service organizations and has been involved in national TV productions on family violence. She has spoken at hundreds of conferences on the successes and challenges that face the Aboriginal community.

Maggie is a wife, a mother and an auntie who has helped raise other children. Maggie values building relationships in families of communities within the limits of our humanity and with the Creator’s guiding hand.


Noeleen McQuary

birchbasket.jpgNoeleen McQuary, who resides on the shore of Fraser Lake, is a master basket maker working with birch bark and spruce roots. Noeleen learned this ancient art form from her mother and grandmother who instilled in her the spiritual principles related to the harvesting and making of baskets. Among Noeleen's accomplishments is the building of an 18-foot birch bark canoe, now part of the McLeod Lake Band Cultural Centre and one currently under construction funded through the Aboriginal Arts Development Awards to teach youth the traditional art form of birch bark canoe making. Noeleen is committed to educating others, including her daughter, about her craft and its historical traditions. Noeleen has created baskets for many galleries and private collectors.