Stephanie Thorassie Appointed Executive Director

As the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Seal River Watershed, we are proud to announce that Stephanie Thorassie has accepted the position of Executive Director to begin September 1, 2021.

The Board made this selection based on Stephanie’s past experience and commitment to her work with the Seal River Watershed Indigenous Protected Area Initiative, as well as her knowledge, expertise, and experience in practising her Dene culture. Stephanie is a member of the Sayisi Dene First Nation.

We are confident that Stephanie’s many talents, collaborative, and engaging leadership approach will help us continue down the path to establish the Seal River Watershed Indigenous Protected Area. As the Director of Operations Stephanie did an excellent job at reaching out the four First Nations of the SRWA and supporting the staff on the ground in each of our Nations.

We know she will continue to ensure that this is a grassroots driven initiative.

Ernie Bussidor’s last day as Executive Director was August 31, 2021. We cannot thank him enough for the dedication, passion, and vision he has provided by initiating the Seal River Watershed IPA and the work he undertook to establish the SRWA over the past four years.

Ernie will continue to contribute as a Senior Advisor to the SRWA, and we look forward to working with him in this new role.


Chief Evan Yassie
Chair, Board of Directors, Seal River Watershed Alliance

A Message from Stephanie Thorassie

As a Dene Tzekwi (Dene Lady), I sit here humbled by what has been bestowed upon me. I want to thank the Board of Directors for the honour of naming me Executive Director of the Seal River Watershed Alliance. I marvel at the work we have completed to date and am motivated for work we need to do to accomplish our goals of establishing.

Every day I feel the weight and responsibility of the work that needs to be completed, and I understand the reasons why we need to be successful. It is for our futures, it is for the youth, and it is for our spiritual connection to the lands, water, and animals. 

Above you will find a letter regarding this change from the Chairperson of our Board of Directors, Chief Evan Yassie. 

I feel confident in knowing that we have the continued support of Ernie Bussidor as our senior advisor! Masi cho Ernie for bringing us all together to begin this work. If it was not for Ernie’s vision and work over the past five years, we would not be here today!

In the next coming months we will be conducting Indigenous Knowledge interviews with Elders and Land Users in the four Nations in Manitoba to support drafting the Alliance’s visions and values accord. We are also very much looking forward to hosting a large All Nations gathering in Thompson in November. (I am hoping that Covid-19 restrictions will still allow for this!)

I have enjoyed working with all of you in my past roles with the project, and I look forward to all of the work that is yet to come!

Masi Cho Ah-Ti-Tah! (With the biggest thanks!)


Stephanie Thorassie
Executive Director, Seal River Watershed Alliance