ILDI Staff (left to right) Amber Sumner, Melissa Hotain, Debbie Burka, Ken Whitecloud, Mackenzie Oatway, Camille Page, Madison McIvor, Ada Uddoh, Susan Swan, and Brent Maslow (Photo by Destiny Gulewich Photography)

The Indigenous Leadership Development Institute Inc. (ILDI) works with Indigenous facilitators across Canada who are trained to deliver ILDI’s executive training. With over 100 years of combined experience, ILDI facilitators are on a mission to build the leadership capacity of our present and future leaders.

Incorporated in 2000 in the province of Manitoba, the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute Inc. (ILDI) is a non-profit organization established to build leadership capacity in Indigenous Peoples. An Indigenous-owned and -operated company, ILDI is directed by a volunteer board reflecting the diversity of the Indigenous community.

The facilitators that work with ILDI are certified by the Professional Trainer Accreditation Program at The Institute of Professional Management and are members of the Canadian Professional Trainers Association (CPTA). ILDI facilitators are
knowledgeable, understanding and highly educated with varied professional competencies. They are lawyers, directors from every sector, former CEOs of Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, former Chiefs, council members and senior administrators of their communities.

ILDI facilitators know our communities and the challenges Indigenous Peoples face in their pursuit of good governance. Most of the facilitators have grown up in First Nations, Métis or Inuit communities, and understand the needs and requirements of our communities and the development of our people. They have lived and experienced the issues faced by many Indigenous communities.

While some people may be born to leadership, most of us only acquire leadership skills over time through education, skills development and life experience. ILDI aims to develop and enhance the leadership qualities characteristic of strong community leaders, and that also includes empowering Indigenous youth in governance and supporting Elders.

Leona McIntyre, ILDI Facilitator (Photo by Destiny Gulewich Photography)

“It is critical that we build the capacity of our leaders so that we can continue to better govern ourselves and take the lead in
governing our communities, as we know what needs to get done and how to do it,” says ILDI facilitator Leona McIntyre.

McIntyre grew up in the small Métis farming and fishing community of Kinosota (Manitoba) where she currently resides. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Brandon University and has extensive experience in community development, facilitating workshops with First Nations, Métis communities and non-Indigenous groups. McIntyre has designed and developed Indigenous culture workshops, and facilitated these workshops for Manitoba Hydro, the Dauphin Race Relations Committee, Brandon Police Services and the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, to name a few.

With an impressive resume that includes working for the Assiniboine Regional Health Authority, and as an instructor at Assiniboine Community College, McIntyre’s passion for educating others is evident in her workshop delivery. She is a true leader who wears many hats as a long-time volunteer in her community, an author, and a national award-winning photographer, artist and craftsperson with much of her work featured in China, Sweden, Germany, Australia, England and Canada.

McIntyre has been with the Province of Manitoba for the last 12 years working in agriculture, economic development, and now in natural resources and northern development in the Reconciliation and Consultation Unit. She has been a facilitator with ILDI for over 18 years, and has had the pleasure and opportunity to work with numerous Indigenous Peoples globally.

Susan Swan, ILDI Facilitator (Photo by Destiny Gulewich Photography)

Another ILDI facilitator with a passion for empowering others is Susan Swan.“Our philosophy is sharing our knowledge about governance, leadership and accountability to make sure our communities grow and prosper,” she says. “It is our ultimate mission.”

Swan, from Lake Manitoba First Nation, is an accomplished human resources professional with direct experience in the development and oversight of policies and procedures, recruiting and hiring practices, personnel development, union and labour relations, accompanied by negotiations and conflict management.

Prior to her work in HR, she was the first Indigenous female police officer to be employed by the Winnipeg Police Service. During this time, she achieved the rank of Sergeant and supervised a platoon in one of Winnipeg’s high-profile districts, including being responsible for a shift of 22 street officers, which included making critical decisions under high-stress situations.

Swan has received numerous accolades for her many contributions and is a sought-after motivational speaker. She is the proud recipient of the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Community Volunteerism; a Gemini Award recipient for a Man Alive Documentary The Red Road; and a Manitoba First Nations Award Recipient. She is also a published author in the book First Lady Nation Volume 2: Stories By Aboriginal Women. Although Swan is officially retired, she now facilitates training within the Indigenous community in the areas of human resource management, governance, workplace conflict, facilitation training and team building.

ILDI is proud of the diversity and professionalism reflected in its facilitators. And like each of the facilitators, ILDI’s commitment is to our people. All of the ILDI curriculum has been developed by an all-Indigenous team, including the board of directors, staff and facilitators, ensuring it is relevant to the current need of Indigenous Peoples. With many facilitators as experts in their fields, ILDI is able to offer a great deal of customized training, including Governance Requisites for Leaders, Strategic Planning, Mediation, Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, Board Training, How Government Works, and our Online E-Learning Canadian Indigenous Culture Training: Truth and Reconciliation Edition.

For more information and to find out how ILDI can customize training for your organization or community, contact or visit

ILDI would like to thank the Wyndham Garden Winnipeg Airport Hotel on Long Plain First Nation, Manitoba for the use of their space for which serves as the stunning backdrop in each photo.