President’s Office

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President’s Office


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Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann

Dr. Jacqueline Ottmann is Anishinaabe (Saulteaux) from Fishing Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan. Prior to her academic career, Jackie was an elementary, high school teacher and principal. She remains an engaged scholar alongside her responsibilities as a senior academic leader. While at the University of Calgary, she was the Coordinator of the First Nations, Métis, Inuit undergraduate teacher education program, and Director of Indigenous Education Initiatives within the Werklund School of Education (WSE). She also co-chaired the WSE Indigenous Strategy, and alongside the Provost, the university-wide Indigenous Strategy.

After her time with the University of Saskatchewan as Professor and Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement, Jacqueline Ottmann was appointed President of the First Nations University of Canada. Ottmann has been recognized as an international researcher, advocate, and change-maker whose purpose is to transform practices inclusive of Indigenous leadership, methodologies, and pedagogies. Jacqueline is driven to create schools and communities that foster a deeper sense of belonging and appreciation for Indigenous peoples – their histories, stories, ways of knowing and being. Ottmann is also the first Indigenous person to become President of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education.

Vice-President, Academic (Interim)

Dr. Carrie Lavallie

Dr. Carrie Lavallie joined First Nations University in 2003 as a faculty member with the Nursing Education Program of Saskatchewan. They are a graduate of Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Athabasca University, and hold a PhD in Education from the University of Regina. Carrie is a third-generation born, white Settler with Scandinavian and German Ancestral ties. As a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, they have over 30 years of experience, working in various non-profit organizations, private practices, the University, and with First Nation communities. They were Acting Director of Health Sciences/Campus Manager at Northern Campus and are currently the program coordinator for Indigenous Health. Their area of research explores the role of spirituality in relapse prevention; other areas of interest are mental health, addictions, counselling, and spirituality. Dr. LaVallie is excited to support the university in this capacity for the interim.


Vice President, Finance & Administration 


Vice President, University Relations

Gord Hunchak

Gord Hunchak joined First Nations University of a Canada in 2022 in the inaugural role of Vice President University Relations.

Gord is an innovative and collaborative leader with vast and diverse experience spanning over three decades. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Gord’s career in the post-secondary leadership began in Ontario in 2007 at Niagara College, where he took on several roles, culminating in the AVP, Planning and Communications position. Gord joined Brock University in 2015 as Associate Vice President, External Relations.

Prior to joining us at FNUniv, Gord’s most recent role was as Associate Vice President Strategic Communications / Chief Communications Officer at the University of Saskatchewan.

In all previous post-secondary leadership roles, Gord has successfully re-branded and re-positioned the respective institutions for enhanced profile and growth, and developed important stakeholder and community engagement strategies.

Director of Finance 

Istvan Samayoa

Istvan’s appointment as the Director of Finance at First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) marks a significant milestone in his impressive career. With a robust background at KPMG as a senior manager in assurance and advisory services, Istvan brings a wealth of experience from a variety of sectors, including non-profit organizations, to FNUniv.

His expertise is further solidified by his impressive list of credentials: a CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant), CIA (Certified Internal Auditor), and a Masters of Science in Accounting with Cognitive Analytics from Simon Fraser University.

Istvan’s enthusiasm about joining FNUniv is palpable, reflecting his deep respect for the institution’s vital role within the Indigenous community.

His diverse skill set and experience make him exceptionally well-equipped to contribute to the financial stewardship of FNUniv, ensuring its continued success and impact.

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