Congratulations to our Executive Director, Leona Irons, on being appointed to the Order of Canada for her lifelong commitment to the responsible and sustainable management of Indigenous lands.
Leona has worked in the field of First Nation Land Management for over 40 years building land management capacity and advocating for the land management profession. As an employee in Lands at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Peterborough Ontario District Office, and as a First Nation Land Manager for Hiawatha First Nation and her own community, Curve Lake First Nation, Leona realized the necessity for professional development and networking for the betterment of First Nation Land Management.
Leona has always envisioned the need for a National Association for First Nation Land Managers across Canada. In April 2000, under the direction of the founding Board of Directors, Leona Irons, as Executive Director, established and managed the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association (NALMA). The Association celebrated 23 years of operation in April 2023. Over those 23 years, she assisted in the establishment of eight Regional Lands Associations (RLA) across Canada
As Executive Director of the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association, and with the support of 11 staff, Leona has raised the organizational profile and funding for NALMA and RLA’s with her leadership and expertise in the field of First Nation Land Management.
The Order of Canada is one of our country’s highest honours. It recognizes people across all sectors of society who have made extraordinary and sustained contributions to our nation.