Ms. Laurie L. Buffalo is from Hobbema, Alberta and a member of the Samson Cree Nation. Laurie’s son, Ezra, and her parents Marlene, Vern and brothers Cam, Cory and Kyle are an unconditional source of support which inspires her to work hard and reach her goals. Laurie previously attended the University of Alberta studying Bachelor of Science, major in Biological Sciences. In early 2011, Laurie decided to become a Certified Personal Trainer with the Canadian Fitness Professionals and is nearing completion of her program. Laurie’s academic goals include completing the Bachelor of Science program and to continue on to Medical School.
Ms. Buffalo’s previous work for the Maskwac?s Cree (Four Nations) of Hobbema included many valuable lessons learned on the importance of working together for the collective benefit of others, specifically nation members and future generations. It was here where she was given a valuable and unique opportunity to participate at the United Nations level with Maskwac?s’ very own Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) International Organization of Indigenous Resource Development (IOIRD) of which she is now the Youth Representative.
Laurie is currently the Community Program Coordinator at Cando for the Maskwac?s Youth Business Dream Catchers Program. This program was designed to give youth a better understanding of Entrepreneurship, Community Economic Development and the relationship between them; increase the financial literacy skills of the youth, and provide them with an opportunity to network with Aboriginal entrepreneurs, Aboriginal Financial Institution representatives, and more. Program objectives were achieved by engaging Maskwac?s youth in a series of workshops that strive to incorporate and promote cultural and traditional practices and a review of previous workshops on Lateral Violence: Reconciliation through Economic Development.