Board of Directors
- Merissa Scarlett, Regina
Tracene Harvey, Museum of Antiquities, Saskatoon
- Corinne Daelick, Western Development Museum (WDM) Corporate Office, Saskatoon
- Delta Fay Cruickshank, Biggar Museum & Gallery, Biggar
- Helanna Gessner, Diefenbaker Canada Centre, Saskatoon
- Vincent Houghtaling, Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, Moose Jaw
- Dr. Barbara McNeil, University of Regina, Regina
- Valerie Mulholland, Regina
- Dr. Angelina Weenie, First Nations University of Canada, Regina
- Andrew Whiting, Saskatoon
Merissa Scarlett, Regina
Merissa Scarlett was raised outside of Sudbury, Ontario. Following a love of science, she pursued her Bachelor’s Degree of Behavioural Neuroscience, following it with a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication at Laurentian University. She made the move to Regina after receiving a job at the Saskatchewan Science Centre. Her love of science, along with communication, developed into a passion for all non-profits and museums alike. At the Science Centre, Merissa led the Adult Science Nights, the Outreach team (and saw more of the province than most), ran events, and managed part-time staff. Joining the MAS Board in 2016 to deepen her understanding of museums and non-profits, she has enjoyed her time serving on the Board.
In June 2017, Merissa switched positions to another non-profit, the Saskatchewan Safety Council, as the Community Relations Coordinator. Based on her experience in a Science Centre and background with a board, she has been vital to developing an online safety education program for youth and broadening the relationships with community organizations for the Saskatchewan Safety Council. Being on the MAS Board has been an excellent resource to remain in the museum world and Merissa enjoys attending the Fall Network meetings and being a part of various committees for the MAS Board.
Tracene Harvey, Museum of Antiquities, Saskatoon
Dr. Tracene Harvey has been the director and curator of the Museum of Antiquities at the University of Saskatchewan since 2008. As an archaeologist, she is interested in Saskatchewan history and heritage and the role museums play in the province’s cultural preservation. As an MAS board member, she looks forward to learning more about, and serving, the museum community in Saskatchewan.
Corinne Daelick, Western Development Museum, Saskatoon
I was born and raised in Saskatchewan, growing up on the family farm near Esk. A love of history and all things Saskatchewan inspired me to earn a Bachelor of Arts, Double Honours, in History and Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan specializing in Saskatchewan history.
My involvement in the heritage sector began after university when I was hired on a term contract to work in the Collections Department at the Western Development Museum (WDM) Curatorial Centre in Saskatoon. This term was followed by a second term position with the WDM, this time as an Education Assistant. These varied positions helped me gain valuable experience in artifact care, research and program development. Once these terms were complete, I continued as a volunteer at the Curatorial Centre while working outside of the heritage sector.
In 2006 I jumped at the chance to return to the WDM when the position of Education/Volunteer Coordinator at the WDM Saskatoon became available. This was a role I loved as I got to work with so many fantastic volunteers, museum staff, teachers and school children. Another exciting opportunity arose in 2013 when I took on a new role within the WDM, Director of Education, based at the Curatorial Centre. In this position, I oversee and support school and public programs and the volunteer program at all four WDM locations.
I’ve volunteered with various organizations over the years. I served on the Heritage Festival of Saskatoon Board from 2011-2016, which included three years on the Board Executive. I have also been a member and volunteer with the Army, Navy & Air Force Veteran’s - Unit 38 in Saskatoon since 2001. I was elected to the Board of Directors for the Museums Association of Saskatchewan in 2016 and, in 2018, was appointed as Board Vice-President. I joined the MAS Board as I believe Saskatchewan museums are a very important part of our communities. The added perk of being part of this Board is the opportunity to meet other museum professionals and volunteers and to visit lots of wonderful Saskatchewan museums.
Delta Fay Cruickshank, Biggar Museum & Gallery, Biggar
I spent my early years in Europe, France, Belgium, and Germany. As a family and on my own, we wandered across the map of Eastern Europe. Because I was a romantic child and a reader, I got to touch walls and stand on the floors that characters from our past had touched; history became important to me.
I spent ten years out of Canada in Europe and have a genuine interest in preserving the history of Canada for the generations ahead of me. I have a certificate in Horticulture from the University of Guelph, certificates in Horticulture, Landscape Design and Landscape Technician from the College of Rockies in Cranbrook, British Columbia.
I worked as a volunteer, then as the Heritage Gardener at Fort Steele Heritage Town in British Columbia for eight years. My role was as the heritage interpreter and the gardener for 2300 square feet of gardens. I ran a successful volunteer program in the gardens, and a school program, Grades Kindergarten to Grade 11.
When I came to Saskatchewan in 2008, I sat on the Board of the Biggar Museum & Gallery for four years, then stepped down from that position to assume the role of Executive Director. I firmly believe if we study history, we learn from it and are not doomed to repeat it, in theory. In the past, it was because not enough read history to learn anything from it. I believe it is the role of the Museum to connect to the community and raise awareness of the history of their surroundings.
I am very aware of the closing or near closing of many small, volunteer-run museums in our region, and likely in every area in Saskatchewan. I would like the stories recorded and preserved coming from these regions. I am also very aware of the Truth and Reconciliation and Calls to Action and how little Indigenous history the public is aware of.
I am excited to be on the board of the Museums Association of Saskatchewan to learn more about policy and procedures in the governance of a museum for these very reasons, continuing to tell the story of Saskatchewan to the world.
Helanna Gessner, Diefenbaker Canada Centre, Saskatoon
I was born and raised in Saskatchewan. My love for history and creativity has led me to pursue a career in museums. I earned by Bachelor of Arts Double Honours in Archaeology and Classical Medieval and Renaissance Studies from the University of Saskatchewan in 2016 and went on to complete my Master of Arts in Museum Studies through the University of Leicester in 2018. My thesis focused on the relationship between Saskatchewan museum’s and their local communities and what we can do to strengthen these ties.
I am currently the Curatorial, Collections, and Exhibits Manager at the Diefenbaker Canada Centre, but started as the Centre’s Administrative Coordinator in May 2019 before moving into this position the following July. I perform the multifaceted duties of museum registrar, conservator, exhibit designer and preparator. I am also involved in the development and delivery of programming related to exhibits on display at the Diefenbaker Canada Centre. I am passionate about exhibit development and design, especially when I have the opportunity to collaborate with community groups.
In the past I have worked in multiple positions at the Museum of Antiquities as well as served as a summer curator for my hometown museum in Cudworth, Saskatchewan. During my career I worked hard to gain experience in only a few short years in the areas of museum curatorship and collections management, community outreach and engagement, local heritage management, museum educational programming and leading a volunteer team.
I have been a board member of the Wakaw and District Museum since 2018 and was recently nominated to serve as its chairperson. I am interested in sitting on the MAS Board of Directors because of its role in serving its communities and members as well as its efforts to create a vibrant museum community in Saskatchewan.
Vincent Houghtaling, Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery
Vincent is the Administrative Assistant at the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery. He has a Master’s in Arts Leadership from Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, having focused primarily on the interaction between major and planned gift fundraising and the succession planning process for artistic leadership. He has also worked at places including the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame, and Swift Current Museum, and currently also sits on the board of CARFAC Saskatchewan.
Dr. Barbara McNeil
Dr. Barbara McNeil is an Associate Professor, in the Faculty of Education, of the University of Regina. She teaches in the Graduate, Undergraduate, Elementary, Secondary, and Arts Education programs
Curious and passionate, Barbara believes in the open-endedness of agency and hope in relation to the power and value of language, literature, literacy, and cultural/pedagogical sites such as museums, libraries and art galleries to engender social justice and equity for all. She is committed to using arts-based approaches to work collaboratively, compassionately, and ethically with children and youth of underserved/marginalized communities in the interest of imagining and creating better worlds for self and all planetary others. Overall, Barbara’s research orients toward justice, collective well-being, and the ‘not yet’ of our positive potentialities.
Valerie Mulholland, Regina
My working life has been almost entirely in cultural institutions: libraries, schools, and the university. For 7 years, I worked in libraries at Queen’s University, Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, and SK Ministry of Justice. For 10 years, I taught high school English. For the past 20 years, I was a language and literacy professor at the University of Regina. As an academic, I developed an interest in post-colonial theory which has affected how I see and experience life in Saskatchewan. When I read the vision statement, “MAS will be the leader in transitioning Saskatchewan museums, through diversity and inclusion, creating a sustainable future for the sector,” I honestly see a direct connection between my professional life and the volunteer years ahead.
In preparation for retirement, I have completed 8 of 10 courses for the MAS Community Museum Studies certificate. (I was out of the country in Fall 2019 and missed the last two courses. Bad timing. I like to finish what I start.) My goal was to become a useful museum volunteer. Originally, I thought I’d be a good docent, but discovered a keen interest in collection care and management, and research. All of my jobs have required curatorial and research practices. At MAS classes, I’ve met many people involved in Saskatchewan museums and found their company stimulating. My interest in serving on the board is largely the result of a friend’s suggestion to apply. As an educator, I understand curriculum to mean “the story we tell children about the past, the present, and the future” (Grumet, 1981). My interest in being a museum volunteer, on the board or otherwise, melds personal and professional interests. To maintain vitality in the cultural life of Saskatchewan, museums serve as the nexus between the imagined past and the emergent future.
Dr. Angelina Weenie
I am currently an Associate Professor at the First Nations University of Canada, Indigenous Education. I have served as Program Coordinator of Indigenous Education. I teach undergraduate and graduate courses. My main area is Indigenous pedagogy and curriculum development. I have developed the Master of Indigenous Education and the Master of Indigenous Language Education programs.
I have been privileged to present at national and international conferences. I have presented in Greece, Poland, Mexico, and Arizona. Those are my personal successes. I have published peer-reviewed articles and chapters, as well.
I have served as a board member of Eagle Heart Centre, located in Regina, Saskatchewan, for some years. This organization provides services to Aboriginal families. I am a fluent Cree speaker. Language is integral to cultural knowledge. My background and knowledge of First Nations worldview, cultural beliefs, values and traditions would bring that perspective to the Museums Association of Saskatchewan.
Andrew Whiting, Saskatoon
I have worked as a natural and cultural history interpreter for over 30 years. I started my career with Alberta and Saskatchewan Provincial Parks as a Park Ranger and Park Interpreter. With Meewasin Valley Authority (1988-2020), I delivered school and public programs of natural and cultural themes at Beaver Creek Conservation Area and Meewasin Valley Centre. I have been involved with board committees of Saskatoon Heritage Society, Saskatoon Heritage Fair, Marr Residence, Museums Association of Saskatchewan – Interpreters Special Interest Group Leader, and Interpretation Canada Peaks & Prairies Section.
Saskatchewan museums of all descriptions tell stories of our natural and cultural heritage. Connections among people and between people and ideas are created. Engaging museum experiences builds awareness, appreciation, and stewardship values towards our common heritage resources. As part of the Museum Association of Saskatchewan Board of Directors, I work collaboratively with board and committee members contributing my years of program experience to help build a sustainable future for the Museums Association of Saskatchewan.