As a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB), Tammy Cook-Searson was raised on the family trapline near Brabant Lake in Northern Saskatchewan. A fluent Cree speaker, Cook-Searson is exceptionally proud of her First Nations heritage, and is a strong advocate of culture, language, and maintaining strong ties to the land. At the age of 25, she was elected as a LLRIB Councillor, where she served three terms before being elected as the band’s first female Chief in 2005. Cook-Searson is currently serving her sixth conservative term with LLRIB.
As the Chief of LLRIB, Cook-Searson is President of Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership, which manages the bands economic development activities. The Kitsaki’s portfolio is diverse, with investments in insurance, engineering, mining, utility project management, environment, hospitality, transportation, and more. Kitsaki is committed to long-term, sustainable business growth and continues to develop opportunities that meet the appropriate profit, risk, and Band member employment criteria.
In recognition of her leadership to develop solutions for social challenges, advocacy for Indigenous issues, health living, and community service, Cook-Searson has been recognized with many awards, including: Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business – Woman in Leadership Award (2021); Award Canadian Armed Forces Special Service Medal (2020); honorary Diploma of Business Administration from the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (2019); Louisa Sanderson Memorial Award, La Ronge Native Women’s Council (2019); Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Award for Community Leader of the Year (2017); honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Regina (2016); Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012); Saskatchewan Centennial Medal (2006); and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).
Cook-Searson serves as Board Director with multiple organizations, including: the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority Board, the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, and the Assembly of First Nations. Her role as LLRIB Chief also means she is an active member of the Prince Albert Grand Council and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. As an active member of the Canadian Armed Forces with the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, she assists with Ground Search And Rescue (GSAR) operations in the region.
Driven by a strategic goal and collective vision of community, Cook-Searson played an instrumental role, while working with others, to lobby for funding to build a Wellness, Treatment and Recovery Centre in La Ronge. This Centre will provide northerners with timely access to mental health and addictions support services, while blending therapeutic treatment with traditional Woodland Cree teachings. This $16.1 million project is currently under construction in La Ronge, with completion slated for spring 2022.
Cook-Searson is involved in many cultural events and fundraising activities. She leads a healthy lifestyle and is an active member of her community. Cook-Searson enjoys spending time with family and friends in the bush and on the lake. She loves berry picking, photography, running, and learning new skills; she is currently enrolled in a Master of Business Administration program.