Lending a helping hand is something Amanda Louison is accustomed to doing.
For much of her adult life, she has dedicated her time to assisting others in need. Whether it be a ride to school or with an important issue on her First Nation, Amanda was there to listen and to help.
That is why her new role as a Board of Director with the Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation is an ideal fit.
“I have an opportunity to work with and help my people. I just like working for my people and helping them make decisions and giving them an opportunity,” Amanda said.
“I want to empower our First Nations people to do well by helping themselves and by working hard.”
Amanda’s involvement with SIEF began in 2015 when she was the FSIN Senate appointment representative. Amanda was elected as a member of the SIEF Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting in November 2020.
“I want to be a part of the bigger picture … to see my people reach their dreams,” she said. “In a lot of ways, it could be seen as mentoring and offering advice.”
“It brings a smile to your face in knowing that some of our people can be successful. You get a good feeling in your heart when you see them getting started.”
Amanda makes her home in the Qu’Appelle Valley and is a member of the Kahkewistahaw First Nation, to which she served as Chief for one term (1995-1997). She also was a band councillor for 12 years.
She is a certified electoral officer for First Nation band elections.
She and her husband Lionel (Urbin) are beloved members of the community. Urbin was a cattle, horseman and grain farmer in the area. However, he is most well known for being a school bus driver on Kahkewistahaw for 45 years. Amanda also was a school bus driver.
Urbin passed away in June 2019 from complications related to a serious vehicle crash. The couple was to have celebrated their 50th anniversary just a few months later.
“Some days can get lonely, but I find a way to pick myself up and get moving. Urbin wouldn’t want me to be sad,” she said. “Staying busy and working helps me a lot … and I have my three grandsons, who are very dear to my heart.”
Amanda has a son who is a manager at a First Nation Gas and Convenience store and a daughter working at Mosaic mine in Esterhazy.