First Nations insurance team expands services

LaRoche McDonald’s talent base has grown to meet the company’s commitment to supporting Indigenous business and enhance its service provision in the area of First Nations housing and commercial insurance.

“First Nations Specialists Cheryl Arcand, Mitchell Clouthier, and Joe Dasiuk are quoting and making presentations at First Nations across the province,” said Keith Klassen, Manager and General Insurance Broker. “It has been a very busy year so far, especially with so many policies renewing in April 2023. We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to become the insurance provider of choice for First Nations clients in Saskatchewan.”

Arcand and Cloutier joined LaRoche McDonald in 2022 and were joined by Dasiuk in January this year. Experts in the field, they are focused on expanding LaRoche McDonald’s First Nations insurance portfolio.

“It has been a very busy year so far and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to become the insurance provider of choice for First Nations clients in Saskatchewan,” said Klassen.

At the main office in Saskatoon, MaryAnn Reifferscheid and Jazmine McCracken round out the specialized team with dedicated in-house support.

“Jazmine was hired at LaRoche McDonald in mid-2022 to assist with commercial insurance and First Nations insurance business. In her former job, she supervised personal lines insurance brokers and helped with their training. She was also the main person responsible for finding solutions for hard-to-place business. We are very pleased to have Jazmine on our team.”

“We recruited MaryAnn in early 2023 to assist us in looking after commercial and First Nations business. She was already working at LaRoche, but in personal insurance,” said Klassen. 

“MaryAnn and I worked together on First Nations business at another brokerage a number of years before I joined LaRoche, so I knew she would be a great fit. She has a strong background in both Personal and Commercial Insurance, and she has exceptional customer service skills.”

Established in 1933, LaRoche McDonald Agencies is a general insurance and property management firm based in Saskatoon that provides automobile, residential, and commercial insurance, and property management services. The company joined the Kitsaki Group in July 2022.

Think you’d be a great fit for a career with LaRoche McDonald? Please visit to learn more.

Growing with our partners

Three men standing together under a Kitsaki Management logo. Two men work at SaskPower and the other is the CEO of Kitsaki

SaskPower and Kitsaki celebrate more than two decades of partnership

Kitsaki’s relationship with SaskPower began with a single project in 2011, when the province’s electric utility connected with former CEO Russell Roberts about the need to clear a 135-km right-of-way in northern Saskatchewan.

“Nature is part of our province’s great beauty, especially when it comes to the north,” said Kitsaki CEO Ron Hyggen. “But it also causes power outages and poses a serious safety risk.”

Over the next 18 months, Kitsaki teams cleared a stretch of land for a power line near Highway 102 between Brabant Lake and Key Lake, and Kitsaki Vegetation was born. This job planted the roots for a partnership that continues to grow more than two decades later.

“Suppliers like Kitsaki play a key role in the growth and evolution of our company,” said Rupen Pandya, President and CEO of SaskPower. “And I’m not just talking about quality service. Our partnership means innovating as we pursue common goals, building new relationships and growing capacity in all the communities we work with. I’m looking forward to continuing to work together to advance opportunities for growth in our province.”

Saskatchewan is one of the world’s most diverse power producers, home to a range of energy resources including natural gas, crude oil, coal, uranium and biofuels, as well as geothermal, wind and hydro. SaskPower operates seven natural gas, three coal-fired, and seven hydroelectric stations, and two wind facilities. The utility also purchases power from independent power producers. Combined, Saskatchewan’s total power generating capacity is over 5,400 MW of electricity serving more than 545,000 customers.

Serving a population of 1.2 million over 651,000 square kilometres, SaskPower maintains over 157,000 kilometres of distribution and transmission lines, the second-largest network of all Canadian utilities. By comparison, British Columbia, home to 5.07 million people living across 944,735 square kilometres, has an 80,000-kilometre network.

To keep the path clear, Kitsaki Vegetation uses internationally-recognized Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) practices, which include machine mulching with large equipment, sustainable and monitored herbicide application, hand slashing, and preventative methods like encouraging short grasses and shrubs that slow the growth of taller trees.

Over the years, Kitsaki’s relationship with SaskPower has expanded to include partnerships with other entities in the Kitsaki Group, including Athabasca Catering, CanNorth, and March Consulting. Teams on both sides now work together to plan and execute a range of projects across the province. This level of collaboration is necessary to complete major projects in the queue, and to aid SaskPower in meeting ambitious emission targets.

As both Hyggen and Pandya get closer to their one-year mark in the CEO seat of both Kitsaki and SaskPower, setting an example for sustainable collaboration within the industry remains a shared goal. The partnership’s achievements highlight the potential for corporations to unite in addressing pressing environmental challenges and creating economic opportunities for Indigenous communities in the province.

As businesses around the world look for ways to mitigate environmental changes, the Kitsaki-SaskPower partnership serves as a model, illustrating the impact that focused cooperation and innovative approaches can have on creating a sustainable path long into the future.

“The partnership’s achievements highlight the potential for corporations to unite in addressing pressing environmental challenges and creating economic opportunities for Indigenous communities in the province.”

Kitsaki and Lac La Ronge Indian Band Celebrate 2023 Treaty Days Across Six Communities

Chief Tammy Searson Cook stands proudly at a Kitsaki booth alongside the beaming winners of the Kayak giveaway, all holding their colorful new kayaks and ready for their next water adventure.

Over the course of six busy days, the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) and Kitsaki Management celebrated 2023 Treaty Days across six communities. The first event kicked off on May 1, 2023, in Hall Lake with Kitsaki’s first kayak giveaway and two $250 gift cards. The following days featured fish fries, festivities and five more kayak giveaways giveaways in Sucker River, Grandmother’s Bay, Stanley Mission, La Ronge, and culminated in Little Red.

Treaty Days symbolize a significant time of celebration, unity, and festivity for the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, honoring the legacy of Chief James Roberts. Chief Roberts, representing the band, formally signed an adhesion to Treaty 6 in 1889. 

Treaty Days celebration highlights the strong partnership between the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and Kitsaki Management, while fostering pride, unity, and continued growth. By investing in community development and creating new opportunities for LLRIB members, Kitsaki demonstrates its commitment to preserving and empowering each community.