Welcome to Indigenous Futures in Engineering, Queen's University

Elmer N. Ghostkeeper

Elmer N. Ghostkeeper
Diploma of Civil Engineering Technology
Bachelor of Arts
Master of Arts in Anthropology
Job title: 
Chairman/President & CEO, SunStar Resources Inc.

Type(s) of Engineering:

Favourite thing: 

"Experiencing other people."

Elmer Ghostkeeper has great respect for Mother Earth. He knows the Creator gave us the land, air and water only once, and so he believes, "We must practice sustainability and attempt to repair damages to these sacred gifts, restoring them to their original creation. We must work with the land, air and water and not off them."

A member of the Métis Nation, Elmer lives on a ranch outside Edmonton with his family. He is the President and CEO of SunStar Resources Inc., an oil and gas company on the Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement. Sunstar is wholly owned and operated by the Métis people. Elmer says that this job "Is the largest and most significant project I have worked on to date." And that is saying something, before coming to SunStar, he was Regional Manager of Aboriginal Health Services for the Capital Health Authority in Edmonton. There he developed a unique programme to help people live with and manage diabetes. Elmer has also been the Assistant City Engineer of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. "I try not to think about the stress of making SunStar into a major player."

SunStar Resources Inc. was incorporated in July 2001. It has a young board of directors who are all Métis and live in the Paddle Prairie community. According to Elmer, this is a crucial aspect to the company's philosophy and success. As SunStar grows it will need engineers and skilled professionals to fill positions. Elmer wants to hire Indigenous people to fill these jobs, so he encourages native youth to stay in school and study math and sciences. "Aboriginal wisdom is extremely important to the economic development and self-sufficiency of Aboriginal communities. With the right education there's every reason to believe our young people can work for companies like SunStar."

Still, Elmer knows that school can be difficult, especially math and science courses. But, he says if you "let the numbers dance for you, then math and science classes will become enjoyable." He recalls that in his own student days, "I could not wait for some classes to begin because I enjoyed them so much." He adds, "learn to follow your heart, it will direct you to your purpose in life. Always keep in mind that engineering and science is just another way to understand Mother Earth and her sacred gifts."

Outside of work Elmer is actively involved in number of projects. He has been a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America since 1996. Elmer has also authored a book, Spirit Gifting: A Concept of Spiritual Exchange, and developed Weche Teachings, A Partnership of Aboriginal Wisdom and Western Scientific Knowledge. He uses these teachings to explain and analyze modern day puzzles affecting Indigenous peoples. He also enjoys raising horses for pleasure and sale.


See also:

Elmer Ghostkeeper awarded the Order of the Metis Nation (Metis Nation)

Elmer Ghostkeeper biography (Metis Museum)

Book: Spirit Gifting: The Concept of Spiritual Exchange, by Elmer Ghostkeeper (Writing On Stone Press)


Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada

© 2023 Queen's University Indigenous Futures in Engineering. All Rights Reserved.