Atacama Resources Announces New Board of Directors and Management Teams Led by First Nations Leaders and Business Executives

PLANTATION, Fla., Feb. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Atacama Resources International, Inc. (OTC: ACRL) (“Atacama”) is pleased to announce the immediate appointment of Joe Dion (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors), Darwin Douglas (member of the Board of Directors), Joshua Dion (President and Member of the Board of Directors), and William (Chris) McKay (Vice-President, Investor Relations) to key management and board of directors positions. In addition, Atacama has established an Advisory Board and is pleased to introduce Justin Gee as its first member. The Advisory Board will be comprised of individuals from throughout Canada and the United States with unique skill-sets and backgrounds geared towards the exploration and mining industries and aboriginal relations. Moving forward and addition to the above appointments, Colin Keith will be transitioning to the position of Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Corporate Development, Wayne Holmstead will remain as the Vice-President of Exploration, and Waylon Iserhoff and David Berry will remain as members of the Board of Directors.

“This is a very important moment for Atacama and the culmination of many months of hard work. The importance of this day cannot be understated as some of Canada’s most prominent First Nations leaders and business executives will now be guiding Atacama,” explained Colin Keith.

As noted by new Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, Joe Dion, “This has been a long time coming for Indigenous peoples of Canada; to be leading the exploration and development of our natural resources in a respectful, ethical, and environmentally sensitive manner. Atacama will be progressive in its relations with First Nations and we believe this will be reflected in many ways, including our employment and procurement practices. We feel this will not only be highly rewarding for Atacama shareholders, but the benefits of these resources will be experienced by impacted Indigenous communities in a lasting and commensurate manner.”

As highlighted by David Berry, “To the best of my knowledge, Atacama is the world’s first publicly traded mineral exploration company with a First Nations-lead board and management team. I am incredibly proud to have Joe, Darwin, Josh, Justin, and Chris join our team. We see the potential for major social and economic development and I believe our shareholders should be very happy. Additionally, we have been working to resolve the cease trade issue with the Alberta Securities Commission. Our new team will assist with this process and we are hopeful to get back on track with our exploration and asset acquisition plans.”  

“Strong relations with First Nations are vital to successful resource exploration and development,” remarked incoming board member, Darwin Douglas. “We want to be at the forefront developing and maintaining ethical, meaningful and mutually beneficial and prosperous relationships and partnerships (centered upon responsible resource exploration and development) with First Nations throughout our country.”

Joe Dion

Joe Dion is the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Frog Lake Energy Resources Corporation (“FLERC”), one of Canada’s only wholly-owned First Nations owned oil and gas exploration and production companies. Prior to joining FLERC, Joe worked as a consultant for First Nations in Canada and the United States while advising energy companies and governments negotiating Impact Benefit Agreements and joint ventures.

Joe also comes from a family of hereditary chiefs. He is great-grandson to notable Cree Chief Big Bear, who played pivotal roles in Canadian history. As his great-grandfather before him, Joe served in his hereditary role as Chief of Kehewin Cree Nation and Grand Chief for the Province of Alberta.

From tribal administrator, council member, treaty chairman, constitutional coordinator, to president and chairman of numerous boards, brotherhoods, and associations, Joe works tirelessly for the social and economic well-being of First Nations. In 1984, Joe founded the Indian Resource Council of Canada. This council now represents over 150 First Nations in Canada and was instrumental in establishing Indian Oil and Gas Canada, a federal government agency responsible for managing oil and gas development on Indian reserve lands.

Darwin Douglas

Darwin Douglas is a prominent entrepreneur, a Council member for Cheam First Nation, board member for Cheam Enterprises Inc., CEO of All Nations Cannabis, and a leader in his family and community while serving as a leader and a new voice for Indigenous Business in the Stó:lo territory and beyond.

For several years Darwin served as a researcher and manager in Aboriginal Rights and Title for both the Cheam First Nation and the Stó:lō Nation. He was also the manager of the Coqualeetza Cultural Education Centre, where he was able to bring financial stability to the Centre and relocate archival materials to ensure they were preserved properly for future generations. He also currently owns and operates two small businesses in the Fraser Valley, the Cheam Trading Post which offers wild, local and fair trade salmon and seafood products, and, Stó:lo Seafood Company, a business that operates a certified processing facility.

Joshua Dion

Joshua Dion is a seasoned oil and gas and governmental and indigenous affairs executive. A member of the Kehewin Cree Nation, Joshua obtained his MBA from the University of Trinity Western and has recently served as the Community Outreach Officer for the Western Indigenous Pipeline Group and the Manager of Corporate and Indigenous Relations and Partnerships for Indigenous Resource Management in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Josh has worked with software tools to help build First Nation capacity by providing a single window approach to project management and consultation. It is through this that Josh has worked with communities in understanding the needs for own-source revenue streams to bolster their economies and improve resource management.

Justin Gee

Justin Gee is a member of the Six Nations of Grand River and a graduate of Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Metallurgical Engineering). With over twenty one (21) years of completing of planning studies and detailed designs for First Nations across Canada, Justin is perhaps the only First Nations individual with both professional engineering and planning designations, and is the Vice-President of Canada’s largest First Nations owned and operated engineering company, First Nations Engineering Services Ltd.

William (Chris) McKay

Chris McKay is an Oji-cree from Mattagami First Nation in mineral rich Northeastern Ontario and has been involved in the mining and exploration sectors for over 15 years while representing and negotiating, on behalf of the Mattagami First Nation, 3 Impact Benefit Agreements, including the Cote Lake Gold project, and over 10 exploration agreements.

Chris has also worked for TransCanada Pipeline on the Energy East Project as the national Aboriginal Advisor on Traditional Knowledge. During this time Chris negotiated over 50 Community Engagement Agreements to complete impact studies for identified communities.

Chris also works with the Wabun Tribal Council as its Economic Development Advisor being tasked with providing business development advice as well accessing funding for various projects including resource and renewable energy development.

About Atacama Resources International (

Atacama Resources International is a publicly traded OTC Pink company with significant mining claims in the greater Kirkland Lake area of Northern Ontario. Metals and minerals under potential exploration include gold, silver, copper, graphite and cobalt.

Forward Looking Statements
Certain information set forth in this news announcement may contain forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of Atacama Resources International, Inc. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the Company’s industry, management beliefs and certain assumptions made by its management.  Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time the statements are made and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainty and other factors, including the effect of COVID-19, that may cause our results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from the information expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this press release or our filings on OTC Markets. Readers are cautioned that the assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable at the time of preparation, may prove to be imprecise and, as such, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements.  Information concerning factors that could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those contained in these forward-looking statements can be found in the Company's periodic reports as filed on the OTC Markets. Unless required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise to reflect future events or circumstances or reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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