The contribution made by speakers is an integral part of the National Annual Conference & AGM hosted by The Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando.) In particular, the participation of speakers from multi‐faceted areas of Aboriginal community economic development across Canada is a key reason for the ongoing success of the conference.
review our presenters and their presentation topics below. Presentations
are listed in alphabetical order of presentation title. Click on
presenter names to read their complete bio.
"The Aboriginal Business Incubation Platform – Fostering Business Development Through Technology”, Jonathan Allard, Aboriginal Business Incubation Platform
ABIP (Aboriginal Business Incubation Platform) is a Cree Nation of Quebec initiative which focuses on First Nation entrepreneurship and business development. ABIP is designed specifically for Aboriginal economic development players: local Economic Development Officers (EDO), entrepreneurs, consultants, as well as job seekers, Development Corporations (DC), and local organizations and associations. This innovative application encourages interactions between key actors, enabling them to launch, monitor and foster successful businesses. ABIP was developed taking into account job creation, sustainable economic development, empowerment and self-governance principles. ABIP is a secure web 2.0-based toolbox acting as a business support system that facilitates First Nation business creation and monitoring: all relevant business information is gathered in one place and the proper guidance is provided at all critical milestones. ABIP is available to all Aboriginal communities across Canada. Presenters will introduce this new tool and explain how this technology will be beneficial for local development officers, among others.
Jonathan Allard is the current Vice-President of the ABIP Board of Directors. He holds a bachelor degree in communications (Université Laval) and has also pursued studies in business administration (Hautes Études Commerciales -Montreal). As well, he studied in innovation and strategies including specific courses on IT platform development (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). From 2001 to 2004, he was the Bank Manager for the Waskaganish branch of the Bank of Montreal. He is also responsible for creating the Business Incubator as well as helping develop the structures for the Nâtâmûh Economic Development Corporation in this same community. He has been active in Aboriginal economic and business development for many years, specifically within the Cree Nation. He is also the founder and President of Tarmigan Consulting and Technologies. His financial, managerial and entrepreneurial experiences are key to the development of ABIP LP.
Genevieve Polese’s interests focus on local economic development and education in Aboriginal communities. She has experience as a consultant and researcher, providing support to Northern Quebec Aboriginal communities and Native non-profit organizations all over Latin America, consulting for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) on local business endeavours as well as having worked for DIALOG, The Research and Knowledge Network Relating to Aboriginal Peoples. She holds a bachelor in business administration and a Master of Anthropology, where she focused on the impact of local culture on organisations. She currently works on the Aboriginal Business Incubation Platform project at Tarmigan Consulting and Technologies.
"Aboriginal Due Diligence Training”
John Caggianiello, CA, Meyers Norris Penny LLP
MNP’s Aboriginal Acquisition Due Diligence Training Program is designed to give insight into the due diligence process. Our experienced professionals will teach participants how to determine feasibility of new business ventures that are presented, as well as show them the steps to assess a prospective business before you buy it. By incorporating proper due diligence, communities can make well-informed decisions to support their economic goals and create further opportunities for the community. This presentation will talk about the objectives of this training program and the successful outcomes.
John Caggianiello has over 12 years of experience and specializes in providing comprehensive due diligence solutions to mid-size entrepreneurial companies and institutional investors to accurately assess risks associated with their investment decisions. He has extensive experience working with federal, provincial, and municipal governments, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations.
"Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program”
Gillian Austin, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Secretariat
The Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program (AAEDIRP) is a unique research program formed through partnerships between the 38 member communities of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs, plus the Inuit, 12 Atlantic universities and 4 government funders, both federal and provincial. The main purpose of the AAEDIRP is to improve the knowledge base concerning Atlantic Aboriginal economic development in order to improve the lives of the Aboriginal people in the region. The presentation will focus on some of our research projects: A Study of the Atlantic Aboriginal Post-Secondary Labour Force, Baseline Data for Aboriginal Economic Development: An Informed Approach for Measuring Progress and Success, Examining Partnership Arrangements between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Businesses, The Social Impacts of Economic Development, Best Practices and Challenges in Mi’kmaq and Maliseet Immersion Programs, More than Wind: Evaluating Renewable Energy, Opportunities for First Nations in the Atlantic Region, and Seeking Input from Elders: Honouring Traditional Knowledge.
Gillian’s interests lie where environmental, cultural, economic and social issues intersect. A major focus over the years has been working on projects initiated by Native Peoples working to protect their culture and natural environment. She has ten years of experience as a consultant; providing coordination, research and writing, communication and organizational skills, mainly to environmental and Native non-profit organizations. Gillian completed a Master of Environmental Studies at York University in 1996, focusing on cultural and Native issues: Native/settler relations in Canada, Cross-Cultural Perspectives on the Natural World, Environmental Health and Education, Environmental Philosophy and Cultural Studies. Her thesis was a story writing project exploring the relationship between story and land.
Bruce Lacroix, Lacroix & Associates Consulting
"Creating the ‘BEST’ Program for Potential Aboriginal Entrepreneurs”
Aboriginal BEST is for Aboriginal, Metis, and Inuit, status or not, urban or rural, who are interested in becoming self-employed or starting their own business. It is for both those who have a solid idea and want to see it happen, and for those who have an interest in business, but have no specific idea yet. In this fast-paced, informative and humourous session, Bruce will describe how the program is structured, and how CANDO EDOs can use and adapt this model. Major topics discussed will include: the BEST Model, success stories, challenges, and funding the program; there will also be time for questions and answers.
Project manager, speaker, writer, consultant and Aboriginal entrepreneur, Bruce Lacroix is the coordinator of the popular and highly successful Aboriginal BEST (Business and Entrepreneurship Skills Training) Program in BC. He has presented to groups in BC, Nunavut and the Caribbean and co-authored three CANDO Guidebook Series and numerous Aboriginal entrepreneurship manuals.
Brian Hjlesvold, Royal Bank of Canada
"Economic Development – a Success Story”
The story of Goodfish Lake Development Limited Partnership will be highlighted. Their success and future expansion plans and how RBC worked with them to make it happen.
Brian Hjlesvold is a career banker spending the last 26 years with RBC Royal Bank. He is of Aboriginal descent (Ojibwa) tracing his roots to the Ebb & Flow First Nation in Manitoba. He has for the past 10 years, headed up the Aboriginal Financial Services group for RBC Royal Bank in Alberta, NWT, and Yukon. Brian is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Apeetogosan (Métis) Development Inc., an Aboriginal Capital Corp. He is the Aboriginal Co-Chair of the Board for Child & Youth Services – Region 6 in Alberta. Brian is a Board Member of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association, Alberta, and a member of the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers and the Circle for Aboriginal Relations Society.
Catherine Twinn, Sawridge First Nation; Marlene Buffalo, Maskwacis Cree; & Vern Neufeld Redekop, Saint Paul University – "Economic Development Based on Reconciliation”
There is a recognition that underlying deep-rooted conflict with feelings of resentment and hatred is evident in lateral violence and the crab effect of successful individuals being pulled down and thwarted in their endeavors. This conflict hinders economic development in its fullest sense of providing the means for people to live well in their communities. A consultation process has been developed that links economic development with reconciliation and a re-commitment to those values that would enhance economic life so it contributes to the well-being of both individuals and communities. This three-day consultation process would enable 24 representatives of different groups within communities to work together in small groups as they tackle important issues challenging their communities. It does not provide solutions but it helps communities find a way to discover their own solutions and identify ways that people in communities can start taking action themselves to address what they identify as the most pressing challenges to enhance economic development so it works for them.
Catherine Twinn, Barrister and Solicitor, B.A., LL.B, LL.M, Certificate in Arbitration, Sawridge First Nation, Treaty 8, Alberta. Courses, training, experience in: Arbitration (Certificate); Litigation; Negotiation; Mediation; 3rd Party Neutral facilitation; Working with entrenched mimetic structures of violence & deep rooted conflicts; Reconciliation; Addictions, trauma, disorders; Working with Elders, indigenous laws and processes; Representing indigenous communities and/or individuals in adversarial, negotiating and reconciliation processes; Mediation – e.g. Child Welfare, Family Conflict; Member of team negotiating Self-Government and drafting Senate introduced Recognition Bill; Governance, Management & Leadership; Police Service & Commission; Acting as Chair; Trustee, Director for profit Companies; and Director & Trustee of Public & Non-Profit Boards.
Marlene R. Buffalo is the Executive Director/Political Analyst at the Maskwacîs Cree (Four Nations) Administration/Political Office. She has worked in her community in a wide variety of senior managerial positions, responsible for major initiatives for the last 43 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta (1997) with a major in Political Science.Marlene’s involvement in many aspects of community development has resulted in some very important and necessary developments. In 1987, she insisted that the Maskwacîs Cree pursue Non-governmental Status with the formation of the International Organization of Indigenous Development, (I.O.I.R.D.) being granted Consultative Status (1989) at the United Nations in New York. She served as Director for I.O.I.R.D. Early 1970s she worked with the Late George Wolfe, when the oil royalty rates were being negotiated utilizing fairness principles and better royalty rates for the Maskwacîs Cree. She served as Director on the Indian Resource Council for a period of time. 1980s, she believed that the people in her community deserved better treatment when it came to Ambulatory services, and today, the Samson Cree Nation still continues to operate the Maskwacîs Cree Ambulance Service, which serves Maskwacîs Cree. Then in the mid- 1990s, she worked with the first Human Resources Skill development program on behalf of the Samson Cree Nation, where she was responsible for the program development and training for members of that community. The latest initiative, working with former Chief Victor Buffalo, with a mandate to bring the Maskwacîs Cree Nations together to form an investment group and pursue the development of Investment Partnerships has also materialized.The current Research Project Maskwacîs Cree has embarked upon is on Lateral Violence: Reconciliation Through Economic Development, fits well with what she believes; "You cannot hope to be successful in your economic development endeavours, if you do not have healthy people.”
Vern Neufeld Redekop is an Associate Professor in the Conflict Studies program at Saint Paul University. In his former role as President of the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution, he developed and ran a series of two-day interactive, generative seminars and worked with a Rwandan and Bosnian on Community-Based Conflict Resolution programs in their respective countries. His theoretical and practical insights found expression in his book, From Violence to Blessing: How an Understanding of Deep-Rooted Conflict Can Open Paths to Reconciliation. Subsequent research has focused on protest crowds and police, the role of the church in the Rwandan genocide, reconciliation between Nuers and Dinkas in South Sudan, the concept of "teachings of blessing,” the nature of structural violence within economic systems, and the potential for reconciliation through economic development.
Jennifer Cairnie, Director, Program Renovation & Renewal Directorate, and Neil Burnett, Director, Community Economic Development, INAC, "Economic Development Program Renewal & Process for Changes”
The presentation will include an overview of the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development and an update on the renovation of the lands and economic development suite of programming currently delivered by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, including the department’s stakeholder engagement plan.
Jennifer Cairnie, Indian & Northern Affairs Canada – A graduate of McMaster University with an Honours BA in Economics, Jennifer has been working in various capacities with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs for 13 years. Jennifer began her career with the department in the Ontario Region supporting the delivery of the Indian Economic Development Fund Loan Guarantee Program & activities related to the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business. Jennifer then moved to INAC Headquarters delivering the department’s business equity programs and developing and implementing enhanced programming to support resource development, major projects and economic infrastructure for First Nations. In 2001, following an assignment as the Administrator of Economic Programs at the Southern First Nations Secretariat Tribal Council, Jennifer returned to the Ontario Region as the Manager of Business Development and from 2005 to 2009, worked as the Director of Strategic Direction and Policy in the INAC Ontario Region, responsible for the delivery of economic development programming, youth programs, social services and strategic initiatives particularly related to energy and transportation in the remote north. Since 2009 Jennifer has been working with the Lands and Economic Development Sector at INAC leading the renovation of the department’s lands and economic development programming.
"From Bush to Table: Growing, Harvesting, Processing and Marketing a Saskatoon Berry Spread on a Small Reserve in Saskatchewan”, Daniel Bellegarde, Wakayos Holdings, Inc
Little Black Bear’s Band is located on the Saskatchewan prairies, away from major centers or transportation routes. The Band started Black Bear Orchards in 2004, with 7,000 saskatoon berry trees. By 2008, the orchards were in danger due to management and harvesting problems. Wakayos took management control in 2009. Orchard management improved and a mechanical harvester was used to harvest 10,900 pounds of saskatoon berries. Wakayos arranged for processing, branding, regulatory compliance and test-marketing of a Saskatoon berry jam-like spread, which was in Band stores in southern Saskatchewan in 2010. The Orchards are working much better once the development corporation assumed management and tried something new in processing and marketing its product. Plans are now being made for orchard and product expansion. The story is about a good management under a development corporation, developing partnerships, and daring to try new ventures with what we have on our lands.
Daniel J. Bellegarde is an Assiniboine / Cree from the Little Black Bear First Nation in southern Saskatchewan. Mr. Bellegarde has delivered training programs across Canada in community economic development and governance. He is currently General Manager of Wakayos Holdings, Inc which is the development arm of Little Black Bear’s Band, and Senior Governance Coordinator of the Treaty 4 Governance Institute.
Deanna Hamilton, First Nations Finance Authority
"Helping Aboriginal Communities Build their Own Futures, on their Own Terms”
For the first time in Canadian history, First Nations now have access to the same types of loan capital as other forms of government. First Nation communities can now borrow capital to develop community infrastructure or generate true economic and social development opportunities at wholesale rates rather than retail rates. First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA) loans offer flexible repayment terms (5-30 years) with locked-in interest rates. The FNFA also offers First Nation communities access to secure, safe, investment opportunities through its’ Pooled Investment Funds. These investment pools offer excellent returns and ease of use, they get First Nations’ money working for First Nations.
Deanna Hamilton is Okanagan and a member of the Westbank First Nation in British Colombia. Ms. Hamilton coordinated the development of the First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA) from its conception in 1992 through to the Royal Assent in March 2005. Ms. Hamilton is currently President and CEO of the FNFA.
Deborah Taylor, First Nations Market Housing Fund
"Housing Investments in First Nation Communities – An Economic Driver”
This presentation will profile a First Nation who has been successful in its housing activities. It will demonstrate that housing is an economic driver and leads to sustainable communities. FNMHF’s Fund helps meet the demand for increased housing in First Nation communities by facilitating access to private financing. Market-based housing – housing that the owners or occupants pay for – is a key initiative to improve the health of the community and contribute to its sustainability while creating the conditions for self-sufficiency. The positive economic impacts that come from increasing market-based housing are immense, ranging from the jobs that come with the building and renovations, the increased need for services and amenities and the expenditure by members living in the community.
Deborah Taylor has more than 25 years of work experience at CMHC. During her career she has worked extensively with First Nations people on the design, development and management of housing programs. In 2008 she was appointed the first Executive Director of the First Nations Market Housing Fund.
Danielle Levine & Ken Fraser, Meyers Norris Penny LLP – "How is CANDO Doing? Overview & Highlights of the Evaluation of CANDO’s Programs and Services”
Throughout the summer, Meyers Norris Penny LLP (MNP) conducted an evaluation of CANDO’s programs and services. MNP spoke with many stakeholders from across Canada including educational institutions, CEDO’s, INAC and others to find out how CANDO is doing. The purpose of the evaluation was to examine the relevance (success in the achievement of objectives) and effectiveness (value for money) of CANDO, which is supported through the Community Support Services Program (CSSP) of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
In this workshop Meyers Norris Penny LLP will:
- Provide an overview and context of the evaluation of CANDO’s programs and services
- Describe the methodology used
- Discuss key findings and lessons learned
Danielle Levine, BA, MBA is a Senior Consultant in MNP’s Aboriginal Services group, based in Vancouver. Danielle has significant experience working with a variety of Aboriginal clients. In her work with the North West Company she had the opportunity to work in remote and isolated First Nations communities throughout Canada. She has also worked with urban Aboriginal organizations in Vancouver and elsewhere. Danielle is an accomplished trainer. Her thesis was teaching Aboriginal financial literacy for those at risk. She currently teaches business operations at Douglas College in New Westminster, BC. She has also taught personal finance, windfall (wealth) management, business plan development and life skills training. Danielle is Métis and has been a board member with Vancouver Native Housing Society and is also a founder of the Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows Aboriginal Cultural Society. Danielle feels that her greatest accomplishment is her three children; two of whom are foster children.
Ken Fraser, B Eng, MBA is a Partner in the Vancouver Meyers Norris Penny office and leads the region’s Aboriginal Services group. Ken has over 30 years of experience in consulting, merchant banking and private industry. Ken assists public and private sector clients improve the performance of their organization including supply chain, corporate governance, strategy formulation, feasibility studies, business planning and change management. Ken has an exceptional track record developing solutions to help his clients improve customer service; streamline processes; adopt new technologies; market their businesses; and create better management positions. Ken’s experience spans a range of sectors including First Nations, forestry, manufacturing, financial services, telecommunications, transportation and the public sector. Over the past five years, Ken has worked closely with several BC Aboriginal communities on important economic governance and business planning assignments.
Rodney Nelson, The Global Governance Group / Carleton University
"Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge into Good Board Governance Practices”
Accountability and social responsibility are becoming increasingly critical for the success of any business. Aboriginal businesses have added responsibility to create wealth and prosperity in their communities and help to maintain their cultural identities. Within a business the Board of Directors are charged with the overall responsibility and oversight of these issues. Yet how does an Aboriginal board maintain its governance practices while considering indigenous knowledge and the wisdom of the elders? This session will provide an overview of sound governance practices and outline the importance of creating and maintaining a sustainable vision and practices from an Aboriginal perspective.
Rodney Nelson is the current CEO and Principal of Governance for the Global Governance Group and a lecturer at Carleton University. His work includes: board governance, strategic planning, business continuity, Aboriginal relations and cultural policy. Rodney is a corporate anthropologist with over 20 years experience working with both the public and private sectors including an appointment as the ethics officer for Public Works and Government Services Canada. Rodney has extensive board experience and sits on several boards including Chair of FirstPlan Benefits (an Aboriginal pension and benefits company), Co-chair of The Canada Dance Festival Society and sits on the Carleton University Faculty Board. As the former Senior Manager and Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Issues at the Conference Board of Canada, Rodney has published several notable publications including; "From Vision to Venture: The Story of Five Successful Aboriginal Businesses” and "The Value of Aboriginal Cultural Industries to Aboriginal Peoples and Canada.” Rodney is also the past chair of the Council on Corporate Aboriginal Relations, Past chair of The Pandemic Preparedness Working Group and former Co-Chair of the Public Enterprise Governance Centre. He was also a member of the Blue Ribbon Anishinabek First Nation’s Economic Development Think Tank and the Carleton University Task Force on Aboriginal Affairs. Rodney has particular interest in Aboriginal governance, economic development and cultural preservation. Rodney holds a Master’s degree in medical and corporate anthropology and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology and sociology. He is also a certified Chartered Director from McMaster’s Degroote School of Business and the Directors College. Rodney is also a lecturer of Anthropology at Carleton University and is currently working towards a PhD in Canadian/Aboriginal Studies. Rodney is Anishinabe and resides in Ottawa, Canada with his wife Dacia and son Cory.
Bryan Loucks, Walpole Island First Nation
"Mino Nendmowin – Good Minds: Best Practices for Change and Sustainability in a Cultural Context”
Economic Development is an important dimension of community sustainability. The ground breaking work, "Bridges Out of Poverty” (2006) describes the need for a continuum of strategies to address the causes of poverty and prosperity including: behaviors of the individual; the absence of human and social capital; human exploitation; and political, economic [legal] structures. In 2009 and 2010, an innovative program was successfully delivered in two Aboriginal communities to develop appropriate learner behaviors and human/social capital within a cultural context. Using interactive activities and PowerPoint, this workshop will explore the program model, concepts, principles, and methods used.
Bryan Loucks (Wassayshikung – Marten Clan) B.A, M.Ed. is an adult educator living and working in the Bkejwanong Territory (Walpole Island FN). He is involved in applied research and education related to quality of life, sustainability and change, communities of attachment, partnership engagement and cross cultural learning. He has taught at Anishinabe Educational Institute / St. Clair College, Cambrian College, Brock University, the University of Western Ontario and Trent University’s PHD program.
Fred Wien, Dalhousie University & Judy Whiteduck, Assembly of First Nations
"A Poverty Intervention Approach to Improving the Health and Well-being of First Nation Communities”
The Assembly of First Nations’ Make Poverty History Expert Advisory Committee has recently been awarded a major grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to implement a project of intervention and research on the issue of poverty in First Nations communities. CANDO members will be interested in the project because it involves working with five First Nation communities across the country to address the poverty issue and monitor the impact on health and social outcomes. The objective of the presentation is to make CANDO members aware of the project and to encourage discussion about the issues involved in the project.
Fred Wien is Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University. He was Deputy Director of Research for RCAP. He chairs the Advisory Board for the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health (CIHR) and the "Make Poverty History” Expert Advisory Committee of the AFN. Fred has been an active participant in several CANDO committees.
Judy Whiteduck is the Director of Economic Partnerships for the Assembly of First Nations. She is from Kitigan Zibi and has worked extensively in the field of First Nation economic development, including the drafting of the First Nation Economic Blueprint and the Algonquin Regional Economic Development Strategy.
"A Rights Based Approach to Achieving Practical Accommodation Arrangements with Industry”
Amyn Lalji, Miller Thomson, Chief Rose Laboucan, Driftpile First Nation
Victoria Grant, Temagami First Nation – "Doing Business with First Nations in Ontario”
Increasingly, the Crown in many jurisdictions in Canada is delegating far more than "procedural” aspects of consultation to industry. Usually "procedural” consultation between Industry and First Nations results in the culmination of Accommodation Agreements, Impact Benefit Agreements or Participation Agreements. However, the timeliness of these arrangements will be rooted in how seriously the industry party takes the First Nation in this process. For instance: Is First Nations treated with respect or suspicion? Do the parties commence funded "level playing field” negotiations efficiently and with mutual understanding? Alternatively, does the Company only come to the table the "hard way” after the First Nation has had the take steps to demonstrate its leverage to the questioning company? Presentation will focus on the experiences negotiating Impact Benefit Agreements for many First Nations across Canada including First Nations in the Yukon, BC, Alberta and Ontario. We will also share lessons learned from these negotiations and discuss strategies which we believe will lead to timely negotiations and mutually beneficial arrangements between industry and First Nations. Presentation will also feature a case study in a recent Impact Benefit Agreement that was facilitated between the Driftpile First Nation and Pembina Pipelines in Alberta – a hard fought and groundbreaking arrangement.
Amyn Lalji is a partner with Miller Thomson LLP. Amyn has specialized in Aboriginal, Business and Environmental law and has represented First Nations in many of Canada’s largest resource based projects, economic development and self government initiatives. In particular, Amyn has been involved in structuring, negotiating and implementing Impact and Benefit Agreements, Participation Agreements, Joint Ventures, Limited Partnerships, and many other commercial arrangements. Amyn has also advised First Nation clients on developing Trusts which seek to manage the wealth of First Nations for future generations. Amyn’s work has included: the Victor Diamond Project (Impact Benefits Agreement between Attawapiskat First Nation and De Beers Canada Inc. and Attawapiskat Trust), the Galore Creek Project (Participation Agreement between Tahltan Nation and NovaGold Canada Inc.), the Orca Sand & Gravel Project (Impact Benefits Agreement between Kwakiutl Band council and Polaris Minerals Ltd. and Kwakiutl Trust), and acting on behalf of the Simpcw First Nation (Impact Benefit Agreement with Canadian Hydro Developers Inc.) Amyn is called the British Columbia Bar and the Yukon Bar.
Rose C. Laboucan was born and raised in Driftpile, Alberta. She completed her high school in High Prairie E.W. Pratt. While attending the University of Alberta to complete her Bachelors of Education (1994), Rose received a Role Model Award from the Province of Alberta. After spending some time teaching, she decided to pursue her Master’s degree at the University of Alberta and completed her thesis in 2001. Her thesis is titled "I am who I am: The story of Empowerment”. Rose believes that responsibilities are the key ingredient in making life a success story. Her message is "Silent the voices of failure and doubt from within instead scream out success until you believe in yourself – nothing is impossible”. Currently she is serving her 4th consecutive term as Chief for the Driftpile First Nation. She is also Grand Chief for Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council & Deputy Grand Chief of Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta. She was the recipient of the Advancement of Aboriginal Women Esquao Leadership award of 2004, and in 2006 she received the "Circle of Honor Award”, which is the highest honor to receive.
Victoria Grant is of the Loon Clan, Teme-Augama Anishnabai, and Temagami First Nation. Beginning some 30 years ago, her career has included Band Administration, health care, financial and office management, and entrepreneurship. Her past experience includes being the first Band Administrator for the Temagami First Nation, executive coordinator for Noojimawin Health Authority, Office Manager for Law office, Assistant Negotiator and Office Manager for Temagami First Nation Negotiations Unit, and most recently acting Interim Band Manager for the Temagami First Nation. Victoria has sat on a number of boards locally, provincially and most recently was appointed to a national board. Currently, she is a director and vice chair of the Ontario Health Quality Council and a director of the Community Foundations of Canada. She is a co-founder of the Temagami Community Foundation. Other past board experience includes the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Temagami Community Foundation. Victoria remains committed to advancing and improving Aboriginal issues and relations.
Lewis C. Staats, Six Nations of the Grand River, President of the Rochester Amerks (AHL) and the Rochester Knighthawks, "Six Nations Business Overview & Community Economics – Following the Money Flows”
Six Nations is the largest populated First Nation in Canada. It is home to over 400 businesses from large manufacturing companies employing 300+ people to many small family owned and operated businesses covering pretty much all the basic needs. Six Nations is unique in that the entire business base in the community is all privately owned so it is easy to see that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at Six Nations. This entrepreneurial spirit of the community has stretched to span the globe as the business interests of Six Nations owned and operated stretches not only to many nearby cities in southern Ontario but also into the USA and abroad. The diversity of the business interests of Six Nations’ entrepreneurs include ownership in professional sports as the Rochester Americans American Hockey League team and the Rochester Knighthawks National Lacrosse League team are owned by Curt Styres from Six Nations. The first part of the presentation will be an overview of this diverse and unique Six Nations economy. The second part of the presentation will be a quick overview on understanding the basics of an economy and how the flows of money impact on the development of any economy.
Mr. Staats is a Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River territory, located in southern Ontario. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario (1979) specializing in economics. He also attended and completed the Banff School of Advanced Management (BSAM) Senior Executive Development Program in 1991. Mr. Staats is currently on the faculty of the Banff Centre’s Aboriginal Leadership and Management programs. Mr. Staats is the owner of Staats & Associates, a Six Nations based company specializing in strategic consulting focused on First Nations leadership training, economic and business development. He is presently President of the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League and Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League. Both teams are owned by Curt Styres from Six Nations. He is also President of Grand River Green Power a business focused on developing business verticals in the renewable energy sector concentrating on wind power. In addition to these activities Mr. Staats is also the President of the Six Nations Business Association. The association provides advocacy and other services on behalf it its members who have combined revenues exceeding $500 million and sustain over 550 full time jobs in the community. He was also President of Two Rivers Community Development Centre from January 1990 until July 1998. Two Rivers is an Aboriginal Financial Institution that assisted over two hundred (200) local entrepreneurs with financing totaling over eight million ($8M) dollars during his eight and a half year tenure and it continues to be one of the top performing companies in Canada. Mr. Staats has over twenty five (25) years experience in Aboriginal economic development both in the public and private sector.
Georgina Villeneuve, Peace Hills Trust Company & Steven Smith, Beutel, Goodman Investment Counsel, "Sustainable Economic Development Through Trust and Investments”
A brief overview of how settlement claim trusts can be designed to provide and support economic development through the use of capital or through the income generated from investments. Under both scenarios the capital and/or income can then be utilized to support economic development projects. Many First Nations have successfully used Trusts and Investments to achieve economic development goals. The presentation will be supported by clear examples of successful projects that began with the trust acting, as lending partner.
With over 14 years of experience administering trusts, Georgina Villeneuve brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the settlement of First Nation Trusts. Georgina earned an undergraduate degree in commerce from the University of Calgary and an MBA from the University of Regina.
Steven Smith draws upon extensive experience in the investment industry to provide investment council and client service to First Nations across Canada. He received a BA in English and Economics from the University of Toronto, is a fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute and was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1994.
Neil Burnett, Indian & Northern Affairs Canada
"Update on Community Economic Development & the Future of INAC Aboriginal Economic Development Programming Based on the Federal Framework”
Neil Burnett is the Director of Community Economic Development in the Lands and Economic Development Sector of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University (1993) and is also a Certified Management Accountant (1998). Neil has 15 years experience working in Aboriginal Business and Community Economic Development, working for Industry Canada’s Aboriginal Business Canada program and Indian Northern Affairs Community Economic Development Programs.
Natural Resources Panel
Moderator – Catherine Peltier Mavin
Catherine is Aboriginal Policy & Promotion Advisor, Natural Resources Canada, Minerals and Metals Sector. She works closely with mining industry representatives and associations, Aboriginal organizations, learning institutions, provincial/territorial governments on developing initiatives and tools aimed at developing capacities, increasing Aboriginal engagement in exploration and mining. Catherine is Odawa and Pottawatomi and a member of the Wikwemikong Unceeded Indian Reserve on Manitoulin Island.
Terry Wilson, Nishnawbe Aski Forestry Coordinator – "First Nation Forestry First Nation Forestry Opportunities In Ontario”
Access to forest resources is an effective enabler of economic development for First Nations communities. Many jurisdictions in Canada are revising their Crown forest tenure regimes; Ontario among them. Terry Wilson will share his experiences and impressions on the challenges still facing First Nations seeking to realize opportunities from forestry.
Terry Wilson, is the Forestry Advisor at the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and currently resides in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where he graduated from Lakehead University in 1977 with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry. For twenty years he worked for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, primarily in the areas of Crown land forest management, private land forest management and technology development. From 1997 to 2001, he served as a professional forester for the Matawa Tribal Council. For the last nine years, Terry has worked as the forestry coordinator and lands & resources policy analyst with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. NAN is a Political Territory Organization whose traditional territory covers approximately 2/3rds of Ontario. A key focus area is representing NAN in various forums to deal with recommendations from the Ipperwash Inquiry Report. As well as being a registered professional forester (RFP), he holds memberships on various advisory committees including the Lakehead University Faculty of Forestry, the Northern Ontario Sustainable Communities Partnership and the Ontario’s Management Committee for the First Nations Forestry Program.
Jason Wilson, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada
"Mineral Exploration and Aboriginal Communities”
Jason Wilson is the Program Director of the Aboriginal Affairs and Resource development at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC). He currently manages and works alongside the advocacy team in the areas of Aboriginal affairs, community relations, geosciences, integrated land use planning, and resource management. His educational background is in political science and business. With over 10 years of work in the community, the political arena and industry, Jason is now looking to working at enhancing the overall participation of Aboriginal peoples and communities in the business of exploration and mining. He believes strongly working together in the area of engagement, networking, advocacy and providing information services for Aboriginal communities on behalf of Industry will be the main key to success.
Dr. Brian Ballantyne – "Renewing Parcel Fabric on First Nation Reserves = Quilting”
All communities consist of a quilt of land uses – houses, other buildings, parks, roads, and so on. This fabric consists of many parcels. The Surveyor General Branch of NRCan is aiming to improve parcel fabric on First Nations Reserves, in a two-step process. Step 1 – Inventory – assessed the quality of parcel fabric for 100 First Nations. We found that parcel fabric was 60% of the quality of fabric in off-Reserve communities, owing to many buildings having no parcel, and to many boundaries running through buildings. The result is that land use planning is impeded, informal interests cannot be registered, and surveys are costly and time-consuming. Step 2 – Developing a plan for renewal is now underway, in conjunction with INAC and in partnership with five First Nations, to improve parcel fabric on five Reserves by mid-2011. The aim is to create new parcels (so that each house sits on its own parcel) and to shift existing boundaries (so that houses do not encroach onto neighbouring parcels). The benefits of the pilot project are three-fold – the First Nations get better fabric, INAC gets parcels to which informal interests can be linked, and SGB gets feedback on enhancing fabric and improving surveys on all First Nations Reserves.
Dr. Brian Ballantyne is a lawyer who serves as Advisor to the Surveyor General and the International Boundary Commissioner within the Surveyor General Branch (SGB) of Natural Resources Canada. The SGB mandate is the management of surveys and maintenance of parcel fabric on Canada Lands, which include Reserves, national parks, and federal Crown land in the north and in the offshore. Dr. Ballantyne has degrees in law, surveying, geography and environmental ethics and has expertise in rectilinear and riparian boundaries in Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, Russia and Ethiopia. His work focuses on parcels within Reserves, jurisdictional boundaries of Reserves and Settlement Lands, inter-provincial bounds, the Canada – United States boundary, and international maritime boundaries.
Michael Fox, Fox High Impact – "Mineral Exploration Partnership Opportunities”
Michael Fox is the President of Fox High Impact Consulting, a national firm that specializes in Aboriginal processes, participation, and partnership development in the energy and mineral sectors. He brings a wealth of experience in structuring projects, partnership, and financing from early stage engagement through later stage formal consultation with First Nations. In his previous employment, he assisted northern Ontario First Nations with economic development initiatives within the main natural resource development sectors of Ontario: forestry, energy, and mining. He has facilitated joint ventures and partnership arrangements between First Nations and Industry. In addition, he has acted as one of key liaison person between First Nations’ project proponents and governmental agencies as well as facilitated capacity building initiatives. He obtained a post-secondary education in business administration and an honours degree in political science, with the latter being primarily focused on natural resource development in Ontario and Aboriginal law. He is President of the Boreal Prospectors Association, Board Member of the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business, Board Member of the PDAC as well as the Co-Chair of PDAC’s Aboriginal Affairs Committee, and Board Member of the Ontario Waterpower Association. He’s originally from Weenusk First Nation and is happily married with three children.
Judy Whiteduck – Assembly of First Nations
"Economic Partnerships: Making First Nations Poverty History Committee”
Increase First Nations people in the labour force, including/highlighting the project Mining Essentials: A Work Readyness Training Program for Aboriginal Peoples, a mining industry entry level training development program, led by the Assembly of First Nations and the Mining Industry Human Resource Council.
Judy Whiteduck is Director of the Economic Partnerships Secretariat at the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). As part of her role she coordinates technical work to support the AFN Chiefs Committee on Economic Development and is also responsible for the AFN’s Corporate Challenge initiative. Her academic background is in business administration and general arts. She holds high regard for 7 years of work for her community in managing their economic development program. Judy has also worked in the federal public service as a program manager in economic policy. Judy is an Algonquin citizen of the Kitigan Zibi First Nation in Quebec, is married and has two children.