Conference Workshops

Please click on the workshop title to veiw a pdf of the workshop presentation.  Click on the speaker's name to view their biography.

"Building Wealth with Wood – Success Stories”, Carole Blaquiere & Dave McRae, FPInnovations

Building Wealth from Wood is FPInnovations Aboriginal Forest Sector Technical Support Program. This initiative helps the Aboriginal forest sector and its wood products businesses succeed by offering access to industry specialists and manufacturing solutions. On-site assistance, workshops and seminars help develop new products, solve production problems, increase productivity, reduce costs and maximize the value of the forest resource. The program goals are to: help ensure success in the forest sector and the Aboriginal wood products industry; identify long-term opportunities in Aboriginal forest-dependent communities; contribute to the development of a sustainable long-term solution to address poverty and unemployment challenges in those communities; and provide technical and professional support leading to long-term sustainable wealth for communities, companies and individuals operating in the Aboriginal forest sectors. Three success stories will be presented as examples of work that has been done.

"CAHRMA: Human Resources as a Strategic Partner” – Diane Ross Carriere, Canadian Aboriginal Human Resource Management Association & Jamie Saulnier, Running Deer Resources

Human Resources forms one of the most significant areas in determining the success of the business with people increasingly being seen as the most critical asset. The health and well-being of Aboriginal communities can often be directly linked to the effectiveness and capacity of their administration. Aboriginal Human Resource managers are key to a community’s viability and well-being. The effective performance of HR policy and practice contributes to the economic viability of a community. In order to be self-sustaining, the communities require individuals with extensive knowledge and skills in the area of HR. The Canadian Aboriginal Human Resource Management Association (CAHRMA) was created to address the lack of Human Resource in the communities/organizations with a mission to support and provide professional training to Aboriginal communities. CAHRMA has developed tools that will assist the communities to evaluate their current HR status as well as preparing the community for Economic Development and employment opportunities with Industry. These two tools will be shared in this presentation.

"Dakelth Tourism Industry Development Alliance Project", Kallie Smith, Aboriginal Business & Community Development Centre

The purpose of this workshop is to share information about an exciting new project that the Aboriginal Business & Community Development Centre is working on. We hope to form partnerships and alliances with other EDOs during this time. The project is called the "Dakelth Tourism Industry Development Alliance” (DTIDA). The alliance is designed to support individuals and groups who are dedicated to Aboriginal tourism development in Western Canada. We want to support Aboriginal individuals and existing Aboriginal tourism operators. We want to capture a larger share of the tourism market in Western Canada. We envision having an Aboriginal tourism operator in every band in BC, AB and SK.

"Housing as a Business (HaaB)”, Ken Jacobs, AANDC – Ontario Region & Laurie Buffalo, Cando

Housing as a Business (HaaB) is a business model that encourages private home ownership and profitable rental housing regimes on a First Nation. The business model incorporates various methods or approaches on how to make profits from the housing industry. Typically, the model incorporates mortgage financing spreads, profitable rental regimes, retail of materials, services, training and job creation programs. By implementing the principles of HaaB, First Nations can achieve huge economic benefits by targeting and providing an alternate housing option to its First Nation community members who are gainfully employed. As a result of several factors including: a growing population, huge demand for new housing, the goal for self-sufficiency and support from government and private stakeholders, a business opportunity is emerging for First Nation communities. Nationally, several First Nations are exploring the HaaB approach to deal with the housing needs of their communities by establishing revolving loan funds to encourage private home ownership. HaaB is not a completely new concept; several First Nations across Canada have already implemented certain aspects of HaaB with great success. HaaB utilizes an innovative five (5) stage business approach to help alleviate this complex and problematic on-reserve housing shortage issue. In general society the housing sector has been a key driver for economic development. It has created economic opportunities in many areas such as revolving loan funds, construction trades, construction materials, landscaping, insurance, and home maintenance services. HaaB can play a similar role in First Nation communities by creating economic opportunities while addressing the current housing shortage.

"Implementing Impact Benefit Agreements in the Age of Forced Partnerships”, Georgina Villeneuve & Kim Fullerton, Peace Hills Trust

These are not necessarily forced partnerships but are partnerships that must be entered into if the First Nation is to benefit economically from resources on their tradition territory. Impact Benefit Agreements are contractual arrangements between resource companies and First Nation communities. The ability to negotiate and implement such agreements is critical to ensuring that a resource extraction generates considerable ongoing benefits for the First Nations. The goal of this presentation is to provide materials, tools and resources for delegates to help them tackle the process and issues related to negotiating agreements.

"Lessons Learned: Negotiating and Implementing Partnership Agreements in Mining that Work”, Melanie Sturk, Mining Industry Human Resources Council

In 2012 MiHR consulted with the appropriate representatives of mining companies and Aboriginal communities across Canada to gather lessons learned in negotiating and implementing human resources components of partnership agreements (i.e., Impact and Benefit Agreements). A report has been developed outlining the findings of the research to help others navigate negotiation and implementation for more effective partnership agreements. Although focused on mining HR, the findings have application beyond the HR and to other resource sectors. The presentation will also highlight tools available through MiHR and other partners to assist companies and communities in meeting hiring and educational goals.

"Mining for Economic Opportunities", Jerry Asp, Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association

This workshop will explain the economic opportunities in the four phases of a mining project: (1) exploration (basic prospecting, detailed exploration, advanced exploration); (2) construction / development; (3) operations; and (4) closure/reclamation. The goal of the workshop is to convey that there are economic opportunities in all phases of a mining project, not just in the construction and operation phases. The "hoped for” outcome would be that the potential opportunities are acted upon by Aboriginal entrepreneurs, First Nations, and other Aboriginal communities. In keeping with the conference theme of "Celebrating Effective Partnerships”, the mining industry provides many, many opportunities to form effective partnerships.

"NATOA-Aboriginal Trusts and Investments”, Mark Sevestre & Michele Young-Crook, National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association (NATOA) & Georgina Villeneuve, Peace Hills Trust

The National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association will provide a look at Aboriginal Trusts – from Trust structures to the investment portfolios necessary to sustain these vital community resources. NATOA will provide information that will help communities thrive and better assist in the growth of the community into the future.

"Negotiating with Commercial Organizations to Create the Best Business Partnership", Ian Craven, MNP LLP 

This presentation will provide a systematic approach to ensure that a community undertakes the necessary steps to develop a positive, equitable and effective business partnership. The presentation will follow a process geared toward; ensuring that the community is prepared and aligned with the economic opportunity, that there is a thorough awareness of all aspects of the venture from concept to finalizing the deal, and that proper planning and research is conducted. This approach is designed to minimize and mitigate the challenges and potential liabilities that can often occur in business partnerships. The result is to create an outcome that protects the community and benefits all parties involved – Formulate-Anticipate-Investigate-Negotiate-Integrate.

"Partnership in Land Resources Management", Chief Paul Gull & Robert L. Ottereyes, Cree First Nation of Waswanipi

The most modern treaty signed November 14th, 1975 the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, brought forth a land management resources process established between the Crees of Eeyou Istchee, the industry and the government. One of the communities involved in this process is Waswanipi. The Cree First Nation of Waswanipi shall introduce to the interested native communities a process on how to manage its land resources within its traditional territories. The use of this traditional lands shall be explained: the categorization of lands; the exclusive use of the traditional camps; the traditional trap line management systems and its tallyman; exclusive traditional camp sites and how tradition is continued by a way of life of hunting, fishing and trapping; in conjunction with the use of lands reserved for development in a sustainable manner. Moreover, mineral exploration and mining activities shall be explained. The balancing of development and the pursuit of tradition continues.

"Planning for the Future – Lands and Economic Development Advisory Committee", Zac McCue, LEDAC Youth Representative, Waabgaag Mashkawiziiwin

The session will provide an overview of background information for the Lands and Economic Development Advisory Committee (LEDAC) for Ontario. Originally, created as Regional Program Management Advisory Committee (RPMAC), the committee assumed its current name in April 2012 to reflect the recent changes within AANDC to combine lands and economic development in an effort to have Land Managers and EDOs work together for the greater benefit of First Nation communities. LEDAC functions as the voice of front-line Ontario First Nation Land Managers and EDOs from all regions of the province by providing a common forum for dialogue and advice and recommendations on First Nation economic development matters to AANDC. One key outcome of this committee is eighty (80) per cent of LEDAC’s recommendations have been accepted by AANDC and the organization has been able to publish position papers and career guides for economic development practitioners.

"Preparing a Budget for an Economic Development Project”, Dan Rochon, ATCO Sustainable Communities Inc.

When the Economic Development Officer of an Aboriginal community applies for government grant or loan for a new economic development project such as a community center, gas station, grocery store or elders lodge, the first thing that these organizations will want to see is a business plan. A capital and operating budget forms the backbone of any business plan as it demonstrates to community leadership and government agencies that it is feasible to construct and operate the facility in a sustainable manner. This presentation will discuss best practices in putting together a capital and operating budget that will get grants and loans for projects that will strengthen the local Aboriginal economy.

"Preparing Communities for Mining”, Michelle White-Wilsdon, Cando

For the past several years, the Minerals and Metals Sector (MMS) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) have been developing mining information tools for Aboriginal Communities as part of its mandate to promote Aboriginal participation in minerals and metals activities. In 2012, MMS revised its suite of information products and developed options for new tools including a train-the-trainer manual. Cando partnered with Natural Resources Canada to deliver a series of pilot workshops entitled "Mining and Economic Development for Aboriginal Communities” , designed to test and refine the material to ensure that it would effectively present the mining cycle and the numerous related business and other economic opportunities available throughout the mining cycle from early exploration to mine closure and reclamation. The outcomes of the pilot workshops and the ongoing partnership between Cando and NRCan will be explored.

"Relationship Between Aboriginal Small Business Operations & Cultural Identity: Experience from Northern Manitoba", Dr. Amzad Hossain, University College of the North 

There are opposing views on the roles of small business activities in First Nation communities. Some scholars argue that promoting private enterprise expenses the community and contradicts between private enterprise and traditional lifestyles; while others consider the potential value of First Nation business that can enhance economic and political freedom for Aboriginal peoples. However, both groups of scholars have strongly emphasized the integration of cultural identity in small business activities as Indigenous cultures are a source of strength for Indigenous peoples. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to study the impact of current Aboriginal small business activities on their cultural identity. Even further, there is a gap in literature as it relates to Aboriginal small business activities and the factors that influence cultural identity in Northern Manitoba. This research seeks to address this gap. The study will adopt a mixed methods approach. It is envisaged that research outcomes will contribute to knowledge and debate in this area as well as towards formulating factor specific strategies to enhance small business enterprises that reinforces cultural identity, First Nations’ small business policies and activities.

"The Future of First Nations Finance & Governance", Frank Busch, First Nations Finance Authority

With government funding sources becoming scarce, it is more important than ever that First Nations Economic Development Officers find new options for funding Economic Development projects. Access to new financing through the First Nations Finance Authority is the future of First Nations Economic Development. EDOs will be able to learn how and why the process works and how to get financing with no collateral, no general security assignments and below bank prime interest rates (interim floating rate is 2.5%, low fixed rates up to 30 years) by leveraging their Own Source Revenues on the International Bond Market.

"Working in Partnership with the Fund to Open New Doors”, Deborah Taylor, First Nations Market Housing Fund & Clarence Miniquaken, Cree Nation of Wemindji

Cree Nation of Wemindji has been working with the First Nations Market Housing Fund since 2012 and has the distinction of being the first community in Quebec to have built houses on reserve whose financing was backed by the Fund. They have built 20 so far this year, a mix of homeowner and rent-to-own tenure. In a quest to develop a strong and sustainable market-based housing program Wemindji is also undertaking various capacity development initiatives with the support of the Fund, at the leadership, administrative and membership levels. These initiatives are in the areas of governance, land use, succession planning, human resources, finance, housing and community education. They include the development of plans, policies and processes, staff training and accreditation, as well as member education. The presentation will seek to explain how these initiatives are linked together, make a community stronger, ready them for investments and are necessary for success.