Conference Panels

Indigenous Tourism Panel

Indigenous tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry. This panel will showcase Indigenous tourism success stories and will talk about resources available to support Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs and communities in the development of sustainable tourism products.
  • Marie-Pierre Lainé, Quebec Aboriginal Tourism
  • Keith Henry, Indigenous Tourism Canada
  • Chief Darryl Marlowe, Lutsel K’e Dene Nation
  • Tarra Wright Many Chief, Indigenous Tourism Alberta
Marie-Pierre Lainé
Quebec Aboriginal Tourism
Member of the Huron-Wendat community, Marie-Pierre had the opportunity to collaborate with all the First Nations of Quebec throughout her career. In addition to a multidisciplinary academic background, Marie-Pierre has first-hand experience of Indigenous realities. Strongly motivated to contribute to the development of the Indigenous tourism sector, she is putting forward all her versatility and commitment. With a keen interest in bringing people together and promoting the various Indigenous tourism projects in Quebec.
Keith Henry
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Mr. Keith Henry is a Métis person that was born in Thompson, Manitoba and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Mr. Henry began his career in 1995 with teaching positions and has become well known for his strategic administrative and negotiation skills. Since 1998 Mr. Hendry has led numerous provincial, federal and industry negotiations on a variety of issues. He has been directly responsible for financial administration of a number of Aboriginal non-profits and has a proven track record of success. Mr. Henry has become an international Indigenous cultural tourism leader receiving Aboriginal/Indigenous recognition as the former CEO for Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC). In April 2014, the inaugural World Indigenous Tourism Alliance award recognized the work of AtBC and Mr. Henry’s leadership. Mr. Henry has been spearheading the growth of authentic Indigenous tourism in Canada as he worked to redevelop the national Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada as elected chair when this organization incorporated in April 2015. In October 2015 Mr. Henry took the full-time role as the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s CEO. In Canada Mr. Henry continues to be recognized across the country as one of the leaders in Indigenous tourism and has led many new initiatives including the national strategy entitled ‘’The Path Forward 2016-2021’’, contributions to the development of national standards on market readiness and authenticity, cruise industry opportunities and the national Aboriginal tourism research project on the economic value of Indigenous cultural tourism. Mr. Henry was instrumental in the development of the national Indigenous tourism strategy The Path Forward 2016-2021 which will focus on increasing Aboriginal market readiness, increasing jobs, and increasing revenues. Mr. Henry volunteers time in the Aboriginal community and maintains several board positions including the former President of the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business, former chair of the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada, current Chair for the Native Education College, member of the Minister’s Council on Tourism, former member of the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Aboriginal Opportunities Committee, member of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, member of the International Marketing Committee Destination Canada member, and current President of the BC Métis Federation.

Chief Darryl Marlowe
Lutsel K’e Dene Nation
Chief Darryl Marlowe, under the encouragement of elders and youth decided to run for Council and was elected Chief in 2017 with a clean majority supported by a large youth voter turn-out.  Being elected at 30 years old, Chief Marlowe is the youngest of all Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation Chiefs. Marlowe has made job creation, the finalization of the Park, the development of the tourism sector some of the top priorities for economic development in his community.
Tarra Wright Many Chief
Indigenous Tourism Alberta
Tarra has led the start-up and growth of Indigenous Tourism Alberta including business planning for the organization, negotiation of multiple government and non-government funding commitments and formal tourism industry partnership agreements. Tarra Wright Many Chief moved to Calgary after growing up in the Treaty Seven community of Blood Tribe. She studied Business Management and First Nations Governance at the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College. Tarra is passionate about working with Indigenous people to support independent and sustainable community development. Tarra is grateful for the opportunity she has had to work within the local Indigenous communities.


Cannabis Panel

The panel will focus on discussions around the implications of the legalization of cannabis. It will showcase successful partnerships between First Nations and the industry and will look at existing challenges and opportunities.
  • Delphine Metallic, Listuguj First Nation
  • Chief Christian Sinclair, Opaskwayak Cree Nation
  • Trichome Financial & Meta Cannabis Supply Co. (TBC)
Delphine Metallic
Listuguj First Nation
A Mi’gmaq woman from Listuguj Quebec, I have been a lifelong resident of this vibrant and culturally rich community. I raised my three children in Listuguj, leaving to pursue a college education in Montreal, and then again later to attain a business degree from the University of New Brunswick. Currently employed with the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government for over 20 years, in various positions such as Economic Development (current role), Commercial Fisheries and Social Services. The wide experience gained through these positions has provided me with insight into community values and vision for the future and ensuring those things important to Listugujewaq are intertwined within the community economic development strategy as well as helping to formulate proposals and strategic directions for the betterment of the community.

Economic Development Opportunities in Indigenous International Trade Panel

Inter-tribal and international trade for indigenous businesses looks promising as various efforts including a possible Aboriginal Trade Chapter as part of Canada’s Progressive Trade Agenda as well as the development of officially authorized Nation-State sponsored International Indigenous Trade Missions show promise of possible protection of traditional knowledge and security of a possible protected Indigenous nation-to-nation trading relationship.  As indigenous land claims continue to be settled and as tribes are seeking investment advantages such as establishing Foreign Trade Zones, there is tremendous opportunity for economic development for native peoples and for the communities and businesses with whom they come in contact.  This session will explore the efforts being made to build global Indigenous trade. What you will learn: trends in inter-tribal and international trade for indigenous businesses; how your community and aboriginal-owned businesses can benefit from these new trading initiatives; and sharing of best practices on how to develop better Indigenous trade relationships.
  • Wayne D. Garnons-Williams, International Inter-tribal Trade & Investment Organization
  • James C. Collard, Citizen Potawatomi Nation
  • Michael Woods, Woods LaFortune LLP
  • Robert Brookfield, Trade Law Bureau, Government of Canada
Wayne D. Garnons-Williams
International Inter-tribal Trade & Investment Organization
Wayne is Plains Cree from Treaty 6, Moosomin First Nation, the founding President of International Inter-tribal Trade Organization, Senior Lawyer and Principal Director of the law firm Garwill Law Professional Corporation specializing in Tribal Trade and Economic Development, as well as past Chair of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Appeal Tribunal. He is on the board of directors of the International Council of the Great Lakes Region a board member of Capacity Canada and a board member of Three Feather Corporation. He is also a Research Fellow specializing in International Comparative Indigenous law at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law. He is appointed by Order in Council as a member to the NAFTA Chapter 19 Trade Remedies roster. He is the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business 2019 Award winner for Excellence in Aboriginal Relations.
Dr. James C. Collard
Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Dr. Collard is the Director of Planning and Economic Development for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN).  In this capacity he evaluates and facilitates business development proposals and tribal franchise opportunities. He also developed and manages the CPN Economic Development Strategy. He is currently developing a rail-anchored industrial park that will serve as a destination for Foreign Direct Investment and Import/Export Center for U.S. domestic companies. Dr. Collard has initiated and packaged numerous economic development projects and agreements between multiple governmental entities.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council.  He is also on the Executive Committee of the International Inter-tribal Trade & Investment Organization (IITO).  Dr. Collard is the Past Chair of the OK Governor’s International Team and is a member of the Oklahoma District Export Council. Dr. Collard has traveled extensively internationally on business and as a participant on trade missions and diplomatic delegations. He is also the co-founder and chair of the Tribal-Municipal Dialogue, a group dedicated to increasing cooperation between tribal & local governments.  He is currently working with the University of Oklahoma - College of Law on Indigenous Human Rights issues.
Michael Woods
Woods LaFortune LLP
Michael Woods is a founding partner of Woods, LaFortune LLP and has broad experience in international business with special expertise in all aspects of international trade litigation. His practice includes international trade and cross-border litigation, import and export controls, regulatory law, information technology and knowledge management, government procurement and contracting, and government relations. Mr. Woods has been recognized as a leading practitioner in the area of International Trade/WTO since 2008 by Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business. In June 2013, he was awarded the Ontario Bar Association Award for Excellence in International Law. Mr. Woods began his career in trial and appellate litigation. In 1981, he joined Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), serving as a trade lawyer, a trade negotiator at HQ as with the Canadian Embassies in Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Korea. After 21 years in government, he joined a Gottlieb & Pearson – an international trade law boutique in Montreal where he specialized in trade remedies and regulatory matters. He joined Heenan Blaikie, a large national and international firm, as a partner in 2007. He managed the Ottawa office’s international trade work and was lead counsel in several international investment disputes. In 2014 he co-founded Woods, LaFortune LLP, an international trade law boutique based in Ottawa. 
Robert Brookfield
Trade Law Bureau, Government of Canada
Robert Brookfield is Director General of the Trade Law Bureau (JLT) of the Government of Canada.  He presently leads the CUSMA (formerly NAFTA) legal team and has acted as primary legal counsel or negotiator of elements of many free trade negotiations, including the Canada-EU Comprehensive Trade Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and free trade agreements with Korea, Honduras, and Panama.  He has served as counsel for Canada on several WTO disputes, including US-Country of Origin Labelling and China-Auto Parts. He has a L.L.B from the University of British Columbia (1995) and a BArtsSc from McMaster University (1992). Robert is the 2019 recipient of the International Indigenous Trade Law and Policy Award.

Procurement Panel

Panelists will share their experiences related to the Indigenous Procurement.
  • David Acco, Acosys Consulting
  • Office of Small & Medium Enterprise
  • Shannin Metatawabin, National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association
  • Jeff Provost, Bird Construction
David Acco
Acosys Consulting
David Acco is a member of the Metis Nation-Saskatchewan whose roots are tied to Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, as well as being a Red River and Peter Ballyantine Band Cree Nation descendent. He holds an International MBA from the University of Ottawa and has completed a Masters Business Analyst Certificate from the Schulich School of Business at York University. He also holds Graduate Certificate in eCommerce and Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management from McGill University and Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University. David has experience leading teams and working independently on projects varying in size and scope. He has extensive experience in Information Systems and Information Technology (IS/IT) in the telecommunications and engineering industries as a project manager, business analyst and proposals coordinator with companies such as Infoterra (Germany) – now Airbus Space and Defense, and Amdocs Management Services and many non-profit Indigenous organizations. In 2006, David with his partner, Julie Lepage, a member of the Nipissing First Nations, created Acosys Consulting Services. Acosys is a 100% Aboriginal-owned and operated business that provides professional consulting services in Information Technology (IT), Human Resources (HR) and Aboriginal Policy Development. In 2008, Julie and David created an Aboriginal Internship Program which provides the opportunity for Aboriginal talent to work and be mentored on their client projects. Their approach has been recognized by their clients, like RBC and Accenture and has earned Acosys numerous awards including the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority and Supplier Council’s Small Business Achievement Award (2011), the Toronto Board of Trade Award of Business Excellence (2012), and Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO) Aboriginal Private Sector Business Category (2014).
Shannin Metatawabin
National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association
Shannin is Cree/Inninow from Fort Albany First Nation of the Mushkegowuk Nation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Carleton University and an Aboriginal Economic Development certificate from the University of Waterloo. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation and the Manager of Aboriginal Affairs and Sustainability with De Beers Canada. Shannin and his wife Sienna, of the White Bear/Sakimay First Nations in Saskatchewan, reside in Ottawa with their four children.
Jeff Provost
Bird Construction
As a proud Métis, born and raised in St. Boniface (Winnipeg), Manitoba, Jeff is passionate about Indigenous engagement and understanding. As a Cando Certified Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer, Jeff works to build respectful relationships and promote open communications with Bird Construction stakeholders and operations across Canada. Bird is currently Bronze PAR certified by the CCAB and is a member of their inaugural group of Aboriginal Procurement Champions. Jeff is Bird’s national lead on Indigenous relations and seeks to increase business opportunities and employment for our Indigenous partners and communities. Jeff has had the pleasure of working with Inuit, First Nations, and Métis communities across Canada to helps bridge connections and build community. Jeff’s education includes: Intro to Project Management, University of Winnipeg; Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer (PAED), Cando; Bachelor of Arts, University of Manitoba & Public Relations, Marketing & Communications Certificate, University of Winnipeg. Jeff is currently serving as Vice Chair Board of Directors on the Debwendon Inc. Steering Committee. He is also Founding National Executive Member & Past Manitoba Director & Chair of Governance Committee, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.

First Nation – Municipal CEDI Plenary Panel

Many First Nations, municipalities and/or regional organizations would like to collaborate on joint community economic development initiatives but often aren’t sure where to start. In part, this is because there are significant differences in the communities’ legal rights and governance structures, economic conditions, demographics and cultures; however, often First Nations, municipalities and regional organizations share many of the same hopes, and they struggle with similar issues and challenges.
While collaboration requires an investment of time to build the relationship, it provides significant return as communities gain access to broader range of skills, ideas, funding, and assets. Perhaps the most compelling reason to engage in joint First Nation – municipal community economic development (CED) is simple: communities are stronger together.
Delivered in partnership by the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), the CEDI program supports First Nations and adjacent municipalities to develop and implement joint community economic development or land use initiatives while building a resilient, sustainable partnership.  
On October 30th, join Working Group Champions from a current CEDI partnership as they share their experiences and lessons learned gained through collaborating with their neighbours on joint community economic development.