Youth Summit Speakers Bios
Derek Bruno - Evening Gala
Derek Bruno can best be described as an innovator and social entrepreneur. His passion for Community Economic Development (CED) stems from his years growing up on the Samson Cree Nation. These experiences led him to develop a number of successful businesses and innovative programs designed to help solve some of the most challenging issues facing Indigenous communities.
His passion has also lead Derek to pursue an MBA in CED from Cape Breton University, serve two terms as a councillor for his Nation, achieve his goal of becoming a published author and become a sought after motivational speaker.
Currently, Derek’s passion is in the area of Renewable Energy and Permaculture Design; having recently established two innovative companies, SevGen Renewables Ltd and WIN EcoSciences Inc.
Tenille Campbell - Entertainment
Tenille is a Dene & Métis author and photographer from English River First Nation in Northern Saskatchewan.
Tenille completed her MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and is in her fourth year of PhD studies at the University of Saskatchewan, focusing in Indigenous Literature.
She is the author of #IndianLovePoems, a poetry collection with a gaze upon Indigenous Erotica and the humour within.
Tenille is also the artist behind SWEETMOON PHOTOGRAPHY, a successful photography business that specializes in photographing Indigenous people, and the co-creator of TEA&BANNOCK, an online collective blog featuring the photographs and stories of Indigenous women photographers.
Tim Daniels - Lands panel
Tim is Anishinabe from the Long Plain First Nation (LPFN), Treaty No.1, located in South-Central Manitoba. Tim has served his community in senior management positions for 20 years with a wealth of experience in governance, lands and trusts, inter-governmental affairs, economic development and business management with achievements including:
• The development, management and expansion of Long Plain’s Portage Urban Reserve.
• The creation, development, management and expansion of Long Plain’s Winnipeg Urban Reserve.
• Treaty Land Entitlement/Loss of Use claims; creation, implementation and management of community trusts.
• Local, Provincial and National award recipient in the area of Economic Development and Business Management:
• Economic Developer of the Year Award - Community Category (CANDO)
• Manitoba First Nations Business of the Year (Tribal Council Investments Group of Manitoba)
• Company of the Year (Portage & District Chamber of Commerce)
• Dealer Operational Excellence Award (Suncor/Petro-Canada)
• Visionary Indigenous Business Excellence (University of Manitoba - Asper School of Business)
Tim presently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Arrowhead Development Corporation (ADC) and Economic Develop-ment Officer of the LPFN. ADC was established to develop business concepts and incorporate businesses under a development corporation. ADC is governed by the Board of Directors and a Chief Executive Officer, the ADC manages Band owned business-es on its three reserves; Long Plain Reserve No. 6, Keeshkeemaquah Reserve (Portage la Prairie) and Long Plain Madison Indi-an Reserve (Winnipeg).
In his role as Economic Development Officer, Tim administers the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Community Eco-nomic Development Program creating and exploring opportunities for LPFN. He is also responsible to administer and lead spe-cial projects by way of agreements between LPFN and Manitoba Hydro.
With his wife and their children, Tim resides on Long Plain’s Portage Urban Reserve which is now known as Keeshkeemaquah.
Drezus - Entertainment
Drezus, a staple of the Indigenous hip hop scene in Canada, has been making noise all over Turtle Island and beyond for over a decade.
Fusing a classic hip hop background with a deep connection to his First Nations heritage, his searing lyrics convey a message of empowerment and resilience in the face of struggle. In 2009 he was nominated for a Juno Award alongside his former group Team Rezofficial. His 2013 single “Red Warrior” was the unofficial anthem of the Idle No More protest movement and becomes more relevant by the day. He took home four Indigenous Music Awards in 2015 for his album “Indian Summer” and gained an international following after appearing on media outlets like Vice, Noisey, Fader, Pitchfork, CNN and MIC. He recently caught the ear of Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas and was asked to feature on the song “ StandUp/Stand N Rock”. The song and video went on to win an MTV Video Music Award in 2017.
Drezus makes important music with a message that cannot be ignored. His music inspires people of all nations and generations.
Dustin Ross Fiddler - EDO panel
Dustin was born in Meadow Lake , Saskatchewan. His home has always been in the boreal forests of Northern Saskatchewan. Through his upbringing he was taught traditionally from his elders and his strong mentor and Uncle, Sidney Fiddler, a former Chief of Waterhen Lake First Nation. Dustin holds these values passed down to him in highest regard and aims to honour them in his work and through his character. Dustin was the recipient of the Jodi Manderscheid Memorial Award for Leadership in his community. He later attended the University of British Columbia where he was elected to represent the Indigenous Student population on the Indigenous Students' Council. Following that, he moved to Saskatoon and was appointed the Aboriginal Representative for the Saskatoon-Wanuskewan Federal Liberal Association of Canada. He has also represented his home community of Waterhen Lake First Nation on a national level, Dustin has worked with NextUp Canada as a facilitator for a First Nations and Metis Youth based leadership training program.
Currently Dustin is a Band Councillor in his home community of Waterhen Lake First Nation where continues to strive for more transparency, stronger education, better communication and to further economic development. He remains a strong Indigenous male role model for the youth in his community through his Drug & Alcohol free lifestyle. His biggest motivation is building and setting up success for the community’s youth. He hopes that he can spark an interest in leadership and business within that next generation. A few of the main priorities over his term in council have been building the First Nation’s capacity. This is being achieved through working on various acts and policies that will govern the nation.
Dustin also works on various portfolios including communications, justice & policing, education, and economic development. This previous year he was invited to be on CANDO’s 2017 Annual National Youth Panel for their AGM in Fredericton NB, Meadow Lake Tribal Council’s Youth Conference in Saskatoon, and The Federated Sovereign Indigenous Nations Youth Legislative Assembly Young Community Leaders Panel.
Jenn Harper - Entrepreneurship panel
Jenn, founder of Cheekbone Beauty, was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario and relocated to the Niagara Region where she was raised and developed a passion for cosmetics. Jenn is happily married, with two beautiful children and still living in the Niagara Region to this day. For Jenn, make-up has become a means of expression that she feels has amazing power! Jenn developed Cheekbone Beauty because she felt there needed to be a brand for real people, that offered the latest trends and was super easy. There needed to be a brand that was made in Canada, that was never tested on animals AND that gave back to the First Nations community. The brand did not exist, so Jenn created it! Through countless hours over the past two and a half years, Cheekbone Beauty was born!
Over the past ten years, Jenn has had successful career in sales and marketing with two large international corporations. During her first week of training session with one of these companies a questionnaire asked: “What is your dream job?” Jenn wrote “To be the CEO of a major cosmetic brand.” At the time, there was no indication that Jenn would eventually set out to build Cheekbone Beauty. During the development of Cheekbone Beauty, Jenn researched the industry as well as charities that are helping close the educational funding gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Jenn found the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society (FNCFCS) and Cheekbone Beauty continues to support the FNCFCS today. During Cheekbone’s infancy, Jenn also suffered a heavy personal loss with the suicide of her brother B.J. This loss, though difficult, has remained a driving force behind Jenn’s desire to see Cheekbone Beauty succeed with its mission.
In addition to Cheekbone’s mission, Jenn strives to educate as many Canadians as possible about the Residential School System and the effects it has had on her family and friends through decades of generational trauma. Jenn speaks regularly to university, college and high school students about social entrepreneurship, empathy and the history of her First Nations family. Jenn has also been invited to speak to various entrepreneur groups, women in business associations, Apple Canada and First Nations organizations. Cheekbone Beauty and Jenn have been featured in media outlets such as Flare.com, APTN News and CBC Radio Unreserved. In 2017 Jenn Harper was awarded the “Social Enterprise Award” at the 17th Annual Women in Business Awards by the Women in Niagara (WIN) Council and the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) for her work on Cheekbone Beauty. After attending the Aboriginal Women’s Business Entrepreneurship Conference (AWBEN) in 2016 and 2017, Jenn was asked to sit in on the Discussion Panel for the 2018 AWBEN Conference to be held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, February 15th and 16th, 2018. Jenn will also be speaking at the Creative Leaders Symposium hosted by The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples on March 1st and 2nd in Ottawa, Ontario.
Krista is Mi’kmaq from Paqntkek Mikmaw Nation, Nova Scotia and is the mother of two and recently became a grandmother.
Krista is currently working on a Masters of Education in Indigenous Education through St. Francis Xavier University.
Krista is the Community Engagement Coordinator and Student Advisor with kihêw waciston, Indigenous Centre, MacEwan University.
She is passionate about supporting students on their educational journey and working alongside staff and faculty to enhance Indigenous student experience at MacEwan.
Keshia Moffat - EDO panel
Keshia is currently a Junior Economic Development Officer for her community of Ugpi’ganjig Her role is to assist the team with planning, funding identification, business coaching and community outreach for economic development news.
While working, Keshia is also pursuing her Masters of Science in Environmental Practice focusing on environmental and ecosystem management.
Applying her environmental science background, Keshia has been instrumental in providing guidance on environmental stewardship to her community – a vital part of responsible economic development.
Shawna Morning Bull - Welcome
Shawna is a member of the Piikani First Nation located in southern Alberta. Shawna is presently employed as the Manager Business Development at Community Futures Treaty Seven (CFT7) in Calgary, Alberta. In this capacity she is responsible for the overall direction, evaluation, and operations of the various development initiatives which the Community Futures Treaty Seven is currently involved in or wishes to pursue. Shawna has been employed by Community Futures Treaty Seven for the past 8 years. Prior, she was a Business Loans Manager with Alberta Indian Investment Corporation and a Business Support Officer with Indian Business Corporation.
Presently, is the Secretary for Piikani Resource Development Corporation Board of Directors, an entity operating on the Piikani Nation to develop, design and implement projects, programs and services for the benefit of her First Nation economy. In 2015, Shawna joined the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Indigenous Opportunities Sub-Committee. Presently, she is on the Board of Directors on her second term with CANDO as the Alberta Representative.
Shawna is married to Wade and together they have 5 children. She enjoys attending her children’s activities such as basketball, hockey, mixed martial arts, wrestling and they all enjoy hitting the powwow trail.
Jordan Peterson - Lands panel
Jordan is the elected Deputy Grand Chief for the Gwich’in Tribal Council and was raised in Aklavik by parents Terry and William Peterson. His maternal (Mothers) grandparents are Astrid and James McDonald and paternal (Fathers) grandparents are Mable and Frederick Peterson. Jordan has Gwich’in, Inuvialuit, Scottish and Swedish ancestry. During his upbringing he was primarily raised in a Gwich’in environment. Although he is proud of all of his ethnic roots, Jordan connects most with his Gwich’in background.
Jordan has dedicated his life to his communities and worked for the Gwich’in Tribal Council as a Community Development Officer before being elected as Deputy Grand Chief/Vice President. He worked closely with Gwich’in youth and youth from the north through both his position and his former role as a Co-Chair for Our Voices, an Indigenous emerging leaders collective which promotes, encourages and implements work for young Indigenous people in the north.
Jordan completed a term through the Jane Glassco Fellowship in 2017 and encourages anyone looking to understand public policy in Canada to consider applying for the Fellowship program. The program gave Jordan, and many young indigenous leaders, an understanding of how to shape and create policy that will ensure that indigenous voices are being heard at the most critical places in our organizations and governments. Jordan has also been a part of a number of boards in Inuvik and is currently appointed as a Board Member for Gwich’in Council International. He has lived and worked all over Western Canada in a number of industries but found his true calling when given the chance to be able to work for and with his people.
Bruce Stirrit-Wood -NRCan presentation
Bruce Stirrett-Wood is a policy analyst in the Lands and Minerals Sector of Natural Resources Canada. He has previously worked on areas of public policy relating to Indigenous affairs and natural resource development, with a focus on mining agreements. His current role is supporting the development of the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan. Prior to joining Natural Resources Canada, Bruce worked as a policy advisor for the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines in the Government of Ontario on issues relating to resource benefit sharing, government procurement, northern energy, and capital investment competitiveness.
Bruce holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in History from McMaster University and a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University. He is from Lindsay, Ontario.
Bruce likes to get outdoors where he enjoys hiking and canoeing.
Elvis Thomas - Lands panel
Elvis Thomas – Lands Manager/ Ec Dev on reserve
- Worked for the Woodland Cree First Nation since he was 14
- Field technician doing traditional plant studies from 2005-2009
- Became the Land Manager from 2009-present
- Graduated the RLEMP program in 2014, Reserve Land and Environment Program
- Won the Lands Manager of the year award in 2017
- Became Ec Dev officer for the Woodland Cree First Nation for small business in 2016
- Passed Land Designation in 2016 for 3 Land Designation Parcels for future economic development opportunities for the Woodland Cree First Nation, 2 of them are solar farms
- Round 2 of land designations with 10 land parcels in the works
- Various projects in the works to focus on economic development on reserve
Ken Tourand - Entrepreneurship panel
Ken is the President of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT). Ken started at NVIT in 1995 as a faculty member and after holding a number of administrative positions, became President/CEO of NVIT in October 2010. Ken holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree and a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership and Training.
Ken is passionate about Indigenous Education. Ken has presented at many conferences and roundtables regarding Indigenous Education and the unique role that NVIT plays in meeting the needs of Indigenous students and Indigenous communities. Ken has served on many Boards (including CANDO) and is the past Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Committee for College and Institutes Canada. Ken was instrumental in creating the National Indigenous protocol for post-secondary institutions.
Ken is married to Darlene and has two wonderful children, Jacob and Stephanie.
Lorraine White - Entrepreneurship panel
Married 42 years to Ken White and 3 grown children with 13 grandchildren; Lorraine grew up in Smallboys Camp and was with the original group who moved to the Kootnay Plains 50 years ago. Therefore she is knowledgeable in Cree language, traditions, customs and proper protocols. Worked for Louis Bull Tribe for over 30 years in total in various capacities, the majority of those years in Management and social economic capacities in Education, Consultation, Economic Development, Land development and project management, Oil and Gas, Event Planning, Project Management, Fund raising, program development, negotiations, capital projects, grant submissions, policy development.
• Worked for Federal Government for approximately 9 years as a student and moved into Field Services Officer for both Treaty 6 and 8.
• Sat as an Aboriginal Board Chair for Regions 7 and 4 for Childrens Ministry
• Project Manager for Louis Bull Tribe Kisipatnahk School, Louis Bull Gas and Convenience Store, Louis Bull Casino all multi-million dollar projects.
Lorraine has sat on various Government of Alberta committees and other Ministries including; Alberta Environment, SRD, Community and Spirit, Childrens Services, College Boards and First Nation Boards and committees. In 2017 started a Consulting company, LW Consulting currently contracts with various First Nations and other companies for a variety of work. Enjoyment in life include sewing, beading, reading, dancing powwow, and teaching by facilitation.
Eugene Whiskeyjack - Entrepreneurship panel
Eugene Whiskeyjack, originally from Saddle Lake, Alberta, has over 20 + years of experience in working with Indigenous Economic Developers, First Nations and Métis business professionals and community leaders throughout Alberta & Saskatchewan. With his over 15 years in Indigenous commercial lending and 7 + years providing consulting services to First Nation, Métis and Inuit entrepreneurs and communities, Mr. Whiskeyjack brings his depth of business knowledge to WJ Consulting Inc.
Previously, as Senior Loans manager with Alberta Indian Investment Corporation (AIIC), Eugene recognized a gap within the professional landscape – that of the Indigenous community needing access to consultants and technicians that understand the unique circumstances they face. AIIC is an Indigenous based commercial developmental lender.
Mr. Whiskeyjack forged WJ Consulting Inc with the idea that he and a talented group of partners could provide Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities with solutions to their business and community development needs. To-date, his group of professionals have secured over $85 million of funding for their clients. Having lived in both Saddle Lake Cree Nation and One Arrow First Nation in Saskatchewan, Eugene understands the conditions and circumstances faced by many communities and individuals, and works to create solutions that are real, achievable and culturally sound. It is with this mission in mind that Eugene and his team at WJ Consulting always look forward to working with Indigenous communities, orgnizations and individuals.