Stewart Anderson | Brian Barge | Michael Bonshor | Frank Busch | Harold Calla | William Charlie | Keith Chicquen | Tim Clark | Paula Corcoran | Terry Coyes | Dr. Marie Delorme | Monica Diochon | Colin Doylend | Kim Dyke | Tabitha Eneas | Flo Frank | Cliff Fregin | Chanze Gamble | Richard Hardy | Ismo Heikkila | Chris Hild | Kerry Hilts | Dan Huang | Sheila Isaac | Reeve Murray Kerik | Dr. Roslyn Kunin | Blossom LaBillois | Robert Lagasse | Shawnee LaPorte | Leo Lawson | Lawrence Lewis | Patrick Michell | Chief Susan Miller | Susan Mowbray | Ron Nunweiler | Beverley O’Neil | Dan Rochon | Chief Clem Seymour | David Seymour | Travis Seymour | Kateri Stevens | Bram Strain | Melanie Sturk | Deborah Taylor | Richard Truman | Patricia Turner | Chief Roland Twinn | John Watson | Marena Winstanley

Conference Workshops & Presenters

"Assertion of First Nations Rights for Economic Benefit”

Cliff Fregin & Chanze Gamble, New Relationship Trust

New Relationship Trust (NRT) commissioned 5 best practice reports in 2006, which are available on the NRT website. To follow up on the 5 reports, NRT realized that it was important to discuss the best practices in a practical manner, and that it would be helpful if we showcased the processes and steps that First Nations have taken to arrive at the best practice level.  In 2011, NRT worked with consultants to conduct research on how to make the best practices more applicable at the community level.  As part of our research with First Nations communities, we noted that 3 of the best practice reports worked closely together: Land Use Planning; Governance; and Consultation and Accommodation. Out of the primary research with communities and secondary research of existing reports evolved a two-day workshop that shows how First Nations communities have interwoven those three topics together in order to maximize their participation in the development projects in their traditional territories.  NRT presented the "Assertion of Aboriginal Rights for Economic Benefit” workshop across BC in 2012, and based on feedback from the workshop participants, NRT expanded upon the workshop to create a guidebook, which will be presented in "train the trainer” workshops across BC in fall 2014. NRT will provide a condensed version of their two-day workshop into a 1 hour presentation at the Conference followed by a 30-minute question and answer period after the presentation.


"The Benefits of Partnerships - Turning Nightmares into Dreams”

Deborah Taylor, First Nations Market Housing Fund &
Tabitha Eneas, Penticton Indian Band

Penticton Indian Band (PIB) has been working with the Fund since 2010 and has the distinction of being the first community who qualified at the outset for capacity building only and then was reassessed after two years by the Fund and qualified for credit enhancement, or the backing of loans. It was due to their hard work and initiative that they have succeeded so brilliantly. This presentation will focus on where PIB has come from, what they have achieved and what they are working on from an economic development perspective. Closed down in 2001 by their membership the PIB government came back, faced their challenges and worked hard to regain the confidence and support of membership. In 2010 they struck a partnership with the Fund and have completed a multitude of capacity building initiatives in financial management, governance and community commitment. Through their work with the Fund they have also qualified for FNFMB Certification. They now own three businesses which are profitable and have partnered with investors to develop a 600 unit subdivision complete with a winery and golf course. Many other exciting projects are in the planning stages. The presentation will describe PIB’s community context, their challenges, the issues, the initiatives undertaken and the outcomes. It will also include some helpful hints based on lessons learned. There will be a small component about the Fund so that those not familiar with the Fund’s work will know what is possible if they choose to work with us like the other 133 First Nations who have chosen to do so thus far. We would seek to explain how with the Fund`s financial support and their own hard work PIB has become a strong, healthy community realizing their goals.


"Building Training Opportunity for Aboriginal Youth in the Trades through Partnership”

Keith Chicquen, Vancouver Island University &
Ron Nunweiler, School District 79

The  workshop will present a description of how a post-secondary institution (VIU), a school district (SD79), partnered with their local First Nations (Cowichan, Malahat, Chemainus) to create a trades Training Centre with a focus on training Aboriginal youth and adults from the school district and community. It will also describe the application process (ACBDPP) used to seek funding for an Aboriginal Welding program, and other relevant partnerships, including with CASA (Coast Aboriginal Ship building Alliance). The presentation will focus on partnerships and relationships, funding academic programming, student support, use of buildings, and include a video of the program and graduates. Programs will include introduction to Trades, Hairdressing, Carpentry, and Welding.

"Collaboration in Comox Valley: The K'ómoks First Nation and Invest Comox Valley”

John Watson, Ec.D, Comox Valley Economic Development Society &
Richard Hardy, Pentlatch Seafoods Ltd.

Invest Comox Valley and the K'ómoks First Nation have joined together to form a unique partnership aiming to promote further economic development in the Comox Valley.  This partnership brings a range of benefits to all stakeholders involved, and has resulted in a more favourable investment climate and efficient transportation corridor, a more diversified economy, an increased skilled workforce and improved liaison with different levels of government.  K'ómoks First Nation’s Pentlatch Seafoods Ltd. has been an important part of economic development in the Comox Valley.  This keynote will feature the story of K'ómoks First Nation and Invest Comox Valley’s successful partnership while highlighting the benefits of collaboration on regional economic development.

"Community Decision-Making: How Good Communications Can Guide Decision Making & Lead to Stronger Communities”

Richard Truman, CopperMoon Communications

Engaged communities with strong communication leads to more informed communities, better guidance for leadership and, ultimately, sound decision-making. By the end of this interactive session, participants will better understand how to engage people, how to keep their interest through good ongoing communication, and how to overcome some of the common barriers. Using real-world examples, the session will build participants’ understanding and seek to answer their questions so that they leave feeling better equipped to help their communities and organizations to make decisions.

"Economic Development, Land Management & Good Governance - Creating the "Trifecta” of Sustainable Community Development”

Lawrence Lewis, Malahat Nation & Dan Huang, Urban Systems

The Malahat people have resided on the western shore of the beautiful Saanich Inlet on Vancouver Island since time immemorial, and have used the territories around their villages for hunting, fishing, berry gathering, and for ritual and ceremonial activities. In recent years, this strategic location has presented Malahat with a number of significant economic development opportunities. Recognizing that a good business case is only part of the puzzle, Malahat has embarked on a number of concurrent initiatives to provide certainty in its land management regime (through the Land Code and strategic Land Use Planning) as well as its governance structure (through the development of a custom Election Code and strong fiscal policies). This session will explore the dynamic yet integral linkages between sound economic development strategies, visionary but consistent land management and land use plans, and strong but transparent governance policies and procedures.

"Economic Growth Acceleration: Partnering for Aboriginal Economic Development Success”

Bram Strain, Assistant Deputy Minister, Western Economic Diversification

Economic Growth Acceleration Opportunities for Aboriginal people is one of Western Economic Diversification Canada’s key priorities and there are a number of activities the department is currently undertaking in this area. These include: supporting Aboriginal communities in seizing opportunities associated with natural resource development; working with Aboriginal peoples across the West and key federal players to identify opportunities for collaborative investment in support of business and economic development; and supporting Aboriginal people in skills training and development to obtain meaningful employment in areas of growth. These activities are achieved through a number of programs and services offered by the department which are of interest to Economic Development Officers working with Aboriginal communities.

"Entrepreneurship among First Nations Women in the Atlantic Region: A Presentation of Key Findings & Implications for Practice”

Monica Diochon, St. Francis Xavier University;
Sheila Isaac, Coady International Institute;
Blossom LaBillois, Eel River Bar First Nation;
Shawnee LaPorte, Membertou First Nation; and
Kateri Stevens, Eskasoni First Nation

While there have been advances made in better understanding the scope and nature of Aboriginal entrepreneurship, generally, there is still little known about entrepreneurship among Aboriginal women. Without such an understanding, there is no basis for designing effective policies and programs that can respond to growing desire to support and encourage entrepreneurship among Aboriginal women. In addressing this need for research, our project - Entrepreneurship among First Nations Women in the Atlantic Region(1) - used an on-line survey and in-depth case studies to determine the interest, prevalence and factors influencing entrepreneurship among First Nations women on and off reserve in the Atlantic region. In addition to presenting the key findings, the implications for practice would also be discussed.

"First Nation Strategic Partnerships”

Dan Rochon, ATCO Sustainable Communities Inc.

Choosing the right partners and developing strategic partnerships with them is an integral key to the long term success of a First Nation. A strategic partnership is designed to establish a positive working relationship amongst the parties based on trust, respect and mutual interests. These agreements help ensure that the First Nation has a coordinated and sustainable approach for its economic development projects that will help ensure their success. This presentation will outline the components of a good strategic partnership agreement and provide some examples on how they can benefit the community based on the 26 joint ventures and Memorandums of Understanding that ATCO has with Aboriginal organizations.   

"First Nations Business Investment Strategies: New Approaches”

Michael Bonshor, MNP LLP

First Nations in BC and across Canada are at the fore-front of major investment opportunities across Canada. Opportunities to leverage equity positions in a variety of projects are increasing at a rapid pace. These opportunities can transform communities, and create previously unreachable economic and related opportunities. Raising the necessary capital is an ongoing challenge and opportunity for First Nations looking to invest in opportunities in their territories. This session will examine First Nation partnerships and financing strategies and approaches that First Nations and Aboriginal entrepreneurs can consider in moving their economic development strategies forward.

"First Nation - Municipal CEDI Toolkit Workshop”

Marena Winstanley, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Are you interested in exploring a partnership with your neighbouring municipality? The First Nations – Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI), a joint initiative of Cando and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), is developing a Toolkit for joint First Nations – municipal community economic development (CED).  Scheduled for completion in January 2015, the Toolkit will provide decision-making tools, templates and case studies to support First Nations and adjacent municipalities in building and maintaining a partnership that can support joint CED initiatives, projects and planning.  Join us for a sneak peek at the tools and resources that will be available, test drive select Partnership Building tools and provide your input.

"First Nation - Municipal Partnerships Panel: Shared Benefits for All”

Chief Roland Twinn, Sawridge First Nation, AB;
Reeve Murray Kerik, Municipal District of Lesser Slave River No. 124, AB;
Kim Dyke, Slave Lake Regional Tri-Council;
Chief Clem Seymour, Seabird Island Band, BC; and
Kerry Hilts, District of Kent, BC

The First Nations – Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI), a joint initiative of Cando and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), enhances the capacity of First Nations and adjacent municipalities to pursue joint community economic development initiatives, projects and planning activities.  Working together rather than in parallel allows First Nations and adjacent municipalities to improve their community-to-community relationships, have a stronger, more unified voice and achieve more together than they could on their own.  This panel includes municipal and First Nation elected officials and staff who have committed to working collaboratively for the betterment of their region and who have begun to see the joint benefits that come from working together.  You will hear why these communities decided to work together, how they do so effectively, and what joint benefits can be realized.

"Generating Jobs and Revenue”

Dr. Roslyn Kunin, Haida Enterprise Corporation

Roslyn Kunin, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Haida Enterprise Corporation will describe which best practices work to generate jobs and revenue for the Haida Nation.

"How an Economic Leakage Study Can Benefit a First Nation”

Travis Seymour, Chris Hild & Susan Mowbray, MNP LLP

More First Nations are using research tools such as Economic Leakage Studies as a starting point for economic development planning and research. In our workshop we will talk about how an Economic Leakage Study can be used for planning as well as other purposes such as ‘improving collaboration with nearby communities’, ‘helping the First Nation to identify economic development opportunities’, and ‘providing data to support feasibility studies and business plans’. In our presentation, we will provide First Nation examples which will promote greater understanding of Economic Leakage Studies, Business Opportunity Assessments, and Business Feasibility Studies.

"The Kwoiek Hydro Project: Tangible and Intangible Benefits”

Patrick Michell, Kanaka Bar Indian Band

After 36 years of experiences, the Kanaka Bar Indian Band has seen both the "good and the bad” arising from getting involved with Economic Development initiatives. Sharing insights from successful completion of one clean energy project and now transitioning into construction on another is the communities EDO, Patrick Michell. A must read story on the first project is available at:

"Managing Community Change”

Ismo Heikkila, T.E. Wealth

The creation of community wealth brings change. Leadership’s challenge is to design the nature of the change and not let change occur by default. Time measures the pace of change and decisions determine the nature of change. Managing the pace and content of change requires an awareness, and understanding, a passion, and skills by everyone in the community to achieve successful outcomes. This session provides insight into focused communication techniques including managing feedback, understanding resistance to change, and measuring communication effectiveness. Participants will be introduced to a culturally based community development process that links the community’s past with the future.

"Measuring the Impact of Aboriginal Economic Development”

Brian Barge, The Evidence Network

The important role of economic developers shows up in improvements to the social, cultural, economic, and environmental capabilities of communities. But how much of a communities’ improved situation can be attributed to economic developers? With a focus on the impact of innovation and business support initiatives, the audience will learn about ways to assess the short-term impacts of economic developers on improvements to the resources and capabilities of companies, and the longer-term impacts on improvements to their overall business performance. The audience will see results used to justify funding, manage economic development organizations more effectively, and inform strategic plans.

"Mining New Possibilities: Our Journey to Successful Community Based Training through Local Partnerships”

Melanie Sturk, Mining Industry Human Resources Council

Hear about the innovative design and ongoing enhancements to support the needs of learners, partners, and diverse training environments for the delivery of Mining Essentials: A Work Readiness Training Program for Aboriginal Peoples. From cultural customizations and blended learning, to flexible delivery options and national validity, we work with partners to listen, learn, and act to enhance success rates in training and confidence building leading to employment.

"New Below-Prime Rate Financing for First Nations Projects”

Frank Busch, First Nations Finance Authority

The First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA) has issued the first-ever First Nations bond. This inaugural debenture raised $90 million for 13 FNFA member nations and will be the first of many. First Nations can now have equal access to capital for economic and social development as well as major capital projects, infrastructure. First Nations can now go to the bond market to raise their capital at below bank-prime rates and terms up to 30 years. Membership is open to all First Nations from coast-to-coast-to-coast.    

"‘Not Even Wrong’ - Developing Local Responses to New on Reserve Homeownership”

Tim Clark, Habitat for Humanity; Leo Lawson, Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nation; Chief Susan Miller, Katzie First Nation; & Stewart Anderson, Vancity

Moderator - David Seymour, M'akola Group of Societies

This session of BC First Nations will explore the failure of the Federal strategies to support Aboriginal homeownership efforts. The common theme is supporting potential First Nation homeowners requires leadership beyond establishing local Band policies. The Federal government attempts to stimulate market demand On Reserve appear to be failing. Reductions and cutbacks to rental housing have not been replaced with new homeownership starts. Unmet housing need and demand are increasing. Current regional housing initiatives provide First Nations funding with no expectation of results. The primary federal departmental strategies are based on off-reserve notions of property ownership and land title. The ‘Not Even Wrong’ theme was developed by local participants frustrated by the lack of opportunity to participate in a more open market. The Feds centralized $ 300 million response didn’t approach the homeownership problem from the needs of potential First Nation homeowners. It is based more on ideological bias and faulty data and, in scientific terminology, is ‘not even wrong’. We are excited to offer a session that would include local housing participants’ intent on advancing a different approach to homeownership. Credit enhancement would become the responsibility of local First Nations. Current ‘skin-in-the-game’ theories would be challenged by appreciation of the real value of FN contributions. In keeping with the Cando theme the presentations will provide a positive and inspiring theme for Economic Development officers. We anticipate the economic development officers will be sympathetic to a message that underlines the importance of maximizing local resources and talents in housing production.

"Pipeline to Prosperity?  Examining Options for Financial Benefits from Major Projects”

Harold Calla, First Nations Financial Management Board

The landmark Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court decision provides a unique opportunity for governments and industry to partner with First Nation communities to advance major resource projects. There has been a great deal of speculation about how many of these projects are going to grind to a halt as a result of the decision. I would argue that the exact opposite is true. More than ever, we need First Nations participation in resource development but we need to do that with First Nations as real partners with equity in these projects. In the end, First Nations equity may be the difference between success and failure. Until recently First Nations communities have been frozen in time economically. Many have built up their own economies in an effort to become self-sufficient but they face a number of common hurdles. First Nation communities lack infrastructure, lack industry knowledge and an inability to secure long-term financing at wholesale rates. Without access to capital markets, First Nations have difficulty developing the necessary infrastructure to increase their own-source revenue and provide economic opportunities for their people.  In 2006, the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (the Act) received unanimous consent in the House of Commons. The Act helps minimize these barriers through taxation, certification and a financial instrument to allow First Nations to go to the bond market.  The Act provides legislative framework that created three national Aboriginal institutions: The First Nations Tax Commission (FNTC), The First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB), and the First Nations Authority (FNFA). Each of these institutions are instrumental in assisting First Nation governments to address the socioeconomic well-being along with capacity building within their communities.

"Strategic Planning Workshop”

Terry Coyes, Coyes & Associates

Principles and concepts that have positive impacts on strategic economic development planning and implementation are presented for discussion, including:  the ‘5 Ws’ of strategic economic development planning; Getting Started - Creating a ‘plan for the plan’; the key elements of the strategic plan, and the linkage between each of the elements; Implementation of the plan - how to move from planning to action (tips & tools); the role of the EDO as a key participant in the various phases of both the planning and implementation processes; and the interconnectedness of the economic development initiatives implemented as a result of the strategic planning process.

"Sts’ailes Is a Good Place To Do Business - An Overview of Its Energy Sector”

William T. Charlie, Sts’ailes First Nation & Robert Lagasse, Sts’ailes Development Corporation

The Sts’ailes Development Corporation (SDC) is pleased to provide an overview of its business sectors which include Clean Energy, Construction, Fisheries, Forestry, Retail, and Tourism. The growth in SDC new business activities is centered on the Clean Energy and Construction sectors, both relatively new to SDC. The Energy Sector in particular has grown as a result of several negotiated benefit agreements that are now entering various implementation stages; SDC’s brief presentation will focus on this sector.


"Top Ten New Ideas That Offer Significant Advantages for Aboriginal Governments & Their Businesses”

Colin Doylend, The Castlemain Group

Colin will provide unique examples of certain business advantages that only Aboriginal governments and private industry can realize when they work together.


"Using Nature & Heritage as a Community Builder and Economic Engine: Models from Hawaii, Nunavut & Australia”

Flo Frank, Common Ground Resource Group

We often talk about the balancing the benefits of economic, environmental, cultural and social development but rarely are all four in harmony. Increasingly communities (and specifically indigenous/aboriginal peoples) are using their natural and native environment for sustainable businesses that build community, involve youth, enhance pride, teach culture and history, increase capacity and generate revenue. These initiatives are designed to provide balance and benefits in the four key areas and are an economic engine as well as a community builder. This interactive workshop will provide examples from Canada, Hawaii and Australia and will include a culturally relevant process that has been effective in many situations. It has been used in different size communities, a range of interests, various types of ventures and is useful regardless of where you are in the process. It helps take a community from ideas to action to evaluation and is based on successful experiences, common sense, realistic approaches and community engagement. Your experience, questions and interest will help to enhance the workshop and will be most welcome.

"Women In Business Panel”

Paula Corcoran, Sugar & Spice Events and Décor & Eel Ground First Nation
Dr. Marie Delorme, The Imagination Group of Companies
Monica Diochon, St. Francis Xavier University
Beverley O’Neil, O’Neil Marketing & Consulting and Numa Communications Ltd.
Patricia Turner, E.T. Development

Women in Business Panel will highlight and recognize the significant impact that Aboriginal women entrepreneurs have on the Canadian economy. Panelists will share their experiences of being a woman in business.