Conference Workshops & Plenary Sessions

“PAED - the Advantages and Processes”

Monday, October 23 - 1:00p - 1:45p Pointe Sainte Anne AB
Dr. Verna Billy-Minnabarriet, Chair-Cando Standing Committee on Education & Research

This Plenary will be a conversation on redesigning the PAED courses and certification process.  An in depth discussion on the maintenance of the certification and the benefits.

Verna Billy-Minnabarriet completed her Doctor of Education at UBC May 2012, Masters of Arts Education in 1996, Baccalaureate Diploma in Community Economic Development in 1998 and BA in 1994. She has experience and training completed in many other educational programs such as: Native Adult Instructors Diploma Program, Senior Management Certificate Training, Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Certificate Course, Human Services Certificate & Diploma Program, Native Courtworkers & Counsellor Training, FirstHost Training, and Cross Cultural Training. Currently, Verna is the Vice President Academic & Strategic Partnerships and Campus Administration at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT), located in Burnaby & Merritt, BC. She is presently the Chair of the Indigenous Institutes of Adult Higher Learning (IAHLA), a consortium of Private Aboriginal Post-Secondary Institutes of British Columbia. A large function of the present position is the development and nurturing of partnership with other education institutes organizations and Aboriginal entities. Dr. Billy Minnabarriet has held many volunteer positions, provincially, nationally and internationally in the education and economic development fields. She is recognized as a role model Educator, Leader and Advocate. She is strong believer in "Community based education, Community Economic Development" and the "empowerment" and “strengthening” of Aboriginal peoples through healing, education and training.

The Importance of Partnerships in the Pursuit of Capital and Enterprise

Monday, October 23 - 1:45p - 3:00p Marysville A
Cameron Paul, Joint Economic Development Initiative
Mark Taylor, Joint Economic Development Initiative

The importance of partnerships is crucial in obtaining capital and other start-up supports for Aboriginal entrepreneurs.  It is no secret that there are specific systemic barriers that present themselves as a disadvantage for enterprising indigenous peoples- the inability to leverage homes on reserve in most cases is a significant example. Partnerships with both industry, public, and non-governmental organizations can fill the void of capital flowing through our First Nations communities. JEDI has had the pleasure of working with many partners from all sectors to solidify both private and public resources for our entrepreneurial clients. This has set a precedent for the importance of partnerships and has been a big cause for the success of our Indigenous Business Accelerators we put on every year.

Cameron Paul is the Economic Development Officer at the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI). Cameron has had the pleasure of working along side many Indigenous start-ups who participated in our Indigenous Business Accelerator. Cameron’s work has revolved around the commercialization of these start-ups and bringing their products/services to market. This experience has taught Cameron a lot, especially about the importance of partnerships and identifying resources in lieu of conventional paths to obtaining start-up capital and resources. Cameron has also worked as a labor market researcher for JEDI amongst other things.

Mark Taylor is Shipbuilding Strategy Manager with the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI). Mr. Taylormanages the innovation, entrepreneurship and community economic development programs in this role. As well, he oversees the implementation of the New Brunswick Indigenous Shipbuilding Strategy and the Indigenous Innovation Partnership. Mr. Taylor is married with two children and a graduate of St. Thomas University.

Achieving the Right Balance

Monday, October 23 - 1:45p - 3:00p Marysville A
Deborah Taylor, First Nations Market Housing Fund and Chief Dennis Meeches, Long Plain First Nation

The First Nations Market Housing Fund (the Fund) is working with more than one third of all First Nation governments across Canada, supporting their goals of strengthening governance and making informed decisions as they create and sustain market-based housing systems.   The Fund's capacity development support has been used for laws, codes, by-laws, policies, plans, staff training and accreditation, and citizen education on reserves across the country.  In this session you will hear from a leader of one First Nation that the Fund is serving, and how they have worked on achieving a balance of tradition and custom with economic opportunities across a number of sectors that reflect the community’s goals, including housing. Long Plain First Nation is an Ojibway community, located 15 kilometres southwest of Portage La Prairie in the central plains region of Manitoba. Long Plain is a signatory to Treaty One with 4,400 Band members; approximately half of whom live on reserve. The Nation’s land base of 10,800 acres is comprised of the main reserve, and two urban economic zones created through treaty land entitlement, situated along the city limits of Portage la Prairie and in the city of Winnipeg.

Deborah Taylor is the Executive Director of the First Nations Market Housing Fund, a position she has held since the Fund was opened in 2008.  Prior to taking on this role she has more than 25 years of work experience at CMHC where she held positions of increasing responsibility.  During her career she worked extensively with First Nations people on the design, development and management of housing programs.

Chief Dennis Meeches first became a member of the Long Plain band council from 1988 to 1994. Dennis would become the Chief of Long Plain for ten years in 1998 until 2009. For a number of years prior to becoming chief Dennis sat as a Trustee of the 16 million dollars that the band received in its Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) of 1994. As the chief of Long Plain, he was the lead negotiator for the Loss of Use claim. He successfully negotiated the Loss of Use claim from 2006 to November 2008. His negotiating skills in the Loss of Use claim on behalf of Long Plain would result in a twenty million dollar offer from the government of Canada. During his term as Chief, the Long Plain band received many awards from across the country in acknowledgement of the economic growth of the community. Dennis was instrumental in economic growth in Long Plain with the development of their corporate entities including Arrowhead Development Corporation. Dennis Meeches is not only a community leader he is also an accomplished recording artist and well known throughout the pow wow trail as a dancer, singer and traditionalist. Prior to completing his initial 10 years as chief he submitted the 1916 Land Surrenders claim. Dennis also own an American Paint Horse Ranch. As Chief since 2013 his current priorities are Kapyong and the creation of a Treaty 1 Reserve at that location; the construction of a 24-million-dollar office complex at the Madison Reserve in Winnipeg; and, to settle the 1916 Surrender claim.

Online Module: Economic Development Support Team

Monday, October 23 - 3:30p - 3:45p Marysville B
Cliff Fregin & Chanze Gamble, New Relationship Trust

New Relationship Trust (NRT)
was established in 2006 by the NRT Act [SBC 2006 c.6] to assist First Nations in British Columbia to build their capacity to enhance governance, leadership, and institutional and human resources capacity to address social, culture and economic needs and priorities. The Economic Development Support Team (EDST) is a three-year pilot project created by NRT and Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) that provides unbiased industry awareness and corporate knowledge to First Nations that wish to participate in the economic opportunities in their territories. The data collected from working with clients during the 3-year pilot has been used to create online modules that explain the development and delivery of the EDST, and the implementation and impact of the services provided the EDST Advisors.

Cliff Fregin
was born and raised in Prince Rupert, BC and is Haida from Old Massett, BC. For the past 25+ years Cliff has been extensively involved in Indigenous community economic & business development throughout Canada. Thru 1995-2002, Cliff served as the Executive Director of the Gwaii Trust – a Trust fund for all of Haida Gwaii. From December 2002 to October 2006, Cliff served as COO of National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association (NACCA), responsible for finance and programs. Since October 2006, Cliff leads the New Relationship Trust (NRT) as CEO, a Trust charged with building capacity for BC First Nations.

Chanze Gamble
is from Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation, Saskatchewan. Chanze completed high school at Upper Canada College, attended the University of Toronto for his undergraduate and his MBA at Royal Roads University. For over 15 years Chanze has focused on Indigenous business development. In his current role he oversees financial contributions to First Nations, manages day to day operations, and provides investment and policy support to the NRT CEO and Board. Prior to NRT, Chanze was a business consultant working with Indigenous clients across Canada. One example of his projects is the First Nations Consultation and Accommodation Best Practice Report.


The Development of New Economies - Hard Questions and Tough Decisions

Monday, October 23 - 3:30p - 3:45p Marysville A
George Petel, Aboriginal Energy Solutions Inc., Petel & Company, and James Hickling, Donovan & Co.

Economic development brings real opportunities for positive changes in aboriginal communities. But those opportunities can also create headaches for leaders and administrators. If we are going to enjoy success in business, we are going to have to answer some hard questions and make some tough decisions. This presentation will be aimed at stimulating discussion and sharing experiences about some of the challenges we face, and some of the steps we can take to ease the growing pains that come with the development of new economies in a new legal environment. Some key questions to be introduced include:

• What are the most important parts of an economic development strategy and business model for my community?
• When and how can we include member-owned companies in the Nation’s economic development strategy?
• How can we anticipate and manage political and environmental issues related to economic development?
• What are some strategies for managing the implementation of ‘direct awards’ and joint venture relationships?
• Is Free, Prior and Informed Consent going to change the way we do business?
• Can we generate revenue outside the boundaries of our traditional lands?

George Petel provides business and legal advice to corporate and First Nation entities relating to strategic planning, corporate structure, economic development, and governance matters. He has facilitated strategic planning sessions and drafted numerous business models to help stimulate growth. George has negotiated commercial transactions involving joint venture relationships, business & land acquisitions, intellectual property rights, and service agreements that draw profit from impact benefit agreements. George studied commerce and political science at the University of Calgary and graduated from the UBC Faculty of Law. He articled with a Canadian national law firm and practiced law with leading oil & gas service and civil construction companies. George is Secwepemc from the First Nation community Stuctwewsemc (known as the Bonaparte Indian Band). He has volunteered extensively to advance Aboriginal economic development interests, starting as an analyst for CESO Aboriginal Services and more recently as a President of the Red Cross Board of Directors. George now devotes his volunteer hours to promoting Stuctwewsemc interests that is when he is not playing or coaching his daughter’s basketball teams.

James Hickling
provides advice to First Nations on questions involving aboriginal and treaty rights, natural resources and environmental law, the development of reserve lands, and corporate and band governance issues. He has negotiated significant impact benefit agreements, economic development agreements, and reconciliation agreements, and has also helped clients solve problems concerning a range of issues involving employment law, administrative law, criminal law, defamation, personal injury, and freedom of information. James was ‘gold medalist’ at UBC Law School and graduated with distinction from Oxford University. He also served as a law clerk to The Honourable Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci at the Supreme Court of Canada. James also holds a M.Sc. degree. He spent five years travelling around British Columbia, working as a scientific consultant to the B.C. Ministry of Forests, before becoming a lawyer. He provides free legal advice to charities and community groups, and spends his spare time exploring the great outdoors with his family.

Successfully Delivering Infrastructure Projects in First Nation Communities

Monday, October 23 - 3:30p - 4:45p Nashwaaksis B
Johanne Mullen, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Steven Malette, PwC; and David Acco, Acosys Consulting

We believe that the Economic Development Officers that will be in attendance at the Cando conference will appreciate the value in creating awareness on our proposed topic of: “Successfully Delivering Infrastructure Projects in First Nation Communities”. In the spring of 2016, Acosys and PwC entered into a Joint Venture Agreement focusing on providing professional services to better serve the needs of Indigenous communities and increase the visibility of Aboriginal business and consulting professionals through various projects. With this focus, our aim is to create opportunities for knowledge sharing among the Indigenous communities and are pleased to deliver this presentation to benefit Cando conference attendees.

Steven Malette is PwC’s National Capital Region Forensic Services Leader and Canadian Public Sector Forensic Services Co-Leader. Steven joined the firm in 1995 and since that date has practised in the firm’s Advisory Services. Steven is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA), a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional (CIRP), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) and a Licensed Trustee in Bankruptcy (LIT). Formore than 22 years, Steven has specialized in the areas of forensic investigations/audits, fraud awareness training, fraud risk assessments, litigation/dispute services, receiverships, bankruptcies, financial reviews and monitoring.

Johanne Mullen is PwC’s National Infrastructure and Project Finance Leader. Johanne has 20 years of experience in the areas of capital project advisory, complex procurement advisory, project finance and structured finance. She has been a trusted advisor to both the public and private sectors in structuring large projects in the transportation, health and urban infrastructure sectors. Johanne is a director and past president of the Institut pour les partenariats public-privé du Québec and a Director of the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships. Johanne has advised on some of the largest infrastructure projects in Canada, from initial feasibility and business case stage through to financial close. Johanne holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from Concordia University and a Master of Business Administration in International Business from McGill University.

David Acco is a Cree-Métis descended from Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, and a member of Métis Nation - Saskatchewan. He is an accomplished senior Business Analyst and Project Manager with an MBA from the University of Ottawa, a Business Analysis Master Certificate from the Schulich School of Business, York University, and a Graduate Certificate in Ecommerce from McGill University. His academic achievements and certifications give only a narrow idea of his talents. He has pushed his boundaries in many fields, from aircraft mechanics, to aerospace, to information technology, and in 2006, to social entrepreneurship, founding Acosys Consulting Services Inc. Mr. Acco 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, and with many non-profit Aboriginal organizations. These experiences have enabled Mr. Acco to develop comprehensive management strategies to approach a variety of business challenges.

Co-operative Business Development in Indigenous Communities

Monday, October 23 - 3:30p - 4:45p Nashwaaksis A
Audra Krueger, Julia Angus and Kyle White, Co-operatives First

This workshop will provide Indigenous EDOs an enhanced understanding of the co-operative business model. Discussions will focus on a co-operative’s legal structure, and how co-operatives might ‘fit’ with different opportunities. Case studies will be shared with participants identifying the important roles co-operatives have played in Canada’s economic development. Participants will gain a richer understanding of the co-operative business model, examples of indigenous-owned co-operatives, and how to work with groups interested in developing a co-operative business.

Executive Director Audra Krueger and the Community Engagement Team Julia Angus and Kyle White, work with communities across western Canada to explore new opportunities and build local capacity. As an advocate for economic, business and community development in rural and Indigenous communities, Co-operatives First provides the tools and connections group entrepreneurs need to start a co-operative business and help their communities grow and thrive. This will be the team’s second year attending the CANDO national conference, and look forward to making connections with the community of economic professionals.

Maskwacis Economic Leakage: A Case Study for Reversing Economic Leakage

Monday, October 23 - 3:30p - 4:45p Marysville B
Samuel Minde, Neyaskweyak Group of Companies

This session will examine and report the findings of the Maskwacis Cree Economic Leakage study. The Maskwacis Cree are located in Central Alberta and are comprised of 4 Nations (Ermineskin, Louis Bull, Montana and Samson Cree Nations) who are located side by side by side and also jointly share reserve lands called Pigeon Lake Reserve 138A. The report can be viewed as a vision for Business Development Strategies for Entrepreneurs and Nation Owned Enterprises into the next 25 years.

Samuel Minde took the reigns as Neyaskweyak Group of Companies Inc. as President and CEO in December of 2014.  One of the main projects in 2015 was to project manage the renovation of a commercial building that would houses NGCInc., Fas Gas and NGCInc., Taco Time.  That renovation improved consolidated revenues by 20% and NGCI report a growing percentage of capturing economic leakage dollars and job creation every year.  The company is currently working on several business development initiatives such as Neyaskweyak Café, Pihtwahew Gift Shop and a Business Acquisition.  

Accelerating Indigenous Youth Leaders Through Mentorship and Collaboration

Tuesday, October 24 - 8:30a - 9:30a Pointe Sainte-Anne AB
Allison Deer, Canadian Executive Service Organization
Robert Beamish, Mentee
Roger Charles , Mentor

The session will begin with a discussion led Allison Deer. Allison will start by introducing CESO and what we do, followed by an introduction of the Cando-CESO-Blenkin & Rowe Youth Mentorship. She will provide the history of the program, along with the great strides the mentees and mentors have made in the past year. A panel discussion with one Mentee and one Mentor from the program will take place. At the end, there will be an opportunity for any questions or comments.

Allison Deer is a Mohawk woman from the community of Kahnawake, QC and a member of the Wolf Clan. She is the Manager of CESO National Aboriginal Affairs in Montreal. Allison has 30 years experience in Community Economic Development at the local, regional and national levels of development and recently obtained an MBA at Cape Breton University, NS; a degree most suited for the development challenges and opportunities faced by Aboriginal communities from coast to coast. She also holds a Bachelor degree in Canadian Studies and a graduate Diploma in Community Economic Development from Concordia University in Montreal, QC. Allison’s passion for capacity building and community development began early in her career with Employment and Immigration Canada (EIC) in 1983. She always had a passion for “helping others to help themselves” by providing access to tools, resources and opportunities to move oneself forward. She continues to adapt to the ever-evolving environment of business / organizational development; and keeps current on issues that shape our lives, communities and nations. Allison has also been an active member on many local, regional and national boards. Her most recent tenure was Vice President of Miziwe Biik Employment and Training, in Toronto, ON.

Robert Beamish, has a passion for international business and travel. After completing an international exchange in Madrid, Spain in 2013, Robert ventured out of Canada’s borders yet again in 2014 - this time to Asia. In 2014, Robert lived and worked in Hong Kong, at the Hong Kong Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He currently works at TD Commercial bank in Abbotsford, but he is also the Co-founder and Business Development Manager of Anokasan Capital. As an organization, Anokasan exists to build relationships between Indigenous Peoples and East Asian investors. Robert loves to travel, volunteer, play sports and write.
Robert is Métis and Irish on his father’s side and Indigenous Jamaican and African Jamaican on his mother’s side. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics (Hons) with a specialization in International Trade from the University of Waterloo. Robert was always committed to his university’s Aboriginal Education Centre; he continues to show devotion to Indigenous business development through his work at Anokasan and through his volunteer commitments.

Roger Charles is a CESO VA and has 30 years of experience in leadership, strategic planning and organization development. The VA’s experience includes being CEO at several international organizations with a focus on tourism and youth. Major achievements include creating strong foundations for growth and leading large cross-cultural teams. For more than 30 years, Roger has been focused on international affairs. After doing graduate work at the University of Ottawa, his first job was as Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs and National Defense in Parliament. Subsequent positions included teaching in Africa and the Director of International Operations at the Canadian Bureau for International Education. In 1991, he was appointed the first Director General of the International Student Travel Confederation, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He then went on to be the CEO of the International Youth Hostel Federation based in London, England. The IYHF operates in more than 80 countries and is the largest budget accommodation provider in the world. After nearly 20 years in Europe, Roger and his wife Catriona decided to return to Canada but only where there is little or no snow. Since his arrival in Victoria, Roger has been the CEO of the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific. Presently, he is president of EBI Education Group which is working on projects in China, Germany and Israel as well as consulting closer to home. He is als0 vice Chair of the Garth Homer Society, a professor at University Canada West and a mentor at the Gustavsson School of Business, University of Victoria

A Practical Approach to First Nation Economic Development,
Chief Commissioner C.T. (Manny) Jules, First Nations Tax Commission

Tuesday, October 24th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm Luncheon Keynote, Pointe Sainte-Anne AB
C.T. (Manny) Jules - Chief Commissioner, First Nations Tax Commission

It costs significantly more to do business on First Nations lands than on other lands. This is because the legal, administrative, fiscal and institutional framework necessary to support economic development has been frozen in time by the Indian Act and the Department that administers that legislation. Recently the Prime Minister has committed to ending the Indian Act and Department of Indigenous Affairs colonial structures. This presentation will discuss a number of existing and proposed practical legislative initiatives to move beyond the Indian Act and support First Nation economic development. Particular attention will be paid to proposed initiatives to build sustainable economic infrastructure and develop a jurisdiction based fiscal relationship.

C.T. (Manny) Jules has dedicated over 40 years of his life to public service in support of Aboriginal issues. He is a member of the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc, formerly known as Kamloops Indian Band, and served as Chief from 1984 to 2000. Mr. Jules led the amendment to the Indian Act in 1988 so that First Nations could exercise the jurisdiction to levy property taxes on-reserve. The Indian Taxation Advisory Board (ITAB) and the current First Nation property tax system were created because of his vision and efforts. Mr. Jules served as Chair of ITAB from 1989 to 2003 and 2005 to 2007. He was the driving force behind the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, passed by Parliament in 2005, creating the First Nations Tax Commission and the fiscal institutions. On November 11, 2006 Mr. Jules was appointed Chief Commissioner of the First Nations Tax Commission. Mr. Jules was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from both the University of British Columbia in 1997 and Thompson Rivers University in 2006, the Order of British Columbia in 2009, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2013. Mr. Jules is also a member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame.

Strategic Planning and Board Governance - Understanding the Role of the Economic Development Board 

Tuesday, October 24 - 3:00p - 4:30p Marysville A
Ken Tourand, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology & Warren Weir, Vancouver Island University

The majority of Economic Development Officers are, or will be, working for an Economic Development Board. Understanding Board governance and how they operate combined with the importance of the Strategic Plan are key skills necessary for EDO’s to be successful. This workshop session is being presented by Ken Tourand, President/CEO of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and Warren Weir, Academic Administrator for Cowichan Campus at Vancouver Island University. With over 55 years of combined experience working in Community Economic Development, Leadership, Governance, and Aboriginal Post Secondary Education, Warren and Ken will provide insight into the importance of having an effective and fully functioning Board. Participants will learn how Boards operate, the role of the Strategic Plan and its key components (SWOT/Mission/Vision/Values/Strategic Goals), the seven skills of Board Governance, and the key ingredients for an effective Board. The session will conclude with an interactive question and answer period where participants can share their questions and challenges.

Ken Tourand is the President of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. 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 Aboriginal Education. Ken has presented at many conferences and roundtables regarding Aboriginal Education and the unique role that NVIT plays in meeting the needs of Aboriginal students and Aboriginal 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.

Warren Weir is the Academic Administrator of Vancouver Island University’s Cowichan Campus, Duncan, BC. He has worked with and for a number of colleges and universities and specializes in Aboriginal organization and management, FN education, and Indigenous community economic and small business development. He is an active member of the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers, is a member of its Education Committee and also serves as the managing editor and member of the editorial board for their journal - the Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development.

Innovation in Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure in Remote and Rural First Nations

Tuesday, October 24 - 3:00p - 4:30p Nashwaaksis A

Sally Braun, Western James Bay Telecom Network; Penny Carpenter, Keewaytinook Okimakanak KNET Services; Tim Whiteduck, First Nations Education Council; and Rob McMahon, University of Alberta

The First Mile Connectivity Consortium (FMCC) is a national incorporated not-for-profit. In our workshop, our members - First Nations Internet service providers from across Canada and university and private sector researchers- will present a summary of our research and policy development on innovative solutions to digital infrastructure and services with and in rural and remote regions and communities across Canada. This workshop will include analysis and examples from our research project, Frist Nations Innovation, our work with Industry, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and recent decisions for funding telecommunications infrastructure by the CRTC. The workshop will inform participants of the First Mile digital developments being undertaken by First Nations across Canada.

Sally Braun is the General Manager of the Western James Bay Telecom Network. Based at the WJBTN office in Moose Factory, Ontario, she is responsible for overall management of the Western James Bay Telecom Network including sales, (NOHFC) marketing, customer service, regulatory compliance and community relations. Prior to WJBTN, Sally was a consultant to Attawapiskat Resources Inc. (ARI). She prepared the business case and funding proposal (NOHFC and OMAFRA) for remote First Nations to develop and manage a community-owned cellular telephone system. She has consulted on education and training initiatives and programs with Attawapiskat First Nation and the Attawapiskat First Nation Education Authority. Sally holds a degree in Law and Justice (Honours) from Laurentian University and an Honours Diploma in Library and Information Technology from Georgian College.

Penny Carpenter is Director of KNET Services, the Indigenous-owned and operated telecommunications and digital services division of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO) First Nations Council in Northwestern Ontario. Working in various capacities from Business and Finance Manager, First Nation Financial Advisor, Telehealth Director at KO, Penny worked with the different program managers to develop and successfully operate their programs serving the remote First Nations including the innovative Keewaytinook Internet High School. She has an honours degree in Business Administration from Lakehead University. She is a member of the Lac Seul First Nation and she lives in Sioux Lookout, Ontario with her family. She is the recipient of the PARO Enterprising Women Award 2012 in northwestern Ontario.

Tim Whiteduck is Director of Technology for the First Nations Education Council (FNEC) based in Wendake First Nation, Quebec. FNEC represents and serves 22 First Nations communities. FNEC aims to achieve full jurisdiction over education while “respecting our unique cultural identities and common beliefs, and promoting our languages, values and traditions.” A core element of this vision is to use technology effectively to support the autonomy and democratic development of First Nations communities. Tim and his team have been developing strategic partnerships to design and install community broadband infrastructure in First Nations, deliver online and IT training programs, and support the delivery and engagement of broadband-enabled community services including education, health and many others. Tim is the Chair of the First Mile Connectivity Consortium.

Rob McMahon is Secretary of the First Mile Connectivity Consortium (FMCC) and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. Rob has coordinated many FMCC regulatory interventions. He is a co-investigator with the First Nations Innovation Project based at the University of New Brunswick. His work focuses on the appropriation of broadband and internet technologies by First Nations and Inuit communities. Rob’s award-winning research highlights the many innovations taking place at the so-called ‘peripheries’ of the emerging network society. Rob’s journal articles and book chapters, include collaborations with First Nations and Inuit community researchers. Through the First Mile Project, Rob facilitated the production of over 80 digital media stories showcasing Indigenous-led technology initiatives. Rob has a PhD (Communications) from Simon Fraser University.

Best Practices for Economic Development: "The Legal Actions, Perspectives and Strategy"

Tuesday, October 24 - 3:00p - 4:30p Marysville B
Darryl Korell, Westaway Law Group

Darryl Korell will discuss best practices for economic development. Examples will include land purchases, oil and gas ventures, windfarms, and joint-ventures. Daniel will also discuss the various agreements, frameworks, and negotiation pieces utilized in economic development including Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), Memoranda of Agreement (MOA), and Impact Benefit Agreements (IBA). We will address best practices for economic development.

Darryl is Counsel with Westaway Law Group, providing litigation and advisory services. Darryl previously worked as an associate and articled at a leading litigation boutique in downtown Toronto, where the bulk of his practice concerned local government issues. His practice focuses on s. 35 Aboriginal rights, Treaty land entitlement, Crown consultations, Specific Claims, judicial review, and administrative law. He is also an experienced Supreme Court of Canada agent.
A graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, Darryl interned at the Supreme Court of Canada and co-ordinated the Law Help Ontario student volunteer program at the Ottawa Courthouse. Darryl brings a wealth of policy, research, writing, and management experience to Westaway Law Group. Before going to law school, he worked as a journalist, an editor, a research manager, and a consultant for public sector, not-for-profit, and small business organizations.
Darryl holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Journalism degree from the University of British Columbia. As part of his graduate studies, Darryl advocated for the protection of the Arctic Porcupine Caribou herd, which is vital to the preservation of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation’s cultural heritage. He is fluent in English, French, and Spanish.


Prosperity Through Collaboration: The Story of the AACCC

Tuesday, October 24 - 3:00p - 4:30p Nashwaaksis B
Ruby Littlechild, Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre

In this presentation, Ruby Littlechild will share the “prosperity through collaboration” approach that the AACCC took to achieve their phenomenal success at the Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre. Ruby has been the Manager of the AACCC since its opening in 2015. The AACCC is structured to achieve the following objectives for the Indigenous Albertans, and prospective employers.

Ruby Littlechild is Plains Cree and originally from Maskwacis, Alberta. Ruby is of Treaty 6 descent. Ruby comes from the Wandering Spirit bloodline, one of Big Bears’ revered spiritual warriors. Ruby's primary passion is promoting inclusion, equality, higher education, diversity, mentoring, healing from colonization for Indigenous people. She works towards alleviating systemic barriers, stigmas and stereotypes that n Indigenous people face. Ruby has completed a Bachelors of Arts Degree and a Master’s of Education Degree, and is currently two courses to completing an MBA - Masters in Business Administration with a focus on Community Economic Development. Ruby has previously worked for the Government of Alberta, APEGA – Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta and is currently the Manager of the Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre at NorQuest College. Ruby has previously sat on Alberta’s CFSA – Child and Family Services Authority Board for the Government of Alberta. She is a current Board of Director for the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation and a Human Services Appeals Panel Member. She is also currently the National Student Director for the CANDO Board a National Indigenous Economic Development Board. Ruby believes collaboration, stakeholder engagement, reclaiming Indigenous identity, and the understanding of historical and cultural awareness are key factors in successful Indigenous Community Economic Development.  “Shifts in social consciousness, higher education and ethical practice is vital to sustainable development in our Indigenous communities in order alleviate the prevalent poverty.” She advocates to encourage Indigenous employment inclusion in not only the Alberta construction industry, but all industries that impact the economy. Ruby is currently the manager of the Alberta Indigenous Construction Career Centre at NorQuest College. A highly successful employment office, which she helped launch.





Questions?  Contact Svitlana Konoval at or (780) 990-0303 x 231