Conference Sessions & Speakers 

Cybersecurity Within the Indigital Revolution

Leon Morris, JEDI & Ki’tpu Cybersecurity and Technology Services

Band Councils, Indigenous organizations, businesses and our community members all need to be cyber aware and cyber secure. Our nations are very vulnerable to hacking attempts from community members, media, governments (municipal / provincial /federal), law enforcement, foreign threat actors and "script kiddies". The following topics will be covered: What is Cybersecurity? What is Cyber-Secure? What is a baseline and why do we need one? How do we perform one? What is Ethical Hacking, Black Hat Hacking, Grey Hat Hacking and Pentesting? Why do we need this and who do we hire? What is encryption? Bit Locker? Principles of Least Privilege? How do we protect our most vulnerable community members?                    

Leon Morris was born in the United States and moved to Canada at the age of 11. He is a Mi'kmaq and grew up on the Sipekne'katik First Nations in Nova Scotia. He graduated from Dalhousie University and has over 30 years' experience in the Information Technology Industry. With 20 of those years teaching for various universities, community colleges, private career institutions and first nations community organizations. Currently, he is the IT Coordinator for Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI), Lead Instructor of an Indigenous Cybersecurity Program for College communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick and Part-time Workplace Essential Skills facilitator/instructor for NBCC. With over 20 current industry certifications combined with his extensive knowledge and experiences, he has the ability, experience, and passion to teach all - regardless of age, backgrounds, or experience levels. His greatest achievements thus far are his 2 daughters, 2 stepchildren and 3 grandsons, whom he affectionately refers to as his " Mini-Me' s". An avid sailor, scuba diver, backyard mechanic and metal forger. He has a demonstrated passion and natural ability for all aspects of mechanical and electrical engineering.



Engraved on Our Nations: Indigenous Economic Tenacity

Dr. Fred Wien, Dalhousie University; Christopher Googoo, We’koqma’q First Nation; Mary Doucette, Cape Breton University; David Newhouse, Trent University; and Dr. Wanda Wuttunee, University of Manitoba

This panel presentation will amplify the long history of resilient Indigenous economic activity in Canada that is largely undocumented. The presentations will begin with a centering of Indigenous economic history followed by stories of positive engagement with challenges that have led to demonstrable success. They showcase tenacity, not only by Indigenous business leaders, their communities but also for their regions. Stories that will be shared include: a model of community economic development by Membertou First Nation, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia that has lessons of broad application; Atlantic Canada’s Indigenous entrepreneurial resilience is highlighted through stories of the persistence that was necessary before government programs; and Tahltan Nation, BC has a storied past, initially marked by poverty and discrimination, then moving deliberately to reclaim their livelihood on their terms, with exceptional success.

Dr. Fred Wien, Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, he is highly regarded for collaborating with Indigenous leaders and scholars to undertake the research they need in order to create evidence-based policies and practices. Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development editorial board member.

Mary Beth Doucette, Membertou Band, Assistant Professor and Purdy Crawford Chair in Cape Breton University’s Shannon School of Business, Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Christopher Googoo, We’koqma’q First Nation, CEO Ulnooweg Development Group, Millbrook, Nova Scotia.

David Newhouse, Onandaga, Professor and Director, Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario Canada. Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development editorial board member.

Dr. Wanda Wuttunee, Red Pheasant Cree Nation, Professor Emerita, Department of Indigenous Studies, University of Manitoba. Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development editor-in-chief, editorial board.



Governance is a Tool not a Weapon: Learning Useful Skills to Make Boards Work for You

Cora Bunn, Catalyste+

With organizations navigating an increasingly complex world and working tirelessly to achieve their missions, strong governance at the board level is a critical factor for success. Good governance is holistic and acknowledges the interconnectedness that exists between a board, the organization, the community, and the community's traditional knowledge. To be successful, organizations both big and small need to have good governance: it helps their management teams make good decisions, protects them from risks, and takes on an operational role during times of change and transformation. Catalyste+ has been partnering with Indigenous organizations across Canada to develop and deliver governance training and we learned about some of the major board governance issues and challenges. In this interactive workshop, we will share some best practices on how to run an effective Board, what are good policies to follow, and how to prepare new members.

Cora Bunn is a Community Relations Officer with Catalyste+. She is responsible for the Funding Application Support Program (FASP) and forming strategic partnerships to support Indigenous-led organizations and their members. Her work also supports First Nations, Inuit and Metis governments that require capacity and appropriate governance systems and structures for the successful delivery of programs and services to their communities. Cora is a proud Métis woman, and a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. She has served her Métis community in various capacities including two terms as Grand River Metis Council President, two terms as Métis Nation of Ontario Women's Council Regional Women's Representative, Indigenous Education Councils and Indigenous heritage festivals. Currently, as an elected women's representative, Cora serves on the Governance Committee and acts as Secretary for the council. 

Corporate Governance

Glenn Fleetwood, BDO Canada LLP

The presentation will focus on the following:

  • What is governance and what is it all about?
  • What is the role of the Board of Directors and what is their relationship to Chief and Council
  • Why the right economic development/corporate structure will yield fruit beyond just profits
  • Corporate Trusts and why are they important and how do they benefit membership and
  • economic development

Glenn is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), a legacy Certified General Accountant (CGA) and is currently completing his MBA at the University of Fredericton. He holds his Public Sector Certificate from CPA Canada and is considered an advanced user and preparer of Financial Statements under Public Sector Standards (PSAS). With over twenty-five (25) years of Executive Management, Resource Management and Accounting experience in not-for-profit, manufacturing and government services, Glenn brings a diversity of experience to BDO’s Indigenous Executive Management Services Team. He is an active champion of good governance and timely financial reporting. Glenn believes that to be an effective provider of financial services and financial information, you must be an effective and engaged storyteller. Glenn has spent the last eight years working with Indigenous Communities and organizations helping them define and achieve success through developing strong governance models, policies and controls, planning, annual operating and capital budgets and robust financial reporting.



How Online Marketing, Video Storytelling and Community Engagement Transformed My Indigenous Business

Mallory Rose, Tribal Trade Co.

How can Economic Development Officers support Indigenous entrepreneurs to be innovative, resilient and successful? This workshop will share actionable tools and strategies for EDOs to share with aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in their communities, in order to generate more leads for their businesses, and build a brand that stands out. I will share the top 10 actionable strategies I used to generate over 100,000 email subscribers, 40,000 subscribers on YouTube, and an online community of over 36,000 users. These strategies transformed my business as an Indigenous entrepreneur, and the tools and resources I used can be implemented immediately with entrepreneurs in your community.

Mallory Rose is an anishinaabe-kwe, Ojibway woman from Curve Lake First Nation and founder of Tribal Trade Co. As an online content creator, specializing in Indigenous wellness, cultural education, and community engagement, her expertise is in developing practical learning tools aimed to grow awareness, appreciation, and resilience of Indigenous people, communities, and allies. Mallory is the creator of Smudge Circle, Resiliency Transformation Week, and the Truth & Reconciliation Workshop Series. She’s delivered online workshops, and engagement sessions to over 25,000 participants relating to Indigenous Cultural Awareness, Identity Re-connection, and Truth & Reconciliation. Mallory holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, majoring in Marketing and Brand Communications. As a single mother, Mallory enjoys spending time with her son and grandma, as well as learning about the latest trends in marketing and media.



How to Complete Due Diligence on New Ventures

Tim Keating, Keating Business Strategies Ltd.

The workshop will walk participants through the steps, tools and techniques professionals use to conduct due diligence on new community-based ventures. It will provide an overview of the due diligence process and its importance in assessing and managing risks associated with new ventures. Participants will work through case studies to objectively evaluate new opportunities presented to a community. Topics will include financial due diligence, technology evaluation, market assessment, corporate and governance and other issues used in completing due diligence.

Tim grew up on a small mixed farm near Estevan Saskatchewan and attended the University of Saskatchewan where he obtained degrees in Regional and Urban Development (Planning) and in Economics, including an Agribusiness Management Certificate. He worked throughout Saskatchewan as an Economic Development Officer for First Nations and rural communities and is a Registered Professional Planner and Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners. Tim later accepted a position as Agribusiness Manager with Alberta Agriculture and Food in the Peace Region of Alberta and then moved to Red Deer where he worked as an investment officer for the Alberta Value Added Corporation (AVAC Ltd.) Tim went back to university and obtained a Master of Business Administration degree and continued to work in the areas of economic development and agribusiness for MNP and as Agribusiness Manager for Montana First Nation. Tim is the principal of Keating Business Strategies, a lead edge rural economic and agribusiness management consulting firm. Tim is married to his wife Lana and has three wonderful children. Tim enjoys spending time in the outdoors and on his acreage.



Supporting the Power and Potential of Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs

Arlene Blanchard-White, Ulnooweg Development Group; Genevieve May, Louis Riel Capital Corporations; Shannon Pestun, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub; and Magnolia Perron, National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association

This session will highlight the unique challenges that Indigenous women entrepreneurs face, as well as how to create inclusive and equitable opportunities where Indigenous women can thrive and succeed. The session will also bring awareness to the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association’s (NACCA) new national Indigenous Women Entrepreneurship Program which provides Indigenous women with access to Business Support Officers, workshops and training, mentorship, grants and micro-loans to help them start or grow their business. It will provide EDOs with practical and useful information on the program that will help them assist Indigenous women in their communities. Indigenous women face unique challenges in entrepreneurship that are rooted in gender, caregiving responsibilities, and systemic discrimination. However, with the right support and resources, Indigenous women entrepreneurs can succeed and thrive. Join this session to learn about the barriers that Indigenous women are overcoming in business, new initiatives and programs to support women’s participation in business, and the importance of ensuring equitable and inclusive services.



Becoming a Champion of Change in Your Community

Sonia Molodecky & Jerry Asp, Global Indigenous Development Trust

This interactive and dynamic workshop will begin with the Tahltan Story as told by Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) founder and Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Inductee, Jerry Asp, “From Affluence to Poverty to Affluence”. He will take participants through the steps, challenges and lessons learned, of how they went from 98% unemployment and low education standards to ZERO unemployment, above the national average in education standards, multi-million-dollar businesses, with 8 divisions and 28 joint-venture partnerships. TNDC continues to be recognized 35 years later as one of the leading Indigenous businesses in Canada, as environmental stewards and supporting holistic community development. Jerry will lead participants through practical applications to begin to actualize these steps into practice. Lastly, participants will engage in an exploration of the latest in innovations and technologies to support a values-based approach to economic development. Jerry highlights having a Champion in the community to drive the vision to fruition was instrumental. We hope to leave participants with tools to take the next step in their communities, whether they are just starting out or well on their journey, and the belief that anything is possible.

Jerry is committed to enhancing the quality of life for Indigenous people through the creation of new business opportunities and development of skills and capacity in the community. Jerry was President and founding member of the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (1985), the largest native-owned and operated heavy construction company in Western Canada building it to a $60 million corporation with 8 divisions and 29 joint-venture partnerships in the mining industry. Today, the Tahltan Trust Fund holds $120 million for future generations from these opportunities. Jerry is credited with taking their Nation from 98% unemployment to 0% unemployment through equitable partnerships and business opportunities. Jerry’s success includes negotiating the first Impact Benefit Agreement in BC with the Golden Bear Mine, the first native–owned independent power producer contract with BC Hydro and a new health facility to serve the Dease Lake area. Jerry has also applied his leadership skills to serve the public. Jerry was instrumental in bringing the Aboriginal Toolkit for Mining to fruition which in 2007 won the International Award as the best Aboriginal mine training document in the world, from UNESCO. Jerry was a founding member of Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association (CAMA) (1991-Nov 2013) where he served as Vice President; was appointed to sit on the Yukon Mining Advisory Board in 2011; and in 2018 was appointed to the Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Body on Responsible Business Conduct by the Minister of International Trade. Jerry has been awarded the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Skookum Jim award which recognizes Indigenous achievements in the mineral industry; received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal March 5, 2013, the Frank Woodside award from AME BC (2015) the Inspired award for Business and Commerce (2017), and in 2020 was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. As founder of the Global Indigenous Development Trust, Jerry actively shares his knowledge and experience with communities across the Americas, Africa, Scandinavia and Australia.

Sonia is a lawyer with more than 15 years’ experience in international law, business and community economic development. Sonia started her career as a corporate finance lawyer at two of Canada’s top law firms focusing on natural resources, renewable energy and infrastructure, specifically public-private partnerships. Since then, Sonia has done business in more than a dozen countries, bridging ancient knowledge systems and modern ways, and supporting in economic development efforts. Sonia has also worked in human rights law for the Public Defender’s Office in Argentina, as legal advisor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine, and for the President of the Commission of Human Rights and Justice in Mexico. In 2013, Sonia co-founded the Global Indigenous Development Trust that connects indigenous communities to share experiences and wise practice, to be decision-makers in the development of their lands and resources, and in re-building natural leaders and economies. Sonia is also founding director of Mno Aki Land Trust and Spirit Rock Resources Corp. which are empowering sovereignty over land, wealth, and resources. In 2019, Sonia led in the creation of the University of Toronto’s Center for Global Engineering Reconciliation Through Engineering Initiative (RTEI) - a collaborative, ‘two-eyed seeing’ approach to applied research in the areas of energy, housing, water, food and transportation infrastructure founded in life systems. Sonia recently published a book entitled, “A New Human Story: A Co-Creators Guide to Living our True Potential” that hopes to inspire youth to co-create a world in harmony with life. She lives in the country where she grows her own food, forages, and works with our Mother Earth to continue to uncover her secrets.



Climate Change Adaption: Interactive 3D Community Modelling

Barry Stevens, Stevens Solutions & Design Inc.

Stevens Solutions & Design Inc - 3D Wave Design (Mi’kmaq owned) has developed close relationships with environmental, First Nations and applied geomatics research groups, particularly in relation to wildland fire and inland flood risk assessments and global warming induced sea-level rise prediction and simulation. Through this work, SS&DI/3D Wave Design has coded proprietary LiDAR ingestion software and created an interactive 3D visualization approach that readily communicates scientific wildland fire and flood data and analysis for easy and rapid comprehension. This offering is beneficial to First Nation governance, decision makers, band councils, funding agencies, community members and EOC-EMO/Firefighting personnel alike.  SS&DI/3D Wave’s interactive 3D modeling is also being used for commercial fisheries wharfs planning, fin and shellfish aquaculture site planning including user interactive environmental data, visualizations of tidal, wind and wave clean energy sites for decision making and funding. SS&DI/3D Wave has also been used for stress testing road, bridge and water and wastewater treatment locations. Communities are actively implementing infrastructure projects and climate change mitigation strategies with the assistance of this software. This Indigenous designed software will be demonstrated.

As a Mi’kmaq Acadia First Nation community member, Barry has held positions in both management and engineering roles in advanced development laboratories, anti-submarine warfare product design, HF communications, business development and consulting, training, product sales, and production management. At his last place of employment, he was V.P. of Operations. In 2001, Barry launched Stevens Solutions & Design Inc. (SS&DI) and has supplied communications and custom electronic hardware designs/software solutions for use in corporate communications, instruction and eLearning, security, defence, government agencies, global corporations, non-profits, and Indigenous organizations. Barry has sat on numerous Indigenous and non-indigenous boards and committees including: as a regional zone Chief for the Native Council of Nova Scotia; NCNS Indigenous Citizenship committee member; Nations in a Circle indigenous heritage and culture society, founding Board Member; NS Indigenous Tourism Enterprise Network, founding Board Member; Coastal Action Foundation Board Member; JEDI Indigenous Entrepreneur Consultant / Mentor; Mahone Bay Museum Advisory committee member; Indigenous Consultant for NSCC’s CPET educational program; Indigenous Consultant for Canada’s Ocean Super Cluster AOSP Vitality program. Barry’s traditional Mi’kmaq petroglyph artwork has been acquired by the Smithsonian’s Museum of the North American Indian. Barry resides with his wife Mary, in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.



Indigenous Procurement - Doing Business with Corporate Canada & Government: Results from the 2023 Cando Survey on Indigenous Procurement and Capacity Needs

Irene Henriques, York University; Bob Anderson, University of Regina; Rick Colbourne, Carleton University; Ana Maria Peredo, University of Ottawa & Ray Wanuch, Cando

As there is a lack of data on current Indigenous procurement activities and capacity needs – critical information needed for Cando to build an effective Indigenous framework to support our members to ensure procurement readiness and scaling - Cando and a team of Canadian academic researchers supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) worked together to develop and conduct an Indigenous procurement survey to explore public (federal, provincial, municipal, foreign and Crown corporation) Indigenous procurement by Cando’s EDO members. The survey seeks to address the following questions:

  • What type of procurement contracts have Indigenous businesses been awarded?
  • What type of procurement contracts do our Indigenous Cando members aspire to obtain?
  • What is the value of these contracts and how can these be increased?
  • What are the barriers, challenges as well as the capacity needed to participate in such opportunities?

This interactive workshop will be Chaired by Cando’s Executive Director, Ray Wanuch, where results will be presented, and roundtables formed to discuss the results and get participants’ experiences and support needs to further deepen our understanding of the quantitative results.

Dr. Irene Henriques is a Professor of Sustainability and Economics and Area Coordinator of Economics at the Schulich School of Business, York University, section editor at the Journal of Business Ethics, Deputy Editor, Organization & Environment, and former Co-Editor of Business & Society. As Chair of the Joint Public Advisory Committee for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Professor Henriques helped bring together Indigenous peoples from across North America to share their sustainability-related best practices and success stories. Research in understanding the nexus between sustainable development, clean innovation and Indigenous entrepreneurship is key in attaining sustainable prosperity in Canada and abroad.

Dr. Robert Anderson is an internationally recognised scholar on Indigenous entrepreneurship and sustainable development of Indigenous peoples. He has argued that developmental aspirations of Indigenous people are shaped by four key factors: (i) a desire by Indigenous people to improve their socio-economic circumstances through participation in the global economy ‘on their own terms’, (ii) increasing recognition of the rights of Indigenous people to have at least some control over activities on their traditional lands, (iii) the shift to a new, flexible global economy in which local aspirations and objectives can play a more significant role and iv) the growing importance of entrepreneurship as a means for achieving these objectives that are well aligned with an emerging global trend of sustainability, and ‘blended value’ enterprises.

Dr. Ana Maria Peredo is a Canada Research Chair tier 1 and Full Professor of Social and Inclusive Entrepreneurship at the Telfer School of Management. She is also a Professor (on leave) of Political Ecology at the School of Environmental Studies and was also Director of the Centre for Co-operative and Community-Based Economy at the University of Victoria, Canada. Dr. Peredo’s work has contributed to understanding the ways communities can address poverty by constructing rewarding and sustainable livelihoods out of resources in their distinctive cultures and environments. She draws on her academic training in Anthropology and Management and extensive experience in the Andes of her native Peru to explore alternative economies and their impact on the social and environmental aspects of community.

Dr. Rick Colbourne is the Assistant Dean, Equity and Inclusive Communities and Assistant Professor, Indigenous Leadership and Management at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business and a member of the Mattawa/North Bay Algonquin First Nation with Algonquin, French, English and German descent. He is an award-winning educator and Fulbright Fellow (Visiting Research Chair in Indigenous Entrepreneurship), who has taught at universities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. His research interests center on Indigenous entrepreneurship, hybrid venture creation, economic development and Indigenous business ecosystems as a means to support Indigenous communities to facilitate self-determination, self-governance and foster community socioeconomic health and wellbeing.


Understanding The Procurement Strategy for Indigenous Business and the Indigenous Business Directory

Ann Marie Williams, Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada has a commitment that a mandatory minimum target of 5% of the total value of contracts are awarded to Indigenous businesses annually – this presents a huge opportunity for Indigenous entrepreneurs. This presentation will provide an overview of how the Government of Canada leverages the Procurement Strategy for Indigenous Business (PSIB) to increase Indigenous participation into federal procurement processes, as well as the implementation of the mandatory requirement for federal departments and agencies to ensure a minimum five percent of the total value of contracts are held by Indigenous businesses. The objective is to provide Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses with information they require in order to compete for federal government contracts, and ensure they have access to tools to increase their visibility to federal procurement officers.

Having worked in the public service since 2010, Ann Marie Williams joined the Business Development Directorate at Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) in September 2021. As a Program/Policy Officer, Ann Marie provides policy advice and guidance to the federal procurement community, as well as, supports and educates Indigenous business owners looking to sell their goods and services to the Government of Canada. Ann Marie understands that economic development in Indigenous communities is a key step towards reconciliation and works everyday to seek out opportunities for Indigenous inclusion with Federal government contracting. In addition to her work at ISC, Ann Marie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, biking, dancing, is an avid reader and loves shopping.



EDOs, Indigenous Procurement Practices & UNDRIP: A Summary of Lessons Learned from an Indigenous Lens

Kristy Barnaby, Barnaby & Associates Inc.

Elder Albert Marshall describes Knowledge Sharing as an Inherent Responsibility carried by Indigenous people. We, the applicants, share the vision of Cando in growing the economic participation of Indigenous people, businesses, and governing bodies in the regional, national, and international economy. The ‘Indigenous Strategy for Indigenous Business’ (PSIB), a federal policy that supports Indigenous procurement with a minimum requirement of 5% procurement was challenged by an innovative team at Pomerleau. In 2021, construction management (CM) leaders- Pomerleau- was awarded the CM contract which allocated a bold vision for 23% Indigenous Procurement. A national first. In 2022, Barnaby & Associates- an Indigenous owned and operated Quality Management and Advisory business- was retained to facilitate the continuous quality improvement and adherence to regional protocols (i.e., MRIA), UNDRIP, TRC, MMIWG, OCAP, etc., within the project scope. Under the guidance of Indigenous leadership / professionals, PSPC, and Pomerleau, the project has completed Year 1. There are critical lessons learned, reflections, observations of trends and tools that have come from this process to date. It is critical to the shared vision of building on self-determination, self-governance, and equitable access to the economy to ensure learnings are shared across all stakeholders. Through knowledge translation, these learnings/observations will be made applicable and accessible to this target audience. Ms. Barnaby will deliver content utilizing Indigenous ways of knowing knowledge translation and delivery. Connections will be made between Cando research1 and ‘Post 1 Year Learnings and Observations’. They will be presented from Barnaby & Associates’ Indigenous lens and perspective.

Kristy is a proud community member of the Mi’gmag community, Nataoaganeg in New Brunswick. She holds a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Health Administration and is currently completing her postgraduate studies in Quality Management at Harvard University in Massachusetts. Ms. Barnaby’s training in Quality Management is preceded by her 17 years of professional and research experience in project management, Indigenous historical and contemporary issues pertaining to Indigenous law, Aboriginal Inherent Rights, and Treaty Rights. Ms. Barnaby has contributed to collaboratively authored national and regional Indigenous research and governance guidelines. She holds a seat on the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Board where she advises on the development of Indigenous KPI’s and monitoring tools. Ms. Barnaby is well-versed in the application of Treaty, TRC and UNDRIP in the fields of Human Resources and Quality Management. Ms. Barnaby holds a Certified Health Executive (CHE)- and soon a Certified Indigenous Human Resources Professional (CIHRP) designation, from the Canadian College of Health Leaders and Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada, respectively.



Mining Equals Economic Development Opportunities for Indigenous Communities

Robert Stewart, Professional Geoscientist & Paul Macedo, Cando

This interactive workshop will highlight examples of Indigenous communities that have benefitted from economic activities related to the mining sector. Participants will learn about the life cycle of modern mining from the prospectors and explorers who start the process through mine development and mining to mine closure and reclamation of the site. Examples of Indigenous communities involved with business opportunities related to each step of the life cycle will be profiled with an emphasis on the Atlantic provinces. The workshop will use information from online mining webinars produced by Cando and its partner, Natural Resources Canada, for eight provinces across Canada. Participants will learn how to use the wealth of information provided online by Cando as shown by those related to the mining sector.



Additions to Reserve Redesign

Kevin McKeever, Crown-Indigenous Relations & Northern Affairs Canada

The Additions to Reserve Redesign (ATR) session will provide an overview of the additions to reserve redesign initiative.



Supporting Indigenous Economic Development and Businesses through Exports

Todd Evans, Export Development Canada

Trade was an important contributor to Indigenous prosperity and self-sufficiency well before the arrival of the first settlers.  Supported by their own unique expertise, technologies and access to resources, nations across Turtle Island were successful traders.  As modern-day Indigenous businesses and communities work to restore lost prosperity and financial sovereignty, many are looking to international trade to help achieve those goals. With Canada representing less than 2% of global demand, export markets offer opportunities for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis companies to grow their business, and contribute to building self-sufficiency, economic development and community prosperity.  However, the obstacles many Indigenous communities and companies face are impeding access to those export opportunities. Moderated by Export Development Canada, panelists from an Economic Development Corporation, an Indigenous-owned exporting business and a financial institution will explore these challenges, and discuss available solutions and strategies to help Indigenous companies through the journey to grow their businesses through exporting.

As National Lead for Indigenous Exporters, Todd’s role is to advance Export Development Canada’s understanding of the needs and challenges of the Indigenous business community, and to lead EDC’s strategy to support the growing export needs of Indigenous businesses. Prior to taking on his current role in 2019, Todd was a principal with EDC’s Economics team. His previous positions at EDC include director of economic analysis and forecasting, and director of the corporate research department. Before joining EDC in 1997, Todd worked with various public and private sector organizations including Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the Economic Council of Canada, the Conference Board of Canada and HLB. Todd has a BA degree in economics and statistics from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a MA degree in economics from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, Todd is proud of his Mi’kmaw culture. He is a traditional pow wow dancer and plans to spend a lot more time on the pow wow trail when he retires.



Indigenous Green Economy Initiative

Tarra Wright Many Chief, Acosys Consulting Services Inc.

With the support of the Government of Canada and Cando, the Indigenous Green Economy Initiative aims to support the increased participation of Indigenous communities, businesses, and suppliers in the green economy. This initiative will support the development of a broad and robust ecosystem of businesses, resources, and connections that are required to establish a Green Indigenous Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Canada. The Indigenous Green Economy Initiative will support the increased participation of Indigenous suppliers and businesses through the development tools, references, and partnerships that provide high value to Indigenous suppliers and businesses, entrepreneurs, Indigenous communities, Government (provincial, and federal), and industry with the intent of increasing the frequency, variety, and number of opportunities for Indigenous businesses to participate in the emerging green economy.

Tarra Wright Many Chief is a member of the Blood Tribe (Kainai Nation), ana member of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Tarra earned her Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge, with a focus on accounting and First Nations Governance. Tarra is a Senior Consultant with Acosys Consulting Services Inc and has been supporting projects with Acosys since 2021. She has been working with Indigenous communities and leadership on a wide variety of projects spanning multiple sectors for nearly 10 years, focusing on supporting Indigenous participation in the economy.



Economic Development Corporations, Strategic Partnerships & Joint Ventures: Structuring, Governance, Taxation and Sovereign Wealth Planning

Gary Kissack & Brian Gosse, Fogler, Rubinoff LLP and Leonard Rickard

This workshop will review the following: best practices in structuring the ownership of economic development entities and special purpose entities for operating businesses, investments, partnerships and joint ventures, including taxation considerations for corporations and limited partnerships; governance frameworks for economic development entities which balance operational independence, transparency and accountability, including the key governance documents which accomplish these objectives; strategic business and sovereign wealth planning considerations, including in respect of asset mapping, procurement, strategic partnerships and joint ventures, diversification and capitalization; and case studies of Indigenous economic development success stories. This workshop covers a number of the themes and topics for workshops set out in the Call for Conference Presenters.

Gary represents a number of Indigenous Communities, and their institutions across Canada on business transactions, the formation of economic development groups and other matters focused principally on governance and wealth creation. Gary often works as co-counsel to leading national law firms specializing in Aboriginal law who focus on land claims negotiations, Aboriginal and treaty rights advocacy, and consultations with government and industry. Gary provides advice on major commercial and industrial developments and impact benefit agreements throughout Canada, including in respect of infrastructure, energy transmission, renewable energy generation, logistics and transportation projects. Gary is recognized as a leading lawyer in Aboriginal law in the Best Lawyers in Canada legal directory.

Brian has a broad and varied business law practice. He represents clients in a range of industries including energy and technology and, as a member of Foglers’ Corporate Group, regularly advises on mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financings, and other business transactions. In addition, Brian advises clients on a variety of corporate matters including structuring, governance and statutory compliance, shareholder and director meetings, directors’ liability, and a number of business ownership matters including shareholder and partnership structures and agreements, succession planning, and creditor-proofing. As a member of Foglers’ Indigenous Practice Group, Brian acts for Indigenous Communities on a variety of business matters including the formation and governance of economic development groups, impact benefit agreements, acquisition and financing transactions, and the negotiation of joint ventures, partnerships, and other commercial arrangements for a broad range of private and public sector projects.

Leonard is a leader in First Nation economic sustainability and partnership development with 20 years of experience. With a proven track record in business development, small business financing, training & HR development, he has worked in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors for both Indigenous communities and Corporate Canada. He aims to foster inclusion of Indigenous communities in development opportunities with the goal of improving Indigenous prosperity. He is currently the CEO at Mississaugas of the Credit Business LP.



Reconnecting Indigenous Economic Development Corporations, Communities and Entrepreneurs with Agriculture and Food in Canada and Beyond

Shaun Soonias and Monica James, Farm Credit Canada

Please join Farm Credit Canada in a discussion about opportunities in Canada’s agriculture and food sector.  FCC is the only lender 100% invested in Canadian agriculture and food.  With over 100 offices across Canada, and 64 years of experience, FCC is focused on how we can support and grow Indigenous agriculture and food projects. From non-timber forest products and traditional harvesting and gathering, to wine and forestry, FCC finances more that just grains and oilseeds and livestock.  From the field to the back of the grocery store or restaurant, FCC is your partner. 

Shaun is a member of Red Pheasant Cree Nation, a signatory of Treaty 6 located south of Battleford, SK. As Director of Indigenous Relations, his focus is on activities that will enable economic development for Indigenous communities, including increasing participation in and access to capital for primary production through the agri-food and agribusiness value chains. Shaun also builds intersections for growth, understanding, learning, employment, partnership, research and knowledge dissemination between government, industry, non-profits, academia and Indigenous stakeholders through FCC’s national network of partners and industry stakeholders. Shaun joined FCC in 2019, eager to be part of the agriculture industry and work with Indigenous individuals, communities and economic development corporations as they build and revitalize their agriculture projects. He has 25 years of experience in social and economic development work and held senior positions with the Saskatchewan Indigenous Economic Development Network, Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth, the University of Saskatchewan and the department of Justice.



Indigenous Investment - How Might Managers of Economic Development Corporations Makes Decisions about Investment and Partnership?

D’Arcy O’Farrell, Carleton University

The theory of investment has a long history and is taught to thousands of business students in universities across Canada (and globally) each year.  Unfortunately, these concepts are of little use to the manager of the Indigenous Economic Development Corporation (IEDC).  While the Bay Street portfolio manager thinks very little of matters outside of the usual risk-return paradigm, the IEDC manager faces a much more complicated challenge.  What is needed are resources that aspiring community leaders may turn to so they may benefit from the experience of those who have been grappling with these questions while Indigenous Nations have forged their own approach to economic development and community-owned business. This workshop will address the following questions: What are the objectives of the IEDC investor? How investment plans align with Nations’ long-term strategies? How are investment opportunities analyzed? Are there tools that IEDC managers make use of in doing these analyses? How do IEDC managers think about partnership opportunities and how are these decisions made? What is the process of IEDC investment decision-making?  Participants will be asked to contribute their thoughts and stories about their experiences in a roundtable discussion.

D’Arcy O’Farrell is a PhD candidate in financial economics whose thesis asks questions about how IEDC managers may make investment decisions given that the tools developed out the neo-classical economics literature are inappropriate in this context.  This thesis also asks questions about the origin of the movement toward Indigenous Economic Development Corporations and Community-owned business, the societal function these institutions perform, and the important elements of successful implementation of this strategy where economic development is defined according to Indigenous values and beliefs. 



Pushing the Envelope for Indigenous Participation in Procurement - The Atlantic Sciences Enterprise Centre Project

Moderator - Mark Dokis, NACCA; Kristy Barnaby, Barnaby and Associates; Stanley Barnaby, JEDI; Ryan Francis, ACOA; and Chris Major, PSPC

Indigenous partners and project leads have rewritten the art of the possible by establishing a 23% Indigenous Participation requirement for the largest federal government project in Atlantic Canada since the building of the Confederation bridge.  Join subject matter experts to discuss their experiences during the planning and development of the ASEC building construction project in Moncton, New Brunswick, and how best practices and lessons learned can be applied to future projects.  

Mark Dokis is a member of the Dokis First Nation in Northeastern Ontario and has been with the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association as Senior Advisor responsible for Special Projects and Procurement, since 2017. He graduated with honours from Laurentian University with a Bachelor of Arts in geography. He went on to earn certificates in economic development and business management, board and trust administration. Mark has over 35 years of experience in the Indigenous economic, business, procurement and financial services fields. Mark is a Trustee for the Okikendawt Hydro and Dokis First Nation Community Trust and a Board Director with the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association. In his free time, Mark enjoys staying at his cottage on Lake Nipissing, hunting, fishing, and curling.

Kristy Barnaby is a proud community member of the Mi’gmag community, Nataoaganeg in New Brunswick. She holds a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Health Administration and is currently completing her postgraduate studies in Quality Management at Harvard University in Massachusetts. Ms. Barnaby’s training in Quality Management is preceded by her 17 years of professional and research experience in project management, Indigenous historical and contemporary issues pertaining to Indigenous law, Aboriginal Inherent Rights, and Treaty Rights. Ms. Barnaby has contributed to collaboratively authored national and regional Indigenous research and governance guidelines. She holds a seat on the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Board where she advises on the development of Indigenous KPI’s and monitoring tools. Ms. Barnaby is well-versed in the application of Treaty, TRC and UNDRIP in the fields of Human Resources and Quality Management. Ms. Barnaby holds a Certified Health Executive (CHE)- and soon a Certified Indigenous Human Resources Professional (CIHRP) designation, from the Canadian College of Health Leaders and Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada, respectively.

Stanley Barnaby is the CEO of the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI), a leading Indigenous organization dedicated to working with partners to foster Indigenous economic development in New Brunswick. With a passion for Indigenous business and economic development, Stanley also took on the role of President at the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando) in 2021. Cando is a national organization dedicated to leading community economic development. Proud member of the Mi’gmaq Listuguj First Nation in Quebec and born in New Hampshire, USA, Stanley chose Fredericton as his home while studying Business at the University of New Brunswick. In addition to his B.B.A, Stanley also holds a First Nation Business Administration certificate, Technician Aboriginal Economic Development certification, Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer certification, Management Development Program certificate, and a master’s certificate in Project Management. Community is at the heart of Indigenous business and economic development; therefore, wise practice includes planning with the next 7 generations in mind. Stanley supports future business development and capacity building by supporting mentorship for youth and by including elders and knowledge holders in his planning.

Chris  is a Regional Manager - Indigenous Project Procurement at PSPC. Chris has a B.Sc. in Geology and Biology. He has been in the role for 6 months, prior to this he worked in the environmental field with Environmental Services for the past 15 years working mainly on the Pacific Coast. Prior to this Chris was with DND -Formation Safety and Environment managing the safety and environmental quality assurance and audit program for two years and prior to that he was in private environmental consulting for 4 years. When not at work you can find him in the woods or on a river fly fishing.  He is a Newfoundlander living off the rock and has 3 great kids and a beautiful wife.



Implementing Innovation: Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative - Abegweit Success Story

Will Goodon, Manitoba Metis Federation; Bethany Knockwood and Tyler Gould, Abegweit First Nation

The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative, led by an Indigenous Steering Committee, is being implemented by Cando in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). The Initiative is enabling First Nation, Inuit, and Métis Nation innovators to implement innovative housing solutions in rural, urban, and remote Indigenous communities. In January 2020, 24 projects were selected from 342 submissions, to participate in the Accelerator phase. The Accelerator phase enabled innovators to refine their project ideas to meet defined eligibility criteria. Projects then moved to the Implementation phase, some conditionally, and as conditions are met, they are eligible for additional funding to support implementation. One of the projects that has moved into Implementation is the Abegweit Passive Solar Housing Complex. Abegweit will design and build three passive solar homes in the community to accommodate young, single adults and three or four families. The build aims to support energy independence and incorporate energy efficiencies to minimize energy costs. The idea aims to have the complex certified to meet the Canadian passive house standards. Further Abegweit intends to build these homes with its own construction crew, providing meaningful employment for its members and developing greater capacity within its community.

Will has built a career with a combination of community service and entrepreneurship. Tutored by his parents to look for opportunities in business, Will also seized the calling of working for the Métis Nation in the Métis Government in various capacities. As well, partnering with his father, Will is an ownership partner in motel projects in southwestern Manitoba, with properties in Deloraine, Boissevain and Killarney.

Bethany  is Mi’kmaq and a member of Abegweit First Nation residing on Scotchfort Reserve in Prince Edward Island. Bethany is a single mother to a 2-year-old boy named Elias. Before working for Abegweit, Bethany received her Medical Secretary Degree from Holland College. She later went on to successfully run a social enterprise called Epekwitk Lanyards. Currently, Bethany is the Housing & Infrastructure Office Manager for Abegweit First Nation. She has been employed in Abegweit’s housing department for the past three years. Bethany has a passion for improving her community through her work in housing. She has completed her first year of First Nation Housing Professional Association Certification. In 2018, Bethany was appointed as Chair of Abegweit’s Housing Advisory Committee. 

As a proud member of Abegweit First Nation, Tyler serves his community of Abegweit as the Director of Economic Development. In this role, Tyler has managed multiple capital projects, housing developments, and strategic initiatives for the community, supporting Abegweit through a significant period of socioeconomic growth. Tyler managed the development of a 4.4-million-dollar commercial center on reserve land, supported a 6-million-dollar active transportation development, and has assisted in various housing projects, including the development of passive-solar homes through Cando. Prior to joining Abegweit, Tyler spent several years in the private sector providing consulting services to public and private-sector clients, specializing in project management, business planning, strategy, and feasibility analysis. As a consultant, Tyler has worked with government agencies, municipalities, First Nation communities, tribal councils, SMEs, social enterprises, entrepreneurs, and Canadian newcomers helping his clients meet and exceed their business/community development goals. Tyler supported the development of Mi’kmaq Printing & Design, an award-winning Indigenous social enterprise in Charlottetown, PEI, and helped establish the Indigenous Tourism Association of PEI, which he now co-chairs. Tyler also co-chairs Indigenous Services Canada’s Atlantic Economic Development Advisory Committee.  He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Prince Edward Island and a Master of Business Administration degree from Laurentian University.



Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA): Empowering Indigenous-led, Government Enabled International Economic Development

Moderator - Raymond Wanuch, Cando; Dale LeClair, Indigenous Representative; Kingson Lim, Global Affairs Canada; and Francesca Nassif, Global Affairs Canada

In 2021, four APEC economies, Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Chinese Taipei came together to conclude negotiations on the Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA), which entered into effect on March 23, 2022. Why is this significant? While trade arrangements between tribes and Peoples have always existed, IPETCA is the first global, co-operation based instrument that is Indigenous-led and government enabled. IPETCA establishes a framework for facilitating cooperation between among economies to identify and remove barriers to Indigenous Peoples’ economic empowerment and participation in trade and is open for other economies to join. This Panel, composed of the four Indigenous and government representatives on the Canadian delegation at the IPETCA Interim Body, will talk about how IPETCA fits into Canada’s inclusive trade policy approach, the work at IPETCA so far, what their individual and collective visions are, and how you could get involved with both Global Affairs Canada’s trade work and IPETCA as it moves forward into the Partnership Council.

Born in Edmonton, AB, raised on the Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement, and is of First Nations descent from the Ermineskin Cree Nation, Ray Wanuch obtained a Bachelor of Management degree from the University of Lethbridge in 1989. He also possesses the Technician and the Professional Level Certification from Cando. Current Executive Director of Cando, Ray celebrated 18 years in his current position this past May. Prior to working with Cando, Ray was the CEO of Settlement Investment Corporation and currently serves on Settlement Investment Corporation’s board. He then moved on to facilitate and manage the Métis Settlements Economic Viability Strategy, which received international recognition for sustainable development. Ray’s volunteer work includes being appointed to the Alberta Water Council by the Métis Settlements General Council; as well as serving as the former Cando Co-President and director representing Alberta. He has also served on the Kainai health board and currently advises the Changing Horses board of directors, a group of medical professionals and friends from the Kainai 1st Nation who wish to address addictions stemming from drug, alcohol and the current Opioid crisis. Ray has recently joined NGCI, an economic development corporation serving the Ermineskin Cree Nation. Ray is married to Nola Wanuch from the Enoch Cree Nation and has three children and five wonderful grandchildren.

Kingson is currently Manager, Strategic Indigenous Engagement at Global Affairs Canada, working for both Trade Policy and the Trade Commissioner Service. He is on secondment from Indigenous Services Canada where he was a manager in Economic Development Policy, leading on various international and domestic activities. Kingson has almost 20 years of experience with the Government of Canada working on various international, Indigenous, domestic, and corporate files in over ten departments and agencies. Prior to ISC, Kingson was at Fisheries and Oceans Canada where he was responsible for developing potential transformation options for the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation. In previous roles, Kingson has also been involved in concluding the first-ever Canada-European Union Air Transport agreement, rolling out the $4 billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, and protecting North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from ship strikes. Kingson has a B.Com (Hons.) in Public Policy and Public Management from the University of Ottawa and a MA in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.

Francesca is a Trade Policy Officer at the Trade Agreements Secretariat (TCT) in the Trade Negotiations branch. She joined Global Affairs Canada in 2019 and has since worked on a variety of files such as: Trade and Gender, Environmental Assessments of Free-Trade Agreements, the CUSMA Secretariat (formerly NAFTA Secretariat), and more recently as lead officer on Trade and Indigenous Peoples in the Inclusive Trade unit. Francesca also supports on-going trade negotiations on inclusive trade matters.  Key achievements while in TCT include administering the first CUSMA Chapter 10 (Binational Panel Reviews) and Chapter 31 (State-to-State Dispute Settlement) disputes with Canada as responsible section, working on revamping Canada’s EA framework, undertaking the first effectiveness review of a trade agreement (on-going), leading the coordination of Canada’s input for the International Trade Center SheTrades Outlook in 2019. Francesca has a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Concordia University and previously earned her Bachelor’s degree from McGill University with a major in Political Science and a double minor in International Relations and International Development. She enjoys travelling, painting, golf, and most importantly, coffee.

Dale LeClair was appointed to the role of Director, Indigenous and Northern Affairs in December of 2018. In this role, Dale is responsible for Government and Community Affairs for the Northern region and with Indigenous communities across the country. He has taken the leadership role in corporate planning and strategy processes, representing Indigenous issues and identifying major themes and opportunities in future business plans, as well Dale collaborate with human resources to develop strategies and programs for recruitment, selection, retention and development of Indigenous employees to help improve the diversity of Canada Post’s workforce. Dale joined Canada Post with over 20 years of executive management experience, with both public and private corporations. He has held leadership roles at the Assembly of First Nations, Correctional Services Canada, Chief Operating/Administrative Officer to Nations in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, and most recently, the Metis National Council, where he was the Chief of Staff. Dale earned his Bachelor of Law from the University of Ottawa and his Bachelor in Education from the University of Calgary.



Frameworks, Strategies, and Lessons Learned in Procurement Early Engagement to Maximize Indigenous Participation and Benefits

Dennis Brunner; PSPC; Kristy Barnaby, Barnaby and Associates; Mark Dokis, NACCA; Chris Major, PSPC; Tim Dymond, ISC; and Danielle Aubin, ISC

Today, more federal procurement opportunities are including Indigenous Participation Plans, Benefit Agreements, and other methods to increase Indigenous inclusion in government supply chains.  EDOs have an important role in defining how to get the right mix of benefits for their communities in these agreements. This session will look at the current processes and leading-edge approaches to increase Indigenous participation and benefits. Delegates will also have a chance to participate in a workshop style discussion around how to improve these processes to have more positive impacts in community using current examples and case studies.

Kristy Barnaby is a proud community member of the Mi’gmag community, Nataoaganeg in New Brunswick. She holds a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Health Administration and is currently completing her postgraduate studies in Quality Management at Harvard University in Massachusetts. Ms. Barnaby’s training in Quality Management is preceded by her 17 years of professional and research experience in project management, Indigenous historical and contemporary issues pertaining to Indigenous law, Aboriginal Inherent Rights, and Treaty Rights. Ms. Barnaby has contributed to collaboratively authored national and regional Indigenous research and governance guidelines. She holds a seat on the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Board where she advises on the development of Indigenous KPI’s and monitoring tools. Ms. Barnaby is well-versed in the application of Treaty, TRC and UNDRIP in the fields of Human Resources and Quality Management. Ms. Barnaby holds a Certified Health Executive (CHE)- and soon a Certified Indigenous Human Resources Professional (CIHRP) designation, from the Canadian College of Health Leaders and Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada, respectively.

Mark Dokis is a member of the Dokis First Nation in Northeastern Ontario and has been with the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association as Senior Advisor responsible for Special Projects and Procurement, since 2017. He graduated with honours from Laurentian University with a Bachelor of Arts in geography. He went on to earn certificates in economic development and business management, board and trust administration. Mark has over 35 years of experience in the Indigenous economic, business, procurement and financial services fields. Mark is a Trustee for the Okikendawt Hydro and Dokis First Nation Community Trust and a Board Director with the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association. In his free time, Mark enjoys staying at his cottage on Lake Nipissing, hunting, fishing, and curling.

Chris is a Regional Manager - Indigenous Project Procurement at PSPC. Chris has a B.Sc. in Geology and Biology. He has been in the role for 6 months, prior to this he worked in the environmental field with Environmental Services for the past 15 years working mainly on the Pacific Coast. Prior to this Chris was with DND -Formation Safety and Environment managing the safety and environmental quality assurance and audit program for two years and prior to that he was in private environmental consulting for 4 years. When not at work you can find him in the woods or on a river fly fishing.  He is a Newfoundlander living off the rock and has 3 great kids and a beautiful wife.

Danielle has led the Transformative Indigenous Procurement Strategy Directorate at Indigenous Services Canada since 2021. For 9 years prior to that, she was responsible for the development, consultation, negotiation and implementation of new procurement policies for the Government of Canada as the Director of Procurement and Materiel Policies at Treasury Board Secretariat in the Office of the Comptroller General. Danielle holds a Masters of Arts in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies from Queen’s University.



CEDI Panel: Anku’kamkewey - Commitment to First Nation-Municipal Partnership and Collaboration 

On the ten-year anniversary of the First Nation-Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) program, the CEDI team is excited to welcome representatives from the graduated-CEDI partnership of Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish to share their experience of building and sustaining a First Nation-municipal partnership. They will share about Anku’kamkewey, their Friendship Accord, collaborative community economic development initiatives that they have worked on, and how they have sustained their partnership since graduating from the program in 2019. The CEDI team will also provide a brief overview of the program and wise practice tools. Join us to learn more and celebrate 10 incredible years of First Nation-municipal collaboration!

About the Partnership: Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish participated in the CEDI program from 2016-2019. “CEDI allowed us to build and strengthen our relationships, our knowledge and understanding of how we govern and how we operate day to day as local governments. That process is an important component of reconciliation and will allow us to determine where our collective community goes in partnership through CEDI and beyond."
Warden Owen McCarron, the County of Antigonish

“At first I wasn’t sure of this process. But the ceremony for the Friendship Accord changed my mind. This partnership is important. We’ve never signed anything except the Peace and Friendship Treaty and that Friendship Accord. I promise I’ll do everything in my power to keep this partnership on track.”
Elder and Councillor Kerry Prosper, Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation



Access to Capital - Resurrecting Chakastaypasin

Chief Calvind Sanderson, Chakastaypasin Band and David Boisvert & Georgina Villeneuve, Peace Hills Trust

Chakastaypasin and four Chiefs signed Treaty 6 in August 1876 at Fort Carlton. In the late 1800’s the Department of Indian Affairs alleged that all Chakastaypasin members had moved off their reserve so in 1898 their names were added to the membership lists of other Bands and their reserve was sold. In December 1998 members of James Smith Cree Nation, descended from Chakastaypasin Band, launched a claim against the federal government arguing that the Chakastaypasin Reserve had be unlawfully surrendered and sold.  Today you will hear how Chakastaypasin is recreating a community by doing it their own way by access capital to start a new community.

As the President and CEO of Peace Hills Trust, with 39 years of experience David Boisvert brings passion and innovation to the banking world that translates into creative solutions for Indigenous, Inuit and Metis Nations throughout Canada. Responsible for overseeing all facets of the organization, David drives the vision, mission, strategic direction, and engagement with the board of directors. He has led the transformation of the organization by aligning day-to-day work values around diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Exuding a dynamic, effective, and influential leadership style that motivates, David successfully created a new executive team. He then launched his new vision for the trust, credit and financial services division that has quickly become a leader in the financial industry. David volunteers for the Heritage Valley Community League. A native of Edmonton, Alberta, David graduated and received his Civil Engineering diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute Technology. He is a proud member of the Risk Management Association and Institute of Corporate Directors. He is happily married and enjoys all water sports and is often found paddling on his stand-up paddle board on weekends.

Georgina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the administration and settlement of First Nation Trusts. Georgina has over 24 years of experience in the trust industry and has been administering First Nation trusts for over 19 years. Georgina is a member of Wesley First Nation. Georgina earned an undergraduate degree in commerce from the University of Calgary and an MBA from the University of Regina. She obtained her MTI (Member Trust Institute) designation through the Institute of Canadian Bankers. Georgina has been a past member of the Regina Estate Council, a former consultant for the Agriculture Institute of Management in Saskatchewan (AIMS) and is currently a member of the Estate Planning Council of Edmonton, STEP, NATOA, CANDO and AFOA. Georgina successfully completed the AFOA Harvard Business School program - Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities. Georgina prides herself on her dedication to developing strong governance documents supported by proven communication strategies. Georgina has written numerous governance papers. Currently, Georgina wrote and is teaching the curriculum for administering Indigenous Estates both on and off reserve for AFOA.



Please refer to Cando Conference Speaker Policy for information as to compensation for speakers’ expenses.

Questions? Please contact Svitlana Konoval at or (780) 990-0303 x 231.