Innovate BC Sessions
Wednesdays - March to December 2021

L2L Innovate BC




Past Presentations:

December 15, 2021

Webinar Title: The 13 Things you Need to Know for Successful Economic Development 

Webinar Description:

The reasons why a community will engage in economic development activities varies greatly. Each community has unique characteristics and own reasons for actively engaging in economic development. Communities understand to create economic diversity, maintain and expand infrastructure, create a sustainable economy and to increase their ability to meet the needs of residents and businesses; they need to develop their economic development focus and goals.  The more you understand about economic development, the more effective you can be in supporting your community’s economic development efforts.  This session is directed to all elected leaders including Chiefs, council members, economic development boards and team members.


Dale WheeldonDale Wheeldon,
President and CEO,
BC Economic Development Association

Dale Wheeldon has 26 years of economic development experience and is the CEO of the BC Economic Development Association and one of the founding partners of EDCD Consulting. Starting out as in economic development in a rural BC community he then moved to Chilliwack where he worked to make Chilliwack one of the leading economic development communities in BC. He is in demand as a speaker with a presentation style combining humour with simplicity for understanding

Colleen BondColleen Bond,
EDCD Consulting

Colleen Bond is a certified Economic Developer with 24 years of economic development experience. She has extensive knowledge in building economic development programs for business retention and expansion, business attraction and foreign investment attraction. Colleen has worked from grassroots to government organizations in a variety of community development and capacity building roles earning awards along with way. Colleen co-founded EDCD Consulting to provide consulting services to economic development agencies at all levels of government.







December 8, 2021

Webinar Title: Environment and Economy of Today and Tomorrow – through a climate change lens.

Webinar Description:

Dec 8 -present slideChief Patrick will be speaking on how the community reviews every project, program, and make decisions through the “lens of climate change” and why this is now the only way path forward for them.

Chief Patrick will highlight some the communities’ successes (and share some of the challenges) as he is fond of the sayings “live with the right ones, learn from the wrong ones” and “the secret is doing, not talking”.

In 2018, Chief Patrick was honored with a Clean Energy BC lifetime achievement award for his work in renewable energy project design, permitting, development and operations, and recently was honored with a Clean50 Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on climate change awareness and action.

Kanaka’s 2021 Community Resilience Plan was also recognized as the Clean50 2022 Top project.

Speaker: Chief Patrick Michell

Chief Patrick MichellLocated 18 km south of Lytton, BC (Canada’s hotspot), Chief Patrick Michell of the Kanaka Bar Indian Band has lived in the Fraser Canyon all his life and has worked with his community since 1978 to design and complete projects that re-establish foundational sustainable stability in air, water, food, and shelter with supporting resilient systems like storage, energy, communications, and transportation; for the environment and economy of today and more importantly – for tomorrow.

Life after 50 degrees video - featuring Lytton!
Video link:








December 1, 2021

Webinar Title: Making Economic Resiliency and Recovery the New Norm

Webinar Description:

All over the world, communities and their economic development efforts are navigating uncharted waters.  The COVID-19 pandemic has opened many questions about a post-COVID economy.  While COVID-19 has been a devasting disaster affecting the world there are other disasters that can happen at any time and hit at a more local level.  It does not matter if it is a flood, a fire, the closure of your major employer or something else that unexpectantly negatively impacts your economy.  These disasters seem to be happening more frequently and your community needs to be prepared to ensure you have a resilient community if one happens.  This session explores what you need to do to be ready for an economic disaster and to address current challenges impacting our economy.


Dale WheeldonDale Wheeldon,
President and CEO,
BC Economic Development Association

Dale Wheeldon has 26 years of economic development experience and is the CEO of the BC Economic Development Association and one of the founding partners of EDCD Consulting. Starting out as in economic development in a rural BC community he then moved to Chilliwack where he worked to make Chilliwack one of the leading economic development communities in BC. He is in demand as a speaker with a presentation style combining humour with simplicity for understanding

Colleen BondColleen Bond,
EDCD Consulting

Colleen Bond is a certified Economic Developer with 24 years of economic development experience. She has extensive knowledge in building economic development programs for business retention and expansion, business attraction and foreign investment attraction. Colleen has worked from grassroots to government organizations in a variety of community development and capacity building roles earning awards along with way. Colleen co-founded EDCD Consulting to provide consulting services to economic development agencies at all levels of government.






November 17, 2021

Webinar Title: Entrepreneur Panel

Webinar Description: Join Cando as we invite three Entrepreneurs from BC to share with us their challenges, triumphs, and resources that led them to where they are today.


Teresa SandersTeresa SandersTeresa Sanders is the founder of FILL- Vernon’s Refill Store and FILL- Kelowna’s Refill Store. "The passion behind FILL started when I became aware of how bad recycling stats were; 91% of plastics end up in our landfills and oceans. We have a responsibility to protect our oceans and our marine life from plastic destroying their habitat. Our oceans are vital to the health of our planet and we need to help rebuild their health.”

At FILL, you can come and fill your cleaning and hygiene products, such as dish soap, laundry soap, shampoo, face care and more using your own containers. To date, FILL stores have saved over 170,000 plastics from entering our environment.

“I had a great job in health care for over 20 years but felt the draw to help make a difference and give back to our earth. I gave up the security of a permanent full time position, benefits and vacation to enter into entrepreneurship and I am grateful everyday that this path was laid out in front of me to take and to be able to help heal our planet”.

Joel Marriott & Mary Mason

Mary and JoelJoel Marriott is Cree from White Bear First Nation, in Saskatchewan, and his partner, Mary Mason, is Canadian born with Indigenous roots from the Marshall Island, in the South Pacific. They live on the beautiful West Coast of Turtle Island, aka Canada. 

Mary and Joel create graphic designs, silk screened apparel, wire wrapped jewelry, and other wearable & decorative art. "Connecting with nature & having a creative outlet has always been very nurturing, especially when going through difficult times, coping with head injuries & mental health, as well as overcoming addictions."  Through stories of resilience, this couple hopes to enlighten a path forward for others who share similar hardships in life.  

The Owls Path Market is an Indigenous family owned and operated marketplace, which offers unique designed apparel, quality hand-crafted pieces, and authentic Indigenous artwork. 

Our Indigenous owned enterprise is focused on joining many different businesses together to help bring opportunities and partnership for indigenous communities and groups.  

"Our vision is to amplify & uplift Indigenous people through out Canada and worldwide. We're proud to showcase the beautiful diversities and similarities of Indigenous culture, crafts, and creations, while shedding light on important issues that affect Indigenous peoples."

Casey Desjarlais (Saulteaux and Nehiyaw) and Dakota Bear (Nehiyaw)

Casey and DakotaCasey Desjarlais is from Treaty 4 Territories located in Saskatchewan, although she is now based out of Coast Salish Territories also known as Vancouver. Casey is an entrepreneur and business owner of Decolonial Clothing, an Indigenous clothing brand. She is also a fancy shawl powwow dancer, an activist, a workshop facilitator, a mother, a wife, and striving to become an inspiring leader for the youth to look up to. Her community work is extensive as she co-created great movements and small organizations such as: Protect our People (human trafficking awareness group) and The Resistance Campaign (movement that fights for Indigenous sovereignty and their rights to land, water and way of life). Casey’s work is focused around youth empowerment, decolonization, sobriety, and cultural identity.

“Let’s create a generation that doesn’t need to heal; the youth are our future. It is our collective responsibility to contribute to their wellness.” - Casey

Instagram: @casey.desjarlais Instagram: @decolonialclothing Website:

Dakota Bear (Nehiyaw)
Dakota Bear, an Indigenous Hip Hop artist and activist was born on Treaty 6 lands and is now based on Coast Salish Territory, also known as Vancouver. His speeches and music carry stories of Indigenous peoples across Canada leaving listeners enlightened, inspired and instant fans of his music and message. He’s shared stages with legendary greats like Bone Thugs n Harmony, Redman & Methodman, TechN9ne and more. His music has been shared by Noisey, Exclaim!, Hip Hop Canada, Digital Drum, Indigenous Music Countdown and numerous grassroots-news outlets while his online videos have collectively amassed more than 1 million views and has won two awards for best Indigenous hip hop music video. Not only is Dakota a hip hop artist and activist, he is also a great leader for our people as he follows in the footsteps of his great, great, great grandfather, Big Bear (Mistahi Maskwa). He has mentored over 100 Indigenous youth to build small businesses and share with them his entrepreneurial and leadership skills. He is also the co-owner of Decolonial Clothing Co, The Resistance Campaign and Protect our People, alongside his wife.

His quest for love, justice and peace is unwavering, with his melodic rhymes and iconic beats carrying his message to the masses and beyond. His work with Idle No More, Indigenous rights, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited Peoples and the Global Climate Strike movement has intertwined his music with international social justice movements and connected him with fans and followers all across the globe.

Instagram: @dakotabearofficial Instagram: @decolonialclothing Website:




November 10, 2021

Webinar Title: UNBC establishes the Indigenous Research Ambassador Program

Webinar Description:

UNBC has established the Indigenous Research Ambassador Program. The Indigenous Research Ambassador Program aligns well with UNBC’s Youth and Student Engagement Strategy, which has a vision “to enhance curiosity and research culture at UNBC and across the region.” Building on the mission of this strategy “to engage youth and students in creative thinking, research and experiential teaching and learning opportunities,” the Indigenous Research Ambassador Program aims to engage Indigenous students and provide them with an environment that fosters leadership and mentorship skills and challenges students to stretch their boundaries through a wide range of projects, initiatives, and professional training opportunities. The presentation will provide an overview of this exciting new program at UNBC.

Speakers: Mark Barnes & Brandon Prince

Mark BarnesMark Barnes is the Director, Research and Innovation at the University of Northern BC (UNBC) where leads a team of professionals who provide support to UNBC’s students and research community through fundraising, community engagement and partnership building, and regulatory compliance in an effort to enhance the institution’s teaching and research capacity, while providing students with experiential learning opportunities. Additionally, he works to increase the awareness of collaboration opportunities with external partners to facilitate the translation of innovative ideas into useful and workable solutions. He also manages the intellectual property portfolio for the institution.

Prior to joining UNBC, he held multiple leadership positions at the BC Cancer Agency – Centre for the North in progressively senior roles. In 2018, Mark was selected as a Top 40 under 40 by the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. He holds an MBA (Operations Management and Data Analytics), Master's Certificate in Project Management, Master of Science in Biochemistry, and Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Born and raised in Prince George, B.C., Mark is privileged and thankful to live and work on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh.

Brandon PrinceMy name is Osawask Brandon Wynn Prince and am from Binche Whuten. I was born in Fort St. James British Columbia in December of 1983. I am a proud indigenous Dak’elth (Carrier) and Nehiyaw (Cree) man. I am a member of the Likh Ji Bu (Bear) clan following in the footsteps of my mother Lillian Prince.

I am grateful to raise my two children Psalm and Colton in Prince George on the unceeded traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh. Academically I’ve earned my degree in Commerce and my Master of Business Administration from UNBC. My professional role at the University of Northern British Columbia is Manager of Indigenous Initiatives.





November 3, 2021

2:00PM PT / 3:00PM MT / 5:00PM ET

Webinar Title: Indigiqueer Womxn in Business

Webinar Description: Join Sage as she discusses the programs and initiatives that helped equip her with the tools to identify the idea that became Sage Initiative in 2019. Learn about her experience navigating the public and private sector as a queer, Indigenous, womxn with bold ideas. 


Zoom Registration Link:

Speaker: Sage Lacerte


Sage LacerteSage is a Carrier womxn from the Lake Babine Nation and a member of the Bear clan. Growing up with culture rooted in the Friendship Centre movement, Sage has always had a steadfast commitment to being in service of her People, rematriation, and decolonizing systems. After completing a degree from Uvic in Gender Studies, Sage founded the Sage Initiative - an impact investment collective for Indigenous womxn across Canada.

Sage’s worldview centers on relationships to each other and to Mother Earth. Sage has acted as National Youth Ambassador for the Moose Hide Campaign (created by her father and sister) since 2019, is a member of the Board of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre and a member of the Lieutenant-Governor’s Youth Advisory Council. 








October 27, 2021

Webinar Title: The ABD's of marketing

Webinar Description: Hear how Advertising, Branding and Digital can help build your business and bring in the right customers.

Speaker: Tonie Granata

Marketing Communications 

Tonie Granata

Tonie is an accomplished marketing leader. Over the years, she has been instrumental in the development of award-winning strategy for international, national and local brands like BMO, TD Canada Trust, CIBC, Audi, Walmart and the SickKids Foundation, CIBC Run for the Cure, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Ontario and Canadian Tourism. She is a creative thinker with the curiosity and knowledge to bring innovative concepts to market.

Her broad digital transformation strategy experience has been instrumental in helping startups venture risk free into the complex digital ecosystem. One of her key attributes lies in her ability to build service digital teams with end-to-end expertise in strategy, production, technology, mobile, social, search and analytics with a goal to deliver engagement and drive profitability.

She recently added educator and EiR for SFU Venture Labs to her list of accomplishments. Her approach to mentoring, teaching and facilitating learning is to bring in real world experiences into her teaching platform.  She believes that doing is how we learn and ensures her students learn how to apply marketing tools and fundamentals into real business opportunities.

Tonie is a CMA Chartered Marketer and was recognized by the worldwide branding association as Top Female Executive.




October 20, 2021

Webinar Title: Become a Skilled Negotiator


Webinar Description:

In today’s fast-paced business environment, opportunities arise, business decisions are made quickly, and negotiations can result in a favorable or unfavorable outcome for an organization depending on the negotiation skills of the people involved. When EDOs are comfortable evaluating new business prospects and communicate to create a win-win for both sides, it becomes easier to maximize value for everyone involved.

Additionally, while we often think of utilizing negotiation skills in a high-stakes business environment, we may not realize there are daily occurrences that arise, even the most mundane, where we can benefit from having stronger negotiation skills.

Webinar Take-Aways

• Understand the negotiation process
• Assess your “people skills”
• Communicate more effectively
• Learn to negotiate with influence
• Get to a win-win outcome

If you would like to connect with others more easily, practice and build active listening and negotiation skills that provide more opportunities in business and in life, then this is the webinar for you!

Speaker Bio: Loa Fridfinnson

Loa FridfinnsonLoa has 20+ years of entrepreneurial, marketing, technology and sales expertise through her marketing agency Activ8, consulting for emerging private and public companies (Indigenous and non), and not-for-profit organizations in Canada. She also works with progressive Indigenous communities in B.C. passing along marketing, digital media and sales knowledge to Indigenous entrepreneurs who want to start
and grow companies that they are passionate about.

Loa created a 15-course business training program that gives Indigenous adults and youth the professional and personal development tools and skills needed to succeed in today's digital economy.  Many of her participants are operating thriving businesses who have been recognized for their achievements at B.C.’s Indigenous Business Awards in Vancouver. 

Read more about Loa on LinkedIn.




October 13, 2021

Webinar Title: Game on! Building a Sustainable and Resilient Indigenous Economy 2.0

 So you think you can build an economy huh? Put on your best economist cap (or bowtie) and make a series of strategic decisions to build your economy from the ground up. But the question is, how will it hold up to an economic shock? Will it be as resilient as a rubber band? In this webinar, we will learn about the Tulo Centre's Economic Growth Model and apply our knowledge to Tulo Centre's Building a Sustainable and Resilient Indigenous Economy learning game.  


Norm LavalleeNorm Lavallee is an Economist with Fiscal Realities Economists and has also worked with the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics since its inception.

Norm has over 14 years of experience in statistical analysis, systems analysis, strategy development, technical writing, research and curriculum development related to First Nations economics, jurisdiction, taxation and public policy.

Norm has written and contributed to several publications on First Nations market history, fiscal relationships and economic development. Norm has an MBA with an Economics and Finance focus from Thompson Rivers University. 


Jesse JamesJesse James is a member of Peguis First Nation and is the Special Projects Manager for Tulo Centre and the Regional Outreach Manager for the First Nations Tax Commission. Prior to joining FNTC, Jesse has worked for First Nation governments in British Columbia since 1996.

Over the past 25 years, Jesse became familiar working with all levels of government and other organizations such as ISC, CIR, Province of BC, First Nation Health Authority, CMHC and other First Nations. Jesse has gained broad experience including negotiations within BC Treaty Process, community ratification of Land Code under the First Nation Land Management Act and assisted implementing and maintaining a property tax system under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act. He also participated in the initial stages of a Nation-building plan to formalize the inter-tribal relationship of several individual First Nations.

Jesse graduated from Thompson Rivers University with a certificate in First Nations Tax Administration and has also received a certificate in Ch’nook Aboriginal Management Program from the University of British Columbia.




October 6, 2021

Webinar Title: Growing Economies with an Indigenous Worldview

Webinar Description: Join this webinar to hear Dennis Thomas and Curtis Thomas as they discuss growing economies with an Indigenous Worldview. They will be covering their success stories and the work they do to Indigenize the Development Industry.

Speakers: Dennis Thomas and Curtis Thomas

Dennis ThomasDennis Thomas “Whonoak” is a member and an elected Councillor of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (People of the Inlet) in Deep Cove, North Vancouver.  Dennis began working for his community in 2007 as the 2010 Coordinator for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Since then, Dennis pursued business with his Nation and managed several band owned businesses including Takaya Tours, an internationally recognized Indigenous tourism business. This is where he connected with his cultural roots and now is a cultural ambassador in his community. He strives to embed his Nations culture in all areas so that the ancestral knowledge is awake and alive. He also led new business ventures including implementing the largest Solar array project to date in the North Shore which inspires him to practice and implement green energy.  Most recent, as a consultant, he was TWN Cultural Liaison for MST Development Corporation where he ensures Tsleil-Waututh Nations history and culture are at the forefront and rooted in the building structure, architectural design, and the overall public realm. He currently is enrolled in the Simon Fraser University MBA program specializing in Indigenous Business Leadership.

Curtis ThomasCurtis Thomas was born and raised in the Tsleil Waututh Nation community. Curtis’ grandparents are Les and Rose Thomas on his father Ed’s side, and Ken and Bernadette Helfrich on his mother Lynn’s side. He is the middle son, in between his 2 brothers Ed and John, he has a beautiful family with partner Cory and his daughter Charley.
He is a Red Seal certified plumber and a “B” level certified gas fitter, gaining both certifications from BCIT. He is the owner of Warrior Plumbing and has worked in the industry for 17 years. Curtis is passionate about creating and giving career opportunities within his company to local Indigenous people. Curtis is extremely honoured to be re-elected in his second term of council for the Nation and is very excited to work with fellow distinguished Chief and Council members. He looks forward to being a positive voice in the community, and help others understand that we are all stronger when we stand together.
Curtis currently sits on the Community Climate Action Committee, the Land Tenure Working Group, the TWN Housing Committee, the MST Steering Committee and holds the Public Works portfolio(held the Economic Development portfolio in his previous term).




September 29, 2021

Webinar Title: Old world economics vs new world: The Modern Day Grease Trails 

Webinar Description:

Prior to contact Indigenous peoples were indisputably wealthy. This is often recognized through our reflections individually and collectively as Indigenous peoples on the impacts of colonization. But what was common to us prior to contact has not entirely transposed into a clear vision of the Indigenous economy in the current status of our communities. GCI seeks to expand our approach of modern age financial independence utilizing the old world framework of trade and economics. 

Speaker Bio:

Thomas NyceThomas (TJ) Nyce, has led key roles in the construction industry for over twenty years both in the construction field and in the board room. Thomas is proudly Indigenous with both US and Canadian citizenship. His multi-ethnic background, experience in the construction industry, and relationship-based approach to business has propelled him to become lead operator for GCI.

Originally from BC’s Pacific northwest, Thomas has family roots in the Kitimat and Terrace regions directly with the Haisla and Kitselas peoples. Having lived throughout BC and Alberta, Thomas is extremely familiar with the socio economic and political landscapes in western Canada and the challenges experienced by Indigenous peoples, industry, and government.

His background in the trades allows for practical solutions for day-to-day operators and his experience in business relations allows him to communicate strategic opportunities to improve organizational direction. Thomas can simplify and define resolution in a logical and systematic approach that recognizes cultural differences while finding alignment with desired outcomes.

Currently Thomas and his family reside in the traditional territory of the Syilx people in the Okanagan valley.




September 22, 2021

2:00PM PT / 3:00PM MT / 5:00PM ET

Webinar Title: A Discussion on Challenges and Opportunities for Renewables in Legacy Diesel-based Remote Communities

Webinar Description:
A look at a case study from Northern Ontario that overcame traditional barriers to adoption for renewable power in four distinctive remote communities, the benefits and a discussion on how this could scale to other areas.


Stephen Wilson VP Acceleration at Foresight

Stephen WilsonStephen is experienced in sales, business development, and operations. Always looking to add a positive contribution to all stakeholders, Stephen brings high-level thinking and a broad base of experience.

Stephen graduated from the Sauder School of Business with a Bachelor in Commerce. Starting his career at an event marketing company, he moved into fashion before finding his passion for electronics. Having worked with startups in the LED lighting space to a global company in power conversion, Stephen has worked in teams both small and large to raise financing, launch products, drive volume and deliver on complex custom sales.

Stephen is responsible for delivering the value of our flagship accelerator programs, and EIR and mentor networks to the cleantech ventures Foresight supports.

Dr. Arman Ghasaei, Founder and CEO at itunePower

Arman GhasaeiArman received the B.Sc. degree from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran in 2007, the M.Sc. degree from Iran University of Science and Technology, Iran in 2011, and the Ph.D. degree from University of Toronto, in 2020, all in electrical engineering. He is the recipient of multiple provincial and federal academic awards, including Ontario Graduate Scholarship and Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science & Technology, and has multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals. During his doctorate program, Arman developed an AI-based technology over a software platform which dramatically increases penetration level of renewable energies and reduces frequency of power outages in electrical energy systems. In March 2021, he founded his company, itunePower Inc., to commercialize the technology.




September 15, 2021

Webinar Title: Preparing your Business for any Disaster

Do you know what it takes to prepare your business for any disaster? There are many proactive steps you can take in advance. Join us for this session in order to better understand what you can do now, to ensure your own business continuity.  

Presenter: Leann Hackman-Carty, CEO, Economic Developers Alberta

Leann Hackman-CartyLeann has been the CEO of Economic Developers Alberta since 2009. In 2014, Leann completed a project with 11 Alberta flood impacted communities. In 2016-17, she worked with the Fort McMurray region on business and economic recovery by setting up and operating the business hotline; validating businesses for Red Cross emergency relief; and leading a 10-member economic recovery assessment team to the region. In 2019 she updated the Community Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency (Canadian Version) to help communities prepare for and recover from economic disruptions, and brought the award winning disaster recovery and resiliency training program to Canada which she currently teaches in person and online.

In addition to her work at EDA, she heads up HackmanCarty and Associates, which is focused on community capacity building, resilience and recovery.  At the end of December 2017, she released her “Master Your Disaster” series of guidebooks on Amazon designed to help individuals, businesses and communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. In 2018, she received Public Safety Canada’s Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award-Resilient Communities.  She also hosts the MYD Global Youtube Channel where she talks “all things disaster”.

In her capacity as the Canadian President of the Institute for Sustainable Development (, she works with international experts on innovative long term community recovery and resiliency programs. In April 2019, she added the role a Managing Director (Canada) for Jobenomics ( to address her ongoing desire to “create jobs for everyone” particularly in the wake of a disaster. In 2021, she became actively involved with developing a US-based nitrile glove manufacturing company with additional operations in Hong Kong.




September 8, 2021

Session title:
Artisan Co-operatives

Indigenous communities across Canada are actively pursuing new opportunities to build their economies, retain sovereignty, and incorporate traditional activities in a respectful and meaningful way.  One such industry Indigenous communities have approached these opportunities is through Artisan Co-operatives. 

Artisan Co-operatives can take many shapes and include many different stakeholders and take on any size, depending how artisans want to approach the model. But many use the model to reach larger markets as a group and reduce administrative costs.

Join Trista Pewapisconias, Indigenous Relations Lead for a discussion on how Indigenous artisans have used the co-operative model to reach new markets and monetized their talents to expand the tourism industry, increase personal income, and create opportunities.

Trista Pewapisconias 3Trista Pewapisconias:

Trista Pewapisconias is a member of the Little Pine First Nation in Saskatchewan and Indigenous Relations Lead for Co-operatives First. In her role with Co-operatives First, Trista works alongside community members to form new businesses based on the co-operative model. Her support with business development and planning helps guide groups through the process of starting a successful business. Trista’s professional experience includes various marketing roles, as well as writing business plans for Indigenous start-up companies. A tireless advocate for Indigenous business, Trista is also a founding board member of the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce of Saskatchewan and holds an MBA from Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan.



September 1, 2021

Webinar Title:
Communicating climate risks through interactive 3D mapping

Webinar Description:

As SS&DI focused its R&D efforts to Climate Change adaptation visualization software, 3D Wave Design Mapping Solutions  was born. 3D Wave Design has developed close relationships with environmental, First Nations and applied geomatics research groups, particularly in relation to wildfire and inland flood risk assessments and global warming induced sea-level rise prediction and simulation. SS&DI/3DWave’s 3D proprietary LiDAR ingestion software/WebGL visualizations have been used by Atlantic Canadian towns, Municipalities and First Nation communities to demonstrate risks and to develop engineered mitigation solutions for council and public review.

Speaker: Barry Stevens

Barry StevensAs 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.

As SS&DI focused its R&D efforts to Climate Change adaptation visualization software, 3D Wave Design
Mapping Solutions was born. 3D Wave Design has developed close relationships
with environmental, First Nations and applied geomatics research groups, particularly in relation to wildfire and inland flood risk assessments and global warming induced sea-level rise prediction and simulation.

SS&DI/3DWave’s 3D proprietary LiDAR ingestion software/WebGL visualizations have been used by Atlantic Canadian towns, Municipalities and First Nation communities to demonstrate risks and to develop engineered mitigation solutions for council and public review.

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,
• Nova Scotia 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.
• Level III Security Clearance held.
• NATO NCAGE Supplier.

Barry resides with his wife Mary, in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.




August 18, 2021

2:00PM PT / 3:00PM MT / 5:00PM ET

Session title:
How to Pitch Your Business


Join us for an interactive webinar on How to Pitch your business:

    • Why do you want to perfect your business pitch
    • What should be in the pitch
    • the 5 step process

Herb and Heather will do their pitch demonstrations and have an open discussion

We will have an impromptu call out to participants to do an on the spot Business pitch, aim to get 2- 4 participants to do their business pitches on the spot 

Plus Tips and Tricks

Presenters: Herb Crowchild and Heather Black

Heather BlackHeather Black – O’takii Tsowaakii from the Blood Tribe, Founder of Creative Spirit Solutions and Buffalo Stone Woman.
Entrepreneur. Creative strategist. Community champion. Skills builder. These are some of the many hats Heather Black has worn as an Indigenous professional. Committed to building inclusion in the Indigenous community, Heather carries great passion for traditional and contemporary values, and is always willing to share cross cultural knowledge with individuals, teams and organizations.
Heather is an industry expert with more than 17 years of experience in business and education. Heather not only owns one but two businesses. Creative Spirit Solutions an Educational/Business consultant and facilitator business as well as Buffalo Stone Woman is an Indigenous Tour Guide company located in the Treaty Seven Territory! Living the life an entrepreneur making her dreams come true with the love of facilitating and connections to her connection to Mother Earth. Much of her focus is around creating strategic workshops that meet the needs of community members through Business coaching and Youth Skills development programs. As the founder of Creative Spirit Solutions and Buffalo Stone Woman, Heather aspires to motivate and help others achieve their vision of their own entrepreneurial dreams.

“An entrepreneur who walks the life of an entrepreneur, you navigate this changing world by adapting, appreciating and contributing your best.”

Herb CrowchildHerb Crowchild
Herb works for Community Futures Treaty 7, as the Employer Relations Coordinator. Herb works hard to make meaningful relationships with employers so he can maintain those connections for future employment opportunities for Treaty 7. This requires a lot of cold calls and knocking on doors in many small communities within Treaty 7. Being able to maintain a calm and nonreactive personality is the most important part of his job. Herb’s goal is to have a lot of Indigenous youth employed with meaningful positions and an opportunity for career advancement.
Herb has achieved most of the dreams that he set out for himself over the years. He has played golf with Prime minister Jean Chretien at the Redwood Meadows Golf Course. Herb became one of the first indigenous members of Professional Golfer Association of Canada (PGA of Canada) at the age of 25. He sold cars in Burnsville Minnesota for a group called Walser Nissan for 5 years, after living in the USA for almost 10 years he moved back to his home in Tsuut’ina in May of 2005. Herb has made his way to the top by working from a gas bar cashier to an Executive in 8 years when he worked for his Nation in Tsuut’ina.
After work hours you can find Herb playing golf in the summer and pool in the winter months, he is a very dedicated Husband and Flames Fan, his wife changed the order of the later statement. You could say he has champagne taste but is now on a beer budget. Herb is open to expanding his network of employer partnerships, if you know of any indigenous friendly employers or companies, please email me their contact information at




August 4, 2021

2:00PM PT / 3:00PM MT / 5:00PM ET

Session title:
How to Rebuild Economies after Lives and Infrastructure are Saved


In emergencies such as wildfires or business closure due to COVID, this presentation is about business continuation after lives and infrastructure are saved - to show the impacts of wildfire and how to engage communities and indigenous businesses. George will also touch base on how small and medium sized businesses are supported by CIFN and the provincial Community Futures organization.

Speaker: George Casimir

George CasimirGeorge Casimir is a member of the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nation and is the General Manager of Community Futures of Central Interior First Nation (CFDC of CIFN).   George’s educational background includes business, horticulture, project management and most recently a certificate from Harvard.

As a member of his community George proudly served 4 terms on Chief and Council; when not on Council he managed and supervised many areas including Housing, Education and Special Projects.   Co-writing and developing the first retail Band owned and operated business as well as re-branding to what is now known as Petro Canada is one of many projects he has worked on for his community.

Entrepreneurship has always been of special interest to him as he owned a number of successful businesses including landscaping, transportation, consulting and currently farming.  Being a long-term Board member for All Nations Trust Company and past president has also allowed George to support aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs for many years.

As the general manager for CFDC of CIFN George has developed partnerships within the province with Indigenous and non-indigenous organizations, George represents the organization on Provincial committees and takes part in many regional and local events.

George states that he is very proud of his humble beginnings being one of the first 12 participants in the CIFN self-employment program in the early 90’s: “From this program I have learned a lot and found the inspiration to help individuals, organizations and communities in their economic journeys”.

The mandate of CFDC of CIFN is developmental lending and self-employment training; CFDC of CIFN specializes in loan portfolios for youth, women, peoples with disabilities, agriculture and our general loan fund. George says it is a pleasure to work with a great Board of Directors as well as his CIFN staff to implement and promote the services that we have and to provide opportunities for our Indigenous Peoples.




July 28, 2021

2:00PM PT / 3:00PM MT / 5:00PM ET

Session title:
The A-Z of the Digital Economy


The technology sector thrives on disruption. COVID-19 was not the disruption that any of us wanted ~ or were ready for. Social distancing put a new spin on the power of social media and lockdowns forced a rethink on e-commerce while many of us were just figuring out how to stay open! As the dust settles and we gingerly remove our masks (when it feels safe) a new world waits for those who are keen to tackle the challenges and opportunities of developing a hybrid business model, bricks & mortar and online! What does it take to enter or expand your business in the digital economy? Join us for a quick A-Z session on easy starting points, best practices (spoiler alert ~ it’s about doing the right things in the right order) and a little crystal-gazing on where technology & innovation is headed, plus Q&A on your specific situation!

Speaker: Graham Truax

Graham TruaxGraham is a technology and entrepreneurial shaper. With over 30 years’ experience working as an entrepreneur and executive Graham’s career has spanned retail, manufacturing, commercial real-estate development and media/technology industries in Canada and the US.  He has founded, co-founded and advised dozens of companies, realizing 7-9 figure revenues and raising over $150 million in venture and institutional financing. As a relentless technology advocate Graham’s enthusiasm for new concepts and ideas is infectious!





July 21, 2021

2:00PM PT / 3:00PM MT / 5:00PM ET

Introduction: Fernanda Whitaker, Innovate BC

Title: Building Capacity by Inspiring Entrepreneurship and Career Growth at Your Nation


Did you know?

  • Indigenous people are starting and running businesses 9X faster than non-Indigenous Canadians
  • There are many competitive advantages to being an Indigenous business
  • Grant funding opportunities are available for Indigenous people with a strong business idea and plan

Join us for a lively discussion with Loa Fridfinnson of Activ8 who has trained over 750 Indigenous entrepreneurs and numerous Indigenous Business Award Winners as she shares insights learned in 9 years of Indigenous business training and 20 years of operating her own marketing business.

You’ll walk away with knowledge on how to encourage your Nation Members to go after their dreams of entrepreneurship, increasing job opportunities and giving back to community through a socially conscious business that they can be excited about.

Sign up and learn how your Ec Dev Department can inspire more small businesses in your community.

Presenter: Loa Fridfinnson, Marketer and Trainer with Activ8

Loa Fridfinnson
Loa has 20+ years of entrepreneurial, marketing, technology
and sales expertise through her marketing agency Activ8,
consulting for emerging private and public companies
(Indigenous and non), and not-for-profit organizations in Canada. 

She also works with progressive Indigenous communities in
B.C. passing along marketing, digital media and sales
knowledge to Indigenous entrepreneurs who want to start
and grow companies that they are passionate about. 

Loa created a 15-course business training program that gives
Indigenous adults and youth the professional and personal
development tools and skills needed to succeed in today's
digital economy.  Many of her participants are operating
thriving businesses who have been recognized for their
achievements at B.C.’s Indigenous Business Awards in Vancouver. 
Read more about Loa on LinkedIn.




July 14, 2021

2:00PM PT / 3:00PM MT / 5:00PM ET


Title: Demystifying your Budgets – Planning your future one dollar at a time.  



This webinar is an introduction to budgeting for non-financial managers. We will discuss why budgets are needed, how to prepare them and how to monitor them throughout the year. We will also provide some tips and tricks for when it comes time to prepare your budgets, you will learn how what you do in the present can affect your future.


Presenter: Wendy Ham, Executive Director, AFOA BC


Wendy Ham AFOABCWendy Ham joined AFOA BC as their Executive Director in 2019. Wendy is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a Certified Aboriginal Finance Manager. She also holds a certificate in First Nation Tax Administration through the TULO Centre of Indigenous Economics and Thompson River University. Prior to her role at AFOA BC, Wendy was the Finance Manager and Tax Administrator for Sumas First Nation for 7 years. She has been a member of AFOA BC since 2014 and was part of the team at Sumas First Nation who received a Best Practices Award from AFOA BC in 2017.

Wendy’s experience in finance and administration is long and varied as she has worked in the post-secondary education and not-for-profit sectors. She is a firm believer in life-long learning and is happy to bring her experience, knowledge and curiosity to her current role and is honoured to work with all the First Nations in BC.






July 7, 2021

Title: Indigenous Clean Energy and Indigenous Peoples as the Country’s Strongest Clean Energy Community


Webinar Description: 


Apart from crown and private utilities, Indigenous communities and enterprises are the largest single owner of clean energy assets. It would be fair to describe Indigenous people as the country’s strongest clean energy community, and Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE) as Canada’s National Partnership Hub advancing First Nation, Métis, and Inuit clean energy projects. When thinking about economic development, we may also think about clean energy and the opportunities that are presented with these projects.


The Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE) Social Enterprise is a pan-Canadian not-for-profit platform which advances Indigenous inclusion in Canada’s energy futures economy through Indigenous leadership, and broad-based collaboration with energy companies, utilities, governments, development firms, cleantech innovators, academic sector, and capital markets. Join us to hear about what we can do for you to advance a clean energy future led by Indigenous communities and hear about some of the success stories from our 20/20 Catalysts from BC.



Terri Lynn Morrison

Terri Lynn MorrisonTerri Lynn is a proud First Nations Mi’gmaq woman from Listuguj, in the province of Quebec where was born and raised. Terri Lynn brings many qualities to her work, including her understanding of First Nations realities, and passion for Indigenous involvement in a just transition.

In July of 2019, Terri Lynn joined the ICE Team as the Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships. Her role focuses on building relationships with key partners to help amplify the impact of Indigenous clean energy in Canada.

\Her clean energy journey began in 2014, when she became the Project Director for a 150MW Wind Farm that was owned, and developed with 3 Mi’gmaq communities and their partner, Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. from Longueil, QC. This project was recognized by the Quebec Wind Industry, where it received Excellence in Human Resources Award, and Terri Lynn was recognized as the Rising Star for her contribution in fostering social acceptability for the project.


Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias

Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-PewapisconiasAubrey-Anne is a proud First Nations and Métis woman from Canoe Lake Cree First Nation on Treaty 10 Territory with paternal roots to Little Pine First Nation on Treaty 6 Territory. She is a full-time student at the University of Saskatchewan pursuing her Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and a Global Business Stream Certificate.

Aubrey is an advocate for Indigenous youth and displays this work in her positions as the Co-Founder of the Indigenous Business Students’ Society and as the National Student Director with Cando. Additionally, this is further fostered in her role as the ICE Partnerships Coordinator for Indigenous Clean Energy. As the ICE Partnerships Coordinator, she works towards ICE’s mission of stimulating collaboration that connects others with the Journey of Reconciliation that ICE is on for Indigenous communities across the country, through the sustainable development benefits associated with clean energy projects and initiatives. 




June 30, 2021

Description: Personal Money Management: Reclaiming Independence

Description: Budgeting For Fluctuating Entrepreneur Income

A growing number of Indigenous people are becoming entrepreneurs, motivated by several reasons including the objectives of financial independence and security. It is well versed that in order to attain business success and sustainability, several key areas in business are required and studied. It is also common understanding that business success supports personal finance success and sustainability. Yet there remains a gap in Financial Literacy learning, particularly for entrepreneurs. For example, what happens when personal income as an entrepreneur is inconsistent? How can entrepreneurs manage personal finances under such challenges? And how can setting sales goals help? 

In this knowledge sharing session, Scout Financial Solutions discusses personal finances from an entrepreneur’s perspective. Learning to create a personal budget with fluctuating entrepreneur income will be discussed. Tips to successfully navigate through low revenue periods will also be shared. But the learning doesn’t stop there. This Money Scout takes it one financial wellness step further by touching on sales goal setting as a means to motivate and empower entrepreneurs towards both business and personal finance success. The information shared in this session will not only support entrepreneur learning, it will also encourage entrepreneurs and the business support community to make meaningful Financial Literacy connections to business activities that can better serve their needs.

Presenter: Cate Morris

Cate MorrisCate Morris is a Dakota Winyan, proud Ina of three and Kunsi to two. She is an honoured George Gordon First Nation band member and Founder of Scout Financial Solutions, an Indigenous owned financial literacy consulting business with an emphasis of knowledge sharing in the Indigenous community. She holds a Business Administration diploma, a Business Administration degree and two Certified Financial Education Instructor designations. She also possesses many personal finance, procurement and small business course certifications that support her professional and personal objectives. 

Cate supplements this formal education by drawing from her own life experiences of walking in two worlds - as an abuse survivor, homeless teen, struggling student, stay at home parent, widow, solo parent, employee, homeowner, person with a disability, displaced employee, entrepreneur, business advisor, board member in multiple fields and member of the poorest socio-economic group in Canada’s brief history – all with the intention of empowering her beloved Indigenous people through culturally appreciative Financial Literacy workshops. This Indigenous ‘Money Scout’ walks the talk. Knowledge sharing is relatable, practical and memorable. Whether it’s a workshop or a personal consultation, participants are inspired to achieve Financial Wellness. Cate’s goals are many. She actively pursues reclaiming her traditional language, sharing knowledge with others, volunteering for healthier community initiatives, inspiring economic prosperity, growing abundant mindsets, pursuing world peace and at the top of her list, ending cyclical poverty one inspiring workshop at a time!



June 23, 2021

2:00PM PT / 3:00PM MT / 5:00PM ET

Description: Artisan Co-operatives – Innovate BC Webinar

Presenter: Trista Pewapisconias

This session has been cancelled. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.



June 16, 2021

2:00PM PT / 3:00PM MT / 5:00PM ET

Workshop Title: Cultivating a culture of integrity and accountability through Board Governance
and Strategic Planning

Workshop Description:
Many Indigenous organizations are governed through a Board of Directors. Strategic Board governance and the implementation of a well developed strategic plan are necessary to ensure the organization remains true to its vision. This short presentation will provide insight into the importance of having an effective and fully functioning Board, a well communicated strategic plan, and together how they can contribute to a healthy, effective and accountable organization.

Ken Tourand Bio:

Ken TourandKen Tourand is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology(NVIT). Ken started at NVIT in 1995 as a faculty member and after holding a number of administrative positions, became President/CEO in October 2010. Ken holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree and a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership and Training. Ken is passionate about Indigenous Education, Leadership and Governance. Ken has presented at many conferences and roundtables regarding Indigenous Education and the unique role that NVIT plays in meeting the needs of Indigenous students and First Nations communities. Ken currently sits on the board of Technical Safety BC, and has served on many Indigenous boards and advisory committees. Ken is the past Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Committee for College and Institutes Canada and was instrumental in creating the National Indigenous Protocol for post-secondary institutions. Ken is also the owner of Okimaw Strategic Solutions, an indigenous consulting company that provides strategic planning, policy development, and board governance advice to Indigenous organizations and First Nations communities. Past clients include the Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses, Bonaparte First Nation, Community Futures of the Central Interior First Nations, the Indigenous Homelessness Society, and the New Relationship Trust. Ken currently resides in Merritt, British Columbia with his wife Darlene.



June 2, 2021


3:00PM MT - 4:00PM MT
2:00PM PT - 3:00PM PT

Title: “Cannabis – Our Experience”


Workshop description:

Chief Sellars will talk about the Williams Lake First Nation experience, entering the cannabis market.  The drive to successfully obtain the first Government to Government, Section 119 Agreement with the Province of BC. 

The thrill of being leaders to open the first farm to gate cannabis experience in the province of BC.    

Exploring the economic implications for his community, the city of Williams Lake and ultimately the entire region.


Speaker:  Chief Willie Sellars

Chief Willie SellarsWillie Sellars was born and raised in Williams Lake, BC and is a member of the Williams Lake First Nation (“WLFN” or “T’exelc”) of the Secwepemc Nation. Elected onto WLFN Council at the age of 24 in 2008, Willie was one of the youngest elected Councillors in WLFN history. After serving 10 years on Council he was elected as the Chief of the Williams Lake First Nation in 2018 and is currently in his first term. In his previous work experience, Willie worked as a Wildland Firefighter for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations before returning to his community to assume the position of Special Project Coordinator in the WLFN Economic Development Department. During this time he was responsible for new business initiatives flowing from Impact Benefit Agreements, engagement with proponents in the traditional territory and community consultation for major WLFN projects.

Willie is also a published author of “Dipnetting with Dad,” which won a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily, Shining Willow, and Ontario Library Association awards. His next book, “Hockey with Dad,” is due to be released in the Fall of 2021. Willie enjoys his family time with his three kids, playing hockey with the Williams Lake Stampeders, attending community events at WLFN, dipnetting, and playing fastball





May 26, 2021

3:00PM MT - 4:00PM MT
2:00PM PT - 3:00PM PT

Title:  60 Million Reasons to Reverse Economic Leakage

Workshop Description: Samuel served a 3 year term on Council for the Ermineskin Tribe from 2011 to 2014.  While Finance portfolio (2012/13), Samuel partnered with Council from neighboring First Nations and commissioned a Maskwacis Cree Economic Leakage study. 

Samuel will share his experience and consultant methodology that developed the data that helped chart a path forward for the Neyaskweyahk Group of Companies Inc. business development from 2014 – 2020.

Speaker:  Samuel Minde

Samuel MindeSamuel is tribal citizen of the Ermineskin Tribe.  The Ermineskin Cree Nation is located side by side by side of the Samson Cree, Louis Bull Tribe and the Montana First Nation(s), collectively are the Maskwacis Cree.  The Maskwacis Cree are Treaty 6 Nations located in what is now known as central Alberta in between the major cities of Edmonton and Calgary. 

Samuel’s education credentials are having earned a Master’s degree in Business in Indigenous Business and Leadership from Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business (2017), a Bachelor of Management from Athabasca University (2007) and a Diploma in Management from Red Deer College (2005). 

Samuels experience is rooted in First Nations governance and strategy.  His entrepreneurial spirit and courage frame his leadership style and relationships, as such, Samuel has served in various Leadership roles and provide guidance to First Nations Councils, Boards and Committees.  From 2014 to 2020 Samuel invested his time and energy with the Neyaskweyahk Group of Companies as Chief Executive Officer and from 2011 to 2014 Samuel was an elected leader for the Ermineskin Cree Nation.   He currently serves as the Executive Director for the Ochapowace Nation. 

Samuel also started a consulting company called “BlueSky Business Design.”  Bluesky Business Design is created to elevate First Nations organizations and entrepreneurs realize a return on investment. From start to finish, we work with you offering independent, highly objective advice to enable you and your organization advance your Vision and Mission.





May 19, 2021


Title: The Indigenous Business Supplier Database - Why be on supplier database?

Being on supplier databases is like being on main street. If you are not visible nobody will know
you are there, and opportunities may pass by without your knowledge. This webinar discusses the
merits of supplier databases and how to leverage Cando’s Indigenous Business Database and
Concierge Services to create opportunities with current government Indigenous procurement initiatives
such as the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels (WAHV) Program and others.

Supplier databases are often the first place procurement managers and officers go to source potential
suppliers for products, services and projects. This is especially true for large government projects,
which increasingly will have Indigenous Benefits Plans (IPB) and Indigenous Participation Components (IPC)
as a core component. IBCs and IPCs require that the winning bidder of these project include Indigenous
suppliers as part of their solution, and this represents significant business opportunities for
Indigenous businesses.

  • Level set with presentation about databases, ITB, IPC, IBP from Indigenous, role of organization for my business – Personal experience
  • Provide a brief overview of Cando’s Database and Concierge
  • Over to John talking about OSME, the partnership between Cando and PSPC, and procurement opportunities intersection with organization partnerships e.g. WAHV and others.
  • Discussion with vision of government procurement and economic reconciliation what can the future look like for Canada and Indigenous people.
  • Audience Q&A


Paul Macedo, Commincations Director, Cando -

David AccoDavid Acco, Acosys Consulting

David Acco, President and CEO, 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 Indigenous organizations. These experiences have enabled Mr. Acco to develop comprehensive management strategies to approach a variety of business challenges.

Daniel Sandoz

Daniel Sandoz, OSME /PSPC

Daniel joined the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises in the Pacific Region in September 2014. In addition to his work as Policy Analyst, Business Engagement, within the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises, Daniel brings a wealth of experience, including over 15 years of global purchasing and marketing experience. Daniel has been involved in procurement performance improvement projects, e-commerce and SAP implementations for a global player in the chemical industry in Switzerland. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) from Royal Roads University and an Executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business/Western University. Daniel is a Certified Agile Leader with the Scrum Alliance.



Download the OSME/PSPC presentation file (PDF)

Download the Indigenous Business Database presentation file (PDF)




May 12, 2021



Title: Online Business Development - Building First Nation Opportunity


Economic Development Officers are curious about using popular online platforms to participate in
today’s fast-moving digital economy. It has never been easier to find and reach out to people no
matter where they are located; learning about them and forming connections that can turn into
sales and partnerships for a First Nation community.


This 1-hour webinar will explore the relationship development process online at a high level giving
Economic Development Officers a better understanding of the digital environment and how to enter

it retooled with learning outcomes of:


  • Canada’s Evolving Digital Economy
  • Growing Awareness For Your Nation
  • Developing Your Own Professional Online Brand
  • Identifying Ideal Prospects and Partners Online
  • Using Free Tools Like Google Alerts For Research Purposes
  • Utilizing LinkedIn For B2B (Business-2-Business) Connections
  • Creating and Sharing Content That Attracts and Informs
  • Reaching Out To Others Online With Impact
  • Creating Opportunities For Your Nation In The Growing Digital Economy


Presenter: Loa Fridfinnson, Marketer and Trainer with Activ8

Loa Fridfinnson
Loa has 20+ years of entrepreneurial, marketing, technology
and sales expertise through her marketing agency Activ8,
consulting for emerging private and public companies
(Indigenous and non), and not-for-profit organizations in Canada. 

She also works with progressive Indigenous communities in
B.C. passing along marketing, digital media and sales
knowledge to Indigenous entrepreneurs who want to start
and grow companies that they are passionate about. 

Loa created a 15-course business training program that gives
Indigenous adults and youth the professional and personal
development tools and skills needed to succeed in today's
digital economy.  Many of her participants are operating
thriving businesses who have been recognized for their
achievements at B.C.’s Indigenous Business Awards in Vancouver. 
Read more about Loa on LinkedIn.




April 14, 2021

Title: First Nations Organizational Transformation

Laara and Mark

This workshop will introduce participants to the concept of leading First Nation organizational transformation. This workshop explores the critical ingredients that support organization transformation starting with cultural revitalization, values-based / vision focused leadership, organizational development (including cultural revitalization, organizational learning, organizational design and supportive interventions).

Learning outcomes include:
- Understand the importance of values and vision focused leadership and the importance of culture;
- Understanding what organizational transformation is;
- Understand systems thinking and organizational development; and
- Understand the processes that support organizational transformation (e.g. visioning, forming an evolving team of transformation leaders, inspiring and empowering the team to realize the vision, creating and celebrating habits of success, action research to support systems, structural, and policy changes that support continuous improvement to realize the vision, consistent with shared values).

 Download presentation file PDF

Speakers: Laara YaghuJaanas & Mark Salter

Presentation Recording:


April 7, 2021

Title: TAED/PAED Presentation

Join us as we discuss the requirements for Cando’s Technical and Professional Aboriginal Economic Development Certification. Cando’s TAED and PAED certification recognizes the educational and professional level of experience that all candidates enrolled in the process have. This level of recognition confirms the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfill the requirements of their position more effectively, and supports their career paths in the field of Indigenous Community Economic Development and related professional areas.

Speakers: Carmelle Nepoose and Anita Boyle

Carmelle Nepoose Anita Boyle

Carmelle Nepoose

Read Bio

 Anita Boyle

Read Bio

Presentation Recording:


These sessions generously sponsored by:


Innovate BC logo