2021 Youth Summit Presenters


Stan Wesley - MC/Host

Stan Wesley soloFor over 21 years, Stan Wesley has engaged and entertained audiences with his
unique style of presentations, keynotes, emcee and facilitation services. Working
at the local, regional, provincial and national levels, he speaks on a variety of
issues with a focus on celebrating success and advancing good, healthy relations
among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.

With his high-energy, sincere, professional approach, he is considered by many to
be one of the top speakers in the country today.

Stan currently lives in Six Nations Territory with his beautiful wife, Mandy, and
their incredible daughters Maya and Tenona.

Stan Wesley with kidsStan Wesley, National Speaker

- Born in raised in Moose Factory.
- Loves what he does.
- Has a lot of energy, some would say too much.
- Whether it’s a group of 4 or 23,000, he gives it everything he has.
- Has been traveling around for the last 30 years doing this kind of work.
- Channels his ancestors and loves telling stories.
- Prides himself on his good reputation.



Day 1---


Grand Entry & Opening Prayer


Elder Rick Lightning

Elder Rick LightningElder Rick (Patrick) Lightning is an Elder/Mosom from Maskwacis, raised in the traditions of Plains Cree, Nehiyaw. He is a third generation residential school survivor.

Rick has been a Cultural Support Worker to the Indian Residential School (IRS), Mental Health, Aboriginal Youth Communities Empowerment Strategy (AYCES), and the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) programs at Maskwacis.

Currently Rick is the resident Elder, or Mosom, as he prefers to be called, for the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta.



Cultural Performance

Blackstone Drum Group and Dancers


Stanley Barnaby - Cando President

Stanley BarnabyStanley Barnaby is a proud Mi’gmaq from the Listuguj First Nation and currently resides in Wolastoquey Territory where he works as the CEO for the Joint Economic Development Initiative. Prior to his role as CEO, Stanley was the Finance and Operations Manager for 3 years and the Senior Project Manager for 1 year.

Stanley attended the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton for his bachelor’s in business administration. From there, he received his Technician in Aboriginal Economic Development (TAED) certification through Cando, and he also received his First Nation Business Administration certificate from UNB through the Mi’kmaq-Maliseet Institute (MMI). Throughout his time at JEDI, he has continued to grow his skills through completing the Management Development Program Certificate and Master’s Certificate in Project Management from the College of Extended Learning at UNB. Stanley recently received my Professional Aboriginal Economic Development (PAED) certification through CANDO in 2019.

Stanley has been involved with CANDO since 2015 when he was a part of the CANDO Economic Development Youth Summit Advisory Committee. The committee saw the Youth Summit come to life in 2018 and it has been a huge success since its launch. In 2018, Stanley was elected the New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island Representative for the CANDO Board where he played a key role in bringing CANDO’s National Conference to Fredericton, NB.

Stanley has a strong passion for Indigenous Economic Development and Workforce Development, and looks forward to his new role as CEO of JEDI and as newly elected President of the Cando Board.

Ray Wanuch - Cando Executive Director

Ray WanuchBorn in Edmonton, Alberta, raised on the Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement and is of First Nations descent from the Ermineskin Cree Nation. Obtained a Bachelor of Management degree from the University of Lethbridge in 1989; and also possesses the Technician and the Professional Level Certification from Cando.

Prior to working with CANDO, was the CEO of Settlement Investment Corporation. Then moved on to facilitate and manage the Métis Settlements Economic Viability Strategy, which received international recognition for sustainable development. Also managed and taught a self‐employment program for the Métis Nation of Alberta. 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.

Married to Nola Wanuch from the Enoch Cree Nation, and have three wonderful kids: Wendell, Natasha and Sydney, and three wonderful grandsons: Aiden, Nashua, and Taye.

Trevor Cootes - Cando Board Member Southern B.C.

Trevor CootesTrevor Cootes was born and raised in Port Alberni. I am Huuayaht First Nations , My house is Apwinisathh, I descend from the Dennis family and the Williams family. My mom is Patricia Dennis maiden name Dennis and my father is late Levi Cootes.

Trevor Cootes is serving his 2nd 4-yearr term as an Elected Member of the Executive Council for the Huuayaht First Nation. Trevor has held the Economic Development portfolio for the past 6 years; he is a Chair of the Economics Development Com-mittee and Chair of the HFND Development Corporation Board that oversees 7 Limited Partnerships owned by HFN. He holds the Portfolio of CMB Cooperative Management Board that manages the side agreement between Huuayaht and Parks Canada Pacific Rim National Park. Trevor also holds the portfolio of External Affairs, managing relations with Provincial and Federal Agencies.

Trevor currently sits on a number of boards:
• NEDC Board Nuuchanlth Economic Development Corp - 6 years
• ITBC Board Indigenous Tourism BC - 4 years
• BCEDA BC Economic Development Association Board - 5 years
• VIEA Vancouver Island Economic Alliance - 4 years

Trevor has 18 years experience in the tourism industry, in various areas from accommodations, food & beverage, adventure guide, educator, cultural, campground, events coordinator, and retail.
Trevor attended Malaspina University/College (now VIU) and took Business Management and Hospitality Management. Tre-vor had an opportunity to further his skills in tourism by taking a pilot project created jointly with NTC and NIC (North Island College) , the Coast Adventure Tourism certificate trained Nuuchanulth members already in tourism to be outdoor guides, in fishing, kayaking, sailing, and boating.

Trevor has a keen interest in outdoor & sports and taking part in our Huuayaht cultural activities.


Cultural Showcase:

Shina Novalinga

Shina NovalingaShina is a 23-year-old Inuk creator based in Montreal, Canada. By day, Novalinga is a college student studying business management, but on TikTok, she brings her Indigenous culture (and style) to the app. According to Shina, "It's important for me to educate others on my platform because not a lot of people know about our history, or know about the Inuit culture. It has always been brushed off. My goal is to change that and not be afraid to speak about it."

Shina has been most recently featured in Vogue, Global News, 24H, CTV News and many more.








Youth Empowerment

Stanley Barnaby

Stanley BarnabyStanley Barnaby is a proud Mi’gmaq from the Listuguj First Nation and currently resides in Wolastoquey Territory where he works as the CEO for the Joint Economic Development Initiative. Prior to his role as CEO, Stanley was the Finance and Operations Manager for 3 years and the Senior Project Manager for 1 year.

Stanley attended the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton for his bachelor’s in business administration. From there, he received his Technician in Aboriginal Economic Development (TAED) certification through Cando, and he also received his First Nation Business Administration certificate from UNB through the Mi’kmaq-Maliseet Institute (MMI). Throughout his time at JEDI, he has continued to grow his skills through completing the Management Development Program Certificate and Master’s Certificate in Project Management from the College of Extended Learning at UNB. Stanley recently received my Professional Aboriginal Economic Development (PAED) certification through CANDO in 2019.

Stanley has been involved with CANDO since 2015 when he was a part of the CANDO Economic Development Youth Summit Advisory Committee. The committee saw the Youth Summit come to life in 2018 and it has been a huge success since its launch. In 2018, Stanley was elected the New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island Representative for the CANDO Board where he played a key role in bringing CANDO’s National Conference to Fredericton, NB.

Stanley has a strong passion for Indigenous Economic Development and Workforce Development, and looks forward to his new role as CEO of JEDI and as newly elected President of the Cando Board.

Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias

Aubrey-Anne Laliberte-PewapisconiasAubrey-Anne Laliberte-Pewapisconias is a 22-year-old Cree woman from Canoe Lake Cree First Nation on Treaty 10 Territory and has roots to Little Pine First Nation on Treaty 6 Territory through her father’s family. As a fourth-year commerce student, majoring in Finance, at the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan, she aspires to work with Indigenous communities on sustainable economic development projects.

Within her campus, Aubrey has been heavily involved in student organizations since her first-year in post-secondary, including the Edwards Business Students’ Society, Edwards JDC West, the Finance Students’ Society, and the Indigenous Business Students’ Society. Here, she held both general council and leadership roles while co-founding the Indigenous Business Students’ Society in 2018, which operates on a governance system based on traditional Indigenous values and recently began implementing an Indigenous Initiatives Strategy within the college.

Apart from school, Aubrey also brings with her work experience from non-profit organizations. Aubrey worked for Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority in the Procurement department, and then moved to Corporate Affairs. After this, Aubrey went on to work for Indigenous Clean Energy as an Events Management Assistant, where she currently still works and learns more about her passion for a clean energy future. Lastly, Aubrey is involved with Cando through her attendance at the 2nd Annual Cando Economic Development Youth Summit, as a panelist for the 15th National Youth Panel, and is now in her second term of being the National Student Director for Cando.



Expectation/Case Study

Graham Sakaki

Graham SakakiGraham Sakaki is the Regional Research Institute Manager for Vancouver Island University’s Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute.

His educational background includes a Graduate degree in Community Planning, a Bachelor degree in Natural Resources Geography and a Diploma in Forest Resource Technology.

Graham’s work focuses on sustainability of all forms (economic, social and cultural, and environmental) through applied research and community engagement.


Lands Presentation

Ashley Wright

Ashley WrightAshley Wright, is K’ómoks member and Treaty Manager for the K'ómoks First Nation, where she is helping the Nation prepare for self-government.

She has worked on a number of land use planning and community planning projects in her time with K'ómoks. Ashley began working for the K’ómoks First Nation in 2014 in Economic Development. Before that, she spent 7 years working for financial institutions in various roles from customer service to management. She attended Vancouver Island University where she gained knowledge and appreciation for research and the study of Anthropology and English.

She recently graduated from UBC Sauder School of Business with a certificate in Professional Project Management. 


Pamela Shaw

Pamela ShawPamela Shaw PhD FCIP RPP FRCGS is the Director of the Master of Community Planning Program at Vancouver Island University and Coordinator for the new Professional Indigenous Lands Management Certificate (in partnership with NALMA).  

Pam is the co-author of “Planning Canadian Communities” so you could say she "wrote the book" on community planning.  

Pam has over 35 years of experience as a professional planner in communities both large and small and across Vancouver Island.  


Growing your market with Exporting


Amandine Gakima

Amandine Gakima EDCAmandine Gakima is an International Business Advisor within the International Business Advisory Services team at Export Development Canada (EDC). She has extensive professional experience in international trade and private sector development acquired while serving within Canadian and international organisations. For the past ten years, she has been guiding and supporting small and medium size companies with their international expansion activities.







Day 2---


Introduction to Economic Development Panel


  • Dustin Fiddler
  • Thomas Benjoe
  • Wilma Bissiallon 


    Dustin Fiddler

    Dustin Fiddler- cropDustin was born in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Treaty 6 Territory. He has lived all across Western Canada but his home has always been in the boreal forests of Northern Saskatchewan. Through his upbringing he was taught traditionally from his elders as well as his strong mentor and uncle, Sidney Fiddler, a former Chief of Waterhen Lake First Nation.

    Currently, Dustin is a Band Councillor who was recently elected to his 3rd consecutive term in his home community of Waterhen Lake First Nation where continues to strive for stronger education, better communication, and to further economic progress. He remains a strong Indigenous male role model for the youth in his community through a connected approach and healthy lifestyle. His biggest motivation is building and setting up success for the community’s youth. He hopes that he can spark a genuine interest in leadership and business within that next generation.

    A few of the main priorities over his term in council have been building up the First Nation’s capacity through working on various acts and policies that will govern the nation. Dustin also works on various portfolios including Communications, Child & Family Services, Education, and Economic Development. Dustin recently became a Fellow with Action Canada – a National Public Policy Forum leadership program. Dustin was also previously a panelist for CANDO’s 2017 Annual National Youth Panel, Meadow Lake Tribal Council’s Youth Leadership Panel, and The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Youth Legislative Assembly Young Community Leaders Panel.


    Thomas Benjoe

    Thomas Benjoe

    Thomas Benjoe, B.Admin. Pro. Dir.
    President & CEO, FHQ Developments
    Thomas Benjoe is the President & CEO for FHQ Developments and is from the Muscowpetung First Nation. His background includes Indigenous Business, Governance and Economic Development as well as Commercial Banking.

    Thomas is a founding Board of Director’s member for FHQ Developments and was named President & CEO in 2016. FHQ Developments manages Indigenous Investments, Partnerships and Economic Development that creates the greatest economic impact where they do business while utilizing Indigenous knowledge, thought and value systems to create a better economic future for the Nations and Citizens of the File Hill’s Qu’Appelle Tribal Council.

    Thomas currently serves on the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce as 1st Vice Chair (Incoming Chair May 2021), Innovation Saskatchewan Board Member, First Nations University of Canada Spring Celebration Powwow Committee (Co-Chair), Member of Leaders Council at the Hill & Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina, and the Council for Entrepreneurship Growth (Economic Development Regina/Audacity YQR).

    Thomas was recently featured from in The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine as a Top 50 Changemaker in Canada, served as the 2019/20 United Way “Community Champion”, the recipient of the Crowning Achievement Young Alumni Award from the University of Regina (2017), recognized by CBC's "Future 40"(2013), the Red Cross' "Young Humanitarian of the Year"(2009), and a "Top Performer" Convention Winner which recognizes the top 1% of RBC employees (2015).

    Thomas was also recognized as a Top 10 Most Influential Economic Developers by Treaty 4 News, a feature that profiles business leaders, job creators and entrepreneurs who have made a valuable contribution to improving the lives of Indigenous people through business and have helped keep Saskatchewan’s economy vibrant and strong.


    Wilma Bissiallon

    Wilma BissiallonWilma Bissiallon is a member of the Mississaugi First Nation and is presently working for the Serpent River First Nation Economic Development Corporation as the General Manager.  Her first full-time position was with the Mississagi First Nation as the Economic Development Officer in 1988. 

    With no experience in economic development everything she learned was on the job with the help of her co-workers, funding partners and her Chief.  During this time, she enrolled in several training opportunities and received an Economic Development Certificate from the University of Waterloo in 2002.

    Her career has been mainly in the economic development field with a eights years spent in the employment and training sector. 
    She has been a member of many boards and committees at the local, regional and national level.


Cando TAED/NIEEF Presentation

Carmelle Nepoose - Certification Coordinator (West)

Carmelle Nepoose
Carmelle Nepoose is from Samson Cree Nation of Maskwacis, Alberta.

Carmelle has Business Administration Accounting Diploma from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She was previously employed with Samson Cree Nation for the last four years, where she was a dedicated employee in the Residential Development department as a CMHC Coordinator. She is very passionate about helping her Nation and Nation members by providing the best resources for programs available.

For the last 2 years, Carmelle was the Special Projects Coordinator, where she oversaw the regional events before she transferred into the role of Certification Coordinator (West).

Carmelle looks forward to having the opportunity to work with many accomplished Indigenous Economic Development Officers and Land Managers from across Canada. Working in this position she has gained valuable work experience and enjoys networking with professionals in the field of Economic Development.


Anita Boyle - Certification Coordinator (East)

Anita BoyleAnita is from the Metepenagiag Mi’k​maq Nation in New Brunswick. She is a graduate from the University of New Brunswick where she earned a Master in A​dult ​Education degree along with a Bachelor of Arts and Education degree. She also holds a diploma in Human Resource Management, and recently became certified under the Canadian Career Development Foundation.

Anita's has extensive experience and skills in Economic Development, Community development, Indigenous Education and Training, and Women's issues. ​Anita facilitates training and workshops across a range of topics including Career counselling, Guiding Circles, and Community planning.







Cultural Performance


  • Babie OpieOpie Day is the lead singer for the Midnite Express singers, behind him singing back-up is his partner Desirae Desnomie showing their youngest son Baby Op the ways of powwow/rounddance and side-step style of singing and dance.

    Their family travels all throughout the U.S & Canada to partake in teaching their family an indigenous way of life.




    Bbay Opie2

















Indigenous Cannabis Presentation

Chief Willie Sellars

Chief Willie SellarsChief Willie 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.

First Nation – Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative

Marissa Lawrence
Senior Program Officer - CEDI - Western Region


Marissa Lawrence 2
Marissa has worked for Cando as the Senior Program Officer for the First Nation – Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) since July 2017. As a member of the CEDI team, Marissa supports First Nation – municipal partnerships across the country to establish respectful and equitable partnerships and to build capacity to engage in joint planning for community economic development and land-use.

Marissa has a rich background of designing and convening community-bridging intercultural dialogue and engagement programming. Marissa holds a BA in Communications, Minor in Dialogue from Simon Fraser University (SFU), Dialogue and Civic Engagement Certificate from SFU, and is a Cando-certified Technician Aboriginal Economic Developer (TAED). She is currently working to attain the Professional Indigenous Lands Management Certificate through Vancouver Island University.


Day 3---

Good Governance Matters

Kyle White

Kyle WhiteKyle is the Governance and Education Lead with Co-operatives First. His work focuses on developing and delivering educational and development services for Co-operatives First.

Originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, Kyle has worked his way across Canada focusing on community economic development in rural and Indigenous communities. With degrees in Geography and Public Policy, Kyle’s educational background has focused on community development, governance, and organizational policy.

Aside from his work with Co-operatives First, Kyle is an active volunteer with several Saskatoon-based non-profits and serves on a variety of boards.


Youth Confidence Development, Sales Skills and Team Building

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.  See more about her on LinkedIn.




Health and Wellness Session

Michelle Nieviedomy

Michelle Nieviadomy

Michelle Nieviadomy is Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree woman) with a passion for wellness, social justice & community development.  

She is a member of Kawacatoose First Nation and while her roots are in Saskatchewan, she has called Edmonton home for the past 20 years.

She is the Assistant Director at the Edmonton Native Healing Centre. 

She is an entrepreneur with her own business called Iskwew Health promoting health & wellness in various capacities! (Zumba, meditation, bootcamp, fitness kickboxing, wellness retreats)  She believes movement is medicine & connection is everything!  





Keynote - Indigenous Tourism Canada

Mackenzie Brown

Mackenzie BrownMackenzie is a First Nations Nehiyaw Iskwew from the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation and currently resides in Amiskwaciwaskahikan, Edmonton. Brown has a background as a performer, drummer, tourism entrepreneur, philanthropist and advocate for at-risk youth in the Edmonton area in addition to her past roles in Indigenous Tourism Development with both the Government of Alberta and Edmonton Tourism.

Brown is well known across Alberta for performing with her mom as “Warrior Women.” Together they drum and teach around Alberta for the Northern Alberta Teachers Conference, the annual Jasper Dark Skies Festival, Youth Dream Catchers Conference, Canada Day, Aboriginal Day festivities and more. In addition to drumming, Brown is also an avid acrylic artist and traditional First Nations crafts artisan. Her art has been featured in the Pump House Gallery, the Edson Gallery Museum, the Gray Gallery Grant MacEwan, recognized for the Alberta Indian Arts and Crafts Award of 2017, featured for the Alberta Business Competition 2017, and sold to people travelling worldwide at Jasper Park Lodge. Mackenzie was also recently highlighted as the only Indigenous and Albertan artist on the reality TV show Landscape Artist of the Year Canada where she placed in the top 3 finalists.

Brown has also been awarded the 2019 Esquao Award for Children’s Future, the 2019 Indigenous Woman of the year award from the Alberta Assembly of First Nations and the Top 30 under 30 from the Alberta Corporation for Global Cooperation 2020.



Kayla Simpson-Bellerose

Kayla BelleroseKayla Simpson-Bellerose is a nehiyaw-Métis iskwew (Cree-Métis woman) from Slave Lake, Alberta in Treaty 8 territory. Kayla’s maternal roots come from Bigstone Cree Nation and Sawridge Cree Nation, and paternal roots are settlers from England and Scotland. Kayla gratefully resides as a visitor in Mohkinstsis (Blackfoot word for Elbow river), Calgary, in Treaty 7 Territory. Bellerose has a background in doing youth work across Alberta, volunteering on the Calgary Public Art Board in 2018-2019, and consulting in the fields of tourism, education, healthcare, and city-development planning. Kayla has gained valuable experience working with youth in various programs such as Alberta Future Leaders Program, Ótáp ímisskaan: The Indigenous Youth Leadership Program housed at University of Calgary, and also facilitating her own Creative Heart Art Workshops in Indigenous communities across Alberta.

Kayla Bellerose is a visual artist with the artist name of bb iskwew symbolizing her traditional Cree name gifted from her nokum, Baby woman. The art practice by bb iskwew is an expression of her matriarchal roots and connection to Mother Earth teachings. Using the mediums of photography, illustration, animation, sculpture, beadwork, painting, and poetry, bb iskwew shares her healing journey through artistic visual medicine. Bellerose completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in International Indigenous Studies from the University of Calgary in 2020. Kayla is passionate in sharing her creative skills to help uplift Indigenous relatives and voices in the arts and tourism, and has a life goal of being a helper in creating a sustainable economic ecosystem-community for Indigenous entrepreneurs to thrive.



Shaun Soonias

Shaun SooniasShaun Soonias is the Director, Indigenous Relations with Farm Credit Canada and is a proud member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, located in Treaty Six Territory west of the Battlefords.  Shaun has 25 years of experience in social and economic development having held senior positions with the Saskatchewan Indigenous Economic Development Network, Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, Saskatchewan Advocate for Children & Youth, University of Saskatchewan and Department of Justice. 

Shaun is passionate about agriculture and what this sector means to Indigenous economic development and what Indigenous involvement means to this sector and the resiliency and wellbeing of Canada’s economy.

Shaun has worked with First Nations, municipal, provincial, and federal governments on a number of key provincial and national strategies and legislative processes and continues to work towards Indigenous inclusion in the economy from employment to economic development.  


Day 4---

RBC XMusic Indigenous artists  

Daryl French RBCDarryl French - Senior Commercial Account Manager, Indigenous Markets, Alberta & Territories

Darryl French has been in his current position as Senior Commercial Account Manager since 2019. In this position he provides financing to Indigenous communities and their related entities, connects clients to internal partners and provides proactive advice and solutions. Darryl values seeing the economic development that communities can achieve.

Darryl has worked at RBC for 20 years, where he has held a variety of commercial, small business and retail positions. He spent 12 years as a Commercial Account Manager and most recently 3 years as a Financing Specialist.

Darryl received his Bachelor of Commerce from Memorial University in Newfoundland. He currently resides in Spruce Grove, Alberta and enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and two dogs.


Ila Barker

Ila BarkerWith soul and voice well beyond her years, folk artist Ila Barker captures audiences with her sweet melodies and dynamic presence. Ila is of mixed Ojibwe and settler heritage with roots running deep in the prairies, bringing tones of rich history and texture to her craft. Fusing authentic and timeless notes this singer songwriter will surely connect and leave a lasting impression. Ila has brought her craft to an array of festivals and stages including the Regina Folk Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the sakihwe festival. In the summer of 2019 Ila opened for Jeremy Dutcher at the Indian River Festival. In February 2020 Ila released the “Let Go” single, a collaboration with UK based artist Milan Andre that was recorded off the floor in one take in the northern Cree Nation of Nemaska, Quebec. “Let Go” landed on the National Indigenous Music Countdown, and climbed up the charts for three months straight hitting the top 15.


Cody Coyote


Cody CoyoteCody Coyote was born on April 17th, 1992, raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and is of Ojibwe/Irish descent with ancestry from Matachewan First Nation. With his fusion of strong, profound lyricism accompanied by corresponding influential sounds, this multi-award nominated and award winning Hip-Hop/Electronic artist grasps his listeners attention and delivers a mesmerizing performance. Outside of music, Cody Coyote is also a motivational speaker, workshop facilitator and is the host of “The Beat” on 95.7 elmnt fm.


“Introducing an Indigenous Voice in Canadian Music” - Globe and Mail


While being actively engaged in the music industry, Cody Coyote’s journey includes being up for nominations in the “Best Rap/Hip-Hop CD” and the “Single Of The Year” categories at the 2015 Indigenous Music Awards as well as the “Best Music Video” category at the 2018 Indigenous Music Awards. Cody Coyote was a recipient of the Ontario 150 Award and received the Ottawa’s Favourite Hip-Hop Artist Award at the 2020 Ottawa Awards.


With recognition for creating positive change in the world, this dedicated artist released his second full length album “ Ma'iinganag”, on August 17, 2019, reached number 1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown with his song "Manidoo Dewe'igan" in January 2020 and has released a brand new single “Debwe” on August 28, 2020.



Colleen Nakashuk, who performs as Aasiva, is a young Inuktitut songwriter and exciting addition to Nunavut’s flourishing indie music scene, one that is quickly gathering momentum and attention on the national stage.


Aasiva’s sound, airy and lively, is shaped by her melodious voice set against playful ukulele. With Inuktitut lyrics and delicate throat singing elements interwoven throughout her songs, Aasiva’s music offers a fresh, buoyant and distinctive twist on indie folk.


RBC Presents: Mental Health Presentation:
Camille Pablo Russell, “Shooting in The Air”

Presented by RBC, join Elder Camille Pablo Russell as he dives into tools and resources to help deal with stress and trauma as we come out of the pandemic.

Camille Pablo Russell "Shooting In The Air"

Pablo RussellNative to the Blackfoot Kainai/ Blood Tribe in Southern Alberta, Pablo was raised by his grandparents who lived a traditional life, where the oral tradition of sharing stories was vital to growth, belonging and cultural preservation. Pablo has pledged his life in service to theses ways, spreading deep and simple truths that cut through the modern haze for people all over the world. Pablo has a remarkably broad historical and practical knowledge concerning the Prairie Indians' original way of life, and like his grandparents he is an excellent storyteller.

As a young man Pablo sundanced 11 years on "The Poor Man’s Sundance" lead by Morris Crow, Last Tail Feathers. He continued his apprenticeship in the sundance ways with his teacher and later received the rights to run his own Sun Dance, "Path of the Buffalo Sundance”  which is still held every summer in Southern Alberta. 

In 1991, after a 76 year ceremonial ban, Pablo was the first to return to vision quest at Writing-On-Stone. It was there that the Buffalo came to Pablo in a powerful way and said to him “Go and teach my children to be like me.”  This purpose in life has taken Pablo across the ocean spreading the message of the buffalo and its medicine of strength, perseverance, ownership and walking into life's challenges head-on.

Following the Buffalo from his vision quest, Pablo spent 18 years teaching in Europe before he came back home to help his people in a variety of roles including support worker for the Indian Residential School, IRS Elder with Treaty 7 Management Corp., spiritual counsellor at the Elbow River Healing Lodge, a unique Alberta Health Services facility dedicated to Indigenous people and a Native coordinator at the Calgary Remand Centre. “All healing, all thanks goes to the Creator. He doctors.” says Pablo.

Pablo has published a book titled "Path of the Buffalo Medicine Wheel”, in its 6th edition and translated into three languages. The Path of the Buffalo Medicine Wheel forms the foundation of his traditional wellness practice and teachings.

“When I was granted the role of leader in the Sundance, I continued to learn from the Sundance leaders about the “warrior ways”, as well as the “way of the holy pipe”. These teachings are the foundation for understanding the four parts of a human being and ways of centering. My leader followed our oral tradition in teaching the medicine wheel, but he put this knowledge onto a diagram, to support teaching the principles to modern thinking people. After learning for 13 years I was granted the right to teach on my own. My workshops are based on this, and other tools, which have helped many people to see things that they have to correct and take new directions, not only in their lives, but in their work, and to take the steps necessary to improve their quality of life.”

Pablo speaks on platforms in Canada and Europe on the topics of Mental Health, Personal Development, Community Wellness, Traditional Medicines, Healthy Family Systems and Leadership Management sharing indigenous wisdom. He serves on the board of directors for the Historical Society of Alberta, and yearly as an Elder to the International Healers Congress in Munich, Germany. He has been awarded the David Crowchild Award for language and cultural preservation, amongst others and has won several grants to preserve and share his storytelling and oral tradition for the benefit of generations to come. 

Pablo’s work today is Elder work which primarily focuses on traditional counseling, ceremonies, medicines and stories for children, youth, families and caregivers. 


RBC Presents: Cultural Presentation by FirstUp with RBCxMusic
Cody Coyote and Ila Barker

First Up with RBCxMusic was introduced in 2020 to support the Canadian music community and emerging artists in the absence of live paid shows. Since then, 125 musicians and recording artists have enjoyed the virtual performance platform through promotional support, mentorship opportunities, as well as paid performances on social media.

Your Brand Matters

Michael Goetting - Indigenous Financial Services - RBC

Michael Goetting RBCRBC has a long history of working in partnership with First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments, organizations, businesses, and community members. This work includes access to financial services and capital, employment and education programs, community and social impact projects, and procurement opportunities for Indigenous business owners.

Michael Goetting has over 10 years of financial services experience and started as a Commercial Account Manager in April 2020. He provides financing to Indigenous communities and their related entities, connects clients to internal partners and provides proactive advice and solutions. Michael enjoys collaborating with Indigenous communities to build strong relationships.
Michael’s previous positions with RBC include Business Account Manager and most recently Branch Manager. His community involvement includes volunteer activities with Double Diamond 4-H, Morinville/Westlock High Schools and the Westlock Chamber of Commerce. He is the co-chair of the Edmonton Royal Eagles, RBC’s Indigenous employee resource group.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Michael is Inuit from Arviat, Nunavut and currently resides in Bon Accord, Alberta where he enjoys the outdoors, fishing and golfing.


Kayla Neveu-Gordon

Kayla Neveu-Gordon RBCKayla Neveu-Gordon is an Associate at RBC in the Indigenous Peoples Development Program in Personal and Commercial Banking. She is currently working in Project Delivery & Management, and previously worked in Indigenous Financial Services and completed a secondment at Teach For Canada. Kayla is Anishinaabe and a community member of Big Trout Lake First Nation. She grew up in Ear Falls, Ontario and currently resides in Toronto. She graduated from Queen’s University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Commerce.



Procurement Opportunities with the Federal Government

Elsa Doxtdator-Jansson

Elsa Doxtdator-JanssonElsa Doxtdator-Jansson is Mohawk from the Grand River Six Nations. She’s currently wrapping up her Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. Her degree is focused on Marketing with a concentration in Sustainability and Social Impact.
For the past few years, Elsa has pursued a path in Indigenous business and economic development. She taught Entreperensuship and Project Management courses through the Sauder Ch’nook Indigenous Business Education Program to BC First Nations for two years. Now she’s at Public Service and Procurement Canada, working as both the Indigenous Engagement Coordinator for the Pacific Indigenous Engagement Network and Policy Analyst for the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises.



Entrepreneurship Panel

Mya Beaudry with Kokom Scrunchies

Co-MC Entrepreneurial Panel

Mya - Kokum ScrunchiesKokom Scrunchies was created by Mya Beaudry, a talented 10 year old from Kitigan Zibi in Québec.

She makes sure that all Kokom Scrunchies are handmade with love. What started off as an idea, has taken Mya on a path of bringing Kokom Scrunchies to everyone, young and old.





Sage Lacerte

Sage LacerteSage Lacerte is at the forefront of a generation of young, strong, Indigenous womxn who are reclaiming leadership roles oppressed by colonialism and patriarchy. Being named a leader, in her view, is humbling and brings responsibility with it. As a Carrier womxn from the Lake Babine First Nation, Sage strives to facilitate an environment, through The Sage Initiative she founded, where young Indigenous womxn can become part of a network that builds investment capacity and provides Indigenous entrepreneurs with access to social finance.

Sage’s worldview centres 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.


Mallory Yawnghwe

Mallory Yawnghwe

Mallory Yawnghwe, is a nehiyaw iskwew from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in North Eastern Alberta. She is a recent graduate of MacEwan University School of Business’s Bachelor of Commerce in Supply Chain Management, and is three years into her career as a Project Procurement Specialist with Alberta Infrastructure.

Mallory thrives on challenge and is driven to overcome her fear of the unknown to make a difference in this world. Sometimes accused of being overly optimistic, Mallory has used her positive attitude, humility, and perseverance to grow from an awkward, shy, nail-biting, floor gazing teenager, just arrived in Edmonton, into a respected Supply Chain professional, independent business and community consultant, and educational facilitator. Most recently, she has taken a big leap into the role of President and CEO of her new start up Indigenous Box Inc. 



Kendal Netmaker

Kendal NetmakerKendal Netmaker is one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs and speakers, from Sweetgrass First Nation, SK. He was raised by a single mother who cared for Kendal and his three younger sisters while growing up in poverty and few chances for opportunity.

In grade 5, Kendal’s life changed forever when his best friend from South Africa helped him to play soccer by paying for his soccer fees and driving him to games/practices. This act of kindness opened up a whole other world for him that he would have never otherwise experienced. Two years later, when the family was relocating, they gave Kendal’s family their car; it was a life-changing gift that helped his mother access all kinds of basic necessities that had previously been difficult – and meant that Kendal and his sisters could now take part in after school sports. 

The incredible generosity of his childhood friend’s family inspired Kendal to give back when he launched his company, Neechie Gear® – a lifestyle apparel brand that empowers youth through sports. A percentage of all Neechie Gear® profits go toward funding underprivileged youth to take part in sports. While finishing two degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, Kendal worked on growing the brand, which was founded out of Kendal’s small, one-bedroom apartment. After graduation, Kendal opened several stores while sharing his story as keynote speaker. The brand is now sold to consumers across North America through exclusive retail partners and online.

To date, Kendal has founded and invested in 5 businesses, the author of Driven To Succeed and won over 25 business awards, including runner-up at the YBI Global Entrepreneur of the Year & one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40®. Kendal speaks professionally to thousands of people each year on resilience, leadership and the power of telling your story.

He lives with his wife and two children in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where he continues to run his company and provide executive leadership coaching to organizations.

Kendal is on a mission to empower entrepreneurs and leaders around the globe by demonstrating that regardless of where you come from and what you have gone through in your life, you have the power to enact change. Become who you were born to be!

Day 5---


Linda Hartford,  National Director, Trust Services, Indigenous Markets.
Linda Hartford cibcLinda Hartford joined CIBC’s Indigenous Markets team in 2017 with in-depth expertise and over 14 years experience in Indigenous Trust services.  Linda has developed her expertise by working closely with communities as they develop, implement and perform ongoing management of their Trusts. Linda has a track record for engaging communities and developing relationships.  Her approach supports the successful establishment, management and utilization of wealth for reconciliation, healing and the general betterment of First Nation communities.  Linda understands that a Nation’s Trust has the potential to drive economic self-sufficiency and prosperity and she takes pride in and enjoys supporting that potential in a tangible way. Linda is a respected presenter on the topics of First Nation Trusts and finance and is regularly invited to speak at various Indigenous conferences and workshops.  



 Thank you to the 2021 Youth Summit
Partners and Sponsors:

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2021 Youth Summit Agenda (PDF)!

*Applications have closed*


Danielle Lightning at
Email: danielle.lightning@edo.ca

For more information, please contact:

Danielle Lightning
Email: danielle.lightning@edo.ca
Toll free: 1-800-463-9300  ext 229
Phone Number: 780-990-0303 ext 229

Fax Number: 780-429-7487