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About our Speakers

Robert Louie
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Robert Louie, LL.B, OC, Hon. Dr LL.B is the former Chief (24 years) of the Westbank First Nation (which is Self Governing), and has served on numerous Boards, Companies and Special Appointments with Government and private industry for over 30 years. He has extensive experience in real estate development and finance matters and has focused primarily on working for First Nations on land matters throughout Canada.

Robert is the Chairman of the First Nations Lands Advisory Board (28 years) and has been instrumental in getting First Nations into incremental self governance. Robert is also the Chairman/Director of Peace Hills Trust, which is the largest aboriginal financial institution in Canada. Robert is the Indigenous advisor representing Canada on the World Indigenous Business Forum and networks with other leaders promoting Indigenous economic development and world trade. Robert sits as a Board Member with the BC Achievement Foundation and is on the Executive Committee. Robert is a Founding Director and is a shareholder in the Public Company – Decisive Dividends (DE) on TSX Venture and is also the Indigenous Managing Director for Dunhill Group of Companies which is involved in construction and energy power projects. Most recently, Robert is a Founding Partner in Indigenous World Finance LLP and is Chairman and Director of Indigenous Bloom Corp.

Robert is a former practicing lawyer who specialized in native law and was a summer Law Instructor at the University of Saskatchewan. He is also a former elected member of the B.C. First Nations Summit Task Group and was involved in B.C. Treaty negotiations representing First Nations.

Some of the other numerous boards and special appointments Robert has been active in include: Board of Governor member with UBC; President’s Advisory Council member with UBC-Okanagan; Board Director on the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board; President of First Nations Finance Authority Inc.; Board Director with All Nations Trust Co; one of a nine member Premier’s Advisory Council with the Premier of B.C.; Board Director on the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce; Board Director and founding member with the Kelowna United Native Friendship Society.

Robert has been the recipient of many awards and distinguished presentations including: Officer of the Order of Canada; Honorary Doctor of Laws from the Justice Institute of B.C.; Lifetime B.C. Achievement Award Aboriginal Business; Distinguished Alumni Business Administration, Okanagan College; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership from Aboriginal Financial Officers Association & Xerox Canada; Business Person of the Year, Westbank Chamber of Commerce; President’s Award, Westbank Chamber of Commerce; Recipient of Commemorative Medal for 125th Anniversary of Canada; B.C. Academic Scholarship Award.

Robert is the owner/proprietor of Indigenous World Winery, Indigenous World Spirits and Kelowna West Manufactured Home Park.

LAB Chairman

Westbank First Nation

Robert Louie, L.L.B., Hon. DR.LLB, O.O.C.

Chief Bear Adam (Scotti PMO photo)

Chief Bear has been a key proponent of the Framework Agreement since its creation. His own community, the Muskoday First Nation (Muskoday, SK) ratified their land code in 1999, and have been experiencing dramatic socio-economic gains ever since.


Chief Austin Bear has served as the Chair of the Resource Centre Board of Directors since 2001.


Chief Austin Bear is also currently serving an unprecedented fourteenth term as the Chief of the Muskoday First Nation.


Chief Bear is happily married and has three children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He is active in promoting First Nations’ traditions and culture and believes that the involvement of Elders and youth is essential in all aspects of community life.


Muskoday First Nation

Chief Austin Bear

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Mr. Nicholas is responsible for managing the day to day operations of the Resource Centre. He also manages the technical partnership with Canada, to continue to successfully implement the Framework Agreement in support of First Nation communities across the country.


In addition to reporting to the Lands Advisory Board and Resource Centre Board of Directors, he serves as the main public contact, spokesperson and representative for the Resource Centre in all professional capacities. Mr. Nicholas is Welastekokewin (Maliseet) from the Nekwotkok (Tobique) First Nation in New Brunswick and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of New Brunswick.


Meko has been working to support the development, finalization and fulfillment of the Framework Agreement for more than 20 years.

Executive Director, FNLMRC

Tobique First Nation

Meko Nicholas

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Jessica is the President of Jessica Dumas Coaching and Training and a known facilitator and Indigenous Advisor. She uses her passion and knowledge to help businesses create more diverse and inclusive teams by providing relevant and solution based training that has a focus on understanding the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, specifically number 92, and strategies for Indigenous engagement and employment. She is an energetic and motivated professional who quickly gains the trust of her clients and audience with her warm and engaging personality and professional style.


Jessica’s career started with over 10 years’ experience in a corporate environment before gaining a certificate in Conflict Resolution and Workshop Facilitation and since has become a sought-after speaker in the areas of Women in Business, Leadership and Indigenous Inclusion, and has been featured on NCI FM, CJOB, Now Country, CBC, The Winnipeg Sun, the Winnipeg Free Press, and SAY Magazine to name a few. She has spoken on the TED stage, emceed several of conferences and evening events and has spoken to crowds as large as 1500.


Jessica was recognized for her professional expertise through nomination as a finalist in the CBC’s Top 40 Manitoban’s under 40 for 2015 and a finalist for 2017 Future Leaders of Manitoba. Her volunteer contributions have gained her wide respect within Manitoba. For instance, she served as Chairperson of the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, she is currently the Incoming Chair for the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, she is a member of the City of Winnipeg Mayor’s Indigenous Advisory Circle, The Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg and The CentrePort Advisor Committee and the Manitoba Museum Board of Governors. She is a powerful role model and advocate for social justice, turning a tragic family experience, the shocking and sudden loss of her brother in 2005, into an opportunity to lead others to overcome challenge and hardship by developing personal strengths, vision and self-confidence and demonstrating her own story of reconciliation.


Jessica is a band member of the Ojibway community, Keeseekowenin First Nation in Manitoba, Treaty 2. She brings with her an awareness on diversity, inclusion and Indigenous history so businesses can gain a deeper understanding on the importance on taking Action and to  motivate solutions for the current challenges diverse populations face in Canada. Jessica believes that the best teaching happens through storytelling. When you share stories, you get to know each other, find ways to relate to each other and you start to care for each other, this is how you build community. Her website is

Conference Facilitator

Keeseekowenin First Nation

Jessica Dumas

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Jeff joined Peace Hills Trust in August of 2012.  His 25 years of experience in the investment industry gives Peace Hills an added dimension of depth in monitoring and reviewing external managers’ performance.  One of his tasks is to provide training sessions on investment basics and investment policy statements to Trustees as part of Peace Hills’ ongoing commitment to capacity building for its clients.


Jeff started Ridgewood Capital Asset Management with his partners in 2008, where he was Vice President.  He structured and managed discretionary accounts for his clients, which included First Nations, foundations and individuals.  Prior to that he was a Portfolio Manager at Mulvihill Wealth Management, where he specialized in First Nation clients.  Jeff began working with First Nations in 1996 while working with the Yukon Territorial Government.  He helped develop investment policy statements and did training sessions for Chief and Councils and investment committees throughout the Yukon.


Jeff is a CFA charter holder, is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) in Accounting and Information Services.

Peace Hills Trust

AVP, Trust investment Compliance & Performance

Jeff Frketich, FCPA, PCGA, CFA


Georgina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the administration and settlement of First Nation Trusts. Georgina has over 26 years of experience in the trust industry and has been administering First Nation trusts for over 24 years.


Georgina earned an undergraduate degree in commerce from the University of Calgary and an MBA from the University of Regina.  She obtained her MTI (Member Trust Institute) designation through the Institute of Canadian Bankers.  Georgina is currently a member of NATOA, CANDO and AFOA.


Georgina completed the AFOA Harvard Program on Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities.

Peace Hills Trust

VP, Trust Services

Georgina Villeneuve, B. Comm, MBA, MTI


Stephen Cornell is Faculty Chair of the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona where he also is emeritus professor of sociology, emeritus director of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, and affiliate faculty in the College of Law.


After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1980, Professor Cornell joined the sociology faculty at Harvard University where he taught for nine years before moving to the University of California, San Diego, for nine more and then joining the Arizona faculty in 1998. While at Harvard, he co-founded, with economist Joseph P. Kalt, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development; at Arizona, he led the establishment of the Native Nations Institute, a partner program to the Harvard Project.


He has spent much of the last thirty years working with Indigenous nations and organizations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Aotearoa New Zealand on governance, development, and related issues.

Faculty Chair

Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona

Stephen Cornell, Ph.D.

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Dr. Bob Kayseas has held many positions during his more than 15 years at First Nations University of Canada and is excited to take on the new role of Vice President Academic. Dr. Kayseas is a Saskatchewan born Anishnabe (Saulteaux) scholar. He obtained a degree in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Regina and Ph.D. (Enterprise and Innovation) from the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Kayseas has established a recognized scholarly program of research centered on Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development. He remains actively engaged in both the research and practice of entrepreneurship and economic development. Most recently, he has worked to foster the integration of reconciliation into academic programming both in the classroom and in online distance learning. Dr. Kayseas is passionate about creating opportunities both in the classroom and within communities for Indigenous students to grow and thrive.

Vice President Academic

First Nations University of Canada

Bob Kayseas, Ph.D.

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Barry Porrelli,  Lawyer,  is the principal of Porrelli Law, located on the Westbank First Nation reserve – one of the most active urban bands in Canada.


Barry practiced in Calgary from 1985 – 1993 before moving to Westbank BC where he specializes in First Nation land development and represents developers, band members and lenders throughout British Columbia.  He was spotlighted in National Lawyer magazine for his expertise. 


He is a frequent presenter on First Nation Land development and past Chairman of the Westbank First Nation Economic Development Commission.  He has been involved in dozens of major reserve land developments.  Projects he has worked on include big box store developments, retail, commercial, resort and several major residential subdivisions on reserve.


Porrelli Law

Barry Porrelli

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Wacheay. My name is Shannin Metatawabin, a Cree member from Fort Albany First Nation of the Mushkegowuk Inninow. My wife Sienna MacMillan is of the Whitebear and Sakimay First Nations in Saskatchewan and we have four children.


I am the grandson of Theresa and Abraham/ Barney and Pat, son of Edmund and Joan, and brother to four extremely successful Indigenous leaders; Albalina, Jassen, Cedar and Terry. Our family’s history has been well documented in my father’s book Up Ghost River.


Economic Development empowerment is my passion. I thrive on project and team management, organizational efficiency, business development and community consultation. I earned my BA in Political Science from Carleton University where I also played football for the Ravens.


I was raised on an isolated First Nations community, my Moshum (Grandfather) is over 100 years old and does not speak more than a handful of English words.  He was one of the last of the great trapping economy.  I speak fluent Cree.  My father is an award-winning author and the recipient of two honorary doctorate degrees.  He entered school at the age of 7 and continued to his master’s degree. 


Professionally, I began at CIBC as a business development officer for the Aboriginal Business Canada program.  As a business developer, I assisted 250+ businesses start up and expand. Currently, I am beginning my third year as Chief Executive Officer at the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA), one of the largest social finance networks of Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFI) in the world. The network of nearly 60 AFIs focus on providing business developmental lending to the indigenous community and have thus far lent 2.5B+, and are on track to do so much more with the right capital.


National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA)

Shannin Metatawabin

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Jean Paul (JP) Gladu is currently the President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) based in Toronto. Anishinaabe from Thunder Bay JP is a member of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek located on the eastern shores of Lake Nipigon, Ontario. JP completed a forestry technician diploma in 1993, obtained an undergraduate degree in forestry from Northern Arizona University in 2000, holds an Executive MBA from Queens University and the ICD.D from Rotman School of Management University of Toronto. JP has over two decades of experience in the natural resource sector. His career path includes work with Aboriginal communities and organizations, environmental non-government organizations, industry and governments from across Canada.  In JP’s current capacity at CCAB, he speaks extensively not only across Canada but internationally as he shares the challenges and successes of Aboriginal business in Canada today.

Currently, JP serves on the Board of Ontario Power Generation and Noront Resources as well as the Canadian Electricity Association Public Advisory Panel.  He has most recently been appointed as the Chancellor of St. Paul’s University College Waterloo.  His previous appointments include Colleges and Institutes Canada (previously ACCC), the Northern Policy Institute, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education, advisory member to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, a committee member to the Provincial Forest Policy Committee. In 2014, he was identified as a Diversity 50 Board Ready Candidate from the Canadian Board Diversity Council and a recipient of the Community Service Award – Transformation Awards from Diversity Magazine.

As a father to his young daughter Chloe, along with a passion for his community, his culture and traditions; JP brings the past, present and future to the table, moving non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal business toward sustainable partnerships and shared economic prosperity.

President & CEO

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) 

Jean Paul Gladu

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Chief Planes’ traditional name is Hya quatcha, named after his great grandfather from Scianew, the salmon people. 


Chief Planes is the elected Chief of the T’Sou-ke nation, a position he has held for the past ten years. Previously, he worked as the Back Country Operations Manager of the West Coast trail for Parks Canada. Recently, Chief Planes was the recipient of the prestigious 2018 B.C. Achievement Foundation's Individual Achievement Award.


He is a Coast Salish carver, artist, traditional singer and a captain of T’Sou-ke traditional dug-out canoes for the last two decades.


Chief Planes has previously taken on a three year assignment, working with his community in bringing back their Northern Straits Sencoten language.


He is actively working  on projects within the community in the areas of renewable energy, food security, cultural renaissance and economic development, to name a few.


Gordon and his wife Marcella presently reside in the village of Siaosun and have six children and six grandchildren.

Chief of T'Sou-ke Nation

LAB Director, B.C. Region

Chief Gordon Planes


Scott McLeod was first elected Chief of Nipissing First Nation in July 2015 and took office in August 2015.  Chief McLeod was successful in securing a second term in the July 2018 election.   
With a professional background in Freshwater Fisheries Management, Chief McLeod has over 25 years of experience working in both technical and management capacities for a variety of agencies, including Nipissing First Nation, the Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resources Centre, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, where he was also appointed as a Deputy Conservation Officer. 

Chief McLeod has been heavily involved in Nipissing First Nation politics, as well as local, provincial and federal initiatives related to Natural Resources Management over the span of his career.  He served one term as a Nipissing First Nation Councillor from 2003-2006 and was responsible for overseeing the Natural Resources portfolio.   

He has also served on a number of boards related to indigenous hunting and fishing inherent rights, including as a member of the Lake Nipissing Stewardship Council, as the Indigenous Advisor to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and most recently, as the Ontario Representative for the National Fisheries Committee, which provides advice to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Environmental Stewardship Secretariat - Fisheries Unit and as the Huron Regional Grand Chief of the Anishinabek Nation.  

Chief McLeod is committed to remaining involved in ongoing discussions about the conservation and sustainability of the Lake Nipissing fishery, and the protection of the rights of Nbisiing Anishinaabeg.   

Nipissing First Nation (NFN) is a progressive urban reserve located on the north shore of Lake Nipissing in northeastern Ontario.  NFN was the 1st First Nation in Ontario to ratify a Constitution (the Nipissing Gichi-Naaknigewin), marking a historic move towards self-governance.    

NFN's mission is to continue to protect our Nation's inherent rights and to empower the membership of Nipissing First Nation to work together in a positive, progressive manner to improve well-being and quality of life, to be socially and economically independent, culturally strong and self-governing. 

Chief of Nipissing First Nation

Chief Scott McLeod


Graduated from St. Paul Regional High School, Senior Matriculation - 1982, The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology - Civil Engineering Technology - 1984. Completed the Canadian Securities Course - 1990; Obtained the Investment Funds Institute of Canada Course and the Canadian Investment Funds Course in 2003. Also various symposiums, conferences including Trust Companies Institute, CGA, RMA, ICD and others. Current member of the Risk Management Association (RMA) and the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD). 

Prior to being appointed President & CEO of Peace Hills Trust in 2012, served the company in the capacity of its' Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. 

David's career has been exclusively with Peace Hills Trust since July, 1984 including various Regional Office Management postings in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, providing financial solutions and relationships with many First Nations communities along with general business communities across Canada. 

David is also a volunteer with the Heritage Valley Community League and the Heritage Valley Home Owners Association. 

President & CEO Peace Hills Trust Company

David S.J. Boisvert


Christian Sinclair is a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN).  In 1988, Christian graduated from Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute (MBCI) and then went on to serve in the Canadian military until 1995, participating in tours of duty in Cyprus (1990 Recon) and Somalia (1992-93 Special Forces).

In 1999, Christian co-founded the Manitoba Indigenous Summer Games (MISG) that showcased athletes, coaches and officials in Manitoba the opportunity to participate in multi-sport competition, the host community of Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN).  In 2002, Christian was hired as the General Manager of the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in Winnipeg.  The event was the most successful NAIG ever hosted and ended with a surplus of over $1.3 million.  As a result of the legacy planning from the 2002 NAIG, today—there is a scholarship program, accessible to Manitoba’s Aboriginal youth. 

After NAIG 2002, Christian began working in the corporate sector with aboriginal groups across Canada, focusing on corporate development and positioning for major natural resource projects related to hydro, mining and oil and gas.  In 2003, Christian was named as one of Canada's Top 40 under 40.

Christian went on to complete a Masters in Project Management from University of Winnipeg, as well as Negotiations and Leadership from Harvard Law School.  He incorporates traditional knowledge and teachings from the people he has worked with and he acknowledges the importance of balancing these practices in his work.

In 2013, Christian made a career change to work as an independent business advisor.  With a wealth of organizational knowledge, experience earned on the battlefield and proven in the corporate boardroom and First Nation Council Chambers, Christian Sinclair is a highly sought after negotiator and project manager for both Indigenous communities and mainstream corporations seeking to engage in major resource development. He is able to effectively bridge the needs and goals of industry and traditional land rights holders into mutually beneficial win-win opportunities for sustainable prosperity and lasting business partnerships for all involved and for future generations.


Christian Sinclair was elected as Onekanew (Chief) for the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in September 2016. Onekanew Christian Sinclair, the Onuschekawak (council) and the administration of Opaskwayak Cree Nation is on the path to FMB certification—adopting and implementing finance and governance standards.  Onekanew Christian Sinclair shares business models of success and encourages an approach of calculated risk with high return on investment.

Chief of Opaskwayak Cree Nation

LAB Director, Prairie Region

Chief Christian Sinclair

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Brenda Holder was born and raised in the Rockies in Jasper National Park and is pleased to follow her lineage as a traditional Cree/Iroquois Métis guide from the Kwarakwante of Jasper.  She is a Professional Interpretive guide and is an active advocate of Indigenous Tourism.

She has spent the last 19 years in tourism and has served on many Aboriginal Tourism Advisory Boards and is presently the Chair for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), and Chair for the new Alberta Chapter Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA).

Brenda’s main passion is Traditional Medicine and she uses that and other cultural knowledge to build quality programs for guests taking part of her tours and programs. Brenda has spent much of her career as a guide to connect people to the land through Indigenous eyes and through learning about the medicines gifted to all people.

Her accomplishments are extensive resulting in many prestigious awards for her work in using her company both in the entrepreneurial spirit and in educating the public about Métis culture.

Some of these awards have included:

  • Aboriginal Woman Entrepreneur Award of Distinction presented from the Alberta Chamber of Commerce.

  • Esquao Award from the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW).

  • Métis Entrepreneur of the Year.


Brenda is a past member of the Métis Women’s Economic Security Council for the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs. In addition, she is a board member for the Interpretive Guides Association and represents Aboriginal Interpretive Guides. She is the Chair for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and is the Alberta Director, in addition to being the Chair of Indigenous Tourism Alberta, a newly formed organization under ITAC.


Brenda took part in several film documentaries and one television series: Mahikan Trails was presented on Profiles of Success on Aboriginal People’s Television Network. In addition the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada released a video series called “The Power of Aboriginal Tourism” Featuring Mahikan Trails and Painted Warriors.

Tomiuk Productions filmed Mahikan Trails in a documentary/training video to be used in a Lakeland College training course for Adventure Tourism. Mahikan Trails was showcased as one of the Adventure Partners in the Aboriginal Tourism Sector.

As part of Alberta Economic Development, Brenda was also filmed with the Story Tellers documentary series on being an Aboriginal Woman in Business.

Brenda is most often found guiding clients into the high alpine zones of the Rockies, running Traditional Camps or conducting team building programs down in the valley bottoms. She is happy to share her knowledge with any Indigenous person desiring to break into the world of Tourism.

Professional Interpretive Guide

Brenda Holder


Tom is a principal at Urban Systems and a registered professional planner with over 20 years working alongside Indigenous communities across Canada to achieve economic independence and realize their community goals.


Tom is a key leader within Urban Systems’ Indigenous practice. He has been involved in numerous projects throughout Canada, ranging from Community Plans to Zoning Bylaws to Economic and Land Development projects on First Nation land.

Urban Systems

Tom Viesner

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Darcy Bear is the Chief of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation and Chairman of the Board of the Whitecap Development Corporation (WDC). Chief Bear has dedicated himself to the betterment of his community since being elected to Council in 1991 at the age of 23. He is currently in his eighth term, and seventh consecutive term as Chief. He has guided the WDC as Chairman since 1994, where he has been the impetus behind extensive economic development within the community, and the driving force for improved quality of life for Whitecap residents, and the people of Saskatchewan. As Whitecap’s leader, Chief Bear has always maintained an intense focus on community development and has worked to bring greater fiscal accountability, transparency and good governance to his community.

Chief Bear has worked hard to build lasting relationships with surrounding communities, as well as First Nations and non-First Nations peoples, through tourism partnerships, and agreements with Saskatoon Fire and Protective Services, the Saskatoon Board of Education, the Saskatoon Tribal Council, Municipal, Provincial and Federal Governments. A proud achievement of working in partnership is the designation of Highway 219 running through the Whitecap community as the Chief Whitecap Trail tourism corridor. These are just a few examples of the acumen Whitecap and its leader have shown in the form of business and public policy vision, political negotiating skills, accountability initiatives, and innovative partnerships with agencies at all levels of government.

Never forgetting where his people came from, Chief Bear is driven to work with his members, Council and staff to break this cycle of dependency, to empower the people and to rebuild the Whitecap Dakota First Nation by embracing a spirit of their ancestors who were once the engine of thriving economy and whose economies were defined by successful entrepreneurship.

Chief Bear’s contributions to his community, to his province and to his country have not gone unnoticed, as he has been widely-recognized for his economic, business and cultural achievements. He was a recipient of the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan in 2005, he was named one of the “Ten Most Influential People” by Saskatchewan Business Magazine and was awarded the CANDO “Economic Developer of the Year” in 2006. In 2009, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) awarded Chief Bear the Circle of Honour Award for Community-Based First Nation Business, recognizing his achievements in establishing and growing the Whitecap Development Corporation and its investments. In December 2011, Chief Bear was honoured with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the highest recognition given to residents of province. On January 25, 2012, Whitecap Dakota First Nation, together with Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan, signed the Framework Agreement for Self Governance, which kick-started Whitecap’s journey towards self-governance. And, on May 23, 2012, Chief Bear was honoured with the Diamond Jubilee Medal, reflecting his commitment to service.

As a respected business leader, Chief Bear has volunteered his expertise on many business boards and committees. He has served terms on the boards of Saskatoon Economic Development Authority, Sask Tel, Enterprise Saskatchewan, and Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies.

Chief Bear has dedicated nearly have of his life to his community since becoming a leader. He has been innovative in his approach to business development and has invited other First Nations to partner with Whitecap Development Corporation and share in the benefits of profitable business relationships. He has contributed to Saskatchewan First Nations through his volunteer involvement on many First Nation and Saskatoon Tribal council economic boards and committees. He has also furthered First Nation relationships with the non-First Nation community and particularly the Saskatchewan business community through his partnerships and relationship building strategies.

Chief Bear was elected as a Prairie Region Director for the Lands Advisory Board in October 2016.

Chief of Whitecap Dakota First Nation

LAB Director, Prairie Region

Chief Darcy Bear

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Kelly is a social entrepreneur who is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s foremost innovators of corporate/indigenous partnership building and workplace inclusion strategies.  His dynamic communications style and social entrepreneurial success has earned him the reputation as an engaging thought leader and effective bridge-builder fostering trusted partnerships for workforce and economic development across Canada and abroad.


A proud Canadian indigenous leader of Cree and Métis ancestry, he moves seamlessly between both worlds fostering a spirit of trust, relationship and healthy partnerships.


Kelly spent over a decade in aquatics, recreation management and was the youngest chairman of the National Lifeguard Service. He earned his MBA in 1993 and was the inaugural director of the first Aboriginal business education program in Canada which included the first MBA with a specialization in Indigenous management at the University of Saskatchewan. As a professor and program director he redefined the future role Canadian universities can play in developing an Indigenous economy.


He is the inaugural president of Indigenous Works leading the charge since 1998 to build stronger corporate–Indigenous engagements and growing the organization into an ISO certified enterprise.  He has served on over a dozen corporate, crown, and non-profit boards in Canada and addressed more than 300 audiences in conferences, forums and workshops.


He was honored by the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) as one of their “100 Alumni of Influence” in the last century whose accomplishments have been recognized for influencing the growth and development of the university, the province, and the world during the last century.


Lendsay’s consulting study, The Impact of the Changing Aboriginal Population on the Saskatchewan Economy: 1995-2045 is one of the most widely cited sources on the implications of Indigenous demographics and the economy.

The 2018 study “Researching Indigenous Partnerships: As Assessment of Corporate-Indigenous Relations” is the largest study of its kind to date which established a new ‘engagement score’ in Canada.   

Lendsay was co-recipient of the Canadian Institute of Management's Around Outstanding MBA Graduate Award, recipient of the Xerox Aboriginal Financial Officers Association Excellence in Leadership National Award and appointed a Distinguished Lecturer by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. He is an alumnus of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Tour.


His career has been a series of catalytic flash points demonstrating that with effective networks, corporate and Indigenous community goals can translate into actions that advance education, employment, and economic opportunities for Indigenous people with positive business outcomes.                                                                                  


Kelly’s inclusion philosophy is based upon re-kindling trust, renewing relationships, and building partnerships to create social and economic prosperity for ALL people.  

Kelly currently resides in Saskatoon, SK with his family. He is an avid kite surfer, taekwondo (black belt 2015), runner, yoga and golfer.

President & CEO, Indigenous Works

Kelly Lendsay, BSPE, MBA, CAFM, ICD.D

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Given Name: Arthur Everret Russell Chipps


I am currently the Chief Councillor of (SCIA'NEW) Beecher Bay First Nation and have been in this role for the past fifteen years (since October 2003).  As Chief I am involved daily in the governance of my nation, overseeing health and business opportunities, guiding the development of Spirit Bay in the community, among many other community initiatives that will move my community forward in a positive way.


I have lived in Beecher Bay since I was four years old and currently live with my wife and three children. Prior to becoming Chief I was involved as a councillor and managed the band-owned Cheanuh Marina. I am also currently the owner/operator of a company called Nanny Goat Yard Works. More recently I took it upon myself to pursue the completion of obtaining my Dogwood Certificate and was successful in this late but necessary endeavor in 2011. Also, since boating is a passion of mine having lived by the ocean all my life, in September 2014 I received m y MED A3 certificate for vessel safety.


Since 2003 I am a member of both the South Island Wellness Society Board and the Inter Tribal Health Board. I was also a participant at the infancy stages of the creation of the First Nations Health Council and sat during that time as a representative on the Council. I currently sit on our local Spirit Bay Development Board which guides the development of building a sustainable town for Beecher Bay and other residents.


I always say "Don't ask anyone to do something that you won't do yourself, and don't take people for granted". People and their views are important. I have a strong voice and say what needs to be said. I do not like prepared speeches because I believe it is much better to speak straight from the heart.  also now when it is time to listen and when it is time to talk. As I move forward in life, I always fully believe in the choices that I make because if you believe in yourself and the people in your community there will always be hope for future.


For the last fifteen years my priorities have focussed on health as one of the key responsibilities in my role as Chief. I am interested in achieving sustainable health service delivery systems for First Nations communities. It will be important to determine the right approach or strategy in order to pursue successful results. I would like to see effective community services that community members understand and utilize to their full benefit. Effective community services includes increasing timely access to qualify and culturally sensitive care while operating with efficient budget management.

Chief of SCIA'NEW First Nation

Chief Russell Chipps

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Andrew Beynon has worked on First Nation lands and economic development for almost thirty years within and outside government.  He was Canada’s lead lawyer on the Nisga’a Treaty and currently works for the First Nations Lands Advisory Board Resource Centre.  Andrew is one of the authors of the LexisNexis publication “Modern First Nations Legislation Annotated”.  Andrew is married with two grown up children and tries to find time to be an artist, home renovator and vintage stereo collector.

Law Making & Enforcement Advisor,

First Nations Land Management Resource Centre Inc.

Andrew Beynon

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Stephen Aronson LLB (Dalhousie), LLM (Monash), practised law, most recently in Ottawa. His practise was restricted to indigenous law, working with First Nations and First Nation organizations all across Canada, in a broad range of areas, including governance, land claims; aboriginal and treaty rights, constitutional and international issues; reserve lands and economic development.


He has been a practising member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, retiring in 2015. Currently he is a part-time consultant to the LABRC in supporting land management initiatives.

Legal Advisor to the LAB

Stephen Aronson LLB, LLM


Kelly LaRocca, LL.B., serves as the Chief of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.  Chief LaRocca has served on the elected Council since 2008 and was elected as Chief in 2013. 

Chief LaRocca served as the portfolio Chief Representative during the claim negotiations arising from the 1923 Williams Treaties.

Chief LaRocca also serves as the Vice Chair for the Ogemawhej Tribal Council, is a Director for the National Advisory Board on First Nations Lands Management, and served as a member on the Aboriginal Justice Committee for the previous Attorney General for Ontario. 

Kelly lives with her partner Jonathan with daughter Ruby and son Eli in Scugog FN.

Chief of Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation

LAB Director

Chief Kelly Larocca

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Guy Lonechild is a well-known advocate for enabling growth and opportunities for First
Nation communities and serves as Chief Executive Officer of First Nations Power Authority.

Mr. Lonechild has served Saskatchewan First Nations in elected positions, administrative
capacities, and as a private management consultant. He holds an Associate Degree in
Business Management from San Diego, California and is completing work on an MBA in
Community Economic Development at Cape Breton University. His research in, ‘Mobilizing
Aboriginal Wealth: Development Corporations and the Prosperity Opportunity in Canada’,
serves to inform the First Nations, academic, and business community in emerging trends in
AEDC development.

Delivering financial management, governance, & government relations since 2011
Private Consultant to First Nations, Industry, and Public Agencies
FSIN Chief, Vice-Chief, and Chairperson in several Saskatchewan First Nation Portfolios
Band Administration brings a unique set of skillsets to lead FNPA, an organization he helped
initiate in 2011.

Mr. Lonechild led a number of taskforces, development programs, and initiatives to enable
good governance, change management, and growth and renewal of First Nations and
enterprises in Canada

First Nations Power Authority

Guy Lonechild

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C.T. (Manny) Jules has dedicated over 40 years of his life to public service in support of Aboriginal issues. He is a member of the Kamloops Indian Band and served as Chief from 1984 to 2000. Mr. Jules led the amendment to the Indian Act in 1988 so that First Nations could exercise the jurisdiction to levy property taxes on-reserve.


The Indian Taxation Advisory Board (ITAB) and the current First Nation property tax system were created as a result of his vision and efforts. Mr. Jules served as Chair of ITAB from 1989 to 2003 and 2005 to 2007. He was the driving force behind the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, passed by Parliament in 2005, creating the First Nations Tax Commission, where he currently serves as Chief Commissioner.


Mr. Jules was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from both the University of British Columbia in 1997 and Thompson Rivers University in 2006, the Order of British Columbia in 2009, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2013. Mr. Jules is also a member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame.

First Nations Tax Commission

Manny Jules

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Bill Henderson is a sole practitioner based in Toronto who practices law on behalf of several First Nations in Ontario and across Canada.  He has been representing First Nations since his call to the Ontario bar in 1982 in matters ranging from land claims, economic development projects, governance and litigation at all levels of the Ontario and Federal courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and various tribunals.

Since 1994, Bill has been an advisor to the Lands Advisory Board and to the Resource Centre in relation to the 1996 Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management, its subsequent amendments and implementation issues, and he continues in that role.

Legal Advisor to the LAB

William B. (Bill) Henderson

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Chief Dennis Meeches has served as a council member of the Long Plain Government for approximately 22 years. Under his leadership Long Plain has garnered national attention for its governance and corporate vision.

  • Council from 1988 to 1994

  • Chief from 1998 to 2009

  • Chief from 2013 to present

Chief Meeches was instrumental in the economic growth of Long Plain with their Arrowhead Development Corporation. Long Plain has won numerous economic awards locally, provincially and nationally under his leadership. He is the current President of the following Indigenous corporations.

  • Arrowhead Development Corporation

  • Tribal Council Investment Group

  • Treaty 1 Economic Development Corporation

As the Treaty 1 Spokeperson his current priorities are the creation of a Kapyong Treaty 1 Joint Reserve and settling the Long Plain 1916 Surrender Claim.

Chief Meeches is not only a community leader he is also an accomplished recording artist and well known throughout the powwow trail as an old style grass dancer & singer.

Long Plain First Nation

Chief Dennis Meeches

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Chief David Crate was 1s t elected to Council in 1985, and became Chief in 1989. Now in his 30th year, he has participated in numerous projects that have improved the community, these include the establishment of a Healing Centre, Water and Sewer Treatment facility, Fitness Centre, Community Hall, Motel, Fisher River High School, and most recently the Solar Energy Project.  Chief Crate was also involved in a joint venture project with the Province of Manitoba for the development of 88 cottage lots in Fisher Rive r. Focusing on long-term planning and community development, currently Chief Crate and council are implementing a 20-year community plan. This plan includes upgrading of local road infrastructure and drainages for the Fisher River Cree Nation community.

In August of 2011 and Aug 2016 Chief Crate brought the National Cree Gathering to his community of Fisher River Cree Nation. The Cree gathering highlighted Cree ceremonies, traditions, and teachings.


Chief Crate' s dedication to all Manitoba First Nation's (MFN) include his work chairing the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Gaming Committee, members or the Executive Council of Chiefs, Co-Chairing the MFNs Technology Council and the MFNs ICT Training Initiatives Inc.

 ln February 2012 he was appointed to the board of Manitoba Hydro. It was also in 2012 the Frontier Centre for Pub li c Policy ranked Chie f C rate' s community of Fis her River Cree Nation 6th in the Aboriginal governance index within the prairie provinces, and number one in Manitoba overall. ln June 2013, Chief Crate was appointed to the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development of Canada. In November 2013, Chief Crate’s community was approved to become a Borrowing Member of the First Nations Finance Authority. In 2017- 2018 he was appointed to the board of AFN Fiscal Relations Table, and also in 2018 he was appointed to the First Nations Infrastructure Institute.


Chief Crate was awarded with the Manitoba Crocus Award for Conservation for his work on the Fisher Bay Provincial Park and is also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal.  In November 2018 he received the Order of Canada Award for his leadership in promoting long term planning, facilitating partnerships that promote Economic Development initiatives, and improving Education opportunities.


Fisher River Cree Nation

Chief David Crate

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Gerry is from Dokis First Nation, located on the beautiful Upper French River.  He graduated from the Native Land Management Program at Cambrian College and began working for Dokis First Nation in 2003 as the Land Code Coordinator. In 2006, he joined the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association (NALMA) as the bilingual (French & English) Resource Officer and the Quebec/Labrador First Nations Coordinator.  Gerry returned home to Dokis First Nation in 2010 where he accepted the position of Consultation Coordinator. Since 2010, he led the passing of the Dokis Land Code, was the Ratification Officer for the Okikendawt Hydro Project and the Okikendawt Hydro Trust, was a Certified Verifier for the First Nation Land Management under the Framework Agreement and is frequently sought after as a resource by other First Nations to support them throughout their Land Code journey. Gerry is currently serving his second term as Chief of his community.


Dokis First Nation

LAB Director, Eastern Region

Chief Gerry Duquette Jr.

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Dr. Tim Raybould was educated at the University of Cambridge, receiving his Ph.D. in 1993.  His research focused on Aboriginal land rights and self-government. For over twenty-five years Tim has provided professional advice to First Nations and Indigenous organizations in Canada and has been directly involved in a number of Indigenous-led sectoral and comprehensive governance initiatives. Tim was Westbank First Nation’s self-government chief negotiator and remains active in title and rights issues for Westbank and the Okanagan Nation Alliance, including participating in reconciliation negotiations with the Crown.  He has been a senior advisor to the BC Assembly of First Nations and co-authored the BCAFN Governance Toolkit: A Guide to Nation Building. Tim is the senior policy advisor to the First Nations Finance Authority and was a part of the Tsawwassen First Nation’s treaty implementation team in respect of fiscal relations. He has worked with the First Nations Tax Commission, the Lands Advisory Board and the National Centre for First Nations Governance. Tim is an instructor for the Banff Centre Indigenous Leadership program and was a Professor of Practice at McGill University (the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada) from 2016-2018.


The KaLoNa Group

Dr. Tim Raybould

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Kiley Shebagegit lives in the heart of Treaty #3 territory on the shores of Lake of the Woods in Nestor Falls, Ontario.  Kiley has worked for Rainy River First Nations in lands, natural resources and environment for 16 years.  Currently the Lands and Natural Resources Coordinator, she oversees the management of not only reserve lands, but also fee simple lands that the First Nation has acquired through land claim settlement.  Having overseen the development of the Rainy River First Nations Land Use Plan in 2017, it went on to win the Award of Planning Merit in the Aboriginal Community and Development Planning category from the Canadian Institute of Planners in 2018.   

Kiley has her certificate in Indigenous Peoples Resource Management from the University of Saskatchewan and she graduated from Sault College in Sault Ste.  Marie, Ontario with double diplomas in Forestry and Integrated Natural Resource Management.  She is also a certified Aboriginal Lands Manager.

In her spare time, Kiley enjoys hunting and fishing on Lake of the Woods with her husband and daughter.

Lands and Natural Resources Coordinator

Rainy River First Nation

Kiley Shebagegit

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Dan is a community planner based in Winnipeg with experience in First Nations and municipal planning.  Dan attended the University of Manitoba where he was enrolled in the Master of City Planning program out of the Faculty of Architecture.  He also completed an honors degree at Carleton University in Ottawa for Political Science. 


Dan has worked with many First Nations throughout western Canada and Ontario on advancing their community, land use, infrastructure and economic development objectives.  This includes helping First Nations develop Comprehensive Community Plans (CCPs), Land Use Plans (LUPs), economic development strategies, land acquisition strategies, planning for urban land development projects (urban reserve planning), and governance related policies.  His work is rooted in the belief that aligning projects with the unique cultural, environmental, social and economic contexts and values of different First Nations is pivotal to ensuring a successful project and its future implementation.  Dan is passionate about developing relationships, helping build internal capacity and working collaboratively with First Nation communities.

Community Planner

Urban Systems

Dan Penner


Sierra Noble has been a well-known part of the Canadian music scene since a very young age, beginning her touring career when she was only 14 years old as a solo Old-Time fiddle player.  Her evolution as an artist brought her to trying her hand at singing and song writing debuted by a song called “Possibility” which went on to be featured on television shows such as “One Tree Hill” and “Switched at Birth.”  She credits that song to be what opened the door to her opening for international legends Bon Jovi, and Paul McCartney.


The First Nations Land Management Resource Centre is thrilled to have this local artist join us for our Conference in 2019!

Performing Artist

Sierra Noble

Chief Austin Bear
Meko Nicholas
Jessica Dumas
Jeff Frketich
Georgina Villeneuve
Dr. Stephen Cornell
Dr. Tim Raybould
Barry Porrelli
Shannin Metatawabin
Jean Paul Gladu
Chief Gordon Planes
Chief Scott McLeod
David S. J. Boisvert
Chief Christian Sinclair
Dr. Bob Kayseas
Brenda Holder
Tom Viesner
Chief Darcy Bear
Kelly Lendsay
Andrew Beynon
Chief Russell Chipps
Guy Lonechild
Chief Kelly LaRocca
Stephen Aronson
Manny Jules
Chief Dennis Meeches
Bill Henderson
Kiley Shebagegit
Dan Penner
Sierra Noble
Chief Gerry Duquette Jr.
Chief David Crate

More Speaker Bios to follow...

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