Confirmed to date | This page will be updated as the final speaker list is confirmed.

Manny Jules | Chief Commissioner FNTC

C.T. (Manny) Jules was the driving force behind the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (2005), which created the First Nations Tax Commission. He also led the amendment to the Indian Act (1988) which enabled First Nations to levy property taxes on designated lands.

The Indian Taxation Advisory Board (ITAB) and the current First Nation property tax system were created as a result. Mr. Jules served as Chair of ITAB from 1989-2003 and 2005-2007.

He served as Chief of the Kamloops Indian Band from 1984-2000. Mr. Jules has devoted over 30 years of his life to public service in support of Aboriginal issues. He received an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from the University of British Columbia (1997) and another from Thompson Rivers University (2006).

Harold Calla | Executive Chair FNFMB

Harold is a member of the Squamish Nation located in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

After many years of experience in international business, he worked with the Squamish Nation as a negotiator in the areas of economic development, land management and finance and served eight years on the Squamish Council.

He has also acted as an advisor and an arbitrator for First Nations in Western Canada.

Ernie Daniels | President & CEO FNFA

Ernie has been delegated authority by the Board of Directors to manage the business affairs of the FNFA. Ernie is a Certified General Accountant and a Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager. Ernie moved from Ottawa to Kelowna in fall 2011 to work with the FNFA as Director of Finance and was appointed President/CEO in June 2012.

Prior to coming to the FNFA, Ernie was President/COO of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada for 7 years and the Director of Assessment and Finance Operations at the Aboriginal Healing Foundation for 5 years. He has worked at a number of Aboriginal non-for-profit organizations in leadership and management positions. He was a member of the CICA Research Study Group looking at financial reporting by First Nations and has served as Chair of the NWT Legislative Assembly Society, Chair of the NWT Development Corporation and is a former Board member of the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB).

Robert Louie | Chairman LAB

Robert Louie, LL.B., OC, of Kelowna, B.C. is the former Chief of the Westbank First Nation. He is also the Chairman of the First Nations Lands Advisory Board and Chairman of Peace Hills Trust (Financial Institution). He served as a Board of Governor member with the University of British Columbia and as a member of the President’s Advisory Council of the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBC-O).

Robert Louie is also a former practicing lawyer who specialized in native law. Previously he was a member of a Task Group of the First Nations Summit, and was involved in B.C. treaty negotiations representing the Chiefs in B.C. for a period of 4 years.

Robert Louie has served on numerous other boards and advisory bodies, including the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board, First Nations Finance Authority Inc., All Nations Trust Company, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, United Native Friendship Society, and the Premiere’s Advisory Council of Aboriginal Affairs.

Robert Louie has been the recipient of many awards and recognitions over the years. By far the most prestigious, was his appointment as an Officer to the Order of Canada. More recently, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Okanagan College, the Queen’s 2nd Diamond Jubilee Medal and an Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership Award from Xerox Canada/Aboriginal Financial Officers Association. In February 2014, Robert Louie was presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Allan Claxton

Married to Wendy with 3 children and 2 step children and 10 grand children.

Chief of Tsawout First Nation for 20 years and currently serving my 5th term on council.

Served as Chair of the Chiefs Committee on Health nationally and co-chair of the Chiefs Health Committee regionally. Was also a member of the First Nations Fish Council for numerous years as well chair of many local boards and committees including the WSANEC SCHOOL BOARD.

Dr. André LeDressay

André has over 20 years of experience working with indigenous communities, organizations, and institutions. He has written numerous academic and consulting reports in his areas of expertise: building the legal, administrative, fiscal and institutional framework to support economic growth.

He is the Director of Fiscal Realities Economists, the Director of the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics and a professor at Thompson Rivers University. He co-authored a book which was nominated for the Donner Book Prize in 2010. He was the principal author of the Tulo Centre online textbook – Building a Competitive First Nation Investment Climate (2015). He has also authored the final chapter, Unlocking First Nation Wealth: Past Efforts & Future Opportunities, in a compilation entitled, Unlocking the Wealth of Indian Nations (2016) edited by Terry L. Anderson at Stanford University.

He has received a distinguished alumni award from Thompson Rivers University and a lifetime achievement award from the First Nations Tax Administrators Association. André holds a PhD in Economics from Simon Fraser University, a Masters of Applied Economics from the University of Victoria and an Honors degree in Math and Economics from the University of Regina.

Christian Sinclair | OPASKWAYAK CREE NATION

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

He was the co-founder of the Manitoba Indigenous Summer Games and the General Manager for the 2002 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. Today, there is a scholarship program, accessible to Manitoba’s Aboriginal youth, as a result of the legacy planning from the 2002 NAIG.

In 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.

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.

In 2016, Christian Sinclair was elected as Onekanew (Chief) for the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. Since then, Onekanew Christian Sinclair has been appointed as one of the co-chairs of a task force created to lead the process of implementing the Manitoba government’s Northern Economic Development Strategy. This task force works collectively with regional partners to engage in talks with northern stakeholders and communities and to identify and implement a sustainable plan for economic growth, and recently launched the website, www.looknorthmb.ca. Further, co-chairs the One North consortium in Manitoba. Recently appointed to the National Lands Advisory Board as the representative for Manitoba. Currently sits as Director for National Access Cannabis Corporation.

Chief David Jimmie

David Jimmie’s traditional name is Lenéx wí :ót which means, “he who works for the people”. David is the Chief and CEO of Squiala First Nation located in the traditional territory of the Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe in Chilliwack, BC. David is the President of the Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe representing 7 communities and is also a director on Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce.

David previously owned and operated David Jimmie Construction building 224 homes and 175 apartment units in Chilliwack and Westbank. He is currently working on a 600,000 square foot shopping center in Chilliwack and exploring new ventures to diversify revenue streams for Squiala First Nation.

David has a hunger to learn about life and education which led him to buy an around the world ticket in 2008, travelling to 19 countries in 1 year. He is a strong advocate for education and culture and is excited to be graduating this year from the Executive Masters in Business Administration program at Simon Fraser University.

Chief Leah D. George-Wilson | Tsleil-Waututh First Nation

Chief Leah D. George-Wilson (Sisi-ya-ama) is a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation (TWFN) located in North Vancouver.

She was the first woman to hold the office of Elected Chief for the TWFN, a position she held from 2001-2003 and 2005 – 2009.

Ms. George-Wilson previously worked for the TWFN for many years in various positions including member of the TWFN’s negotiating team in the BC Treaty Process, TWFN Self-Government Coordinator. and Director of the TWFN Treaty, Land and Resources Department.

Ms. George-Wilson’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Simon Fraser University. She is currently attending the University of British Columbia Law School.

She also sits on a number of boards including: the First Nations Lands Advisory Board, the Canadian Tourism Commission and the BC First Nations Health Council.

Ms. George-Wilson was elected in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and again in 2013 as co-chair, the 2 member administrative executive of the First Nations Summit. As co-chair, she deals with the administrative issues of the FNS and works with the First Nations Summit Task Group (FNS political executive) who are authorized by the Summit to carry out specifically-mandated tasks on issues related to treaty negotiations in BC. The Summit represents the majority of First Nations in BC on treaty related issues and other issues of common concern to First Nations.

Chief William (Billy) Morin IV | CHIEF OF ENOCH FIRST NATION / YES ALUMNI

Chief William (Billy) Morin was elected in 2015 as the youngest Chief in the modern history of Enoch Cree Nation – Maskekosihk.

Chief Morin has a diploma in Civil Engineering Technology and a Bachelor of Technology Management & Honorary Bachelor of Business Administration. He was previously employed with the Government of Alberta and City of Edmonton prior to coming back to his nation.

Since 2015, it has been Chief Morin’s goal to become a pillar of economic influence in the Edmonton Capital Region and diversify Enoch’s economy beyond the highly successful River Cree Resort – Alberta’s biggest Casino. Since 2015, Enoch has established the foundations for that vision by securing nearly $100 million dollars in external capital investment.

Chief Morin believes in the spirit of sharing and partnership – a principle of Treaty 6. Enoch enjoys meaningful relationships with all levels of government and the private sector. In addition, Chief Morin also is championing the return of Nehiyaw Cree traditions and language in Enoch. This also includes developing Enoch’s own laws to assert sovereignty and bring his people outside the injustice of the Indian Act.

Cris Stainbrook | Oglala Lakota

Cris Stainbrook, Oglala Lakota, has been working in philanthropy for 25 years and has been President of Indian Land Tenure Foundation since its inception in 2002. As the Foundation’s president, Stainbrook provides leadership, strategic direction, management, fundraising and policy oversight to the organization with an emphasis on the successful implementation of the Foundation’s mission. Before joining ILTF, Stainbrook spent 13 years at Northwest Area Foundation, where he held several positions. As program officer, he managed grant making programs in sustainable development, natural resource management, economic development and basic human needs. During his final four years with Northwest Area, he served as the community activities lead, overseeing a rapidly growing staff and implementing new programs aimed at developing community-directed plans.

Stainbrook was a founding member of Native Americans in Philanthropy and served on the board of directors for 11 years. He was also a founder and longtime advisory committee member of the Two Feathers Endowment of The Saint Paul Foundation. He currently serves on the board of the Minnesota Community Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation. In addition, he has served on a number of committees within the Council on Foundations and the Minnesota Council on Foundations. Stainbrook holds a bachelor of science from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in fisheries science from Oregon State University.

Dr. Daniel M. Millette

Daniel has worked on Indigenous land matters for approximately twenty-five years. He is Director of Planning and Readinesss with the Resource Centre. As a Registered Professional Planner, he works closely with dozens of communities and their Lands Managers, specializing in community engagement, land use planning, land policy development, land related economic development, and capacity building connected to land governance.

As a Registered Professional Archaeologist, he has focused on ancient Land Use Planning and de-colonization processes through new planning approaches. Daniel has taught courses such as Environmental Design History at the University of British Columbia, Indigenous Planning and Architectural History at Carleton University and Land Use Planning at Thompson Rivers University.

In addition to sitting on committees with the Canadian Institute of Planners, he is a board member of the Indigenous Place Making Council and the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada. As a hobby, he is currently completing a book on “The Indigenous Planning and Architectural Landscape of Canada.

Dalyn Bear

Dalyn Bear is currently elected leader and proud member of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation. Previous to serving as a Councillor, Dalyn was the Director of Lands and Taxation for WDFN. He is an active member on the Negotiation team for the Whitecap Self-Government Agreement and the Whitecap Dakota Treaty Implementation Agreement. He is also an Executive Board Director of the Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation (DDCDC) and First Nations Infrastructure Institution Development Board (FNII); Director on many boards for the WDFN, including the Dakota Dunes Resort & Hotel, and the Whitecap Development Corporation.

He holds a Business Administration Diploma; an Indigenous Peoples Resource Management Certificate from the University of Saskatchewan; National Aboriginal Land Managers Certification; First Nation Tax Administration Certificate from Thompson River University and is alumnus of the Governor General’s Leadership Conference.

Dillon Johnson | MBA, CAFM – President

Dillon Johnson is an MBA graduate from the Richard Ivey School of Business (University of Western Ontario) and has a BCom from the University of Victoria. Dillon received a Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) designation from the AFOA in February 2014.

Dillon is a member of the Sliammon First Nation, where he is currently serving his third consecutive term as an elected member of the Council. Dillon is also the Chair of the Finance Committee. When Dillon was elected to his first term with Sliammon Council, the First Nation’s government was facing remedial management due to administrative and financial troubles. Over the past four years, the First Nation has drastically improved its administration and finances to the point where Sliammon was able to achieve Financial Performance Certification from the First Nations Financial Management Board.

Howard E. Grant

Howard E. Grant was born and raised in the Musqueam community. He was one of the fortunate children who did not attend residential school, giving him the benefit of learning his culture, values and teachings from his elders in his everyday life. Mr. Grant is his family’s cultural speaker and is a historian and cultural leader of his extended family. As a result of this, Howard was given the honour by the elders of his extended family to carry the name qiyəplenəxʷ. A name known and respected throughout Coast Salish territories.

Mr. Grant is currently the Executive Director of the First Nations Summit (FNS). FNS is comprised of a majority of First Nations and Tribal Councils in British Columbia (BC),providing a forum to address issues related to Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty negotiations as well as other issues of common concern.

Mr. Grant is also a long serving member of Council from his home community of Musqueam, whose traditional territory once occupied much of what is now Greater Vancouver and surrounding areas. The primary Musqueam Reserve, Musqueam I.R. #2, is located at the mouth of the Fraser River in Vancouver.

Mr. Grant was previously employed as the Executive Director of the Musqueam Indian Band from 1992-1997. He also held senior management positions with the federal government (Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada DIAND now AANDC) from 1984-1992.

Jason Calla

Jason’s experience includes: community development plans, economic strategies and impact assessments, fiscal and tax advisory, and community consultation and outreach for First Nation governments and organizations. Jason is a member of the Squamish Nation.

Education:
London School of Economics and Political Science, London, England — M.Sc. (Econ), Regional and Urban Planning Studies
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC — Bachelor of Commerce (Urban Land Economics)

Ovide Mercredi

Ovide Mercredi is a Cree born in the northern community of Grand Rapids. He served his community as Chief of Misipawistik Cree Nation from 2005 to 2011. He was a councillor for three years after his terms as Chief.

A graduate of the University of Manitoba with a law degree, he practiced criminal law and later specialized in constitutional law as an advisor to Manitoba Chiefs. In 1989, he was elected Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations for Manitoba. He became a key strategist for the Assembly during the time of the Meech Lake Accord constitutional reform discussions. He also had a strong leadership role in helping to resolve the Oka Crisis in 1990.

Mercredi was elected as National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations in 1991. During his first term, he led the negotiations for the First Nations in the Charlottetown Accord. He was the national spokesperson for Treaties 1 to 11 from 2006 to 2014.

In addition to serving as a lawyer and politician, he co-authored “In the Rapids: Navigating the Future of First Nations” with Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond in 1993 and published a collection of poetry in 2015 called “My Silent Drum.” Mercredi has received honorary degrees from Bishops University, St Mary’s University, the University of Lethbridge and Athabaska University. He received the Order of Manitoba in 2005.

Shayla Point | BA, LLB, Market Development / Financial Administration Laws & Stakeholder Relations

Shayla leads the Market Development, Financial Administration Laws & Stakeholder Relations team.

Her team is responsible for managing the ongoing relationship between the FMB and its clients. Her team provides operational support to clients that wish to develop a Financial Administration Law.Her team is responsible for managing the ongoing relationship between the FMB and its clients. Her team provides operational support to clients that wish to develop a Financial Administration Law.

This team also maintains relationships with other stakeholders and First Nations organizations.

Suzanne Trottier | CFA, MBA

Suzanne leads the Capacity Development & Intervention team, which supports First Nations in building their financial management capacity.

Her team provides client support through tools and templates, workshops, tutorials, webinars and research that supports clients as they implement their financial management system.

Tania Solonas | Tse’Khene Nation

Tania Solonas is a member of the Tse’Khene Nation (People of the Rocks) & grew up in McLeod Lake, BC. Fostering positive community unity and sustainable growth for our children’s future.

She recently completed certificates in First Nations Applied Lands Management & Tax Administration at the Thompson Rivers University.

Passionate about helping move the community forward with sustainability in mind, Tania is the Land Management Officer for the McLeod Lake Indian Band.

She enjoys walking, hiking, being on the Tse’Khene Fire Department, various boards & committees, along with bringing her daughter to gymnastics, baseball and Girl Guides. Thankful for a loving family and being an active Steward of the Land.

Craig Brown | Chief Executive Director, Wasauksing First Nation

Craig Brown is a member of Wasauksing First Nation (WFN) and has been the Chief Executive Director of his home community since March 2014. During this time, the community has successfully ratified its Land Code, the Anishinabek Education System and also its own Constitution. Wasauksing recently became the 17th First Nation Government in Canada to receive its Financial Management System Certification from the FNFMB and is also in the process of implementing a 2019 property tax and property transfer tax regime to tax non-member interests on Wasauksing land through the authority of FMA.

Prior to joining WFN, Craig worked as the Band Manager for Shawanaga First Nation and also spent over 5 years with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as a Senior Advisor for Aboriginal Housing. As Senior Advisor, Mr Brown was responsible for managing the program delivery of the Section 95 Non-Profit Housing Program and all on-reserve renovation programs for the Ontario region. During the two years from 2009-2011, Craig was the CMHC Ontario lead for the management and delivery of CMHC’s Canada Economic Action Plan (CEAP) programs for which CMHC was awarded a Spirit of Excellence Award from the Ontario Federal Council for public service excellence.

Craig graduated with a BA (Hons) from Trent University’s Native Studies Program with a specialization in Native Management and Economic Development in 2001. In 2003, Craig attained his Master’s of Public Administration from Carleton University.

Dale C. Booth

Mr. Dale C. Booth is an expert in Infrastructure procurements, totalling over $5.5B in transactions, across all stages of their development. With more than 20 years of experience working with Aboriginal people, all levels of governments and in the construction industry, he is known as a visionary leader with special and tested talents for shaping productive, cooperative working environments by eliminating deficits and creating a successful corporate vision for the future. As a Business Development and Investment Principal in the Infrastructure and P3 market, Dale possesses the skill and expertise of a professional infrastructure transaction manager. He has an in depth understanding of oversight and management of the project, from conceptualization early with the client, through business case and procurement phases, commercial and financial close, culminating in the post contract management, the Principal must possess expert skill and knowledge in infrastructure and industry best practices domestically and internationally.

Dale has held senior positions within AANDC and the Assembly of First Nations; as the AFN Chief Executive Officer he demonstrated keen abilities in the areas of effective strategic planning, operational management, and financial management. Dale received a federal appointment to the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board in 2008. In the private sector, Dale joined P3 Advisors for three years and he gained considerable experience in P3 project development, procurement and First Nation’s economic development. Dale continued his development as an infrastructure and P3 specialist with PPP Canada Inc. Dale held positions as Principal in Business Development and in the Investment unit. Dale has had the opportunity to develop knowledge in P3 best practices domestically and internationally.

Dale is president of Innovation Seven Inc., a registered Aboriginal Business, located in Pikwakanagan, which is 100% First Nations owned and operated and is PSAB compliant.

Frederic Vicaire | BBA

Frederic is a Mi’gmaq from Listuguj located in the Gespe’gawa’gi territory (Gaspesie, Quebec) and is currently the Director General for the Micmacs of Gesgapegiag. He has been with the organization since 2015.

Prior to this, Frederic has worked for the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government in the areas of Finance and Economic Development. He has also worked for different national organizations including AFOA Canada.

Frederic’s fundamental approach to his work is “one brick at a time”. His commitment as the Director General is to ensure that the goals of community members in the Five Year Strategic Plan are implemented on an annual basis by Chief and Council, the organization continues to strive, build capacity from within, and continue to work towards being a self-sufficient, sustainable community.

Trenton Paul

Trenton Paul is the Director of Policy and Law Review for the First Nations Tax Commission (The FNTC is a shared governance First Nation public institution that provides regulatory support to over 180 First Nations that have established property taxation through the First Nations Fiscal Management Act or section 83 of the Indian Act). Mr. Paul is a member of the Maliseet Nation at Tobique in New Brunswick, and a graduate from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law.

Joining the FNTC in 2003, Mr. Paul is responsible for carrying out the Commission’s policy initiatives concerning the regulation and support of First Nation property taxation, as well as the Commission’s law development and technical review functions related to First Nation law-making under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act. This involves managing policy research and legal analysis, and working directly with First Nation governments, other governments, and other stakeholders in First Nation property taxation.

Before joining the FNTC, Mr. Paul spent several years working with the Assembly of First Nations in support of the AFN-Canada National Table on Fiscal Relations, and held several positions in the federal government dealing with national and regional First Nation fiscal governance matters.

Donna Morin

Donna Morin is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation located in Saskatchewan. She obtained her Certified Management Accountants professional designation in 1997. She has worked in First Nations governments for the last 15 years and gained much experience in financial management. She also has been part of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association since 1999 and continues to support this professional development organization that offers products and services to employees in Aboriginal organizations.

She is also proud to say that she received her Certified Aboriginal Manager which the designation from AFOA Canada. She is currently a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Chief Jason Henry | Kettle & Stony Point First Nation

Kettle Point is unceded territory located in southwestern Ontario along the south shore of Lake Huron. We are officially known as the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point. Stony Point is known as Aazhoodena (we will provide more information as this website develops). Our land base consists of approximately 1,096 hectares that accommodates an on-reserve population of 2,108 persons.

Kettle Point is named for its unusual spherical rock formations that erode from the underlying shale beds along the shore of Lake Huron. These rock formations known as “kettles” are unique to only three locations within the entire world.

It is the uniqueness of this First Nation that makes the preservation of the Kettle Point lands a high priority, not only for its “kettles”, but for the first people’s of this community and for the future generations to come.

Melissa Bryan

Melissa Bryan is a Mi’gmaq from Gesgapegiag located on the traditional territory of Gespe’gawa’gi territory (Gaspesie, Quebec).

Upon completing her Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and minor in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts in the United States, she returned to Gesgapegiag with the intentions of helping her community prosper and grow.

Since then, Melissa is responsible for the coordination of policy development, the implementation of Gesgapegiag’s Financial Administration Law, strategic planning, annual integrated planning amongst departments, and more specifically coordinating the process of attaining their Financial Management System Certification through the Financial Management Board (FMB).

Chief Dennis Meeches

Dennis has been in office for 22 years and 16 of those as the Chief of Long Plain. He has worked tirelessly for his people in the pursuit of economic sovereignty and Long Plain has made significant progress in this area. He is the current president of 3 major Indigenous Corporations of which are (1) Arrowhead Development Corporation owned by Long Plain (2) Tribal Council Investment Group owned by 7 Tribal Councils and (3) Treaty One Development Corporation owned by Treaty One First Nations.

He has also had a seat on the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association for a period of 3 years. LP is not only a leader in governance but is also recognized has a leader in accountability and transparency. ‘Indigenous economic sovereignty is improving our standard of living and we will continue to push hard for our rightful place in the economy of Canada’

Don Morin

A proud member of the Enoch Cree Nation (ECN) who is currently serving his community in a few capacities; as Senior Manager for the Economic Development Department and as CEO of the River Cree Development Corporation. Don first experienced the business calling while playing Collegiate Hockey for the Georgian Grizzlies in Barrie Ontario. Unfortunately, injuries limited his hockey career forcing him to move back home to recuperate. Once home he decided to complete his education being awarded a Business Management Diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Don began his professional career as a Business Loans Manager with the Royal Bank of Canada. After two and a half years while gaining valuable experience, he chose to work for First Nation Communities as first, a lender with the Alberta Indian Investment Corporation (AIIC), then working his way through the ranks to the General Manager of the same company. Nearing thirteen years with the AIIC, Don was recruited by his home community to head up the Economic arm of the ECN.

Having a love for his home community, Don agreed to work for the ECN and has been doing so for the past thirteen plus years. Not only does he run the two of the major economic arms of the ECN, his background in Finance has proven to be a valuable commodity to serve the community. Don has been a valuable team player for the ECN leading several Economic Initiatives as the community strives towards economic self-sufficiency!

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