NOTE: Speakers and bios will be updated here in the weeks and days leading up to the 2022 National Meeting.

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 Calla serves as the Executive Chair of the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB). As one of three institutions created under the Fiscal Management Act, FMB supports First Nations economic development by increasing access to capital markets and providing capacity development support to First Nations in the areas of financial administration law development, and optional certification of financial performance and governance systems.

A member of the Squamish Nation, Harold returned from many years focused on international business, to serve 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.

He was instrumental in the development of the First Nations Land Management Act, First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA), First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA), and the First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act. These optional legislative pieces allow First Nations on a sectorial basis the ability to move out from under the Indian Act.

Harold serves as the Executive Chair of the First Nations Financial Management Board, one of three fiscal institutions created under the FMA to support First Nations economic development, by supporting First Nations efforts to access the capital markets and by providing capacity development support to First Nations in the areas of financial administration law development and certification of their financial performance and financial management systems.

Harold is a member of the Board of Directors of Trans Mountain Corporation, as well as a member of the Joint Assembly of First Nations-Indigenous Services Canada Committee on Fiscal Relations. He is a former member of the Board of Fortis BC Inc. where he was the Chair of the Audit Committee. He has also completed terms on the Boards of CMHC, Partnerships BC and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.

Harold is a recipient of numerous awards in recognition of excellence in leadership. In particular, the C.G.A. Association of Canada celebrating their 100th year in 2008 recognized Harold as one of 100 CGA’s who, in their view, over the 100 years have made a difference. In August 2012 Harold was also awarded a fellowship by the C.G.A. Association of Canada. Harold is also a member of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association and has been awarded the designation of Certified Aboriginal Financing Manager (CAFM).

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.


First Nations Leading the Way National Meeting is open to First Nations who are currently scheduled on the First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA), taxing under s.83 of the Indian Act, signatories to the Framework Agreement on First Nations Land Management (FA) or First Nations who have submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) for 10-Year Grants.

Please note that delegates will need to be approved by the First Nations Leading the Way 4 Planning Committee.

Geordie Hungerford | Chief Executive Officer, CFA, CAIA, MBA, LLB

Geordie is a Gwich’in (Northwest Territories and Yukon).

As CEO, Geordie provides leadership on implementing the strategic direction of FMB set by the Board of Directors, while overseeing staff and their work.

He brings deep experience in finance and financial law, with experience as a securities regulatory lawyer, financial tribunal Chair and CEO, management consultant and investment banker. He has also practiced Aboriginal and corporate law at a national law firm, driven economic development initiatives for the Gwich’in Nation, and represented the Gwich’in Nation in international Arctic economic development forums. He has initiated and led Indigenous networking and Reconciliation and UNDRIP policy development initiatives at the Canadian Bar Association (BC and National).

Geordie holds an MBA and an MA (East Asian Studies/Chinese) from Stanford University, an LLB from UBC, and an electrical and computer engineering degree from Queen’s University. He is a CFA Charterholder, CAIA Charterholder and an Action Canada Fellow. Geordie is a member of CFA Canada’s Canadian Advisory Committee for investment policy and a member of the Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting in Canada, which is reviewing audit and sustainable standards governance and oversight for Canada.

Melanie Assiniwe | CPA, CA

Melanie Assiniwe, Director of Capacity Development and Intervention (CDI) with the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB), brings a wealth of experience in accounting and leadership to her role at FMB. Raised in Wiikwemkoong, she understands Indigenous traditions and values and incorporates these teachings into her daily work. As an Anishnaabe-kwe, Melanie strives to live by the Seven Grandfather Teachings in all aspects of her work, as they guide all decisions on how to help her people across Turtle Island.

Building and advancing relationships with First Nations are top priorities for Melanie, along with collaborating with Tribal Councils, Non-profit organizations, and government partners. Her dedication to an open and collaborative approach has helped implement and inform Indigenous finance and governance decision-making, and form agreements to reflect best practices and Indigenous principles.

With Melanie’s direction, the CDI team supports First Nations on their journey to achieve Financial Management Systems (FMS) Certification. The CDI team provides capacity development, training and guidance in financial management systems, human resources, and information management.

Murray Long | Director, Self-Government, Whitecap Dakota First Nation

Murray currently works at Whitecap Dakota First Nation, 30 kilometres south of Saskatoon. As Director of Self-Government, he is responsible for leading negotiations on a Whitecap Self-Government Agreement and reports to Chief and Council. He also supports Chief and Council on intergovernmental relations, including meetings with federal and provincial officials and leaders. He has held this position since November 2010.

Murray worked with the Federations of Saskatchewan Indian Nations for 12 years, beginning in 1998. His work in the Treaty Governance Office originally focussed on the FSIN’s Common Table for self-governance processes. He was responsible for coordinating the Fiscal Relations Table, and sat at the negotiations sessions of both the Fiscal Relations Table and Governance Table, as well as at the FSIN-Canada Treaty Table. He has worked with the FSIN Chief’s Office on economic development initiatives and on intergovernmental issues such as the Aboriginal Round Table, Kelowna Accord and First Ministers Meetings.

Murray also served as a sessional lecturer from 2004 to 2011 with the Department of Political Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, teaching Aboriginal Policy.

Murray obtained a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Victoria in 1992, following his B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan. He has worked in the past with the provincial (British Columbia) and federal levels of government. He is originally from a farm south of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. He now enjoys life on an acreage near Saskatoon with his wife, Donna, his two awesome kids, a cat, a dog, some seasonal chickens, and a few thousand bees.

Lorne Gelowitz | Saskatoon Police Service (Ret’d), Chief Executive Officer Commissionaires North Saskatchewan

MLorne Gelowitz was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Division in January, 2019. Lorne began his career with the Commissionaires in 2015 as Vice President and was responsible for Operations in Saskatoon, Prince Albert, North Battleford, and La Ronge directing close to 1100 employees. He also represented the Division on National Office Committees including the National Business Working Group, Business Development Network, and Communications Network.

Lorne brings over 31 years of proven leadership experience from his distinguished career with the Saskatoon Police Service. Before retiring he was the Detective Staff Sergeant in charge of the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) where he was responsible for criminal operations, staffing, and budgeting for 10 Units within the Police Service. Lorne has served on numerous local and provincial committees where he participated in the development of strategies to respond to emerging issues related to public safety and security.

Lorne attended the University of Saskatchewan where he achieved a B.A. Adv. Degree majoring in both Political Science and Sociology. He has also obtained his Strategic Management in Policing Certification, Senior Police Administration, and has obtained both the General and Advanced Certification in Police Studies. In addition, Lorne is also an alumnus of the Leadership Saskatoon Program which develops the enhancement of leadership competencies. He also has recently successfully completed the Disney Institute of Leadership Excellence Program.

Lorne has received several awards through his leadership and community involvement. These include the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, The Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal, the Saskatoon Volunteer of the Year Award, The University of Saskatchewan Alumni Humanitarian Award, The Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, as well as several Law Enforcement Exemplary Service Awards, including the prestigious Chief of Police Award of Excellence. In addition, Lorne was a finalist in the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police “Canadian Top Cop Award”.

Lorne has a long history of working with Saskatchewan’s First Nation communities on community initiatives and programs which has resulted in many successful initiatives. Lorne’s most recent involvement with Whitecap Dakota First Nation has led to provincial incentives which can lead to years of further development and progress.

Additionally, Lorne was heavily involved in community activities for decades which included the Canada Remembers Air Show which saluted our Veterans, and has held senior executive positions within the Law Enforcement Torch Run In Support of Special Olympics, and with the Law Enforcement Guardians where through his leadership he was awarded the distinguished Kennedy Foundation’s highest award inducting him into the International Law Enforcement Hall Of Fame.

His memberships include the Saskatoon Police Association, the Saskatoon and Saskatchewan Chambers of Commerce, the North Saskatoon Business Association, and the Royal Canadian Air Force Association 602 Lynx Wing.

With Lorne’s strong leadership, strategic planning, law enforcement experience, education, commitment to personal self development, and extensive community involvement, he brings an impressive resume to his role as Chief Executive Officer. Through his passion for operational excellence, the North Saskatchewan Division’s mandate to ensure that they continue to establish the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires as the industry’s standard of excellence for security services will be secure for decades to come.

Lorne is married to Deidre, and they have two children both of whom are married and are the proud parents of their new grandchildren. Lorne enjoys travel, golf, time with family and friends, and his new role as grandfather.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu | Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario

The Honourable Patty Hajdu was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North in 2015. She has previously served as Minister of Health, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Minister of Status of Women.
Minister Hajdu is a strong advocate for women’s rights, youth employment, and affordable housing.

Before entering politics, Minister Hajdu was the Executive Director of Shelter House Thunder Bay and a co-author of the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy. She also previously worked in public health and focused on drug policy, youth development, and homelessness.

She is a compassionate advocate for Thunder Bay—Superior North and all of Canada, believing that a more inclusive country benefits everyone. As Member of Parliament, she remains firmly focused on ensuring every Canadian has a fair shot at success.

Minister Hajdu is a graduate of Lakehead University and earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Victoria.

The Honourable Marc Miller | Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

The Honourable Marc Miller was first elected in 2015 as the Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Sœurs, in Montréal. He has previously served as Minister of Indigenous Services.

Before entering politics, Minister Miller was a practising lawyer. He specialized in mergers and acquisitions, with a focus on international and commercial law, and worked in Montréal, Stockholm, and New York City. Previously, he served as an infantry soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Minister Miller made history in 2017 when he delivered a statement in the House of Commons entirely in Mohawk, marking the first time the language had been spoken in either the House of Commons or Senate since Confederation. He has also been a forceful advocate for increased federal investment in affordable housing, public transit, and the Canada Child Benefit.

Minister Miller has been involved in several charitable and pro bono legal initiatives. He has also authored articles on constitutional and human rights law.

Minister Miller is a graduate of the Université de Montréal, where he earned Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science. He also graduated from McGill University with degrees in Common Law and Civil Law.

Minister Miller was born and raised in Montréal.

Corrina Keeling | Graphic Recording Artist

Corrina is a multidisciplinary artist, and uses their creative work to support complex conversations about power and equity, justice and accountability, and liberation and belonging. They are a queer settler who lives on the territory of the səlil̓wətaʔɬ, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm & Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people, and their relationship to place informs all their work. They are delighted that through their illustration and graphic recording practice, they have had the opportunity to be of service to deeper listening and elevating voices of lived experience in overdose prevention, cycles of incarceration, climate justice, grassroots organizing and land defense, and in centering racial, indigenous, gender, queer. and disability justice in health, education, STEM fields, and policy at all levels of government, including First Nations jurisdiction.

They are most passionate about processes that invite people into embracing the kind of discomfort that’s necessary for healing and real change, and is constantly curious about how engaging with art and creativity can equip us with the skills that are needed to face that discomfort and work together more meaningfully. They aim for their practice to prioritize decolonization, deep listening, cultural safety, and giving equal voice to the brilliance of both the head and the heart.

Jody Anderson | Associate Director of Member Services, FNFA

Jody is Anishinaabe kwe from Treaty 3 and a proud member of Couchiching First Nation. As the Business Development Manager in Ontario, Jody is responsible for building and advancing relationships with First Nations who are pursuing development and prosperity for their communities. Her role is to educate and advocate the mandate and services offered by the FNFA and to act as the liaison for First Nations clients throughout the province.

She has attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program and is a Business Administration graduate from Fleming College with a focus in Human Resources Management. She has also received her Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator (CAPA) designation from AFOA Canada.

Prior to joining the FNFA, Jody worked with AFOA Canada for 13 years leading the public relations and marketing department. In this capacity, Jody witnessed the correlation between financial literacy and community development across Canada. She has a keen interest in the advancement and recognition of Indigenous professionals and their communities.

She recognizes the importance of reconciliation and providing sustainable solutions to meet the current and future needs of communities.

In her spare time, Jody volunteers with various community initiatives, boards and loves being active with her family. She currently resides in Ottawa with her husband and two sons.

Angie Derrickson | Westbank First Nation

Angie Derrickson is a member of Westbank First Nation, located in south central British Columbia, Canada.

After graduation she began building her career at Westbank First Nation, starting in Administration, then moving to Intergovernmental Affairs as a researcher and GIS technician, and eventually to Senior Lands Officer from 2000 to 2010, where she also completed her Professional Lands Management Certification at the University of Saskatchewan.

Through her role at Westbank First Nation and her commitment to her community, Angie participated in many governance initiatives and implementation activities of the WFN Self‐ Government Agreement, including community working groups, treaty negotiations, land acquisition, land code development, law development and land registry system.

From 2010 to 2013, Angie joined the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations as the Policy Analyst where she examined provincial and federal policy, programs and legislative initiatives that affect the rights, title and interests throughout BC and Canada. She also continued to promote awareness of community governance initiatives by contributing to the development and delivery of Parts 1, 2, 3 of the BCAFN Governance Toolkit; providing support to First Nations to conduct governance self‐assessments and develop community engagement tools.

In June 2013, Angie joined the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre where she supports signatory First Nations under the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management where she continues to develop her skills by achieving an Associate Certificate in Training and Facilitation at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and continues to support strategic approaches for Training, Mentorship and Professional Development for Land Management across Canada.

Jesse James | Peguis First Nation

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

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

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

Tewanee Joseph | CEO, TCG Inc.

Tewanee Joseph is a member of the Squamish First Nation and is half Maori. He served eight years on the Squamish Nation Council and has a talent for facilitation and coordinating diverse groups to identify and achieve their goals. He has utilized his skills to work on a broad range of initiatives including First Nations federal legislation, First Nations Land Management, Economic Development, Brand Development, Strategic Communications and Governance.

Previously, Tewanee served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Four Host First Nations Secretariat for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Tewanee has worked with the Organizing Committee and its partners to ensure unprecedented Aboriginal participation in the planning, hosting and staging of the 2010 Games. In this role, he spearheaded the largest re-brand of Aboriginal people in Canadian history, and led the team that overcame countless obstacles and doubt to create a world renowned brand, and a new model for inclusivity.

This project resulted in $200 Million dollars of spending, contracting and investment, 4,000 jobs, over 10,000 earned media stories, and the largest inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in an Olympic Opening Ceremonies ever; viewed by approximately 3.5 billion people.

Since 2010, Mr. Joseph has shared experiences and advised on the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, TO2015 (Toronto Pan American and ParaPan Games), with the Lheildi T’enneh First Nation on the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George as well as the Canada Rugby 7s in Vancouver. He has also worked with some of Canada’s largest brands advising on First Nations engagement, business development and inclusivity.

Dr. André LeDressay | PhD Economics – SFU

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.

Trenton Paul | Director of First Nation Engagement, Law/By-Law Support and Technical Review

Trenton Paul is the Director of First Nation Engagement, Law/By-Law Support and Technical 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.

Chief Trevor Makadahay | Doig River First Nation

Chief Trevor Makadahay has recently been re-elected for a fourth term as Chief of Doig River First Nation. Prior to being Chief of Doig River, he was a band councillor in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

When not on council, he has been employed in the oil and gas and transportation sector including owning and operating his own business, Renegade Construction successfully for many years. Chief Makadahay was involved in the establishment of the Nation’s Lands and Resources Department in its early days as its first Lands Manager.

Chief Makadahay is committed to working with government and industry to protect treaty rights and the environment while fully participating in the local economy. The Chief is active on the land base, spending his free time on the land, hunting, trapping and using his cabin with his family and community members.

Shona Nelson | Band Manager, Doig River First Nation

Shona Nelson is the Band Manager for Doig River First Nation. With over twenty years’ experience working with or for the Treaty 8 First Nations, she has committed her career to improving the communities’ governance and administration for the benefit of the band membership. For the past eight years working with Doig River Chief and Council, she has built a team of staff that have moved the Nation from dependence on government to being awarded the 2017 AFOA Community of Excellence in Leadership, Management & Administration. Key to the Nation’s success has been the focus of grassroots member engagement in community planning and decision-making and asserting the Nation’s jurisdiction on the land base. Her commitment to social justice and economic independence has and continues to inspire and motivate her each day in her work with the Nation.

Shona is a mother of two children, and a life-long learner who possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, is an AFOA Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator and is currently completing a Certificate in First Nations Applied Economics at the Tulo Centre with Thompson Rivers University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Victoria.

Andrew Beynon | Director, Land Code Governance – LAB

Andrew Beynon has over thirty years experience working on First Nation lands and self-government. Andrew has worked on land development, environmental protection, environmental assessments, additions to reserve and treaty land entitlement, economic development, specific claims, federal-provincial agreements, optional self-government legislation, taxation, infrastructure projects, reform of federal funding agreements, work with First Nations drafting laws and many other areas.

Andrew was Canada’s lead lawyer on the Nisga’a treaty and has considerable experience with negotiations as well as drafting and has appeared on numerous occasions before Parliamentary Committees. Andrew is one of the authors of “Modern First Nations Legislation Annotated”, a legal publication which includes a chapter dealing with the Framework Agreement and the federal legislation which ratifies the Framework Agreement.

Andrew is married with two “kids” in post secondary studies. Andrew has no time for his wide range of hobbies and interests which range from eternal home renovations to collecting vintage JBL studio monitors originally used by Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, to studying the history of the Nixon administration, as well as to international soccer and playing golf rarely, but always badly.

Jason Calla | M.Sc. (Econ), Regional and Urban Planning Studies

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.


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)

Allan Claxton | Councillor, Tsawout First Nation

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.

William Prince | Juno winning singer-songwriter

Canadian country-folk singer/songwriter William Prince rose to national attention in 2015 thanks to the grassroots success of his critically acclaimed debut album Earthly Days. A member of the Peguis First Nation near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Prince is also a part-time member of the indigenous rock group Indian City, with whom he recorded and performed prior to his solo success.

Born in Selkirk, Manitoba, and raised on the Peguis First Nation, Prince counts Chief Peguis as a direct ancestor. His father was a preacher and a musician, and many of Prince’s first musical experiences are rooted in playing alongside his father in church. A music lover with diverse tastes, his adolescent years were spent playing in various rock bands, even going through a screamo phase before settling into his role as an acoustic singer/songwriter.

Taking influence from country icons like Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson, Prince eventually left his pre-med courses in Winnipeg and devoted himself to writing songs and gigging. In the ten years leading up to his debut, he made a handful of attempts at recording, though nothing ever panned out. Along the way he took part in the collaborative First Nations rock group Indian City, fronted by Vince Fontaine, and kept writing his own songs.

In 2015, with the help of producer Scott Nolan, Prince finally recorded his debut album, Earthly Days, in an intensive ten-day session. Framing his relaxed baritone in a warmly captured, organic country-folk framework, the independently released album took on a life of its own, earning Prince two Juno Award nominations, a pair of Canadian Folk Music Award nominations, and an Aboriginal Artist of the Year award at the Western Canadian Music Awards. He even earned the admiration of Canadian songwriting greats Neil Young and Bruce Cockburn after performing Cockburn’s song, “Stolen Land,” at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017.

A deal with Glassnote Records allowed for a 2018 reissue of Earthly Days, which included an alternate version of his song “Breathless,” re-recorded in Nashville with producer Dave Cobb. The deal with Glassnote also produced a sophomore effort for Prince: entitled Reliever, the Canadian musician’s second set took a therapeutic approach to the genre, self-described as a “testament to resilience.” Previewed with singles “The Spark” and “Always Have What We Had,” the full-length saw release in January 2020.

Meko Nicholas | Executive Director, First Nations Lands Management Resource Center

Meko Nicholas is the Executive Director of the First Nations Lands Management Resource Centre and is Welastekokewin (Maliseet) from the Neqotkuk (Tobique) First Nation in New Brunswick.

He has been working to support the development, finalization and fulfillment of the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management for the past 23 years.

Chief Willie Sellars | Williams Lake First Nation

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.

Melissa MacDonald | Lands Officer, Membertou

• MBA in Community Economic Development
• Completed Professional Lands Management Certification Program in 2020
• Employed with Membertou for over sixteen years in various departments such as Human Resources, Employment and Training and most recently as Lands Officer
• Lands Officer since October 2019

Chief William (Billy) Morin IV | Enoch Cree Nation

Chief Billy Morin (Nahtokitopi – Rides a Sacred Horse) was newly elected to the responsibility of Chief in August 2015. Chief Morin is a fifth generation direct decedent of Chief Alexis Morin and fourth-generation decedent of his Son Chief William (Billy) Morin I. He shares two sons (William Morin V & Wilton Morin) with his wife Felecia.

Characterized by youth and education, Chief Morin is the youngest Chief in the modern history of Enoch Cree Nation. Having achieved a diploma in Civil Engineering Technology and a Bachelor of Technology Management from NAIT; it is his hope that many youth of Enoch take a similar educational journey in order to better serve the Nation and its people. Championing Enoch Cree Nation’s new strategic direction – “Investing In Our Future To Protect Our Past”

Morin supports the following strategic priorities:
• Creating a new governance structure away from the Indian Act towards sovereignty
• Financial Transparency and Accountability
• Long-term community planning in Land Use, Health, Housing and Infrastructure
• Life Long learning and education as a primary value amongst membership
• Traditional Cree Culture Language and Ceremony revival
• Empowerment of Enoch’s people – moving them away from dependency

The Honourable Harry Slade

Justice Slade was admitted to the Bar of British Columbia in 1974. His primary area of practice as a lawyer was Aboriginal Law. He has extensive experience in Specific Claims negotiation, including the British Columbia cut-off land claims. He was active in the litigation of Aboriginal law issues, including representation of national and provincial First Nations organizations on interventions before the Supreme Court of Canada in seminal cases concerned with S. 35, Constitution Act, 1982. His work included intergovernmental relations among First Nations, Canada and Provinces, including Treaty processes, self-government initiatives, and commercial development of reserve lands. As a lawyer, Justice Slade also worked with First Nations on ventures in forestry, fishing, and energy resource development. He practiced law at Ratcliff & Company, a North Vancouver, British Columbia, law firm with an extensive aboriginal and environmental law practice.

Justice Slade was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1998 and became a Justice of the British Columbia Supreme Court in March 2001.
The Governor in Council initially appointed Justice Slade to the Specific Claims Tribunal as a Tribunal Member on November 26, 2009. He was appointed Chairperson on December 11, 2010. When Justice Slade volunteered, the Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court nominated him for reappointments. He has since been re-appointed Chairperson for two consecutive five-year terms, the most recent of which commenced on December 11, 2015 and ended on December 11, 2020.

Vicky Blake | Finance Manager, Temagami First Nation

Vicky Blake is the Finance Manager for Temagami First Nation (TFN), a position she has held since 2010. She is a citizen of the Teme-Augama Anishnabai (Deep Water People) and has worked for TFN in various financial roles since 2001. She graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and has work experience in mining exploration and Geographic Information Systems.

Vicky lives on Bear Island with her husband and daughter and is the proud mother of four children.

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

Shayla Point, is a member of the Musqueam Indian Band, located in Vancouver, BC.

As a Director, Shayla leads the Market Development, Laws & Stakeholder Relations team. She joined the FMB in 2011 and has been honored to support First Nations across Canada.

She brings extensive experience working with First Nations from her practice as an associate lawyer at an aboriginal law firm in Vancouver. Her practise area included economic development initiatives, aboriginal rights and title claims, consultation negotiations, and government negotiations.

She leads her team to engage with First Nations to promote the First Nations Fiscal Management Act and to support First Nations to develop their own financial administration laws.

Shayla holds BA (Psychology) and a LLB from the University of British Columbia. She is currently enrolled in the Executive MBA program at Simon Fraser University studying Indigenous Business and Leadership.

Her passion is to support First Nations in their pursuits of social and economic development.

Trenton Paul | Director, FNTC Policy & Law Review

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.

Cheryl Knockwood | Governance Coordinator, Membertou FN

Cheryl Knockwood is an L’nu and proud citizen of the Mi’kmaw Nation. She grew up within the Sikniktuk District of Mi’kma’ki and currently resides in the Unama’ki District of Mi’kma’ki with her partner Candice and their family. For 13 years, Cheryl worked as a senior policy analyst with the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs, where she gave strategic advice in areas such as fisheries, environment, treaty education and economic development to the Mi’kmaw, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy chiefs and communities.

Since 2010, Cheryl has been the governance coordinator for Membertou, Nova Scotia, where her role is to engage the community in the development of laws in relation to lands and citizenship. Cheryl has also been an instructor at Cape Breton University and taught the following topics: Aboriginal and Treaty rights, Governance, Indigenous economic development and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In 2015, Cheryl was appointed to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and since June of 2019 has served as the Chair.

Trevor Bernard | Executive Director, Membertou FN

Trevor is a graduate of Cape Breton University and the University of British Columbia. After earning his Bachelor of Laws at UBC, he began his career with the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs and later, the Union of Nova Scotia Indians.

While with the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, Trevor received his call to the Nova Scotia Bar. Shortly thereafter he joined Membertou in November 2004, first serving as Associate General Legal Counsel and then becoming Executive Director in April 2005.

Trevor is responsible for overseeing Membertou’s government programs and counsels Membertou on issues ranging from employment law and contracts to land matters. He is also a member of Membertou’s Finance and Audit Committee, Executive Committee and chairs its Management Committee.

Don Morin | Senior Business Analyst, FNFA

Don joined the FNFA as a Senior Business Analyst. This role involves strategically nurturing and strengthening mutually beneficial relationships with First Nations Governments and key project stakeholders; completing complex financial analysis of communities seeking membership and borrowing from the FNFA.

Don is from Treaty 6 Territory and is a member of the Enoch Cree Nation located on the west boundary of the City of Edmonton. Don is a business Graduate from the Northern Alberta institute of Technology (NAIT).

He has over 30 years of experience in First Nations Business and Economic Development Financing.

His professional career began with the Royal Bank of Canada providing both personal and commercial loans, while also being a licensed mutual funds salesman for 2.5 years. He then spent 13 years employed at the Alberta Indian Investment Corp (an Aboriginal Financial Institution) in various roles with the last 6 as its General Manager. More recently he was the Manager of Enoch Cree Nation Economic Development for 15.5 years. He also was CEO of Enoch’s for-profit Corporate sector while serving as a member of Enoch’s Treasury / Finance Committee for 14 years.
Throughout his career he has provided approximately 500 business loans and has also developed /assisted in numerous successful businesses.

NAIT Business graduate

First Nations Business / Economic Development
First Nations Financing – Nation and Business

Chief Derek Epp | Tzeachten First Nation

Ey Swayel, my Xwelmexw (traditional) name is Weli’leq, my given name is Derek Epp. I am the Chief of Tzeachten First Nation which is a part of the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe and the Stó:lō Nation. My parents are Bruce and Sheree Epp; my Grandparents are Georgina Pall and the late Lorne Robinson; my great grandparents are the late Duncan and Dorothy Wealick. I am a proud descendent of the Wealick family and honoured to walk with the Xwelmexw name Weli’leq while serving Tzeachten First Nation. I have been fortunate enough to live on Tzeachten First Nation since I was two years old which has given me the ability to see firsthand the positive impacts that progressive economic development can have on our community’s ability to achieve financial sustainability while meeting the needs of our community.

During my educational journey I was able to achieve my Diploma in Social Services while specializing in First Nations studies. I used that diploma to further my education and complete a Bachelors in Social Work. I decided to use my education to serve my community by working with Xyolhemeylh (Fraser Valley Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society). While serving my tenure at Xyolhemeylh I was asked to run for Chief of Tzeachten First Nation. After successfully being elected as Chief I stepped down from my position at Xyolhemeylh.

Since serving Tzeachten as Chief I have embarked on my next step in my education journey which is focused on business and administration. I have completed the Aboriginal Management Program at the University of British Columbia and I am currently enrolled in the Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrators program through the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association with the eventual goal of completing a Masters in Business Administration. While serving as Chief of Tzeachten I have been able to expand my knowledge of economic development by involving myself in various Boards within Chilliwack, the province and nationally. These include but aren’t limited to:

• Chair of Shxw Kwimel Cha Management Ltd – Tzeachten First Nations Economic Development Board of Directors
• Chair of the First Nations Finance Authority’s Audit Committee
• Board member for the First Nation Finance Authority
• Vice President of Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe’ Management Limited
• Board member of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce
• Board member of Seven Generations Environmental Services

I am an advocate for all forms of economic development, which includes taxation, as I see this as the path forward for our communities, tribes and nations to achieve the goal of financial independence.

Chief Evan Taypotat | Kahkewistahaw First Nation

Chief Evan Taypotat has been leading Kahkewistahaw First Nation since he was elected in 2017. The recent extension of his term (and the entire council’s) by acclamation speaks to the dedication, heart, and energy he brings to leadership. Leading the nation on a path to wellness and success has been his greatest honour.

Before his political career, Chief Taypotat was the Principal of Chief Kahkewistahaw Community School for four years. During his time as principal, he helped foster a safe, caring, and fun climate for all Hurricanes to learn and work.

Chief Taypotat attributes his time as an Infantry Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces as helping to develop his leadership skills. As an active member of the forces from 2007-2013, Taypotat went from an Officer Cadet in 2007 to an Infantry Platoon Commander in 2012 when he achieved the rank of Captain. The pinnacle of Captain Taypotat’s career was serving in Afghanistan in 2011. He served for 7 months in war torn Afghanistan and came back humbled and appreciative of what we have in Canada. A memorable experience during his time in the forces was helping an injured soldier and his family navigate and return safely from Afghanistan and Germany. It taught him the importance of patience and humility in leaders. Capitan Taypotat retired from the Canadian Forces in 2013 and is a proud alumnus to Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry!

Chief Taypotat completed his Bachelor of Education in 2005 at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon and went on to teach elementary school on his home First Nation. In May 2018, he received his Master of Educational Administration Graduate Degree from the University of Regina. The following May, Chief Taypotat completed the Harvard School of Business Certificate program at the Boston, MA campus.

Chief Taypotat’s education, service and life experience have helped develop both his skills and what he values as a leader. He credits the guidance of the four elected councillors, previous Chiefs and councils, and the 2300 band members of Kahkewistahaw First Nation for much of the nation’s success. Together with his Council, they agree that Economic Development is where Kahkewistahaw First Nation’s sovereignty lies. Through innovation and the protection of Inherent and Treaty Rights, Kahkewistahaw First Nation’s leadership will pave the way for health and prosperity for its members.

Of all the titles Evan has fortunate enough to hold, he values the title of ‘Daddy’ the most. Evan enjoys spending time with his partner Megaen, daughter Bea and his 7 dogs. Sports will always play a large role in Evan’s life as he mentors the next generation to use sport to build character and essential life skills.

Delyla Daniels | Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc

Delyla Daniels, a member of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (TteS). Delyla is a tax advisor at the FNTC. She joined the FNTC team in January 2020 and helps First Nations implement their property tax systems. She looks forward to working with many more First Nation communities in the years to come.

Prior to joining FNTC, Delyla served in her community for 21 years in Lands, Leasing and Tax Administration.

Delyla graduated INAC’s Lands Management Training Program in 2001; obtained her Professional Development Certificate with National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association; and the Indigenous People’s Resource Management Certificate at the University of Saskatchewan from 2005 to 2007.

Delyla completed the TULO Centre of Indigenous Economics’ First Nations Tax Administration Program in 2018; and is currently enrolled in the TULO Centre’s First Nation Applied Economics Program.

Delyla believes that development is based on community vision and needs. During her years working with TteS, Delyla has been involved in planning projects such as retail, commercial and light industrial development, and she has seen the economic and fiscal benefits of development within her community, especially from collecting local revenues.

In her spare time, she is the President of the Kamloopa Powwow Society, assists with cultural ceremonies, is a singer / dancer who enjoys travelling to Powwows, sews outfits for her family, enjoys berry picking and canning, and most importantly, she loves quality family time.

Isabelle Wood | Atikamekw de Wemotaci

Isabelle Wood has been working with First Nations, particularly within the Atikamekw of Wemotaci community, for the past 20 years. After obtaining her degree in Public Communications in 1997, she worked in the mental health field until 2013, when she became Program Manager for Health Services.

Since 2016, she has been the Conseil des Atikamekw de Wemotaci’s Executive Director and works directly with elected officials and all the organization’s directors to implement sound financial management practices and improve the living conditions of community members. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public administration at the École nationale d’administration publique (Quebec).

Stefan Matiation | Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

Stefan Matiation has been the Director General of the Specific Claims Branch in the Resolution and Partnerships Sector of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada since June 2018. Mr. Matiation has over twenty years of experience working with the Government of Canada, mostly with a focus on the rights and claims of Indigenous peoples. He has also served as Director, Fiscal Policy and Investment, when he worked closely with the First Nations Fiscal Management Act institutions.

Pam Damoff | Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services

Pam Damoff was first elected to the House of Commons in 2015, and was re-elected as Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington in October 2019.

In her first term, she served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, as a member of the House of Commons Committee on Public Safety and National Security and as the Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Status of Women. In December of 2019, she was named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services. She is excited about what can be accomplished by working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis from sea to sea to sea. As a Member of Parliament, Pam has worked on files including gun control, national security, corrections, violence against women and women’s economic empowerment. She is also a community activist and business professional with over 25 years’ corporate experience on Bay Street.

Honourable Carolyn Bennett | Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 and was re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015, and 2019, representing Toronto—St. Paul’s.

She has served as Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and was previously the Minister of State for Public Health. She has also served as the critic for Public Health, Seniors, Persons with Disabilities, the Social Economy, and Aboriginal Affairs.

Prior to her election in 1997, Minister Bennett was a family physician and a founding partner of Bedford Medical Associates in downtown Toronto. She was also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her fight to save the Women’s College Hospital of Toronto inspired her to enter politics.

Minister Bennett is an active representative of Toronto—St. Paul’s. She has organized over 75 town halls, quarterly meetings, information sessions, and special activities for her constituents since 2000. She and her office have assisted hundreds of constituents with their immigration, tax, pension, or employment insurance concerns.

Minister Bennett speaks passionately about Canada and Canadians’ participation in the democratic process. She advocates for health, the environment, women’s involvement in politics, and persons with disabilities. She is also known for her strong support of Israel.

In 1986, she received the Royal Life Saving Society’s Service Cross – a Commonwealth Honour Award recognizing her more than 20 years of distinguished service. In 2002, she was the recipient of the coveted EVE Award for contributing to the advancement of women in politics, and in 2003, she received the first-ever Champion of Mental Health Award from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. She was also the first recipient of the National Award of Excellence for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion in Canada, and was the co-author of Kill or Cure? How Canadians Can Remake Their Health Care System.

Minister Bennett and her husband, Peter O’Brian, a Canadian film producer, have two sons, Jack and Ben.

Justin Gottfriedson | Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc

Councillor Justin Gottfriedson is a grassroots member of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. He is the husband to Vanessa and proud father of 4 (Calen, Logan, Danika, and Oliver). He is in his first term as Councillor where he holds the Planning and Engineering portfolio and is the secondary for the Housing portfolio.

Previously he worked for TteS in various capacities over the past 15 years. For seven years, he has served the community in the water and wastewater utility department. His background allows him to bring unique and valuable insights to his portfolio.

Justin believes in leading by example, which is demonstrated through his strong morals, work ethic and integrity. He is always willing to learn and strives to represent TteS with the highest of standards. Justin brings to the table his leadership skills, passion, humour, and commitment to teamwork with his fellow Councillors.