Bob Rae was elected eleven times to the House of Commons and the Ontario legislature between 1978 and 2013. He was Ontario’s 21st Premier from 1990 to 1995, and served as interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 2011 to 2013.
He is working now as a lawyer, negotiator, mediator, and arbitrator, with a particular focus on first nations, aboriginal, and governance issues. He also teaches at the University of Toronto School of Governance and Public Policy, and is a widely respected writer and commentator.
An author of five books and many studies and reports, Bob Rae is a Privy Councillor, a Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, and has numerous awards and honorary degrees from institutions in Canada and around the world.
Mr. Rae was born on August 2nd 1948, in Ottawa, Ontario. His parents were Lois Esther (George) and Saul Rae. He is married to Arlene Perly Rae, a writer and speaker, and they have three children. They live in Toronto.
Charles S. Coffey, O.C.
Community leadership is a passion in the life of Charlie Coffey—he believes in reaching out to people in all walks of life, understanding cultures, building relationships and speaking up about issues that need a stronger voice. Coffey’s proven record and reputation in private, public and not-for-profit sectors across the country is a testament to this champion of children and early child development, young people, Indigenous peoples, women entrepreneurs and women in public office, as well as education and diversity.
Charlie Coffey is the chair of Kocihta; member, Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada and director, Canadians for a New Partnership.
Coffey started his 44-year career with RBC in native Woodstock, New Brunswick. He is the former executive vice president, government affairs and business development for RBC. Prior to that position, Charlie headed business banking in Canada for five years. He also led three regional headquarters: Manitoba, Metro Toronto and Ontario.
- Canadian Women’s International Business Initiative Award from the Canadian Embassy in the United States for RBC’s support of businesswomen
- Award of Distinction from the Public Affairs Association of Canada
- Humanitarian Award for Community Service from Yorktown Family Services (Toronto)
- The Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development medal for exceptional contribution to early child development
- The University of Winnipeg Duff Roblin Award for commitment to education and community
- People for Education Egerton Ryerson Award for public education advocac
- The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs named Coffey an Honourary Chief for his support of First Nations, economic development and self-sufficiency.
- Honourary Doctor of Laws degrees were conferred upon Coffey by Trent University (2006), McMaster University (2009) and Ryerson University (2011) for his contribution to society through community leadership.
- Coffey received the Order of St. Michael for his work in support of St. Michael’s College School in Toronto.
- Coffey was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal. Charlie Coffey is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Ovide Mercredi is a Cree born in the northern community of Grand Rapids in 1946. He served his community as Chief of Misipawistik Cree Nation from 2005 to 2011. He was a councillor for three years after his term 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. Mercredi has worked tirelessly for the rights of First Nations people throughout Canada. He is known as a First Nations leader that speaks eloquently with great passion and clarity.
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.
Ovide 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 re-elected in 1994 and served as National Chief until 1997. He addressed the United Nations in Geneva and New York. He led a human rights delegation of Canadians to the troubled area of the Mexican state of Chiapas.
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. He has contributed articles to other publications. In his spare time, he enjoys painting and writing poetry.
Ovide is an advocate of non-violent methods for change and travelled to India when he was nominated for the Gandhi Peace Prize. He 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. In 2010 the Peace and Justice Studies Association awarded him their Social Courage award. In 2013 he was selected as the Distinguished Alumni of the University of Manitoba. He is currently a Senior Advisor to the President of the University of Manitoba. He was the National Spokesperson for Treaties 1 to 11 from 2006 to 2014, having been chosen in a traditional and customary manner. As National Chief he worked closely with Elders from all regions of Canada. As a Treaty Spokesperson, he continued his practice of seeking the advice and support of traditional Elders. Ovide served on the board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. He continues to serve in the Winnipeg Boldness Project and Canadians for a New Partnership.
Ovide Mercredi is a strong believer in a positive future for all First Nations communities and recognizes the inherent strength and talents of First Nations people. He has always maintained that his people possess the answers to their needs and aspirations. To him healing can be accomplished by the simple application of traditional values such as respect and kindness.
Dave Joe Law Corporation, Whitehorse, Yukon.
Mr. Joe is the Yukon’s first Aboriginal lawyer. Both prior to and after being called to the Yukon bar in 1976, he was intimately involved with the land claim movement in the Yukon. In 1973, he was involved when Yukon First Nations convinced then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and then Indian Affairs Minister Jean Chretien to negotiate a modern-day treaty with Yukon First Nations. Mr. Joe was still involved 22 years later, when the first four agreements became part of the Constitution of Canada on Feb 14, 1995. Today, the recognition of Aboriginal rights is still a focus of his Whitehorse law practice. Mr. Joe was named as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008 “for his leadership in building stronger communities and positive relations between native and non-native peoples and in negotiating final land claims agreements for several Yukon First Nations”. He is a Southern Tutchone citizen of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations.
During his professional career, Stephen Kakfwi has been and continues to be instrumental in advancing the Aboriginal land and self-government rights of the Northwest Territories Dene, Métis and Inuit. He has had a distinguished career in public government promoting Northwest Territory political, constitutional and economic development in the North, within Canada and internationally.
Kakfwi served as the President of the Dene Nation from 1983 to 1987, during which he established the Northwest Territories Dene Cultural Institute as well as Indigenous Survival International.
Mr. Kakfwi was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories in 1987 and served as Premier of the Northwest Territories from 2000 through 2003.
Stephen currently focuses on achieving a balanced approach to conservation and resource development in the North, focusing on community development in Aboriginal settlements.He is a senior advisor to the Indigenous Leadership Initiative a group founded in 2013 that is helping strengthen Indigenous nationhood and the fulfillment of Indigenous cultural responsibilities to the land. And in 2014, he conceived of and founded Canadians for a New Partnership, a group supporting and encouraging relationship building between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and currently serves as its President and CEO.
2014, he conceived of and founded Canadians for a New Partnership, a group supporting and encouraging relationship building between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and currently serves as its President and CEO.
Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day is from Serpent River First Nation, Ontario, which is located in the North Channel of Lake Huron. Born in Elliot Lake and raised in the North, Regional Chief Isadore Day worked in construction, commercial fishing, and in the social services setting. Regional Chief Day’s post-secondary education consists of Social Work, Business and Public Administration and Governance. He and his partner Angela raise their girls in the North and are committed to ensuring that the North remains a key grounding in their lives. He is strong in his commitments to his community and all treaty regions.
He has been Chief of Serpent River FN since being elected in 2005. Regional Chief Day has a combined total of ten years in leadership. Public service ideas and dedication have seen him involved in various boards, committees, and volunteer positions over the past 15 yrs. With a list of diverse attributes and skills, Regional Chief Day has been welcomed at many tables to share in efforts to make constructive change for the Anishnabek and First Nations at the Regional and National level in recent years. Known as hard hitter on the issues, he has a demeanor that seeks to find ways to highlight and uplift the dignity of others.
Today, Regional Chief Day is quite active on many files in all policy sectors at the local level and provincially. His main focus at all tables with government is First Nation rights, health, social, economies, infrastructure, Quality of Life – and overall, Nationhood based on all facets of what a nation embodies. He sees political justice as being the main goal for First Nation leaders and is emphatic that the Indian Act is colonial oppression and at the root of what must change in all First Nations. He is practical with both high level policy and is a strong grassroots First Nation leader.
Michael Ferguson was appointed Auditor General of Canada on 28 November 2011. Prior to this appointment, he served in a variety of roles in the Government of New Brunswick, including five years as Comptroller, five years as Auditor General of New Brunswick, and one year as Deputy Minister of Finance and Secretary to the Board of Management.
Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
- Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, February 2013 – June 2016
- Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, November 2011 – February 2013
- Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, November 2011 – February 2013
- Parliamentary Assistant to the Attorney General, October 2007 – November 2011, October 2003 – September 2007
Memberships and Associations
- Director, Canadian Institute of International Affairs
- President, Alzheimer Society of Canada
Honours and Awards
- Greatest Local Hero Award, Readers of the North York Town Crier
- Award of Merit, Social Work Doctors’ Colloquium
- Commemorative Medal, 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation
David Zimmer was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2003 as the MPP for Willowdale. He was re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014.
He is currently serving as Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and was previously Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. Prior to that, he served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and the Attorney General.
Before entering politics, Zimmer was chair of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, Canada’s largest community housing provider and the second-largest in North America.
He has practised law for many years in Toronto and has served as a part-time Crown Attorney. For 10 years, Zimmer was an administrative law instructor in the Law Society’s Bar Admission Course. He has extensive experience before administrative boards and tribunals and in the civil and criminal courts. Zimmer has also served as assistant deputy chairperson at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
Zimmer has served as a director of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs and president of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. In 1993, Zimmer was awarded a Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation for his significant contribution in promoting research and awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.
Executive Chair, First Nations Financial Management Board
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 8 years on the Squamish Council. He has also acted as an advisor and an arbitrator for First Nations in Western Canada.
He represented Squamish Nation interests 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 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.
He has completed terms on the Boards of CMHC, Partnerships BC and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. He has either chaired or served on the Audit Committees of these various boards.
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).
Former chief, Westbank First Nations
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 has focussed primarily on working for First Nations on land matters throughout Canada.
Robert is the Chairman of the First Nations Lands Advisory Board (26 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. Most recently, Robert has accepted the position of the Indigenous Managing Director for Dunhill Group of Companies which is involved in construction and energy power projects.
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.
Celeste Haldane, BA, LLB, LLM
Celeste Haldane was appointed Chief Commissioner in April 2017. Prior to this, she served as an elected Commissioner for three two-year terms commencing in 2011.
Celeste is a practising lawyer and holds an LL.M. in Constitutional Law from Osgoode Hall Law School [York University], and an LL.B. and B.A. both from the University of British Columbia. In 2015 she began her Doctorate at UBC in Anthropology & Law.
The Provincial Government appointed her to serve on the UBC Board of Governors and the Legal Services Society. Celeste is the first Indigenous chair of the Legal Services Society. Celeste is an active member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Indigenous Bar Association. She is a 2015 alumni of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.
Celeste is a member of the Sparrow family from Musqueam and is Tsimshian through Metlakatla. She previously served as the Chair of the Musqueam Land Code Committee, a member of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, the Housing & Capital Committee, and the Matrimonial Real Property Committee. Celeste is the proud mother of three and grandmother of two.
The Honourable Wayne G. Wouters
Strategic and Policy Advisor
The Honourable Wayne Wouters, PC is Strategic and Policy Advisor to the firm.
Mr. Wouters brings his extensive experience and keen insight to the firm and its clients developed during his distinguished 37-year career in public service, including five years serving as the Clerk of the Privy Council of Canada. As Clerk, he held the roles of Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service, providing direct advice and support to the Prime Minister on all issues affecting and implicating the federal Government.
During his tenure as Clerk, Mr. Wouters played a pivotal role in major Government of Canada initiatives, including public sector strategies such as Canada’s Economic Action Plan; led large and complex institutional transformations; and enhanced Canada’s international trade relations including important changes to regulatory regimes like Investment Canada. In 2013 and 2014, Mr. Wouters led Blueprint 2020 an unprecedented, national and web-enabled consultation process engaging nearly 110,000 Public Servants from coast to coast designed to capture their views and aspirations and articulate a vision for a world-class Public Service equipped to serve Canada and Canadians now and into the future.
Known for his ability to combine visionary, strategic, financial and tactical expertise in complex environments, Mr. Wouters has industry expertise in the oil and gas and natural resources, technology, telecommunications, security and projects sectors and provides advisory services to the firm’s clients. Mr. Wouters also has significant expertise in Canadian trade relations, having played a significant role in establishing the European Union-Canada trade agreement and Canada’s free trade agreement with the Republic of Korea, as well as advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Wouters was the Secretary of the Treasury Board where he was responsible for all government management and oversight which included more than 100 departments and agencies, 450,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding $250 billion.
As Deputy Minister, Human Resources and Skills Development from 2002 to 2004, Mr. Wouters was responsible for the government department that delivers significant social programs including employment insurance, child care and seniors pension benefits. Mr. Wouters refocused the department culture to emphasize integrated social and labour market strategies and outcomes. He also oversaw the creation and implementation of Service Canada, a multi-billion dollar network for government services and benefits.
Mr. Wouters was Deputy Minister, Fisheries and Oceans from 1997 to 2002 and Deputy Secretary, Plans and Consultations from 1994 to 1997. He began his public sector career in 1977 with the Government of Saskatchewan.
Mr. Wouters has received numerous honorariums and awards, including:
- University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK – Honorary Doctorate of Law, 2011
- Community Builder of the Year Award, United Way Ottawa’s recognition for lifelong commitment and longstanding volunteer efforts, 2012
- Commonwealth Association for Public Administration Management Gordon Draper Award, for lifelong contributions to the advancement of public administration management, 2012
- Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012
- André Mailhot Award for lifetime achievement, United Way Canada’s highest distinction, 2013
- Inducted by the Prime Minister as a Member of a the Privy Council, 2014
Mr. Wouters is a long-time volunteer and currently serves as a Board Member of United Way Worldwide.
Mr. Wouters completed his MA, Economics at Queen’s University and his BComm, Honours (with Distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan.
Certified General Accountant (CGA) and a Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM)
As a Certified General Accountant (CGA) and a Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM), Ernie is well equipped to navigate the organization through new and unexplored territory. As President/CEO he has been delegated the authority by the Board of Directors to manage the business affairs of the FNFA. Prior to coming to the FNFA, he was President/COO of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada and Director of Assessment and Finance Operations at the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
Ernie has a lifetime of experience with Aboriginal development corporations and non-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). His dedication to advancing First Nations in business and finance has won him the AFOA-Xerox Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership Award.
Ernie is a member of the Salt River First Nation in the Northwest Territories.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA)
Mr. Shannin Metatawabin is Chief Executive Officer of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA). Shannin is Cree/Inninow from Fort Albany First Nation of the Mushkegowuk Nation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Carleton University and an Aboriginal Economic Development certificate from the University of Waterloo.
Shannin has over 15 years of industry and economic development experience, primarily focused on aboriginal development. He is an entrepreneur, a commercial lender, business and community developer, and a management consultant with proficiency in remedial management (RMPs), optimization, and business plans.
Shannin, an economic development mentor, thrives on project and team management, organizational efficiency, business development, and community consultation. He brings a strong passion and a strategic vision to his work at NACCA, with a commitment to increasing the capacity and sustainability of all our communities.
Shannin was the Executive Director of the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation and the manager of Aboriginal Affairs and Sustainability with DeBeers Canada. In addition, he has assisted more than 250 businesses start up and expand in both urban and rural markets.
Chief Finances, Results and Delivery Officer, INAC
Paul Thoppil joined Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in November 2014 as the Chief Financial Officer and was promoted to Senior Assistant Deputy Minister as Chief, Finances, Results and Delivery Officer in Feb 2017. Leading a sector of 500+ employees, he oversees overall responsibility for Planning, Research, financial and resource management and administration, and information and technology management.
Between August 2016 to Mar 2017, Paul acted as Interim Senior Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy and Strategic Direction in addition to his CFO responsibilities. He was responsible for short, medium and long-term policy planning; cabinet, legislative, parliamentary and regulatory affairs; strategic management of litigation; Aboriginal, international and intergovernmental relations; integrated planning, research statistics and results-based management.
Prior to INAC, in 2009 Paul joined the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada where he held the position of Commercial Minister at the Canadian Embassy to Japan in Tokyo. While in Tokyo, Paul advanced free-trade negotiations with Japan on behalf of the Government of Canada.
Between joining the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2004 and the Canadian Embassy in 2009, Paul served several successive Director General positions responsible for such functions as Innovation and Partnerships, Corporate Finance, Corporate Planning (International Trade), and Global Business Opportunities. He has previous experience bridging the gap between the private and public sectors having served as CFO and V.P., Risk and Financial Services, for the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), where he worked following his entry into the public service at the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Department of Finance.
Paul obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Ottawa and is a Chartered Accountant.
David Paul Achneepineskum
Citizen of Marten Falls First Nation in Treaty Number Nine Territory
David Paul Achneepineskum is the Chief Executive Officer for Matawa First Nations, a Tribal Council group of nine First Nations located within the Treaty Number Nine Territory. David Paul has been working for his First Nations peoples since 1971 where he started as councillor then as the Band Manager for his home community of Marten Falls. Since 1975, David Paul has worked in various management and executive capacities for organizations such as Constance Lake First Nation, Chiefs of Ontario, Rainy River First Nations and Nishnawbe Aski Nation. David Paul has spent more than 45 years working for his people.
David Paul comes from one of the original families of Marten Falls, the “Achneepineskums”. His father and his grandfather gathering and hunting territory are within the Gichi Siipii and Kenogami River basins where he and his siblings were born and raised on the land. His mother was from the Cree Nation who originated from the English River Post known as Mammattawa.
David Paul attended residential schools during his primary education and went on to graduate from Geraldton Composite High School in 1970.
Looking forward to many more, David Paul has celebrated a warm, loving marriage to his wife Margaret for 33 years. They have made Thunder Bay their home and expect to spend their retirement years in their home in the woods.
David Paul can be reached at the Matawa First Nations office where he devotes many hours working for his people. His dream is that someday his Peoples will be self-sufficient and independent like they were more than a hundred years ago.
CHERIE L. BRANT
PARTNER, DICKINSON WRIGHT
Cherie has a commercial real estate, renewable energy and Aboriginal law practice. Cherie provides strategic counsel to several First Nations and industry clients seeking to develop projects with First Nations and to understand and address Aboriginal rights and interests. Cherie has been named one of Lexpert magazine’s Rising Stars, Leading Lawyers Under 40.
As a member of Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and with family from Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Cherie brings a profound understanding of the opportunities and challenges that both Indigenous people and Industry proponents face in carrying out resource, infrastructure and economic development in Canada.
Cherie completed the first 100% First Nation owned windpower project in Ontario and is active in providing both on-going advocacy for renewable energy development proponents. As lead counsel to the First Nations Energy Alliance (a consortium of twenty First Nations) on the Integrated Power System Plan review before the Ontario Energy Board, her counsel was instrumental in promoting Aboriginal participation models for renewable energy procurement.
MISSISSAUGAS OF THE NEW CREDIT FIRST NATION
Garry Sault is an Ojibway elder from Mississauga’s New Credit Nation. His people signed over 20 pre-confederation treaties with the Crown which cover most of the Golden Horseshoe. He is a veteran and served in the United States Navy. He resides on the New Credit First Nation with his wife of 40 years and enjoys spending quality time with his grandchildren. Garry is a storyteller and has welcomed chiefs, premiers, environmentalists, and many more to the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit.
HOWARD E. GRANT
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FIRST NATIONS SUMMIT
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 every day 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.
Jennifer St. Germain
MNO Chief Strategy Officer
Jennifer St. Germain is the Chief Strategy Officer for the Métis Nation of Ontario. She served as the MNO Director of Education and Training since 2006. Jennifer started with the MNO in 1998 and with almost 20 years of frontline, management and senior Director level experience has an in-depth strategic knowledge of Metis policy, programs and governance. She remains committed to the advancement of the rights, interests and aspirations of Métis families and communities throughout Ontario. Jennifer is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker on Métis Nation policy and governance issues. She holds a Master of Arts in Indigenous and Canadian Studies and is currently pursuing a PhD through the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University. Her areas of research include Métis public policy and administration, nation building and contemporary governance in Ontario. She grew up along on the shores of Georgian Bay in Owen Sound, Ontario and now resides with her spouse Carey and two young girls Hanna and Autumn in Ottawa, Ontario.
SENIOR ASSOCIATE, INSTITUTE ON GOVERNANCE
Marion Lefebvre is Senior Associate with the Institute. Her focus is on building partnerships with aboriginal, academic and government organizations that expand the IOG’s reach in delivering purpose designed advice, solutions and learning opportunities for aboriginal, public and private sector clients.
Marion has over thirty years of experience in aboriginal and public governance policy and issue management both in the public and private sectors. She has undertaken negotiations for the federal government and corporate clients on numerous resource, environmental, management and economic development agreements with aboriginal groups throughout Canada. As well, she has assisted numerous federal departments in developing and implementing aboriginal consultation policies, conducted policy development in the areas of claims negotiation and policy, capital management and governance.
Marion has also worked closely with numerous Aboriginal organizations on a myriad of economic development, treaty, resource management and governance measures. In a broader context, she has also had extensive experience in providing senior level strategic planning, policy making and program implementation and evaluation advice to federal departments, provinces, territorial and First Nation governments.
PRESIDENT, INSTITUTE ON GOVERNANCE
As the President of the Institute On Governance, Maryantonett Flumian is responsible for the development of the Institute’s vision and strategic direction, project and partnership development, and the fostering of programs to promote public discussion of governance issues.
She is a seasoned senior executive at the Deputy Minister level in the Canadian federal Public Service with more than 20 years of large-scale operational experience in the economic, social and federal/provincial domains. She is internationally recognized for her work as a transformational leader across many complex areas of public policy and administration such as labour markets, firearms, fisheries, and environmental issues. She was the first Deputy Minister of Service Canada. Her current research focuses on leadership, collaboration, governance, and the transformational potential of technology primarily in the area of citizen-centered services. Maryantonett spent the last three years at the University of Ottawa initiating programming for the development of senior public service leaders.
Maryantonett received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s Degree in history and completed comprehensive exams towards a PhD in the same subject at the University of Ottawa. She sits on the advisory board of the Harvard Policy Group, John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the advisory group of nGenera’s Government 2.0: Wikinomics, Government and Democracy research program.
PRIME MINISTER’S YOUTH COUNCIL
Riley Yesno is an Eabametoong First Nation woman living in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where she attends high school. She is a strong leader who uses her voice to represent those who are underrepresented. She is a highly engaged community member, a youth facilitator, a public speaker, and a feminist.
As a school board representative at the provincial level, she advocates on behalf of her peers. As a First Nations woman who has lived on reserve, she is most passionate about equity for Indigenous people in Canada, with a particular interest in missing and murdered Indigenous women.
BOARD MEMBER, CANADIANS FOR A NEW PARTNERSHIP
Mr. Serson is a retired federal Deputy Minister who spent much of his career working on policy related to First Peoples.
From 1985 to 1987, as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Office of Aboriginal Constitutional Affairs in the Federal-Provincial Relations Office, Scott was responsible for federal participation in the Aboriginal constitutional process.
Appointed Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs in 1989, he provided strategic advice on federal-provincial relations and Aboriginal constitutional issues. He also co-chaired the Working Group on Indigenous Peoples Rights in the process that led to the Charlottetown Constitutional Accord.
In September 1995, Mr. Serson was appointed Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. In that role he was instrumental in the development of the Government’s response to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. He also provided public service leadership in the final stage of the creation of Nunavut.
Mr. Serson was appointed President of the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) in July 1999. He led the Commission through a period of human resource modernization. During this time, he was also one of two Champions for Values and Ethics in the Public Service.
After retiring from the public service in 2003, Scott served as a policy advisor to the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine for five years. During that time he helped conceptualize and negotiate the Kelowna Accord.
Mr. Serson also served for nine years on the Board of the Institute on Governance, including two years as Chair. He continues to volunteer for the Institute in the area of Indigenous Governance and to co-Chair their Indigenous Advisory Circle.
Mr. Serson is a member of the Board of Canadians for a New Partnership.