Vice President - Indigenous Governance
Barry Christoff is Vice-President of Indigenous Governance for the Institute on Governance (IOG). As a member of Saulteau First Nations in northeastern British Columbia, and a lawyer who has focused his career on joint First Nation and federal government initiatives, Barry is aware that listening, finding safe zones, and being respectful may assist in providing a foundation for positive change.
A solutions-driven leader, Barry enjoys collaborating with a team to come up with creative, effective ways to tackle complex Indigenous issues in challenging environments. He has several years’ experience at the national level in the areas of strategic planning, issue identification, intergovernmental / sectoral relationship building, and good governance practices, including developing successful policy and legislative initiatives that resulted in positive institutional change and development. This experience was acquired through positions with the Assembly of First Nations’ (AFN) head office in Ottawa, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) in Ottawa, and the First Nations Financial Management Board (FNFMB) in Vancouver. At the AFN, Barry led development of policy issues for Indian Monies and worked on revenue options and transfer options technical tables. He also worked with the AFN’s general legal counsel to set up a legal department within the AFN, and provided legal advice and research services for the Chiefs-in-Assembly. At DIAND, Barry worked with the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary of Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development during the passage of the First Nations Oil and Gas Moneys Management Act, First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act, and First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act, providing advice and support for creating consensus-based solutions leading to all-party agreement on this suite of legislation. And at the FNFMB, Barry acted in the dual roles of Director of Corporate Services and Corporate Secretary, providing advice and implementing the setup of the FNFMB’s governance and corporate structure. Barry is a team player with a broad range of experience working on complex Indigenous issues in challenging environments leading to positive Indigenous institutional development.