Characteristics of a Nation-to-Nation Relationship

“Characteristics of a Nation-to-Nation Relationship,” is a five-part dialogue series to be held across Canada seeking bring together experts to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, focusing on four themes central to the relationship: Nation Building and Nation Re-Building; Jurisdiction; New Intergovernmental Fiscal Relationships; and Wealth Creation. The series will culminate in a national event that will aim to address the outcomes of the discussions that emerged, including identified themes linkages, challenges, potential results, and timelines. The dialogues and event will feature invited speakers with vested interests in Nation-to-Nation relationships. The purpose of these sessions will be to stimulate the discussion through providing a neutral environment where stakeholders can openly communicate the precursors for change.  For more information click here.

Nation Building and Nation Re-Building: February 16-17, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario

Governance within the Crown and Indigenous communities will need to come together to shape, evolve, build and grow in respectful partnership. Indigenous nations will need to be defined and legitimized by communities so that they can engage with government and institutions. Nations may also form an aggregate, or collective consciousness, whereby services, programs and fiscal arrangements can be delivered to the individual jurisdictions transparently and effectively. Most importantly, this will involve a change in approach that breaks down the existing foundations and rebuilds a new framework with ongoing mechanisms for relationship and institutional development.

Day One

February 16, 2017

Ottawa, Ontario

1:00 – 1:30 pm Registration
1:30 – 2:15 pm Opening Prayer by Elder / Welcome to the Algonquin Territory-Opening Remarks from the Institute on Governance and Co-Host

  • Institute on Governance – Maryantonett Flumian, President 
  • Canadians for a New Partnership – Miles Richardson, Board Member

The event will begin with introductory remarks and an overview of the series, including intentions for running the series and highlights of the thematic papers that will be produced. Overall, key questions that will set the stage for launching the series will include:

  • Why is this key to making Canada whole?

Why is this a critical governance issue of our day? How can active participation by all levels of government, all aspects of Indigenous Canada and civil society be best convened?

2:15 – 3:30 pm Taking Stock of the Current Environment

To bring about this fundamental change, Canadians need to understand that Aboriginal peoples are nations. That is, they are political and cultural groups with values and lifeways distinct from those of other Canadians. They lived as nations – highly centralized, loosely federated, or small and clan-based – for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.”

– RCAP Commissioners, 1996 (Highlights from the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples)

We can see a period of transition currently in many communities who are prepared to challenge and break the status quo. Governments and Indigenous peoples will need to come together to shape, evolve, build and grow in respectful partnership. Indigenous nations will need to be defined and legitimized by communities so that they can engage with government and institutions. 

  • Keynote address by Clément Chartier, President, Métis National Council
  • Keynote address by Isadore Day, Assembly of First Nations, Regional Chief, Ontario
3:30 – 3:45 pm Break
3:45 – 5:00 pm Identifying the Foundations for a Renewed Relationship

Reconcile Aboriginal and Crown constitutional and legal orders to ensure that Aboriginal peoples are full partners in Confederation, including the recognition and integration of Indigenous laws and legal traditions”

– Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 45 (iv)

A new relationship requires a change in approach, where we are no longer “managing” the crisis situation that the lack of resolution has created, but we break down the current foundation and frameworks and rebuild within a new framework that is reflective of the needs of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, our times and shared history. This panel will bring together leaders to discuss their individual and collective challenges and path forward, and will explore the foundational characteristics of the relationship between nations and what principles need to be present for it to be recognition. This dialogue will explore the strategies, programs, and policies required to continue moving toward a collective understanding.

The discussion will be followed by questions from the floor.


  • Catherine MacQuarrie, Senior Executive in Residence, IPAC


  • Dr. Mark Dockstator, President, First Nations University of Canada
  • Mike Mitchell, former Akwesasne Grand Chief
5:00 – 6:30 pm

Cocktail Reception in Recognition of Sophie Pierre’s Appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada

Lord Elgin

6:30 – 9:00 pm

Remarks and Fireside Chat

  • The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
  • Hosted by Miles Richardson, Board Member, Canadians for a New Partnership


Day Two

February 17, 2017

Ottawa, Ontario

8:00 – 9:00 am
9:00 – 9:30 am Summary of Day One
9:30 – 10:45 am Linking Reconciliation to Shared Outcomes: Changing the Outcomes for Canada’s Indigenous Peoples (Part 1)

Change is needed if First Nations are to experience more meaningful outcomes from the services they receive. We recognize that the issues are complex and that solutions will require concerted efforts of the federal government and First Nations, in collaboration with provincial governments and other parties.”

– Auditor General’s Report, 2011

Reconciliation will require consensus among Indigenous peoples and between the Indigenous peoples and Canada on the shared outcomes that are needed and desired. Considerations for recognition and accommodation within existing and new institutions are required to make progress towards better shared outcomes. This dialogue will convene experts who have experience in the modern field of establishing new relationships that have led to greater social and economic outcomes. In order to achieve outcomes at the national level, what changes need to take place to bring the country together, address challenges and fulfill duties?

The discussion will be followed by questions from the floor.


  • Scott Serson, Board Member, Canadians for a New Partnership


  • Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Richard Jock, Chief Operating Officer, First Nations Health Authority
  • Marilyn Slett, Chief Councillor, Heiltsuk Nation
10:45 –11:00 am Break
11:00 – 12:15pm Linking Reconciliation to Shared Outcomes: Changing the Outcomes for Canada’s Indigenous Peoples (Part 2)This session will continue the dialogue on achieving shared outcomes with a second panel of experts.


  • Scott Serson, Board Member, Canadians for a New Partnership


  • Peter Dinsdale, President, YMCA
  • Dr. Mike DeGagné, President, Nipissing University
  • Terry Goodtrack, President and CEO, AFOA
12:15 – 12:45 pm Break and Lunch Served
12:45 – 2:00 pm Lunch PanelGovernance and Institutions as Representations of Nationhood

Moving forward, communities that are at different places along the spectrum towards nation building/rebuilding will require the tools, capacity and institutions (transitional/collective/perpetual) to do so. This discussion will explore what principles, practices and institutions can be used to bring efficiencies of scale and representation as an exercise of authority. The panel discussion will be followed by questions from the floor.


  • Maryantonett Flumian, President, Institute on Governance


  • Harold Calla, Executive Chair, FNFMB
  • Koren Lightning-Earle, President, Indigenous Bar Association
  • Gwen Philips, Ktunaxa Nation Council
2:00 – 2:15 pm Break
2:15 – 3:30 pm Framing the Crown Responsibility in the New RelationshipHaving identified the desired shared outcomes, and the required governance and representational components, this dialogue will explore the changes that need to take place in order for those aspects to come to fruition. The panel discussion will be followed by questions from the floor.Moderator:

  • Dr. Tim Raybould, Professor of Practice, McGill University


  • Bob Rae, former Premier of Ontario
  • Morley Googoo, AFN Regional Chief, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia
3:30 – 4:30 pm Closing Remarks & Next Steps

  • Maryantonett Flumian, President, Institute on Governance
  • Representation from Canadians for a New Partnership (TBC)

The Lord Elgin Hotel

100 Elgin St,

Ottawa, ON


Harold Calla

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).


Dr. Mike DeGagné

Mike DeGagné is the seventh President and Vice-Chancellor of Nipissing University. His career includes work with the federal government in management of Aboriginal programs, and as a negotiator of comprehensive claims. Most recently he has served as the founding Executive Director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, a national organization which addressed the legacy of Indian Residential Schools.

He has served on numerous Boards of Directors in the health and university sectors including as Chairman of Ottawa’s Queensway-Carleton Hospital, and Chairman of the Child Welfare League of Canada.

He has a PhD in Education focusing on Aboriginal post-secondary success from Michigan State University, and Masters degrees in Administration and Law. He lectures nationally and internationally in the areas of Indigenous governance and reconciliation. He is a recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.


Peter Dinsdale

Peter Dinsdale is Anishnaabe and a member of the Curve Lake First Nation in Ontario. In 1996, he received a Bachelor of Arts – Political Science and Native Studies and a Masters of Arts – Humanities in 1997 from Laurentian University. Mr. Dinsdale has worked with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and organizations at the local, regional and national levels.

He is currently the Chief Executive Officer at the YMCA, and former Chief Executive Officer of the Assembly of First Nations and former Director General of the National Association of Friendship Centers.

Peter lives in Ottawa with his wife Tammy and their two sons.


Dr. Mark Dockstator

Dr. Mark S. Dockstator joined the First Nations University of Canada in July 2014. Dr. Dockstator brings a breadth and diversity of experience to the First Nations University of Canada. A member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, he has been an Associate Professor, Indigenous Studies, at Trent University since 1997. In addition, Dr. Dockstator also served as Departmental Chair and Director of the PhD program. He received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. In 1994, he was the first First Nations person to graduate with a doctorate in law. His doctoral dissertation, entitled “Toward an Understanding of Aboriginal Self Government”, is a blend of Indigenous and Western knowledge and was used as a foundation for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples final report.

Dr. Dockstator has served as founding Chairman of the First Nations’ Statistical Institute, Senior Negotiator and Researcher for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, President and CEO of Rama Economic Development Corporation, Special Advisor to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People and Special Advisor to the Chief Commissioner of the Indian Land Claims Commission, to name a few. Dr. Dockstator has a great deal of business experience and has a specific research expertise in Aboriginal issues, having served as Principal Investigator on an array of national and regional research projects in areas such as Aboriginal health, treaties, Aboriginal languages and culture, education and economic development.


Maryantonett Flumian

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.


Terry Goodtrack

Mr. Goodtrack has spent over twenty years in senior finance and management positions with high profile Aboriginal organizations. He has demonstrated leadership and made a significant contribution to the field of Aboriginal finance, management and leadership, while raising the standards of Aboriginal finance and management practices.

He is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the AFOA Canada. Prior to this position, Mr. Goodtrack has been the Chief Operating Officer of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation since 2004, with responsibility for $7 million in operating funds and a $515 million healing fund. His expertise has been critical in assuring that the Foundation met the highest standards for the management of public funds. Prior to 2004, he was President and CEO of the Indigenous Gaming Regulators Inc. where he was responsible for building the new First Nations Gaming Regulatory Authority and assisted in the development and implementation of jurisdiction over First Nations gaming in the province of Saskatchewan. Mr. Goodtrack was also Chief Financial Officer of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and Chief Financial Officer of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Through his career he has worked and supported Aboriginal communities across Canada in realizing effective planning and programs to enrich the lives of Aboriginal peoples.

At the front end of his career, Mr. Goodtrack worked with the Government of Canada for over ten years where he held managerial, financial and operational policy positions.

Mr. Goodtrack is the Co-Chair of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’ Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Jury and Co-Chair at Carleton University’s advisory circle for their new Indigenous Policy and Administration graduate program. He sits as an advisor on the National Financial Literacy Committee and the Province of Ontario’s Independent Electricity Systems Operator.

Mr. Goodtrack is married to his wife Genevieve. They have two daughters who are currently in University.


Regional Chief Morley Googoo

Morley Googoo is Regional Chief for Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and currently holds the Youth, Language Culture, and Arts, Truth and Reconciliation 94 Calls to Action, Sports and Recreation portfolios for the Assembly of First Nations. Morley is Mi’kmaq from the Waycobah First Nation, located in Unama’ki (Cape Breton), Nova Scotia. Morley began his political career at the age of 19 when he was elected to Council and went on to serve as Chief of Waycobah for a total of 19 years.

Morley has always promoted Youth programs and is proud to have been instrumental in Waycobah assuming jurisdiction over their education with their school moving from federal control to a new building built and administered under the Mi’kmaq (Education) Kina’matnewey self-government agreement. During his time as Chief, starting at age 24, Waycobah built a state of the art Health Centre and over 100 houses in the Community. He initiated, and continues to coordinate, the Unama’ki Christmas social and reintroduced the Mi’kmaq Summer Games to the province.

Morley has dedicated his entire adult life to serving Mi’kmaq people and practices his Mi’kmaq ways of prayer each day by giving thanks to the Creator. He helped develop a mission statement for his community “To improve the overall Quality of Life and Well-Being of all community Members, “which he has personally adopted. Morley is the proud father of 5 children and is committed to helping his family, his community and the nation to be proud to being Mi’kmaq and First Nations in Canada.


Richard Jock

Richard Jock is a member of the Mohawks of Akwesasne and serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the First Nations Health Authority.

As the COO, Richard’s portfolio includes Health Benefits, policy, planning, engagement, service improvements/integration, investment strategies and regional partnership implementation. His position also provides leadership for the building, functioning and implementation of strong partnerships within the First Nations health governance structure and within the health system more broadly.

Richard has worked for the past 25 years for First Nations organizations and the federal government, including numerous positions in the health field. Immediately prior to joining the FNHA, he held the post of Chief Executive Officer for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Among his other professional roles, Richard has held senior leadership positions at Norway House Health Services Incorporated, Health Canada, the National Aboriginal Health Organization and Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

Richard is committed to his wellness and challenges himself to stay active and spend time outdoors. He wears his FitBit daily, rarely missing his 10,000 steps, and enjoys playing racquetball in his spare time.


Koren Lightning-Earle

Koren Lightning-Earle, ’00 BA(Rec/Leisure), ’04 BA, ’07 LLB, Blue Thunderbird Woman, is Cree from Samson Cree Nation. She is President of the Indigenous Bar Association, Vice-President of Kasohkowew Child Wellness Society, Board Member for First Nations Caring Society. She was recently awarded the Alumni Horizon Award from the University of Alberta. She was an elected council member for Samson Cree Nation from 2011-2014 and is co-founder of Hub, a community mobilization program to help reduce crime. She was co-chair of the First Nations Women’s Economic Security Council. She is also a sessional instructor at Maskwacis Cultural College, a post-secondary school within the Four Nations of Maskwacis, Alta. Lightning-Earle is married, has two young daughters, and is the sole practitioner at Thunderbird Law in her home community.


Catherine MacQuarrie

Catherine MacQuarrie recently joined the Institute of Public Administration of Canada as a Senior Executive in Residence, Aboriginal Government Programs on a two-year assignment. Previously, she joined the Canada School of Public Service in February 2013 as Vice-President, Strategic Directions, Program Development and Marketing Branch. Catherine was the lead on designing a major transformation of the School’s learning and business model to improve the quality and accessibility of learning for public servants across the country, focussed on excellence in public administration. She was also responsible for corporate leadership, development and oversight of the School’s strategic agenda, supporting School governance, corporate planning and reporting, the marketing and communication of the School’s programs and services, and relationships with academia, other governments, and private sector or other organizations that specialize in public sector management and leadership. Before joining the School, Catherine was Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Public Service Renewal, at the Privy Council Office (PCO) for two years where she led the research and development of what is now known as “Blueprint 2020” in support of the Deputy Minister Committee on Public Service Renewal. Prior to her tenure at PCO, Catherine spent two years with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as Assistant Deputy Minister of Human Resources, and six years with Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) where she played a significant leadership role in policy development, management and integration of public service values and ethics in the Canadian Public Service, including the design and implementation of key policy instruments such as the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service, and the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. Catherine first joined the federal Public Service in 1994 with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, working in aboriginal land claims negotiations and self-government policy, including developing innovative approaches and programs for governance capacity development of First Nations Governments. A Metis born in Alberta, Catherine grew up in the Northwest Territories where she launched her first career as a reporter, newspaper editor and a senior manager in Aboriginal media. She holds a BA in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson University and an MA in Public Administration (Public Policy) from the University of Ottawa.


Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell

Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell is one of the most respected First Nations leaders in Canada. Born in Akwesasne and raised by a traditional family, Kanentakeron had the benefit of a strong cultural and spiritual upbringing. Fluent in the Mohawk language, Kanentakeron has successfully applied traditional diplomatic skills in solving today’s challenges to First Nations on local, regional and national levels in all areas of development and renewal.
For three decades, Kanentakeron has served his people in a political capacity as Chief and Grand Chief in one of most volatile, yet progressive First Nations communities in Canada. His vision to help restore the independence of the Mohawk people of Akwesasne is based on applying the best of both Haudenoshaunee Philosophy and modern democratic government systems.
During the late sixties and early seventies, Kanentakeron was involved in the conquest to retrieve the Islands that were owned by the Mohawks of Akwesasne. However, was leased out by the department of Indian Affairs, under a 9999 year lease. During this period Kanentakeron organized an international bridge blockade that challenged Canada to restore the border crossing rights of First Nations under the Jay Treaty. In 1970, Kanentakeron was elected to council as District chief for a two year term. Kanentakeron did not get involved in politics for another ten years.
During this period there were ongoing skirmishes, between the elected system supporters and the traditional followers of the longhouse. Years later, Kanentakeron would be asked to return to the elective system government and initiate changes that would bring the power of decision making back to the community.
In 1982, Kanentakeron was re-elected as a District Chief to the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne representing Cornwall Island. In 1984 he became the Grand Chief of MCA, then with a membership population of 10,000. He held the position until 2002 when he retired from 20 years in politics. In the summer of 2003, the community brought him out of retirement to again serve as District Chief of Cornwall Island for one more term, after to which he resumed his position as Grand Chief until 2006, where the population had increased to 14,000. In 2009 Kanentakeron returned back to his position as Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and held this position until 2015. When he decided to take a break from politics, to continue working on his book on Nation Building.
Prior to politics, Kanentakeron has also worked as an Ironworker (Local 440), film maker (National Film Board) and Director of Cultural Education at the North American Indian Traveling College.


Gwen Phillips

Gwen is a citizen of the Ktunaxa Nation and has worked for the Ktunaxa Nation Council for the past thirty-three years, holding a variety of senior management functions, at times overseeing departments of Education, Health, Corporate Services, Traditional Knowledge and Language and for the past decade, functioning as the Director responsible for Governance Transition; leading the Ktunaxa Nation back to self-government.

In the early 1990’s, following a population health approach, Gwen established the Community Healing and Intervention Program (CHIP) to address individual and community issues related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. In order to further the Nation’s interests in providing appropriate educational interventions in addition to the community-based intervention activities, Gwen negotiated the first Local Education Agreement between a First Nation and a Public School District, effectively breaking the federal-provincial Master Tuition Agreement for all First Nations governments in British Columbia. Building on the strength gained through this early work, the Nation established one of the most successful First Nation child welfare agencies in the province of British Columbia. This work has resulted in significant systems transformation and the Ktunaxa Nation now provides a variety of social services to all Aboriginal people across their territory, both on and off reserve.

Gwen has represented the Ktunaxa Nation on numerous Boards and Committees, locally, regionally and nationally and is currently championing the BC First Nations’ Data Governance Initiative (; a tripartite government initiative (federal, provincial and First Nations governments) with a key objective being timely access to quality data to plan, manage and account for investments and outcomes associated with First Nations well-being. As a member of the First Nations Health Council, Gwen is part of the team that negotiated the transfer of Health Canada’s BC Region First Nations and Inuit Health Branch to First Nations control, and she represents BC First Nations’ interests nationally in Data Governance, as a member of the First Nations Information Governance Centre Board.

Gwen has extensive experience in relationship building and has developed and instructed First Nation Studies courses at the elementary, secondary and college levels and continues to function as a public educator. Her formal training is in Business Administration and she has operated her own small business, as a community planner, facilitator/trainer, artist and curriculum developer. Gwen’s most enjoyable pastime is being at home with her 8 year old granddaughter.


the Honourable Bob Rae

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.


Dr. Tim Raybould

Dr. Tim Raybould is a Professor of Practice at McGill University at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.  Tim was educated at the University of Cambridge (Ph.D. in social anthropology).  For over twenty-five years he has provided professional advice to First Nations and Indigenous organizations in Canada and has been directly involved in a number of Indigenous–led sectoral and comprehensive governance initiatives.  His wife is Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould.


Miles G. Richardson

Miles G. Richardson is a citizen of the Haida Nation and Canada. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Victoria in 1979. From 1984 to 1996, he served as President of the Haida Nation.

Richardson was a member of the British Columbia Claims Task Force. From 1991 to 1993, he was a member of the First Nations Summit Task Group, which is an executive body representing First Nations in BC. In October 1995, Richardson was nominated by the Summit and appointed as a Commissioner to the BC Treaty Commission. He was elected to a second term in April 1997. In November 1998, he was chosen as Chief Commissioner by agreement of Canada, BC and the First Nations Summit for a three-year term and was reappointed in November 2001.

In 2007, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Currently, Richardson owns and operates his own business providing strategic advice on relationship building and business development between First Nations and the private sector; First Nations governance development; and sustainability policy and business development. Richardson is also the Director for the Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development at the University of Victoria.


Scott Serson

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.


Marilyn Slett

Marilyn Slett is a member of the Heilsuk Nation and is serving her third year as elected chief councillor. Marilyn has served two consecutive terms as an elected tribal councillor and is a former executive director of the Heilsuk Tribal Council. She has completed the certificate in the administration of indigenous governments and diploma in public sector management with the university of Victoria. Her regional representation includes current Vice-President of the Coastal First Nations/Great Bear Initiative and a committee member of the funding agreement management committee (First Nation/ INAC committee), which focuses on funding agreements and reporting.


Dr. Marie Wilson

Former Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2009-2015 Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Marie Wilson spent three decades in an illustrious journalism career before becoming one of three commissioners of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). At the TRC, she worked for six and a half years to reveal the history and impacts of more than a century of forced residential schooling for Indigenous children. as a widely sought public speaker both within Canada and internationally.
Wilson was appointed a TRC commissioner after a career as an award-winning journalist, trainer, senior executive manager, independent contractor, and consultant in journalism, program evaluation, and project management. She has been a professor at two Canadian universities, and a high school teacher in Africa. She has lived, studied, and worked in cross-cultural environments, including Europe, Africa, and various parts of Canada, for over forty-five years.
In journalism, Wilson worked in print, radio, and television as a regional and national reporter. She was the founding host of the North’s first weekly television current affairs program, Focus North. As Regional Director for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, she launched the North’s first daily television news service against the backdrop of four time zones and ten languages (English, French and eight Indigenous languages). From CBC North, Wilson developed the Arctic Winter Games and True North Concert series for national audiences, in order to share unique Northern musical performance and Indigenous sports with the rest of the country. She recruited and developed Indigenous staff, established the CBC North Awards to acknowledge staff excellence, and devoted programming to support and promote literacy, including Indigenous languages. Beyond the CBC, she served as an associate board member of what would become APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.


The Honourable Carolyn Bennett

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

Dr. Bennett has previously served as the Critic for Public Health, Seniors, Persons with Disabilities, the Social Economy, and Aboriginal Affairs. In 2003, she was named Minister of State for Public Health.

Prior to her election, Dr. 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.

Carolyn is an active representative of Toronto–St. Paul’s. She has organized over 75 town halls, quarterly meetings, information sessions on parliamentary affairs, 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.

She speaks passionately about Canada and citizens’ 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, Dr. Bennett received the Royal Life Saving Society Cross – a Commonwealth 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 received the first ever CAMIMH Mental Health Champion Award. Carolyn was the first recipient of the National Award of Excellence for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to Injury Prevention and Safety promotion in Canada.

Carolyn is the co-author of Kill or Cure? How Canadians Can Remake Their Health Care System.

She and her husband, Peter O’Brian, a successful Canadian producer, have two sons, Jack and Ben.


Clément Chartier

Clément Chartier QC, is President of the Métis National Council. Chartier received his law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1978, was called to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1980 and received the Queen’s Counsel designation in 2004. During his political career, Chartier has held a number of executive positions in Indigenous political bodies, including: Native Youth Association of Canada Executive Director, 1973; Association of Métis and Non-Status Indians of Saskatchewan (AMNSIS) Vice-President, 1982–85; Métis National Council (MNC) Chairperson, 1983 and 1984/85; MNC Ambassador on International Issues, 1993–96; MNC President, 2003 to present; World Council of Indigenous Peoples President, 1984–87, Vice-President, 1993–97; and Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MNS) President, 1998–2003.
A strong advocate for Métis rights, Chartier was the defendants’ lawyer in R. v. Grumbo (1996), which briefly affirmed Métis Aboriginal hunting rights throughout Saskatchewan, and in R. v. Morin and Daigneault (1996), which upheld the Aboriginal fishing rights of Métis in northern Saskatchewan and in R. v. Belhumeur (2007) which confirmed Métis fishing rights in southern Saskatchewan. He also served as MNC counsel in its intervention in the 2003 Supreme Court of Canada R. v. Powley appeal, which recognized Métis Aboriginal hunting rights in Ontario.
In December 2010, Chartier’s book, Witness to Resistance: Under Fire in Nicaragua was released.


Isadore Day

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.

Jurisdiction: April 2017 – Vancouver, British Columbia

Canada’s legal and constitutional framework has been a fundamental element in defining and shaping the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples. As the legal framework has evolved, from the Royal Proclamation to Section 35, so to have the nature and expression of modern jurisdictional relationships. This can be seen in the judicial assertion of rights as the primary option, which often leads to lengthy litigation resulting in a legal relationship built on reaction and conflict. While the Constitution and legislation have provided opportunities for advancement, there remain impediments related to the achievement of self-government, cooperation, imagination and political will. Further foundational changes are required to develop new conceptions of jurisdiction under a renewed nation-to-nation relationship built on trust and respect.

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Speaker Bios Coming soon

Intergovernmental Fiscal Relationships: April 2017 – Toronto, Ontario

 Sustainable revenue is essential for any government to create and deliver equitable and fair services that serve to promote the well being of its citizens. Jurisdiction is hollow without the capacity to exercise it. Comparable services across territorial jurisdictions through transfers and shared revenue has been the cornerstone of Canadian federalism, yet the same cannot be said for the fiscal relationship between Indigenous governments and the federal government, which has been based on stagnate transfers and unpredictable arrangements. There remains a clear socio-economic gap between Indigenous peoples and Canadians, resulting from the barriers created by the current construct of the fiscal relationship. Efforts have been taken to attempt to address this gap, ranging from policy frameworks to legislative regimes. A new system is needed that is feasible within the political and institutional environment, and leads to increased sustainability.


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Collective Governance and Wealth Creation: May 2017 – Halifax, Nova Scotia

It is becoming clear that sound governance is a prerequisite for rapid improvement in the well being of communities and nations. Moreover, it is our view that sound governance is a prerequisite for improving opportunities for wealth creation among Indigenous communities and organizations, and that wealth creation is both a key support to self-determination and a facilitator of economic success for all parties. Many Indigenous groups have already, or are currently, engaged in strengthening and maintaining their own governance structures to facilitate wealth generation.

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National Event: September 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario

The four dialogues will culminate in a national event that will aim to bring together all stakeholders to address the outcomes of the discussions that emerged, including identified themes linkages, challenges, potential results, and timelines. The IOG believes that this event, supported by the past dialogues, will assist in providing the opportunity for all parties to convene and begin establishing the foundation required for addressing a new framework for a renewed relationship.

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