Fascinating and relevant, very knowledgeable.
- Manager, People Effectiveness
House of Commons
[   Register | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Agenda (PDF)   ]

Human Resources Management for Indigenous and Northern Organizations

Optimizing Your Organization's Human Capital and Meeting Legal Obligations

December 4, 5 and 6, 2018  ·  Whitehorse, Yukon
Featuring These Industry Experts

Diana Hamilton, Manager, Human Resources, Kwikwetlem First Nation

Diana Hamilton joined the Kwikwetlem First Nation (KFN), a progressive and rapidly growing Nation that resides in Coquitlam/Port Coquitlam, in November 2016. Ms. Hamilton has over 10 years of human resources experience. Diana was hired to implement the Human Resources function and brings a big-picture entrepreneurial approach to everything she does, with a passion for building successful employees, managers and teams, by coaching, training and implementing tools to modernize all areas of human resources, ensuring alignment with the strategic goals of the organization. Prior to joining the Kwikwetlem First Nation, Ms. Hamilton worked in the high tech sector where she built the Human Resources function, outsourced and administered payroll. Diana has a General Business Management Certificate, a Human Resources Management Certificate and is a Certified Payroll Practitioner.

J. Berry Hykin, Lawyer, Woodward and Company Lawyers LLP

J. Berry Hykin's diverse practice is focused on helping First Nations to develop and implement the comprehensive regulatory infrastructure critical to effective self-governance. She works with First Nations to create systems to support all aspects of governance, administration, land management and economic development, and to implement practical solutions tailored to each First Nation's needs, abilities and traditions. Her work also includes advising First Nations on human resources matters and navigating the complex intersection between law, culture and interpersonal relationships that can arise in this unique context.

Berry has been with Woodward & Company since 2004. She received her J.D. from the University of Victoria in 2005 where she took an intensive Indigenous Legal Studies program. Berry was called to the BC Bar in September, 2006 and the Alberta Bar in January, 2011. She has appeared as counsel and co-counsel in Federal Court, BC Supreme Court, BC Provincial Court, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench and before administrative tribunals. Berry has taken civil mediation and family law mediation training.

Judy Kainz, Director, Prevention Services, Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission Northwest Territories and Nunavut

Judy Kainz has over 30 years of progressive work experience; working in a variety of industries from manufacturing, construction to utilities and for the last 9 years as a member of Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission's Prevention Service Department. In her current role of Director of Prevention and Employer Services, Judy leads a group whose primary responsibility is for Education, Collaboration and Enforcing the Safety Act and Regulation for Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Keenan Bengts
Elaine Keenan Bengts, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Northwest Territories and Nunavut

Elaine Keenan Bengts was appointed as the first Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of the Northwest Territories in 1997. She has since been re-appointed in 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015. Her current appointment expires on October 31st, 2020. Ms. Keenan Bengts was also appointed as the first Information and Privacy Commissioner of Nunavut in early 2000 and she continues to hold that position today. Her current appointment in Nunavut expires in March of 2020.

Marie-Pier Leduc, Associate, McLennan Ross LLP

Marie-Pier Leduc works with northern clients, both unionized and non-unionized, advising them on all types of issues that arise in the workplace, including employment agreements, collective agreement interpretations, labour standards, safety, human rights and privacy issues. She also provides immigration services to institutions and individuals alike.

Deborah McLeod, Director, NWT Human Rights Commission

Deborah McLeod has been with the NWT Human Rights Commission since its inception in 2004, first as Deputy Director and now as Director. Deborah has a PhD from the University of Alberta, holds the designation of Canadian Human Resources Professional (CHRP), and has trained extensively in facilitation and mediation. Since 2013 Deborah has been involved in an international leadership master class which periodically brings together people from across the globe to explore how to develop effective and authentic leaders through mindfulness, creative process, and collaboration.

Kristi Searle, Human Resources and Business Strategist, Peoplebiz Consulting Inc

Kristi Searle, CPHR, CPC, has over 24 years' experience as an internal and external manager and advisor, and maintains high-level membership on several industry associations, panels, boards and executive committees. Peoplebiz partners with medium, large and Fortune 500 companies across sectors, providing a spectrum of contingency and retainer-based services that impact profitability. Peoplebiz works with a number of First Nations and Aborginal organizations like: Musaqeuam Indian Band, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Dzawada'enuxw Tribal Council, Dzawada'enuxw First Nation, First Nations Fisheries Council, Cold Lake First Nation, Inter Tibal Health Authority and Kwikwasut'inuxw Haxwa'mis First Nation.

Michelle Thériault, Associate, McLennan Ross LLP

Michelle Thériault is a labour employment lawyer acting for a variety of clients, including First Nations, municipalities, territorial governments, charities and not-for-profit organizations, small businesses and larger corporate clients in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Michelle assists employers with all aspects of the employment relationship, including advising on employment agreements, workplace policies, workplace investigations, employee discipline and termination, wrongful dismissal actions, employment standards matters and human rights matters. Michelle also represents employers in all aspects of managing unionized workplaces, including advising on certification applications, representing employers in collective bargaining negotiations, providing advice on collective agreement interpretation, assisting employers through the grievance process and representing employers in grievance arbitrations.

Allan Twissell, Principal, NorthWays Consulting

Allan Twissell is the Principal and Lead Consultant of NorthWays Consulting, a northern owned and operated management consulting firm that is celebrating over 20 years of operation. Allan has extensive experience managing projects for Indigenous governments and organizations; the federal and territorial governments; community governments; boards and agencies; and industry. He has worked in almost every community in the Northwest Territories and many in Nunavut as well as in British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon. Allan has extensive experience working with governments and organizations to develop highly effective and meaningful strategies and actions plans.

Allan established NorthWays Consulting in 1996 and since that time has completed over 150 projects providing advice and consultative services in such areas as community and labour force development; strategic and human resource planning; human resource management systems design and implementation; organizational planning and analysis; and policy and program design.

Allan has a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on leadership and human resource planning and development. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Communications.

Tess Warner, Director, Claims, Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission Northwest Territories and Nunavut

Tess Warner is the Director, Claims Services at Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Tess believes in the safety and care of injured workers. Tess has worked in the social services field for the past sixteen years, predominantly in the areas of Mental Health and Substance mis-use. She joined the WSCC in 2014. Tess holds degrees in Social Work from Dalhousie University and Sociology from Acadia University.

Melanie Wozencroft, Human Resources Administrator and Operations Advisor, Bouwa Whee Catering

Melanie Wozencroft provides recruitment services and administrative support for Bouwa Whee Catering's head office, as well as their Snap Lake, Diavik and Gahcho Kué onsite operations. With more than 170 full time employees on staff, Bouwa Whee Catering is 100% Indigenous owned and maintains a workforce that is over 80% Northern and 50% Indigenous. Melanie has a proven track record of recruiting a qualified, northern team to staff Bouwa Whee Catering's onsite Management, Kitchen, Housekeeping, and Janitorial departments. Recently, Bouwa Whee Catering was awarded the Catering and Accommodations Management contract for Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine. Melanie took the lead on the recruitment, pre-site training, coordination of site clearances, and onboarding of 52 full time staff members within a two-month period. Melanie is a member of the Métis Nation of Canada and is passionate about life in the North. She has a BA in International Relations from UBC, with a focus on Indigenous Studies, Economic Development, and Political Science.

Dena Zavier, Founder, Summit Vision Communication; Human Resource Consultant, Selkirk First Nation and Carcross/Tagish First Nation

Dena Zavier, BA, CHRP, has been a Human Resource Professional for over 35 years, working both on the management side and as an advocate/problem solver on the union side. Employing a broad range of skills gained from training in leadership, communications, training, psychology, and outdoor adventure, she has supported three Yukon First Nations as both employee and as the principal consultant for Summit Vision Communication in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. She believes that acknowledging the unique nature of individuals within their unique organizations is key to creating an environment where employees are able to grow and be their best for themselves and their employers.

[   Register | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Agenda (PDF)   ]



As a leader responsible for human resources, you play an essential role in your organization. You are required to develop and implement personnel policies, keep abreast of evolving laws and regulations, and champion a healthy, happy, and respectful workplace.

INFONEX's three-day Human Resources Management for Indigenous and Northern Organizations course taking place December 4-6, 2018, in Whitehorse, will provide you with a mixture of learning opportunities and advance your knowledge in employment law, staff development, how to do employee evaluations, instill a team culture, and prevent bullying in the workplace.

Attend this conference and hear HR practitioners share their success stories of improving human resources policy, employee wellness, skills capacity development, and preventing bullying, at their respective organizations. Discuss approaches to managing employees and social media. Learn about how one employer aligns their policy with the community culture. Get a toolkit for how to influence people, which will help you instill a team approach to meeting your human resources objectives. Hear how the youth movement can help you attract and retain talent for your organization.

Human Resources Management for First Nations Governments will allow you to benefit from the thought-provoking discussions, need-to-know regulatory updates, and practical tool kits covering the full scope of human resource management at First Nations organizations. We hope to see you there.

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