Speakers

Nick Crighton

Nick Crighton

Director of Indigenous Engagement

Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce

Rhonda Forgues

Rhonda Forgues

Manager, Indigenous Relations

City of Winnipeg

Rhonda’s background and experience crosses a variety of different sectors including government, non-profit community-based organizations and the private sector.  Most recently, Rhonda led the City of Winnipeg’s Journey of Reconciliation in a role that spanned over 13 years.  As a part of the senior management team Rhonda was responsible for leading the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, the implementation of the MMIWG Calls for Justice, the Indigenous Accord, the Indigenous Youth Strategy, Welcoming Winnipeg and various projects that include Indigenizing City Hall.Rhonda also held a role of Senior Project Officer with Aboriginal and Northern Affairs and the Intergovernmental Affairs Department with the Province of Manitoba; as well as the Aboriginal Programs Manager with SEED (Supporting Employment and Economic Development) Winnipeg and various other roles in private corporations.Rhonda’s education includes a Masters in Municipal Leadership, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Credit Union board training, CANDO certification and extensive training in community development. She also has several years of board and volunteer experience with organizations such as the Manitoba Community Services Council, Kildonan United Church, Huron Child Care Inc. and Assiniboine Credit Union.

Paul Gruner

Paul Gruner

President & CEO

Det’on Cho Management LP

Paul Gruner has 15 years of progressive management experience in several industries including Oil and Gas Midstream Operations, Civil Construction, Telecommunications and manufacturing. He has worked primarily in the North including Northern British Columbia, Yukon, Alaska and currently Northwest Territories. In the past he has served as the General Manager of Dakwakada Capital Investments, CEO of  Castle Rock Enterprises and President of RAB Energy. Currently he is the President and CEO of Det’on Cho Management LP which is the investment arm of the Yellowknives Dene First Nations. He sits on several boards including the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Canadian Chamber of Commerce,  Future Skills Centre Canada, Northwest Territories / Nunavut Chamber of Mines and Da Daguay Development Corporation.

In addition to his professional experience he has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Northern British Columbia, a Chartered Professional Accounting Designation and the Institute Corporate Director Designation.

Blair Hogan

Blair Hogan

Chair, Investment Committee

Teslin Tlingit Council

Blair has fought for the advancement of Teslin Tlingit Council and his home town of Teslin for the last 9-years and is proud of the many accomplishments in Teslin and being part of the many amazing successes in Teslin’s development over that time. Over this decade of work, the community development corporation was launched (DDC) with now 6+ years of successes; the community recognized internationally for joint 10-year Community Development Planning which has yielded massive value for the community; Teslin recognized as Community Economic Developer of the Year Award by CANDO in 2016; the creation of a biomass economy in Teslin that has inspired local opportunities and the interest of community leaders who visit and study our work from around the world. Over this same period Blair developed Gunta Business Consulting (Gunta) supplying its services across the north focusing on communities, governments and businesses providing;

*Business Planning * Renewable Energy Feasibility * Community Engagement * Virtual Event Services * Project Management *

Jenny Imbeau

Director, First Nation Relations and Capacity Development, Executive Council Office

Government of Yukon

Ruby Littlechild

National Director, Indigenous Relations

SNC-Lavalin

SNC‑Lavalin’s National Director of Indigenous Relations – Ruby Littlechild, M.B.A., M.Ed., B.A. Ruby is Plains Cree from Maskwacis, Alberta and of Treaty 6 descent. She comes from the Wandering Spirit bloodline, one of Big Bears’ revered spiritual warriors. She is a key and vitally important person for SNC-Lavalin when it comes to building Indigenous communities.  Ruby has an educated, grassroots, lived experience and First Nations understanding of the communities that we build and their approach to community building. She is authentic, sincere and collaborative in her approach to engaging, building holistic, culturally based, stronger, more nurturing and thriving communities! In this presentation, she highlights the importance of Champions, Allies and Influencers for successful Indigenous development.

Drew Mildon

Drew Mildon

Partner

Woodward and Company LLP

Drew Mildon is a partner at Woodward and Company LLP.  His primary areas of practice are resource law, business associations, tax, trusts, contracts, and strategic implementation of Aboriginal rights and title.

Robert Tookoome

Business Development Advisor

National Indigenous Fisheries Institute

20 years of experience working for Inuit organizations at all levels from National, Territorial and Regional s of economic development. Dealing with IIBAs from negotiation to implementing various IIBAs. Strong connection with Nunavut communities and officials as well.