Conference Program

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

    7:15 am - 7:45 am
Sunrise Ceremony
West Room, Lower Level

7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Foyer, Main Level
 7:30 am - 8:30 am Networking Continental Breakfast
Centennial Hall, Lower Level
Sponsored By: 


7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Visit the Exhibitors and Technology Café
Centennial Hall, Lower Level

8:30 am - 9:00 am
Prayer / Welcome / Greetings / Opening Plenary          
Salons ABCD, Upper Level

Prayer: Elder Nora Cummings, Senator, Métis Nation Saskatchewan Senate

Jessica Dorion, CAFM, Chair of the Board, AFOA Canada
Terry Goodtrack, MPA, B Admin, FCPA, FCGA, CAFM, CAPA, C. Dir, President and CEO, AFOA Canada     


Welcome by Conference Co-Chairs: Lee Ahenakew, Principal, Lee Ahenakew & Associates Consulting
Lynnette Lori Crowe, MBA, Finance Manager, Piapot First Nation, SK


Greetings: Chief Darcy Bear, Whitecap Dakota First Nation, SK

Remarks by Corporate Lead Sponsor: Keith Martell, CPA, CA, CAFM, Chief Executive Officer, First Nations Bank of Canada

9:00 am - 10:30 am
Opening Plenary - Managing Through Disruptions
Salons ABCD, Upper Level
At a community level, there are many disruptions that happen. This can be external pressures to a community organization such as floods and earthquakes. Other pressures can be how a community is addressing significant family and health issues. It can also be internal pressures to the organization such as cyber security breaches or changing workforce demographics such as the millennials in the workplace. As these disruptions occur, it raises many questions for managers and staff to ponder on how to effectively deal with them. These questions can point toward much needed changes in an organization’s strategy, risk management, financial or operations. It may also provide new insights that require leaders to ensure the community’s vision can still be achieved while managing through the disruptions. If you have to oversee or administer any type of disruption, this is a must attend conference for you.

Part 1 - Keynote Address
Keynote: Bill Namagoose, Executive Director, Grand Council of the Crees, QC

Part 2 - Panel Discussion
Moderator:  Harold Tarbell, Tarbell Facilitation Network
Panelists: Richard Aisaican, Councillor, Cowessess First Nation, SK
Yvonne Howse, Consultant
Bill Namagoose, Executive Director, Grand Council of the Crees, QC
Hector Winnipeg Jr., CouncillorSiksika Nation, AB

10:30 am - 11:00 am Refreshment Break / Visit the Exhibitors and Technology Café
Centennial Hall, Lower Level

11:00 am - 12:15 pm Concurrent Workshops and Information Sessions
Workshop A
Leadership and Governance The Challenge of Resistance to Change
Gallery A, Main Level
Resistance to change affects both individuals and organizations. The successful initiatives in a community, a business, a department, and for employees, depend upon the willingness of individuals to accept change. Leadership needs to include a plan for addressing the nature, the scope, and the potential impact of resistance to initiative and projects. Underestimating resistance causes risks to a project.
You will hear how approaches to minimizing resistance need to include both organizational “best practices” and the community’s culture. As community resources increase, growth is a key theme, and therefore new initiatives continue to be launched.  Capacity building is a constant challenge and employees are experiencing initiative fatigue fear that key employees will leave.
Learn about solutions that have been successful to this challenge of resistance and how there needs to be a dedicated focus that engages leadership and staff in raising awareness, having a good understanding, being emotionally engaged and committed to dealing with resistance.
This session is appropriate for individuals in a leadership role where sustainability of support is required to ensure that efforts of continual progress are maintained for successful completion of initiatives. With backgrounds of experience in human resources management consulting, the speakers have worked with First Nation’s community leadership in the areas of strategic planning, change management, and communication and will share examples of how issues of resistance were successfully overcome.
Moderator: ​Jack Jamieson, Vice President, Indigenous Services, T.E. Wealth
Speakers: Ismo Heikkila, Ismo Heikkila Consulting
Rodney L. Nelson
, PhD, CAPA, Chief Executive Officer & Principal of Governance, Global Governance Group

Sponsored by: 

Workshop B
Management, Finance and IT - Keeping Your Employees Safe – A Journey
Gallery  B, Main Level
Whitecap Dakota First Nation being a progressive First Nation has worked over the years at creating wealth and jobs within the Community. With job creation Leadership was also concerned about the health and safety of their members and wanted to make the safest work environment possible.  This workshop will be a case study of their journey to identifying and evaluating risks to employees and the Community as well as coordinating the specialized resources of their business partners, specifically Aon. Why this was deemed necessary will be discussed together with the process they went through to achieve their objective. In the discussion we will address what went well, what not so well, things to look out for if another Nation was to embark on such an exercise followed by a discussion about the benefits that they can expect to receive from the project.
Moderator: David Boisvert, President and Chief Executive Officer, Peace Hills Trust
Speakers: Kelly Kozak, CPA, CMA, CAFM, Chief Financial Officer, Whitecap Dakota First Nation
Brett Christie
, CRSP, CRM, Vice President, Manager Western Canada Safety, Health, Environment and Prairie Risk Control Services, Aon
Annmarie Garby
, Vice President Indigenous Relations, Aon

Workshop C
Business Development - The Role of Culture and Traditional Values in Economic Development
Gallery  C, Main Level
First Nations across Canada are acquiring more wealth than ever from sources such as land claim settlements, impact benefit agreements and revenues from Nation owned businesses. These new financial resources provide opportunities for further economic development to create jobs for members and continue growing the Nations revenue base.
When considering an economic development project what are the do’s and don’ts and how does culture and traditional values fit into the equation?
In this presentation we will provide real-life examples of communities and organizations that have flourished and maintained strong ties to culture and values and some that have struggled when the economic development project clashed with community values.
Moderator: Jacob Dockstator, JD MBA, Vice-President, Business Development, Bridging Finance Inc.
Speakers: Jeff Frketich, FCPA, FCGA, CFA, A/Vice President, Trust Services, Peace Hills Trust
Georgina Villeneuve
, MBA, MTI, Vice President, Trust Services, Peace Hills Trust

Sponsored by: 

Workshop D
Wealth Creation Demystifying Sustainable Investing
Gallery  D, Main Level
Stakeholders are increasing focused on sustainable and responsible investing strategies.  This session will focus on demystifying some of the terms and strategies used by Investment Managers and asset owners, as well as discuss various ways to incorporate ESG investing your Trust’s investment practices.
Moderator: Patrick Dinsdale, Commercial Account Manager, Indigenous Banking Saskatchewan, Royal Bank of Canada
Speakers: Donald Herman, CFA, Director & Portfolio Manager, Institutional Management, Jarislowsky, Fraser Limited
Chad Paparoni
, Jarislowsky, Fraser Limited

Workshop E
Human Capital - Gender Equity: Setting the Stage for Gender Equality
Salon E, Upper Level
There is often confusion about the differences in meaning of the terms “gender equity” and “gender equality” in the workplace.  Gender Equity is the means to the end goal of gender equality. As employers, and employers of women who face many issues and challenges of social, economic and political marginalization, it is vital that we not only know about the differences between these two terms, but that we also create a positive action plan. This positive action plan includes policy development and implementation on issues such as equal opportunity employment, pay equity as well as equal pay for equal work, which do differ in meaning and implementation, and workplace violence.
For a healthy workplace, the latter must include a complaint process in relation to workplace violence generally and workplace sexual harassment, which includes the physical workplace as well as the cyber workplace – to ensure that complaints are brought forward and the complainants are not silenced or re-victimized providing female Band members with an equal voice and full participation in their workplaces, which translates to their communities.
Moderator: Julie Ann Wriston, Senior Advisor, Strategic Inclusion, Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations, Nutrien Ltd.
Speakers: Sheryl L. Johnson, Partner, Sullivan Mahoney LLP
Nikki Orosz
, Director of Operations, Caldwell First Nation, ON

Information Session 1

Education The Certified Indigenous Leaders (CIL) Program and The Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrators (CAPA) Program
Regal A, Main Level
Come join us at this Information Session to learn about the CAPA Program and the new CIL Program. Learn about the new certification for Indigenous elected (chief and council), youth and future leaders. The Certified Indigenous Leadership (CIL) Program will enhance the knowledge, skills and professional development of elected officials to enable them to better perform their functions and build community prosperity and financial well-being. Using key competencies developed from survey results of over 70 First Nations chiefs across the country, this program was specifically designed to set high quality competency standards and provide the learning opportunities which will enable Indigenous leaders and future leaders working in First Nations communities to gain the knowledge and skills required to enhance their leadership roles in serving their communities. The Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator (CAPA) Program has been designed to certify senior administrators, senior managers, and aspiring administrators working in Indigenous communities and organizations on reserve, off reserve and in urban, rural and remote settings. Using key competencies developed with the input of senior administrators across the country, this Program provides new opportunities for those in this profession to be formally acknowledged, certified, and recognized for the professional work they do every day.
Speaker: Patricia Debassige, Manager, Education and Membership, AFOA Canada

Information Session 2
Sponsor Can Independent Business Valuations Solve Indigenous Financial Puzzles?
Regal B, Main Level
Mr. Livingstone will cover the basics of business valuations and give “real world” examples of how he assisted Indigenous entities price or acquire businesses in the aviation, trucking, fuel distribution, manufacturing and fishing sectors. He will also discuss “tax driven” transactions, litigation support and when “fair market value” isn’t fair.
Speaker: Hugh Livingstone, CPA, CGA, CBV, Incorporated Partner, Crowe MacKay LLP

Sponsored by:  

12:30 pm - 2:30 pm 
Luncheon - A Focus on our Indigenous Youth
Salons ABCD, Upper Level
There is a great demand in our communities for financial professionals. However, very few of our young people are pursuing an education in financial management after high school, and many communities have considerable difficulty attracting and keeping financial management staff.  AFOA Canada launched the Indigenous Youth Financial Management Conference Awards to address this issue. 

Presentation of the 14th Nutrien Indigenous Youth Financial Management Awards
Presenter: Lisa Mooney
, Global Lead, Sustainability and Strategic Inclusion, Nutrien Ltd.
Youth Recipients: Elizabeth Gagné
, Grade 12, Harvest City Christian Academy, Regina, SK
Nathan Headrick
, Grade 12, St. Mary's College, Garden River First Nation, ON
Natalie Ward
, Grade 12, Bayside Academy, Port Hope Simpson, NL

Sponsored by: 

2:45 pm - 4:15 pm
Concurrent Workshops and Information Sessions
Workshop F
Leadership and Governance The New Fiscal Relationship – What Ideas Are in the Report?
Gallery A, Main Level
On June 10, 2019, the Joint Advisory Committee on New Fiscal Relationship released its report.  The Chiefs-in-Assembly passed a resolution that there be extensive engagement on this report with First Nation Communities.   This report charts a path forward on the fiscal relationship between First Nations and the Crown.   The report recommends how a statutory transfer is needed to close the socio-economic gap between First Nations peoples and mainstream Canadians.   It includes the Institutions needed to support communities in the future.   In addition, the presenters will provide information on and clarify how the 10-year transfer is separate from the New Fiscal Relationship.
Moderator: Clayton Norris, CAFM, MBA, CPA, CMA, Vice President, Indigenous Services, MNP
Speakers: Richard Nerysoo, Northwest Territories Member, New Fiscal Relationship Advisory Committee
Daniel Wilson, Special Advisor, Assembly of First Nations

Hand out 1
Hand out 2
Workshop G
Leadership and Governance - Being Ready Doesn’t Always Mean Being Ready…
Gallery  B, Main Level
Even the best laid plans can be turned upside down when life throws a curve ball. That said, anticipating events that could throw you off your game and being as well prepared as possible is still the recommended way to go. In this session, you will hear from leaders who have planned for, prepared for, and lived through significant events that tested their resourcefulness. They will share the successes and the mistakes they have learned from, as well as what they consider to be important in leading First Nations Communities and organizations through a myriad of challenges.
Moderator: Deborah Taylor, Executive Director, First Nations Market Housing Fund
Speakers: Richard Aisaican, Councillor, Cowessess First Nation, SK
John Beaucage, Chair of the First Nations Market Housing Fund and former Grand Chief of the Anishinabek Nation, ON
Kevin Seesequasis, Councillor, Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation

Sponsored by: 

Workshop H
Business Development HST in Indigenous Trusts – The Caldwell First Nation Experience
Gallery  C, Main Level
This session is a panel discussion on the experience of an Ontario First Nation who has challenged the taxation on the fees of certain professional services required in the administration of their Trust.
Moderator: Domenic Natale, Vice President, Indigenous Services, TD Wealth
Speakers: Rachel Bayley
, Regional Manager, Indigenous Trust Services – TD Wealth
Jaimie Lickers
, Partner and Leader of the Indigenous Law Group, Gowling WLG
Robyn Perkins
, Councillor, Caldwell First Nation, ON

Workshop I
Wealth Creation - Battling Short-Termism
Gallery  D, Main Level
The past year has provided investors with an important reminder of what volatility in capital markets actually feels like. Even for investors with upwards of 10 years experience in the gently rising equity markets we’ve experience in the last decade, all the stories of the Great Recession, Internet Bubble, Long-Term Capital and the Crash of ’87 were important to know but difficult to understand. To be successful investors, Community leaders need to be vigilant. Vigilant not to let structural norms like quarterly reporting patterns affect their judgement of a company’s value, a stock’s attractiveness, or an investment managers skill. They also need to vigilant themselves. “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself,” once wrote Richard Feynman, the Nobel Laurate [1965] for Physics, “and you are the easiest person to fool.” By applying the techniques outlined in this presentation, which include recognizing companies that are being run with long term strategies to add value, resisting the temptation to try to time the market and avoiding the behavioural biases that can negatively impact decision making, Community leaders can maximize the long term value of the investments they oversee.
Moderator: Jessica Dorion, CAFM, Chair of the Board of Directors, AFOA Canada and Conference Committee Member
Speakers: Daren Atkinson, CFA, Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel
Michael Job
, CFA, Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel

Workshop J
Human Capital Creating Healthier Community Administrations
Salon E, Upper Level
This session is interactive and has helped communities and organizations focus on the positive effects and results of working towards creating healthier, more productive workplaces. Many of us often bring our home stresses into our work space and may take it out on our coworkers. This includes often unconscious behavior of “Lateral Violence” occurring.
This workshop will help the participant to see their shared meaning and focus on their professional reputation and personal lives. As unconscious as this behavior is, most of us really do or have behaved in these manners, ourselves!
Many of our issues are challenging ones. However the speaker will help bring participants an awareness by addressing some of the difficult but unique issues which often include impulsiveness, misdirection, misplaced anger and other, sometimes annoying but, often, entertaining encounters that we seem to find only in our Original Country.
You will hear how it is possible to blend family, community and work life to create a healthy balancing act, to prevent, minimize and possibly help during organizational disruptions. You will learn how If we commit ourselves to another route, A Proactive Path, we can walk in the direction of a committed and ‘Shared Vision’ of creating a healthier future for our community organizations.
Moderator: Celestino Oh, Associate Partner, Crowe MacKay LLP
Speaker: Kwatsitsa:wi M. Meloche, V.I.S.T.A. Seminars

Information Session 3

Education Indigenous Financial Wellness Program:  How AFOA Canada is Working with Indigenous Communities and Organizations on Financial Literacy
Regal A, Main Level
This session will highlight the 3-year initiative involving financial wellness clinics to raise awareness of capability and income of families and children in Indigenous communities and urban centers through tax clinics and how to access to benefits, community champions and engagement.  
This initiative will also train volunteers through community engagement and support to plan and deliver financial wellness clinics and super clinics to provide access to tax filing, benefits, banking and government services.  These clinics will help in reducing financial literacy barriers through education and acquisition of new skills in goal setting, budgeting, saving, accessing benefits, banking services, etc.
The second part of the session will include a discussion on the Sixties Scoop Financial Wellness Training on how and why the training began.  These sessions worked with community members involved with settlement agreements and the onslaught of Sudden Wealth Syndrome along with the community’s reactions.  Through goal-setting and planning, these training events provided integral best practices and lessons learned for both the community members and AFOA Canada.
Moderator: Doretta Thompson, CAPA, Director Corporate Citizenship, CPA Canada
Speakers: Helen Bobiwash, CPA, CMA, CAFM, Accountant
Simon Brascoupé, CFNHM, MA, CAPA, Director of Capacity and Member Services, First Nations Health Managers Association
Joseph Phillips, Administrator, Indigenous Financial Wellness, AFOA Canada

 Information Session 4
Business Development - Evolution of an Economic Landscape
Regal B, Main Level
Tsuut’ina Nation has created its own market for businesses small and large to compete, expand and flourish in as a result of its economic development initiatives. Tsuut’ina has had to not only be aware of the environment it operate and competes in, but also be knowledgeable of and prepared for the infrastructure investment plan and future developments while simultaneously retaining its values and beliefs as its vision expands in an ever-changing economic landscape.
Tsuut’ina has been successful in its operations of Grey Eagle Resort and Casino, the hotel and casino expansion as well as its future developments.  In addition to this amazing opportunity, Tsuut’ina is now incorporating the substantial economic development opportunities gained as a result of the TUC final agreement.  Since the final agreement, Tsuut’ina has established a limited partnership agreement with the Canderel Group of Companies to develop the designated Nation lands. 
The presentation will highlight how Tsuut’ina has: i) Established a market for First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis Peoples to compete and flourish in; ii) Identified problems encountered in business and solutions that manifest as a result of its economic development opportunities, including external and internal trends; iii) Incorporated Indigenous and western knowledge by ongoing engagement of the Elders, community members and business people for its major economic development opportunities; and iv) Provided value to its citizens as an entrepreneur, a business, a Nation and for the future.
The case study presented will include: i) Our historical background; ii) Grey Eagle Resort and Casino; iii) How the TUC final agreement led us to Taza Development; and iv) How both business opportunities impacted us and set the stage for future endeavours.
Moderator: Kevin Frigon, Senior Business Development Manager, First Nations Financial Management Board
Speakers: Leanne Crowchild, Project Assistant, Tsuut’ina Nation, AB
Twylla Starlight
, CAFM, Director of Finance, Tsuut’ina Nation, AB

 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm AFOA Canada Annual General Meeting (Members only)
Gallery A, Main Level

 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm By-Invitation Only Networking Reception
Sheraton Hotel, Sheraton Centre Ballroom, Main Level

Sponsored by: