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Past Member Roundtables

2013 Roundtables

Mining: Evolving Industry and Aboriginal Intersections, Maximizing Benefits through Certainty
May 29, 2013 – Toronto

CCAB and Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP welcomed members and invited guests to a dynamic member roundtable to discuss the amendments to Ontario’s Mining Act which came into force on April 1, 2013.




The Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire has a number of large mining projects that will impact the economic climate of the region in ways never seen before.  Along with the immense economic opportunities also come the complexities of consultation and meaningful economic development with First Nations and Métis people. There are also expectations that, with these new developments in the mining sector, opportunities for Aboriginal communities to negotiate economic opportunities and to ensure protection of the environment and sites of cultural significance for Aboriginal people will be enhanced.

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business would like to thank Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP, our roundtable host and reception lead sponsor.  Also, thanks to our guest panelists for their exceptional and informative presentations that ignited a robust round of questions and answers.

Click on the Panelist name to read bio:

The Daniels Decision and what it means for Aboriginal business

The Federal Court has just ruled that Métis and non-status Indians are “Indians” within the meaning of s.91(24) of the Constitution, and that Métis and non-status Indians therefore fall within exclusive federal jurisdiction.

On February 22nd in Ottawa, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) members and invited guests participated in a national member roundtable to explore the implications for Aboriginal business in Canada, as a result of the Daniels Decision released on January 8, 2013.

As the relationship between First Nations, Métis, non-status Indians, and Corporate Canada continues to evolve; guest panelists addressed the issues around consultation, accommodation and resource development, and roundtable participants shared their views on the opportunities, challenges and impacts to Aboriginal business development and relationships. To read the Daniels Decision click here.

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business would like to thank Gowlings for hosting the roundtable and reception and thank you to our guest panelists:

Max Faille, Partner, Gowlings
Gary Lipinski, President & CEO, Métis Nation of Ontario
Stephen Lindley, Vice President, Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.
To read the panelist bios click here.

2012 Roundtables

In Saskatoon on June 19th, CCAB members attended the second member roundtable of 2012; to learn from a leading mining company and an Aboriginal Community Economic Development Corporation their strategic approaches to employ Aboriginal people in their operations. CCAB members found out from a leading social entrepreneur how to increase your knowledge networking and innovative practices to develop high performance employers for the advancement of educational, employment, economic opportunities, and inclusion for Aboriginal people.

Members discussed strategic approaches, shared their experiences and community challenges with guest panelists:

Desiree Kematch, Sr. Aboriginal Employment & Training Advisor, BHP Billition Canada Ltd.

Shannon Reschny, Business Analyst, Meadow Lake Tribal Council RDI

and Kelly Lendsay, President & CEO, Aboriginal Human Resource Council

The CCAB would like to thank the First Nations Bank of Canada for hosting the Maximizing Employment Opportunities for Aboriginal People member roundtable, and the roundtable guest panelists.

To read the panelists’ bios click here.

In Toronto on April 5th, CCAB members attended the first roundtable of the year to learn from two leading northern Ontario mining companies, and an Aboriginal community proponent about how to build and manage sustainable relationships.

Members explored the issues, shared their experiences, and discussed key factors with guest panelists:

Glenn Nolan, Vice President Aboriginal Affairs, Noront Resources Ltd.

Derek Teevan, Vice President Aboriginal and Government Affairs, Detour Gold

and Michael Fox, President, Fox High Impact Consulting.

The CCAB would like to thank BMO, Bank of Montreal, for hosting the Community Relations Member Roundtable, and the Roundtable panelists. To read the panelists’ biographies click here.

2011 Roundtables


May 25, 2011, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; hosted by MGM Communications
The 3 panels included:

Anchors of Aboriginal Associations

Erin Meehan, President, ESS North America, a Member of Compass Group Canada

Erin Meehan spoke about ESS’s overall experiences in joint ventures and lessons learned in “listening rather than talking” and their guiding principles.

Current Market for Aboriginal Engagement in Business

Brad Darbyshire, General Manager, Points Athabasca Contracting Limited Partnership

Brad Darbyshire addressed the current market for Aboriginal engagement in business, the need for partnerships, and key success factors when negotiating and sustaining partnership.

Getting to Win-Win: Legal and Tax Strategies and Opportunities for Aboriginal Partnerships

Maxime Faille, Partner, Gowlings

Maxime Faille, National Leader for Aboriginal Law at Gowlings LLP presented some of the legal and tax opportunities presented by Aboriginal partnerships, and how both Aboriginal communities and their non-Aboriginal partners can benefit from them.

Business Development for Entrepreneurs

October 6, 2011, Toronto, Ontario; hosted by Ernst & Young LLP
The 2 panels included:

Entrepreneurial Successful Business Fundamentals

Leslie Roberts, PhD, President and Founder, GoForth Institute

Leslie spoke about what 200 uber-entrepreneurs from across Canada told her about the business fundamentals you have to get right to be successful.

Demystifying Capital

Stephen Lewis, Partner and Senior Vice President, Ernst & Young Orenda Corporate Finance Inc.

Stephen demystified capital by explaining the sources of capital and how to choose the best one for you, and the do’s and don’ts of accessing capital. He advised on debt, equity and mezzanine financing alternatives, including the structure, placement and negotiation of financing solutions utilizing a network of Canadian and non-Canadian financing sources.


November 1, 2011, Calgary, Alberta; hosted by Newalta Corporation
The 3 panelists presented on:

How Aboriginal businesses and natural resource producers have been able to grow their business together. Two leading Aboriginal owned companies discussed how they have successfully expanded their business; including how a Progressive Aboriginal Relations company, certified at the Gold level, has increased business with Aboriginal suppliers.

Panelists included:

James Blackman, President, Primco Dene Group of Companies
Dave Tuccaro, C.E.O., Tuccaro Inc. Group of Companies
Steve Jani, Aboriginal Business Development Coordinator, Syncrude Canada Ltd.