Advancing Reconciliation

Indigenous Opportunities Forum 2023 Presented by CN

Friday, September 15, 2023
7:30 AM
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Schedule:Registration and Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. PT
Program: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PT

Full Agenda (PDF)

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Sponsor Resources

CN operates within or adjacent to nearly 230 reserve lands of more than 110 First Nations and Métis territories in eight provinces in Canada and seven reserve lands in the United States. Working alongside Indigenous communities across the CN network, we make it a priority to strengthen our ties, cultivate and develop mutually beneficial relationships and create economic opportunities to work toward reconciliation.

Canada’s Indigenous Peoples face unique financial barriers, especially when it comes to accessing capital or credit. In this episode, our guest is Jon Davey, the Vice President of Indigenous Financial Services at Scotiabank. He’ll explain the root of the challenges that still exist for Indigenous-owned businesses as well as success stories he’s seen when it comes to economic reconciliation and how that can help unlock “Canada’s competitive advantage.”

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As the Metro Vancouver region's economic development leadership service, Invest Vancouver is laying the foundation for a region where every resident can thrive economically in a fast-changing economy. We foster greater regional and cross-sectoral collaboration on economic development issues, advise leaders on economic policy and strategy, promote the region to a global audience, and attract strategic investment — all while working closely with leaders throughout the region.

WSP is proud to support, strengthen the Indigenous communities and groups that we are privileged to work with. We recognize that success depends on building long-term relationships and reinforcing a culture of sharing alongside Indigenous people – First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. As one of the world’s leading professional services firms with deep roots coast-to-coast-to-coast, we understand many of the challenges communities face and recognize the need for frequent, open, and honest communication. WSP exists to future-proof our cities and environment. We provide strategic advisory, engineering, and design services to clients in the transportation, infrastructure, environment, building, power, energy, water, mining, and resources sectors. Our 12,000 Canadian employees, and 67,000 trusted professionals worldwide, are united by the common purpose of creating positive, long-lasting impacts on the communities we serve through a culture of innovation, integrity, and inclusion. Sustainability and science permeate our work. To find out more, please visit Indigenous Relations | WSP

At Enbridge, we believe we can, and should, be a leader in our industry in Indigenous engagement, inclusion, and awareness—because we have learned we can go further together. In September 2022, we released our Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan (IRAP), which continues our long-held commitment to strengthening relationships with Indigenous communities across North America and advancing reconciliation. An important next step, it allows us to track and report on our progress against tangible commitments and will serve as the roadmap by which we will continue our journey to advance truth and reconciliation. Read more at

At FortisBC, we believe strong partnerships are possible by building positive and respectful relationships with Indigenous Peoples, communities and businesses. Guided by our Statement of Indigenous Principles, we strive for continuous improvement in our leadership actions, business development, employment and community relationships. Proud to be a Progressive Aboriginal Relations committed member, we’re working with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business to become certified in these areas.

We’re honoured to learn from Indigenous thought leaders, partners and communities as we continue to build authentic relationships that are fundamental to providing energy for a better BC.

Learn more about how we’re partnering for progress with Indigenous communities.

Trans Mountain is committed to build meaningful, long-term relationships with all Indigenous communities within whose territory we operate. We have achieved an unprecedented level of Indigenous involvement in the Expansion Project—through job creation, procurement opportunities, participation in environmental field work and regulatory processes.

As of December 31, 2022, more than 3,100 Indigenous workers were employed on the Expansion Project; and approximately 25 per cent of contracted spend on the Expansion Project has been awarded to Indigenous businesses and partnerships, totaling upwards of $4.8 billion. We believe these efforts towards shared prosperity have contributed significantly to reconciliation and we will continue to do our part to advance reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

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MNP is a leading national accounting, tax and consulting firm for Indigenous Nations in Canada. For the past 40 years, we have invested significant time and resources developing and delivering practical services to meet the unique needs of our First Nations, Métis and Inuit clients. Serving Indigenous nations, businesses and individuals across Canada, our team consists of 300 professionals who have a diverse set of experiences and services designed to position you for success.

Indigenous Opportunities Forum 2023

As the region experiences unprecedented growth and change and ongoing housing, climate, and inflation challenges, collaboration will be crucial to fostering a future of shared prosperity and meaningful progress on reconciliation.

Indigenous Opportunities Forum 2023, presented by CN, is Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s annual event that brings together local First Nations and Greater Vancouver business and economic development leaders to connect, discuss and learn about projects, partnerships and opportunities for growth and sustainability in the region.

Join us to take a closer look at some of the projects that are reshaping our region and addressing the most pressing challenges including sustainable infrastructure, housing, and labour shortages. Learn what actions are being taken to respond to Call to Action 92 that create opportunity and inclusive prosperity for First Nations communities and mutually beneficial relationships for all in the region.

Presentation 1

Chief Laura Cassidy

Chief Laura Cassidy
Tsawwassen First Nation



Ryan Daum

Ryan Daum
Acting Manager of Economic Development
Tsawwassen First Nation


Presentation 2

Chief Sharleen Gale

Chief Sharleen Gale
Chief, Fort Nelson First Nation
Chair, First Nations Major Projects Coalition


Presentation 3

Mindy Wight

Mindy Wight
Nch'ḵay̓ Development Corporation




Economic Opportunities through Partnerships

This panel will discuss how businesses can collaborate with Indigenous partners to tackle some of the most pressing issues in our region while also promoting economic opportunities for Indigenous people and our communities at large.

Chief Harley Chappel (xwopokton)s Jon Davey Stephen Lee Jennifer Hooper

Chief Harley Chappell (xwopokton), Semiahmoo First Nation
Jon Davey, Vice President, Indigenous Financial Services
Stephen Lee, CEO, Musqueam Capital Corp.
Moderator: Jennifer Hooper, Indigenous Relations Leader, WSP


Indigenous Workforce Development and Business Growth

Canada’s Indigenous population is the fastest growing segment of the country's population and Indigenous people's contribution to Canada's GDP has seen marked growth in the years prior to the pandemic. According to Statistics Canada, $54.1B of Canada's GDP in 2019 is attributed to Indigenous peoples, a growth of 30% since 2012; and job growth and output follow a similar trajectory. This growth presents a unique opportunity to address current workforce challenges while creating economic benefits for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous business communities. This panel will explore strategies to support and grow Indigenous businesses and the benefits and strategies to approach workforce development.

Harold Calla   Celeste Haldane  Talese Shilleto  Kory Wilson

Harold Calla, Executive Chair, First Nations Financial Management Board
Celeste Haldane, Chief Commissioner, BC Treaty Commission
Talese Shilleto, Indigenous and Community Relations, Tourmaline Oil Corp
Moderator: Sharon Singh, Regulatory, ESG, and Commercial Partner I Co-Head of Aboriginal Law, Bennett Jones LLP

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