Aboriginal Opportunities Forum 2017 Presented by CN

Friday, June 16, 2017
7:00 AM
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Schedule:Registration & Buffet Breakfast:  7:00 - 7:45 a.m.
Program: 7:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Beyond Engagement

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade's annual Aboriginal Opportunities Forum emphasizes and explores the critical role that Indigenous peoples play in economic development in B.C. and the role that the business community plays in Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Now in its seventh year, this Forum aims to advance dialogue and create safe space where guests can ask questions and gain perspective. This year's theme centres around closing the gaps in Aboriginal achievement, and providing tangible takeaways for business leaders to implement Call to Action 92. When National Chief Perry Bellegarde addressed the Board of Trade in 2016, he described the challenge of Indigenous Peoples "walking in two worlds," through the dialogue generated by this forum, we aim to create a space where Aboriginal communities and businesses can share this burden and meet in the middle.

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Hon. John Rustad

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould


The "Uncomfortable Conversation"

In the business community, addressing issues of social injustice can be difficult, particularly around the rights of Indigenous peoples and reconciliation. These conversations can be uncomfortable, leaving voices unheard and questions unanswered. This panel aims to create a safe space for dialogue and frame the discussions with an Indigenous lens.

Merle AlexanderLouise Mandell, Q.C.Bev SellarsTeara Fraser

Merle Alexander, Partner, Leader of Aboriginal Law Group in Vancouver, Gowling WLG
Louise Mandell Q.C., Partner Emeritus, Mandell Pinder LLP
Bev Sellars, Author and former Chief and Councillor of the Xat'sull (Soda Creek) First Nation
Moderator: Teara Fraser, Partner, Raven Institute


Closing the Gap - A Business Case

Canada's Indigenous population is the fastest, youngest, and strongest growing demographic. With more Indigenous youth in apprenticeship programs than the national average, there are opportunities to address the gaps that exits in Indigenous education, knowledge, and capacity. This panel will explore the business case for making human capital investments in Indigenous communities, both on and off reserve, and what is currently being done to close these gaps.

Chief Joe BevanDoug McArthurnilson-ralph.jpgGinger Gosnell-Myers

Chief Joe Bevan, Kitselas First Nation
Doug McArthur, Professor and Director, SFU School of Public Policy
Dr. Ralph Nilson, President and Vice-Chancellor, Vancouver Island University
Moderator: Ginger Gosnell-Myers, Aboriginal Relations Manager, City of Vancouver


Implementing Call to Action 92

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission published its recommendations for the Canadian people. Section 92 of the report calls on the corporate sector to change to interactions with Indigenous peoples take place. Two years later, this panel brings together business leaders to share their stories of corporate action in the spirit of reconciliation.

Aaron BruceGeorge MeadowsKeith McIntoshLaurie SterrittBob Davidson

Aaron Bruce, Partner, Ratcliff and Company LLP
George Meadows, Vice President, Community Engagement and Social Sciences, Hemmera
Keith McIntosh, Co-CEO, Professional Quality Assurance Ltd.
Laurie Sterritt, Director, Aboriginal Employment and Business Development, BC Hydro
Moderator: Bob Davidson, President, Silver Beach Consulting

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Sponsorship Opportunities
Do you want to gain direct access to the senior-level audience at this event? As a sponsor, you will benefit from enhanced visibility, which can lead to new business and increased brand recognition. We offer a wide range of opportunities. To discuss how we can help boost your business, call Lisa at 604-640-5484 or email .