Why Advancing Economic Reconciliation is Essential to Canada’s Growth and Competitiveness
Leonard Rickard is the Chief Executive Officer of Mississaugas of the Credit Business Limited Partnership, where he leads business development efforts for the benefit of Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Much of his career has focused on Indigenous community economic development. He spent a number of recent years working in the mining sector, and he also has previous experience in the aviation services industry.
He is a proud alumnus of Western University and has also completed the ICD Directors Education Program at the Rotman School of Management. A proud citizen of Moose Cree First Nation, Leonard has served as an elected Councillor and has volunteer experience in the health care sector.
Pedro Barata is Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre, a forward-thinking hub dedicated to researching, testing, evaluating and building innovative skills solutions to help job seekers and employers in Canada navigate labour market changes.
Grounded in a commitment to inclusion, Pedro has advised all levels of government on social & economic policy and implementation related to skills and workforce development, poverty reduction, income security reform, seeking breakthroughs on housing and homelessness, and immigration reform.
Pedro’s work and extensive volunteer activities in the non-profit sector span two decades, focused on impact strategies, public policy, community building and communications. His career path has traveled through United Way Greater Toronto, the Atkinson Foundation, Family Service Toronto, Social Planning Toronto and the City of Toronto.
Pedro holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto.
Harold Calla is founder and Executive Chair of the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB), one of three institutions created under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act. The FMB supports First Nations’ economic development efforts by increasing their access to capital markets and providing tools for capacity development in financial administration. The institution offers optional certification of financial performance and governance systems.
A member of the Squamish Nation, Harold returned from his career in international business to serve the Squamish Nation as a negotiator in economic development, land management, and finance. He also served eight years on the Squamish Council and has acted as an advisor and arbitrator for First Nations in Western Canada.
As part his lifelong commitment to economic reconciliation and self-determination, Harold was instrumental in the development of the First Nations Land Management Act, First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA), First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA), and the First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act. These optional legislative pieces empower First Nations, on a sectorial basis, to move out from under the Indian Act.
Harold is a member of the Board of Directors of Trans Mountain Corporation, British Columbia Ferry Services Inc., and the Tulo Centre. He is a former member of the Board of Fortis BC Inc., where he was Chair of the Audit Committee. He has completed terms on the boards of CMHC, Partnerships BC, and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and is a member of the Assembly of First Nations & Indigenous Services Canada Committee on Fiscal Relations.
Harold is a recipient of numerous awards in recognition his excellence in leadership. The C.G.A. Association of Canada, celebrating their 100th year in 2008, recognized Harold as one of 100 CGAs who have made a difference. In August 2012, Harold was awarded a fellowship by the C.G.A. Association of Canada. He is member of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association and has been awarded the designation of Certified Aboriginal Financing Manager (CAFM).
In 2022, Harold led an FMB delegation to Australia by invitation of the Australian National University (ANU). He presented at the ANU’s First Nations Wealth Forum and the First Nations Economic Development Symposium (Marramarra Murru) and shared insights on economic reconciliation directly with Indigenous leaders and communities.
Harold twice presented at the United Nations in support of Canada’s recognition of the United Nations Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and the country’s efforts to implement an UNDRIP action plan. The presentations highlighted Canada and First Nations’ efforts to create Indigenous institutions that support self-governance and financial management success.
Clint got his start in the banking industry at TD Canada Trust and Bank of Montreal in roles that focused on Indigenous Banking. Prior to joining Nunasi, he served as Chief Executive Officer for the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and North35 Capital Partners. Clint combines his extensive banking and Indigenous business experience with a passion for transforming Indigenous organizations to position them as leaders in their industries. He is a proud Inuk, who aims to contribute to the development and growth of Indigenous communities in all that he does.
Sharleen Gale has been an elected Councillor of the Fort Nelson First Nation since 2009. She is an active member of the Fort Nelson First Nation and envisions a future where all members are working together to become a strong, proud, healthy, and self-reliant Nation. She is the grand-daughter of Fred Burke and Madeline Needlay. Her roots run deep in the lives of her people and she enjoys being on the land with her family exploring the territory and teaching her son the traditional ways on the lands and how to hunt, fish, and gather medicines and berries. As a leader and Chief of the Nation, she understands the importance of a upholding the spirit and intent of the treaty by asserting her peoples’ rights to their land and taking responsibility for ensuring that our future generations are able to live their lives in their territory in a way that honours our ancestors. Sharleen started her career at Westcoast Energy Inc. in 2000. Her various roles working in Administration, Finance, Maintenance, Planning and in Leadership have given her extensive experience in the oil and gas sector, the corporate world and the vision to ensure our people are managing our lands and our resources in our territory to the benefit of our members. Sharleen is the chair of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC) and believes that First Nations need to have the opportunity to have equity in major project infrastructure and access to meaningful financing for these projects happening in their territories. One that focuses on a balance approach of economic prosperity and environmental stewardship. Several First Nations have formed the First Nations Major Projects Coalition for the purposes of examining how ownership of major resource projects on their lands could be facilitated and how environmental practices can be improved to meet their needs.
Kelley Blanchette was appointed as Assistant Deputy Minister, Lands and Economic Development in 2019. In this role, Kelley and her team work collaboratively with partners to grow economic prosperity for Indigenous people, businesses, and communities. Her team’s role is to empower Indigenous partners to independently deliver programs and services pertaining to lands, natural resources and environmental management, and economic development.
Kelley has focused her career on working with marginalized and under-serviced populations. Her experience includes front-line work at women’s shelters, providing emergency housing to homeless families, working as a supervisor at the Ottawa Detoxification Centre, and an internship in the psychology department at Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre.
She has held a number of executive positions at Correctional Service Canada, including Senior Director, Correctional Research; Director General, Women Offender Sector; and Director General, Mental Health Branch. From January 2017 until September 2019, she was the Deputy Commissioner for Women, responsible for all policy and program development for women offenders, and the functional lead for regional operations at sites serving women.
Kelley completed her Doctorate in forensic psychology in 2005, and served as an adjunct professor in Carleton University’s Psychology Department for 12 years. She has published research extensively in peer-reviewed and government journals.
Katherine Feenan is the director of policy and content programming with the Public Policy
Forum. She has held a variety of positions in the public and private sectors, including roles in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, with the member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre and with polling firm Angus Reid Public Opinion. Katherine’s interest in politics and elections led her to work overseas with the National Democratic Institute and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, serving as an election analyst, observer and trainer.
Jean Paul (JP) Gladu is currently Principal of Mokwateh, and previously served as the President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) from September 2012 until April 2020. Anishinaabe from Thunder Bay JP is a member of Sand Pont First Nation located on the eastern shores of Lake Nipigon, Ontario. JP completed a forestry technician diploma in 1993, obtained an undergraduate degree in forestry from Northern Arizona University in 2000, holds an Executive MBA from Queens University and the ICD.D from Rotman School of Management University of Toronto. JP has over 30 years of experience in the natural resource sector. His career path includes work with Indigenous communities and organizations, environmental non-government organizations, industry and governments from across Canada.
Currently, JP serves on the board of Suncor, Institute for Corporate Directors, Broden Mining, First Nations Major Projects Coalition Advisory Centre and is Chair of Canadas Forest Trust and the Boreal Leadership Champions. He previously served on the Board of Ontario Power Generation, Noront Resources and past Chair of the Mikisew Group of Companies. He is a senior fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and served as the Chancellor of St. Paul’s University College Waterloo from 2017 to 2020. His previous appointments include Canadian Electricity Association Public Advisory Panel, Colleges and Institutes Canada (previously ACCC), the Northern Policy Institute, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education, advisory member to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, a committee member to the Ontario Provincial Forest Policy Committee. In 2014, he was identified as a Diversity 50 Board Ready Candidate from the Canadian Board Diversity Council and a recipient of the Community Service Award – Transformation Awards from Diversity Magazine.
JP is an accomplished public speaker with countless engagements not only across Canada but internationally as he shares the challenges and successes of Indigenous business and the growing Indigenous economy in Canada today.
As a father to his daughter Chloe, along with a passion for his community, his culture and traditions; JP brings the past, present and future to the table, moving non-Indigenous and Indigenous business toward sustainable partnerships and shared economic prosperity.
Specialties: Leader, excels at understanding people and values, in-depth and skilled negotiator, financial sourcing, proposal development, building confidence in others, strong work ethic, excellent communication skills (written and verbal) and strategist with a long-view.
Leonard Rickard, CEO, Mississaugas of the Credit Business LP
Katherine Feenan, Director of Policy and Content Programming, Public Policy Forum
Pedro Barata, Executive Director, Future Skills Centre
JP Gladu, Founder & Principal, Mokwateh
Harold Calla, Chair, First Nations Financial Management Board
Clint Davis, President & CEO, North35
Chief Sharleen Gale, Chair, First Nations Major Projects Coalition
JP Gladu, Founder & Principal, Mokwateh
Kelley Blanchette, Assistant Deputy Minister, Lands and Economic Development