Development Board

The FNII Development Board is comprised of First Nations leaders from across Canada that have stepped forward to provide input and guidance through FNII’s development phase. The role of the Development Board is to provide input and guidance on policy questions related to how FNII will be established and what it will do. The Development Board has established six principles to guide FNII’s design:

  • FNII’s design will continue to be directed and controlled by First Nations
  • FNII will be optional and respect the right of self-determination
  • FNII will work with and support existing First Nation infrastructure institutions and other possible partners to help First Nations build more sustainable infrastructure
  • FNII will be a national institution
  • FNII will be an FMA institution
  • FNII will support First Nations to implement their infrastructure jurisdiction and support projects that increase social, economic and fiscal benefits

The members of the FNII Development Board are:

Allan Claxton, Development Board Chair

Allan was Chief of Tsawout First Nation for twenty years from 1991 to 2011. Allan also served on council for ten years. During that time Allan served as the Chair of the Chiefs’ Committee on Health nationally and the Chiefs’ Health Committee regionally. He was also elected Chair of the Saanich Indian School Board for three terms. He served on many boards including the First Nations Finance Authority, the First Nations Fish Council, CIER and the Land Management Advisory Board.

Keith Matthew, British Columbia

Keith Matthew is a member of the Simpcw First Nation and is a former chief of the Simpcw First Nation. He served for five years as chief and five years as Councilor up until December 2010.  As a Councilor and Chief with his community he was responsible for economic development and was instrumental developing a business relationship with Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing and helped negotiate ownership in a $7 million heli-skiing lodge. He was the chief negotiator with Kinder Morgan Canada and Canadian Hydro Developers and delivered impact benefit agreements to his community with those companies. He also led discussions on a forest and range agreement that provides fibre and resources for the Simpcw First Nation and its legal entities. More importantly these agreements have provided employment and training opportunities in major projects that the community members wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to compete for and work with companies that were formerly beyond their capacity.

Currently Mr. Matthew is serving on the following committees as volunteer:

  • President of the Community Futures Development Corporation for Central Interior First Nations;
  • President of Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers;
  • Director of the Simpcw Health Board
  • President for the National Aboriginal Energy and Power Association;
  • Director for the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics, Thompson Rivers University.

He is also a business owner and seeks to employ indigenous people in all of his business ventures.

Vaughn Paul, Alberta

Vaughn is with the First Nations Alberta Technical Services Advisory Group, TSAG for short. It’s a non-profit service entity governed by all first nations in Alberta through a chief steering committee appointed by the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs. TSAG provides technical services and training to first nations for housing, public works, community facilities, and environmental management, for more than 12 specialized programs.

TSAG has a particular focus and expertise in relation to water management at the local level in first nations communities. TSAG operates a circuit rider program which trains first nation water and waste water operators to deliver safe drinking water. In partnership with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada—the regional office and the folks here in Ottawa—TSAG has also worked to develop a community-driven source water protection plan with one Alberta first nation. It is the first of its kind. This guide will serve as a national template for source water protection planning on reserve to further build community capacity for water resources management. TSAG provides technical training and network opportunities for first nations staff working in lands and environmental departments.

Dalyn Bear, Saskatchewan

Dalyn Bear is currently elected leader and proud member of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation. Previous to serving as a Councillor, Dalyn was the Director of Lands and Taxation for WDFN.  He is an active member on the Negotiation team for the Whitecap Self-Government Agreement and the Whitecap Dakota Treaty Implementation Agreement. He is also an Executive Board Director of the Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation (DDCDC) and First Nations Infrastructure Institution Development Board (FNII); Director on many boards for the WDFN, including the Dakota Dunes Resort & Hotel, and the Whitecap Development Corporation.

Chief David Crate, Manitoba

Chief Crate’s tenure has been marked by a persistent focus on long-term planning, strategic partnerships, environmental stewardship and economic development. His portfolio includes: Finance, Capital Projects, Land Claims, Employment & Training, Emergency Preparedness, Inter-Government Relations, Day Care/Headstart/ECD, Fisher River Economic Development Corporation, Gaming Commission, Health Services, Land Management, Natural Resources/Environment

Geordi Kakepetum, North West Ontario

Geordi is the Chief Executive Director for the Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations. The KO First Nations are six First Nations whose traditional territory is in north western Ontario. Executive staff enact the direction and vision mandated by the board of directors, which is made up of the six members First Nation Chiefs. The executive also provides operational management to support departmental coordination and oversight of contracts between KO and its partners. The executive liaises with the Chiefs to provide information to support community priorities for the benefit of the membership.

Joe Miskokomon, Southern Ontario

Joe served as Chief of Chippewa of The Thames for 10 years and as a councillor for an additional 10 years. He have served as Grand Council Chief of the Aniishinaabek Nation for 12 years. Throughout those years he served on the Constitutional Committee of the Assembly of First Nation and lobbied in London, England prior to the patriation of the Constitution of Canada

Throughout his career his primary interest has been the protection of treaties and aboriginal rights – the development of First Nation human resources through education and training and institutional capacity as law making jurisdictions. He has over 30 years of experience and negotiated the land rights within treaty areas with Ontario, hunting and fishing agreements that continue to exist 25 years later.

Dana Francis, Atlantic

Dana Francis is a senior partner with Red Island Contractors Inc., where he provides professional advice to clients that have a project idea(s) and need help navigating the various stages of taking a project to completion.

A graduate from Maine Maritime Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Associate Degree in Industrial Power Plant Management, Dana leads client accounts with architectural, engineering and construction for there project.  His firm is committed to working with Indigenous groups to maximize socio-economic benefits from large resource projects planning to locate in Indigenous territory. Over the 25 years in the industry with small and multi-national construction groups Dana brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the FNII Development Board.

Dana lives in Tobique First Nation and Saint Mary’s First Nation, NB with his family.

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