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 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 served his community of Tsawout as Chief for twenty (20) years and as councillor for ten (10) years. During his time serving his community Allan worked to develop infrastructure projects such as a multipurpose health and recreation facility and dealt with many challenges for roads and access to lands. In order to overcome challenges associated with developing infrastructure, Tsawout began to use tools from the First Nations Fiscal Management Act. With this experience in mind, Allan believes that more can be done to support Indigenous groups in closing the infrastructure gap which is why he has stepped forward to serve as FNII Development Board Chair.
Keith Matthew, British Columbia
Keith is a member of the Simpcw First Nation where he served five (5) years as Chief and five (5) years as councillor. During his time serving his community Keith was responsible for economic development activities and sees the value of economic development in creating a more sustainable infrastructure system – a system where Indigenous groups are less reliant on transfers and are able to develop projects that are more aligned to community priorities.
Vaughn Paul, Alberta
Vaughn is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Technical Services Advisory Group. TSAG provides technical services and training for First Nations in Alberta such as asset management, water and wastewater management, environmental management, housing support, fire safety and information technology. Vaughn believes that strong regional organizations will be vital if a new approach to deliver infrastructure is successful in closing the infrastructure gap. Vaughn brings this important perspective to discussions about the development of FNII through the First Nations Fiscal Management Act.
Chief David Crate, Manitoba
Chief Crate is currently serving as the Chief for his community Fisher River Cree Nation which is located about 200 km north of Winnipeg. Chief Crate’s has focused on long-term planning, strategic partnerships, environmental stewardship and economic development. Chief Crate’s experience has shown that Indigenous groups that choose to assert their jurisdiction and move ahead with infrastructure projects are having success in closing the infrastructure gap. Fisher River Cree has been using tools established by the First Nations Fiscal Management Act to help them do so including strengthening their financial management system with the First Nations Financial Management Board and getting access to capital through the First Nations Finance Authority.
Geordi Kakepetum, North West Ontario
Geordi served as Chief Executive Director for the Keewaytinook Okimakanak First Nations whose traditional territory is in north western Ontario. Geordi brings the perspective of those remote communities that may have particular infrastructure challenges related to a limited construction season, costs associated with the delivery of building materials and labour, and limited firms to bid on project. Geordi provides leadership and guidance to make sure that this perspective is brought forward to the development of FNII.
Joe Miskokomon, Southern Ontario
Deputy Grand Chief Joe Miskokomon served his community Chippewas of the Thames for 14 years as chief and as councillor for another 10 years. He has served as Chief of Anishnabek Nation for 12 years. During his time serving his community and his Nation Joe has many experiences with the challenges of developing infrastructure projects including the long timeline that it can take to complete them and the limited input that communities can have in the process. This is why Joe has stepped forward to provide input and guidance to a First Nation-led initiative to close the infrastructure gap.
Dana Francis, Atlantic
Dana is from Tobique in New Brunswick and has over twenty-five (25) years’ experience with construction groups and is currently a senior partner with Red Island Contractors where he provides professional advice to clients that have project ideas and need help navigating the various stages of taking a project to completion. Dana brings this important practical knowledge and experience to discussions about how FNII can support Indigenous groups bring more projects through the project lifecycle and to have more projects last for their expected lifecycle so that we can close the infrastructure gap.
Dalyn Bear, Saskatchewan
Dalyn served as councillor for his community the Whitecap Dakota First Nation. Previous to serving as Councillor, Dalyn was the Director of Lands and Taxation and was a member of the negotiation team for a self-government agreement and treaty implementation agreement.