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.

Technical Team

The Technical Team is made up of advisors with experience in:

  • Infrastructure procurement and development
  • Specific experience working on First Nation infrastructure
  • First Nation institutional and legislative design and development

The FNII Technical Team includes:

Jason Calla, Temixw Planning

Jason has twenty years experience working for First Nations at the local, regional and national level.  Jason is currently serving his third term as Secretary-Treasurer of the First Nation Health Authority.

He has advised on options for meaningful economic participation including equity in proposed major resource projects. He has worked on First Nation comprehensive community plans including financial analysis of a First Nation government’s fiscal position in different infrastructure finance and development scenarios.

Jason completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of British Columbia in 1994 and in 1998, he completed a Masters of Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  Jason is also a member of the Squamish Nation.

Dillon Johnson, Temixw Planning

Dillon Johnson has been providing community, economic and financial planning advice and services to First Nations governments and organizations for a decade as a consultant with Temixw Planning Ltd. in North Vancouver.

Dillon is a member of the Tla’amin Nation, where he served three consecutive terms as an elected member of Council. He proudly carries a Tla’amin name, toqʷanən (toh-kwon-non), which is a former village site and a place of significance in Tla’amin territory.

He is an MBA graduate from the Richard Ivey School of Business (University of Western Ontario) and has a BCom from the University of Victoria. Dillon also holds the Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) designation from the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada, and he serves as the President of AFOA BC and a director of the First Nations Financial Management Board.

Dale Booth, Innovation 7

Mr. Dale C. Booth is an expert in Infrastructure procurements, totalling over $5.5B in transactions, across all stages of their development. With more than 20 years of experience working with Aboriginal people, all levels of government and in the construction industry, he is known as a visionary leader with special and tested talents for shaping productive, cooperative working environments by eliminating deficits and creating a successful corporate vision for the future.

He has an in depth understanding of oversight and management of the project, from conceptualization early with the client, through business case and procurement phases, commercial and financial close, culminating in the post contract management.

Dale has held senior positions within AANDC and the Assembly of First Nations; as the AFN Chief Executive Officer he demonstrated keen abilities in the areas of effective strategic planning, operational management, and financial management.

Dale is president of Innovation Seven Inc., a registered Aboriginal Business, located in Pikwakanagan, which is 100% First Nations owned and operated and is PSAB compliant.

Vinny Minett, EY

Vinny is a Senior Associate in EY’s Infrastructure Advisory team, with over 7 years’ experience advising on the planning and implementation of major capital projects across their lifecycle, from the development of feasibility studies, procurement options analyses, value for money analysis and business cases through to implementation of procurement processes.

Vinny most recently advised the Government of the Northwest Territories on the delivery of the Tlicho All Season Road, a 97km all-season road being delivered through a Public Private Partnership. The project had several complex and unique aspects, including First Nations equity involvement, climate change risk sharing, and environmental permitting.

Prior to coming to Canada Vinny worked in the infrastructure industry across New Zealand and Australia. He worked extensively on the Christchurch Earthquake Rebuild in New Zealand, advising the New Zealand Government on their infrastructure response to the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch Earthquakes, which damaged or destroyed large amounts of Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city. Through this process worked assessing all elements of infrastructure investment, from Strategic and Economic Options analysis, through Commercial Procurement Options Assessment and Value for Money Analysis, to implementation.

Andre Le Dressay, Fiscal Realities

André has over 20 years experience working with indigenous communities, organizations and institutions. He has written numerous academic and consulting reports in his areas of expertise: building the legal, administrative, fiscal and institutional framework to support economic growth. He is the Director of Fiscal Realities Economists, the Director of the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics and a professor at Thompson Rivers University. He co-authored a book which was nominated for the Donner Book Prize in 2010. he was the principal author of the Tulo Centre online textbook – Building a Competitive First Nation Investment Climate (2015). He has also authored the final chapter, Unlocking First Nation Wealth: Past Efforts & Future Opportunities, in a compilation entitled, Unlocking the wealth of Indian Nations (2016) edited by Terry L. Anderson at Stanford University. André holds a PhD in Economics from Soon Fraser University, a Masters of Applied Economics from the University of Victoria and an Honours Degree in Math and Economics from the University of Regina.

Jason Reeves, Fiscal Realities

Jason has been with Fiscal Realities since 2001 where he conducts economic research and analysis in various areas, including taxation policy, impact assessments, business development and investment climates, and implementation of First Nation jurisdictions. He does long-term fiscal modeling for strategic First Nation development and develops economic strategies for First Nation governments that support better infrastructure and capital planning. Jason also has experience providing support to First Nation governments during negotiation of economic, fiscal and financial elements of benefits agreements with resource project proponents.

In 2017, Jason developed a model to estimate the expected impacts of investment activities on indigenous populations and produced an associated user guide for Indigenous Services Canada. In 2016, he developed a report and associated infographic for the National Indigenous Economic Development Board estimating the expected impact on the Canadian economy resulting from closing the gaps in economic outcomes between indigenous Canadians and the non-indigenous population. In 2015, he contributed to a business case for a northern economic infrastructure system prepared for the National Indigenous Economic Development Board. He also conducted an analysis looking at the economic and fiscal returns realized in southern Canada from public infrastructure investment in support of major resource development in the northern territories for Indigenous Services Canada.

Jason also contributes to the development of curriculum and workshop material for the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics. He conducts a number of in-classroom seminars in several of Tulo’s university-accredited courses within the Certificate in First Nations Applied Economics program.

John Dumbrell, MCIP, RPP  Urban Systems
Senior Consultant / Principal

John is a community planner, senior consultant and principal with Urban Systems.  During his 30 years with the firm John has developed expertise in land use planning, infrastructure planning and delivery, cost recovery for capital and operating expenditures, and economic development.  John has worked with First Nations in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Other clients with whom John has been engaged include local governments, private developers, and Provincial agencies.

John has recently provided services to First Nations who are developing their land bases for community member and/or economic development purposes. This work involves integration of many of the communities’ objectives for effective use of their lands, servicing these lands with proper infrastructure, and recouping these costs from both other governments (Canada and Provinces) as well as developers of these lands who benefit from the infrastructure.  Examples include the Williams Lake Indian Band, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc (Kamloops), Kwikwetlem (Coquitlam) First Nation, Penticton Indian Band, and Whitecap Dakota First Nation (Saskatoon).  In addition, John is also working with the First Nations Tax Commission and the TULO Centre for Indigenous Economics to support Nations who have chosen to institute various property taxation mechanisms with land use / infrastructure / financial planning.

Russell Anthony, Project Advisor

Russell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Winnipeg, Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Toronto and a Master of Law degree from the University of London (England) in urban planning. Following a career in law, government service and project financing, Russ built a project management company and retired as a Vice President of a major project design and management company where he was responsible for strategic planning, alternate project delivery and all aspects of project management.

Russell was the President of RPA Projects from 1993 until 2002, which was part of Canada’s largest independent project management company. In 2002, RPA Projects became part of Stantec and Russell then served as Vice President, Strategic Management at Stantec until 2010. Since 2010 Russell has researched and worked on the challenges and opportunities in delivering infrastructure in First Nation communities.

John Scherebnyj, Whiterock Consulting

Resident in White Rock, British Columbia, John has more than 40 years working experience in the public sector at Health Canada FNIHB as the Finance Manager for FNIHB Ontario Region, as the Regional Director Corporate Services in Indigenous Affairs BC Region and in the private sector. In 1999, John started a successful consulting company and has been providing financial and management services to Federal Government Departments and First Nations organizations in areas such as financial management, financial policy development, human resources, external auditing, Band Management and Third Party Management.

From April 1, 2009 to August 2013, John was the Secretary-Treasurer for the British Columbia First Nations Health Authority(FNHA). As part of the Officer’s work, he was a financial member of the Tripartite Canada Funding Agreement negotiating team that negotiated a multi-billion-dollar ten-year agreement with Health Canada. The FNHA

Board of Directors has been instrumental in establishing agreements and processes to transfer resources, records, facilities, assets and staff from the First Nations and Inuit Health (FNIH) British Columbia to the FNHA.

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