Advisory board

The NCIED advisory board includes Indigenous and non-Indigenous members who represent the interests and perspectives of Indigenous Nations, their communities, other governments and business in regions across Canada.

The advisory board assists the NCIED in setting and achieving strategic objectives by providing cultural insight, advice and support relative to 'wise practices' research, outreach programs, curriculum and development, and fundraising endeavours, while providing links to the various stakeholder communities.

Our members

The following board members demonstrate:

  • experience in Indigenous economic development
  • familiarity with diversity of approaches to economic development across Canada
  • experience with Indigenous governance, values, and issues
  • significant experience in their respective careers
  • willingness to serve the NCIED national mandate

Dr. Saul Klein, Dean, University of Victoria Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

Dr. Susan Breau, Dean, University of Victoria Faculty of Law

Dr. John Borrows, NCIED law faculty champion

Dr. Brent Mainprize, NCIED business school champion

Kimberly Jonathan, First Vice-Chief, Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN)

  • The FSIN is the largest governing body of First Nations in Saskatchewan, representing 74 Nations
  • Vice-Chief Jonathan was the first woman to hold the position of Chief in the FSIN and to be bestowed with the iconic Plains Indian headdress
  • Priorities include child welfare; non-insured health benefits; missing and murdered Indigenous women; and understanding underlying issues linked to poverty and violence

Madeleine Redfern, president, AJUNGI Group, Professional Aboriginal Consulting Services

  • Graduate of the Akitsiraq Law School with an LLB from the University of Victoria
  • First Inuk to be offered a Supreme Court of Canada clerkship
  • Past Mayor of Iqaluit, Nunavut

Bernd Christmas, CEO, Gitpo STORMS Corporation

  • Former CEO of the Membertou Band of Nova Scotia
  • Former partner of Cassels Brock and founder of the Bernd Christmas Law Group, focusing on Indigenous economic development
  • Former member of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board

Charles Coffey, retired

  • Officer of the Order of Canada
  • 44-year career with Royal Bank of Canada including Executive Vice President, Government Affairs and Business Development
  • Named Honorary Chief by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs for his support of First Nations economic development and self-sufficiency

Ava Hill, former Chief, Elected Council of the Six Nations of Grand River

  • Completed 2 terms as Chief of the largest Nation in Canada in November 2019
  • Past Executive Director of the Chiefs of Ontario Office
  • Past Executive Assistant to the former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
  • Past Executive Assistant to the Co-Chair of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
  • Currently represents the Chiefs of Ontario Provincial Government’s Cabinet Committee on Poverty Reduction

Lee Francoeur, founder and principal lawyer, Eagle Law Group

  • Taku River Tlingit, Northwest BC, ancestry
  • Works primarily with First Nations regarding governance, economic development, and the reconciliation of Aboriginal and Treaty rights
  • Resident Fellow in Indigenous Law & Culture, University of Calgary Faculty of Law and Adjunct Professor of Indigenous Law
  • Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and juris doctor degree, from the University of Calgary