LANDS ADVISORY BOARD
The Lands Advisory Board (LAB) is an elected First Nations organization with the mandate to:
Conduct policy & planning at the political level;
Conduct intergovernmental relations/meetings with Canada, Parliament, provincial, regional and municipal governments, financial institutions, etc., to implement the spirit, intent and meaning of the Framework Agreement;
Attend conferences and other public gatherings relevant to the promotion and awareness of the Framework Agreement as requested
Attend community meetings and/or provide high level political and strategic advice to Chiefs and Council in the development and implementation of land codes
Provide advice to First Nations seeking entry into the Framework Agreement, upon request; and
Conduct political advocacy with signatory First Nations related to the fulfillment of FA responsibilities such as the negotiation of operational funding and FA/FNLMA amendments.
First Nations Lands Advisory Board
Under the Framework Agreement, signatory First Nations established a Lands Advisory Board to assist them in implementing land governance over their reserve lands and resources. Councils of the Signatory Operational First Nations (FNs) determine composition of the LAB. The LAB is currently comprised of 13 elected Directors and the Chairman, serving on staggered terms. Annually, one Directors position comes up for election from each of three regions. These three regions are British Columbia, Prairie (AB, SK and MB), and Eastern (ON, QC and the Atlantic). The LAB Chairman is elected for a 5-year term; the Directors are elected for three-year terms.
LAB’s primary responsibilities are to:
- provide strategic direction to the Resource Centre;
- propose to the Minister such amendments to the Framework Agreement and the federal legislation as it considers necessary or advisable;
- in consultation with First Nations, negotiate a funding method with the Minister
- performsuch other functions or services for a First Nation as are agreed to between the LAB and the First Nation
The LAB Directors also provide the following services:
- Political advocacy to Signatory First Nations
- Framework Agreement presentations to operational, developmental and interested First Nations, Parliament, conferences and other relevant gatherings
- Meetings with provincial and federal governments as well as other organizations and 3rd parties
- Media Interaction
Chairman of Lands Advisory Board
Robert Louie, LL.B, OC, Hon. Dr LL.B is the former Chief (24 years) of the Westbank First Nation (which is Self Governing), and has served on numerous Boards, Companies and Special Appointments with Government and private industry for over 30 years. He has extensive experience in real estate development and finance matters and has focused primarily on working for First Nations on land matters throughout Canada.
Robert is the Chairman of the First Nations Lands Advisory Board (30 years) and has been instrumental in getting First Nations into incremental self governance. Robert is also the Chairman/Director of Peace Hills Trust, which is the largest aboriginal financial institution in Canada. Robert is the Indigenous advisor representing Canada on the World Indigenous Business Forum and networks with other leaders promoting Indigenous economic development and world trade. Robert sits as a Board Member with the BC Achievement Foundation and is on the Executive Committee. Robert is a Founding Director and is a shareholder in the Public Company – Decisive Dividends (DE) on TSX Venture. Most recently, Robert is a Founding Partner in Indigenous World Finance LLP and is Chairman and Director of Indigenous Bloom Corp.
Robert is a former practicing lawyer who specialized in native law and was a summer Law Instructor at the University of Saskatchewan. He has received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the Justice Institute of British Columbia. He is also a former elected member of the B.C. First Nations Summit Task Group and was involved in B.C. Treaty negotiations representing First Nations. Robert was awarded the prestigious Officer of the Order of Canada on October 5th, 2006 and most recently, Robert was honored with the recognition of Honorary Fellow of Okanagan College.
Some of the other numerous boards and special appointments Robert has been active in include: Board of Governor member with UBC; President’s Advisory Council member with UBC-Okanagan; Board Director on the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board; President of First Nations Finance Authority Inc.; Board Director with All Nations Trust Co; one of a nine member Premier’s Advisory Council with the Premier of B.C.; Board Director on the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce; Board Director and founding member with the Kelowna United Native Friendship Society.
Robert has been the recipient of many awards and distinguished presentations including: Lifetime B.C. Achievement Award Aboriginal Business; Distinguished Alumni Business Administration, Okanagan College; Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal; Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership from Aboriginal Financial Officers Association & Xerox Canada; Business Person of the Year, Westbank Chamber of Commerce; President’s Award, Westbank Chamber of Commerce; Recipient of Commemorative Medal for 125th Anniversary of Canada and the B.C. Academic Scholarship Award.
Robert is the owner/proprietor of Indigenous World Winery, Indigenous World Spirits and Kelowna West Manufactured Home Park.
Directors of British Columbia
Eugene Louie, LAB Elder
Eugene Louie, LAB Elder From Tla’amin First Nation, B.C. Eugene Louie’s ancestral name is pelachiewtwx. He is the LAB Elder and Elder in residence for Vancouver Island University, as well as a faculty member for the Powell River campus. One of his proudest achievements was when the T’la’Amin Nation attained self-government. Elder Louie was Chief when his community entered into the Made- in-BC treaty.
Jason Campbell is a Seabird Island Band member from the Peters family. He has been on the Seabird Lands Advisory Committee members since 2012 and has an educational background in criminology, kinesiology and aboriginal studies. He is employed by Correctional Services of Canada with a facilitation background.
Chief Maureen Chapman
Shxwetelemel-elhot, also known as Chief Maureen Chapman, was born in Clearwater, BC. She spent a number of years in Washington State where she graduated from high school and raised her family. She returned to BC in the early 1990’s. Her son, Jesse, and his family reside in southeastern Washington.
Maureen is the hereditary Chief of her Nation and was handed this responsibility in 1999. Skawahlook First Nation practices a matrilineal system, and her successor is being mentored for the Chief’s position.
Maureen participates as a member of the Stó:lō Nations Chief’s Council (SNCC), which is comprised of 11 First Nation communities, 7 of which are currently negotiating a treaty. She has been appointed by the SNCC to represent as their political voice to the First Nations Health Council. She also participates on a number of committees and boards on behalf of the SNCC.
Additionally, she is the political Chair for the Aboriginal Children and Families Chiefs Coalition, which is comprised of 13 Chiefs as the Board members. These Chiefs advocate for programs and services for children and families within their communities.
Skawahlook First Nation is a member of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) and the First Nation Summit (FNS) . For each of the respective organizations, committees and boards include: for the BC AFN – as a Director, political appointment to the Chiefs Committee on Health and Chiefs Committee on Claims; for the UBCIC – Specific Claims Working Group – Chair and, as the UBCIC Gaming Commissioner; and for the FNS – attends quarterly meetings related to treaty discussions.
Please use the following email to reach Chief Chapman: Maureen.Chapman@labrc.com
Joe Hall is Chairman of the Seven Generations Environmental Services, Director on the Lands Advisory Board, Chairman of the Tale’awtxw Economic Development Association, Chairman of Shxw Kwimel Cha Management Limited, and Chairman of Tzeachten Finance and Audit Committee.
Highlights of previous affiliations include President of the Stó:lō Nation Chiefs’ Council, Chief of Tzeachten First Nation, President of the Ch-ihl-kway-uhk Tribe, Chairman of Ch-ihl-kway-uhk Forestry Limited Partnership, Chairman of Centre Creek Management Limited, First Nations Statistical Institute, BC AFN Chief’s Committee on Fiscal Relations, BC AFN Chief’s Committee on Housing, Chairman of the First Nations Finance Authority, Chief Executive Officer for Stó:lō Nation, Chairman of the First Nation Education Steering Committee, Chairman of the BC First Nations Gaming Revenue-Sharing Negotiating Committee, RCMP Commissioner’s Advisory Panel and member of the Chilliwack Official Planning Committee.
Mr. Hall has lectured at the University of Victoria on taxation, participated on the tax panel at the Union of BC Municipalities in Victoria, presented at Pacific Business & Law Institute on Overlapping Claims & Shared Territories and assisted the BC Region DIAND Executive Committee with the development of the “Government to Government” handbook.
To contact Mr. Hall, please use the following email: Joe.Hall@labrc.com
Chief Gordon Planes
Gordon’s traditional name is Hya quatcha, named after his great grandfather from Scia-new, the salmon people. Elected Chief of the T’Sou-ke nation for the past 10 years, Gordon previously held a position as the Back Country Operations Manager of the West Coast Trail for Parks Canada. He is a Coast Salish carver, artist, traditional singer and a captain of T’Sou-ke traditional dug-out canoes for the last two decades.
Gordon has previously taken a three year assignment in working with his community in bringing back their Northern Straits Sencoten language. Gordon and his wife Marcella presently reside in the village of Siaosun and have 6 children and 6 grandchildren. He is actively working closely with the community in renewable energy, food security, cultural renaissance and Economic Development.
Please use the following email to reach Chief Planes: Gordon.Planes@labrc.com
Elected as a B.C. Director for the First Nations Lands Advisory Board in October 2016.
Chief Leah George-Wilson
Chief Leah D. George-Wilson (Sisi-ya-ama) is a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) located in North Vancouver.
She was the first woman to hold the office of Elected Chief for the TWN, a position she held from 2001-2003, 2005 – 2009, and current.
Chief George-Wilson previously worked for the TWN for many years in various positions including member of the TWN’s negotiating team in the BC Treaty Process, TWN Self-Government Coordinator. and Director of the TWN Treaty, Land and Resources Department.
Chief George-Wilson’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Simon Fraser University. She is currently attending the University of British Columbia Law School.
She also sits on a number of boards including: the First Nations Lands Advisory Board, the Canadian Tourism Commission and the BC First Nations Health Council.
Chief George-Wilson was elected in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and again in 2013 as co-chair, the 2 member administrative executive of the First Nations Summit. As co-chair, she deals with the administrative issues of the FNS and works with the First Nations Summit Task Group (FNS political executive) who are authorized by the Summit to carry out specifically-mandated tasks on issues related to treaty negotiations in BC. The Summit represents the majority of First Nations in BC on treaty related issues and other issues of common concern to First Nations.
Please use the following email to reach Chief Leah George-Wilson: Leah.George-Wilson@labrc.com
Directors of the Prairies
Councillor Steven Roy Johnston
(Mistawasis First Nation)
Band Member and Councillor of Mistawasis Nêhiyawak, Steven Johnston is in his first term of office with a four year mandate. Councillor Johnston is assigned as Lands and Economic Development Portfolio for his Community with shared responsibilities in the Housing and Finance Portfolios.
Steven is an undergraduate of the College of Commerce at the U of S. He is currently serving his third consecutive term as a Board of Director for the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association – Saskatchewan, was appointed in April, 2018 as Board of Director with First Nation Finance Authority, and is involved in a number of local boards/committees with Mistawasis Nêhiyawak which include Lands and Economic Development. His background also includes six years as Chief Financial Officer for Mistawasis Nêhiyawak, prior to his election as Councillor, and Co-Manager and Third Party Management with various Communities in Central Saskatchewan for nine years where he gained working knowledge of diversification and growing with the Communities he worked for.
As a lifelong resident of Mistawasis, he understands and firmly believes in the potential that exists in the people and businesses within the grassroots. He also contributes time and energy to several charitable causes and non-profits. Steven and his wife Lora have four wonderful children, including two adopted children.
Former Chief Carl Austin Bear, retired in 2019, after serving 12 consecutive terms as the Chief of the Muskoday First Nation. Austin is a longtime LAB Director and currently serves as Chair of the FNLM Resource Centre Board of Directors and a member of the LAB Finance Committee.
His vision of balance in all areas of personal and community life has inspired his commitment to develop a healthy and safe community which continues to undergo positive economic growth. Austin resides on the Muskoday First Nation with his wife, Robina, and their family of rescued pets.
Please use the following email to reach Austin Bear: Austin.Bear@labrc.com
Chief Jeremy Norman
Chief Darcy Bear
Darcy Bear is the Chief of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation and Chairman of the Board of the Whitecap Development Corporation (WDC). Chief Bear has dedicated himself to the betterment of his community since being elected to Council in 1991 at the age of 23.
He is currently in his eighth term, and seventh consecutive term as Chief. He has guided the WDC as Chairman since 1994, where he has been the impetus behind extensive economic development within the community, and the driving force for improved quality of life for Whitecap residents, and the people of Saskatchewan. As Whitecap’s leader, Chief Bear has always maintained an intense focus on community development and has worked to bring greater fiscal accountability, transparency and good governance to his community.
While today Whitecap boasts a list of modern capital projects, this has not always been the case. Even though Whitecap is situated only 25 minutes from Saskatoon and its modern infrastructure, the reserve was not so lucky. Chief Bear remembers a time when he used to help his grandfather cut wood to heat their home, haul water from a well to drink, and undertake the day-to-day chores to sustain the family’s livestock.
Whitecap now serves as a national example of positive community development and heightened self-determination. Using a comprehensive and diversified economic development plan which is heavy on partnership and big on goals, Whitecap community members enjoy modern infrastructure, complete with a state of the art water treatment plant staffed by certified operators. Whitecap has been the site of a host of projects that have served to improve the quality of life for his community members. Projects include: The Dakota Dunes Golf Links — an economic alliance of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation, Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and the Lac La Ronge First Nation, who together created the world-class golf course that opened in 2004 (Dakota Dunes Golf and Country Club recently ranked fifteenth of public courses in Canada by Golf Digest Magazine, February 2013 issue). This was followed by SIGA’s investment of the $65 million, 80,000 square foot Dakota Dunes Casino erected in 2007. This partnership benefits all 74 First Nations. Whitecap’s and SIGA executed a long-term commercial lease and a service fee agreement equivalent to a real-property tax in other jurisdictions. These agreements enabled Whitecap to invest millions in the following infrastructure: commercial water and sewer services; three-phase power; expanded natural gas capacity; cell tower; high-speed fibre connectivity; telecommunications services; paved roads and street lights.
Chief Bear has worked hard to build lasting relationships with surrounding communities, as well as First Nations and non-First Nations peoples, through tourism partnerships, and agreements with Saskatoon Fire and Protective Services, the Saskatoon Board of Education, the Saskatoon Tribal Council, Municipal, Provincial and Federal Governments. A proud achievement of working in partnership is the designation of Highway 219 running through the Whitecap community as the Chief Whitecap Trail tourism corridor. These are just a few examples of the acumen Whitecap and its leader have shown in the form of business and public policy vision, political negotiating skills, accountability initiatives, and innovative partnerships with agencies at all levels of government.
Never forgetting where his people came from, Chief Bear is driven to work with his members, Council and staff to break this cycle of dependency, to empower the people and to rebuild the Whitecap Dakota First Nation by embracing a spirit of their ancestors who were once the engine of thriving economy and whose economies were defined by successful entrepreneurship.
Chief Bear’s contributions to his community, to his province and to his country have not gone unnoticed, as he has been widely-recognized for his economic, business and cultural achievements. He was a recipient of the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan in 2005, he was named one of the “Ten Most Influential People” by Saskatchewan Business Magazine and was awarded the CANDO “Economic Developer of the Year” in 2006. In 2009, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) awarded Chief Bear the Circle of Honour Award for Community-Based First Nation Business, recognizing his achievements in establishing and growing the Whitecap Development Corporation and its investments. In December 2011, Chief Bear was honoured with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the highest recognition given to residents of province. On January 25, 2012, Whitecap Dakota First Nation, together with Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan, signed the Framework Agreement for Self Governance, which kick-started Whitecap’s journey towards self-governance. And, on May 23, 2012, Chief Bear was honoured with the Diamond Jubilee Medal, reflecting his commitment to service.
As a respected business leader, Chief Bear has volunteered his expertise on many business boards and committees. He has served terms on the boards of Saskatoon Economic Development Authority, Sask Tel, Enterprise Saskatchewan, and Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies.
Chief Bear has dedicated nearly half of his life to his community since becoming a leader. He has been innovative in his approach to business development and has invited other First Nations to partner with Whitecap Development Corporation and share in the benefits of profitable business relationships. He has contributed to Saskatchewan First Nations through his volunteer involvement on many First Nation and Saskatoon Tribal council economic boards and committees. He has also furthered First Nation relationships with the non-First Nation community and particularly the Saskatchewan business community through his partnerships and relationship building strategies.
Please use the following email to reach Chief Bear: Darcy.Bear@labrc.com
Elected as a Prairie Region Director for the First Nations Lands Advisory Board in October 2016
Chief Christian Sinclair
Christian Sinclair is a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN). He graduated from Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute (MBCI) in 1988 and then went on to serve in the Canadian military from 1988 to 1995, participating in tours of duty in Cyprus (1990 Recon) and Somalia (1992-93 Special Forces).
He was the co-founder of the Manitoba Indigenous Summer Games and the General Manager for the 2002 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in Winnipeg. The event was the most successful NAIG ever hosted and ended with a surplus of over $1.3 million. Today, there is a scholarship program, accessible to Manitoba’s Aboriginal youth, as a result of the legacy planning from the 2002 NAIG.
In 2002, Christian began working in the corporate sector with aboriginal groups across Canada, focusing on corporate development and positioning for major natural resource projects related to hydro, mining and oil and gas. In 2003, Christian was named as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40.
In 2013, Christian made a career change to work as an independent business advisor. With a wealth of organizational knowledge, experience earned on the battlefield and proven in the corporate boardroom and First Nation Council Chambers, Christian Sinclair is a highly sought after negotiator and project manager for both Indigenous communities and mainstream corporations seeking to engage in major resource development. He is able to effectively bridge the needs and goals of industry and traditional land rights holders into mutually beneficial win-win opportunities for sustainable prosperity and lasting business partnerships for all involved and for future generations.
In 2016, Christian Sinclair was elected as Onekanew (Chief) for the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. Since then, Onekanew Christian Sinclair has been appointed as one of the co-chairs of a task force created to lead the process of implementing the Manitoba government’s Northern Economic Development Strategy. This task force works collectively with regional partners to engage in talks with northern stakeholders and communities and to identify and implement a sustainable plan for economic growth, and recently launched the website, www.looknorthmb.ca. Further, he co-chairs the One North consortium in Manitoba and was recently appointed to the National Lands Advisory Board as the representative for Manitoba. He currently sits as Director for National Access Cannabis Corporation.
Directors of Eastern Region
Chief Gerry Duquette Jr.
Gerry is from Dokis First Nation, located on the beautiful Upper French River. He graduated from the Native Land Management Program at Cambrian College and began working for Dokis First Nation in 2003 as the Land Code Coordinator.
In 2006, he joined the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association (NALMA) as the bilingual (French & English) Resource Officer and the Quebec/Labrador First Nations Coordinator. Gerry returned home to Dokis First Nation in 2010 where he accepted the position of Consultation Coordinator. Since 2010, he led the passing of the Dokis Land Code, was the Ratification Officer for the Okikendawt Hydro Project and the Okikendawt Hydro Trust, was a Certified Verifier for the First Nation Land Management under the Framework Agreement and is frequently sought after as a resource by other First Nations to support them throughout their Land Code journey. Gerry is currently serving his second term as Chief of his community.
Mr. Cada has over 20 years’ experience as Director of Operations (Band Manager/Administrator) for Mississauga First Nation in Ontario. He holds an Advanced Certificate in Governance and Administration through the First Nations Technical Institute/Ryerson University.
Mr. Cada served as an Implementation Committee Member of the Northern Boundary Settlement Agreement, and Negotiation Team member for the HWY/ILA and Flooded Lands Negotiations. He was instrumental in coordinating the development and approval process of the Mississauga First Nation Land Code, Individual Agreement, Individual Agreement Amendment adding the Northern Boundary Lands (40,000 acres) and a draft Land Use Plan. For Mississauga First Nation Mr. Cada has also worked in various capacities on the project management of 2 subdivisions, the administration of the Health Complex, Water Treatment and Filtration Plant, Seniors Complex (6 apartments), Family and Youth Building, Renovation of Education Building, Sports Complex and Ball Field.
In February 2007, Philip developed his own Advisory & Contract Services, which he operates from his home on Nipissing First Nation. From August 2003 to 2006 Philip was the Chief of Nipissing First Nation.
Philip served eight years as the Indian Commissioner of Ontario from February 1992 to March 2000, and was Grand Chief of Robinson-Huron Territory form 1982 to 1988. Philip served as Chief of Nipissing First Nation from 1978 to 1992.
One of Philip’s major accomplishments was the 1994: Mississauga First Nation Land Claim Settlement Agreement. He is a member of several boards and committees. Some current boards and committees are as follows: Director to the First Nation’s Lands Advisory Board, Advisor to Nipissing First Nation’s Nursing Home Project, and is a designated Elder to the Ontario Elder Assisted Parole Hearing Program.
Please use the following email to reach Phillip Goulais: Phil.Goulais@labrc.com
Councillor William McCue
Mr. William (Bill) McCue was Chief of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation from 1993 until March 31, 2005. He retired from that position and is currently a Councillor for the First Nation.
Mr. McCue was previously Chairman of the Ogemawahj Tribal Council as well as being Southeast Regional Chief for the Union of Ontario Indians. He also served as the Ontario representative on ITAB from 1997 to 2007.
He is presently a Director for, and sits on the Finance Committee of, the First Nations Lands Advisory Board. He is a tireless advocate for the continued support of economic self‐sufficiency for First Nations. Mr. McCue is currently a Commissioner for the First Nations Tax Commission, to which he was appointed in 2007.
Please use the following email to reach Councillor William McCue: William.McCue@labrc.com
Chief Kelly LaRocca
Kelly LaRocca, LL.B., serves as the Chief of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. Chief LaRocca has served on the elected Council since 2008, and was elected as Chief in 2013.
Chief LaRocca also serves as the Vice Chair for the Ogemawhaj Tribal Council, is a director for Dnaagdawenmag Binoojiyag Child and Family Services, is a Board Member of the Ontario SPCA, and serves as a member on the Aboriginal Justice Committee for the Attorney General of Ontario. Kelly lives with her partner Jonathan and her baby daughter Ruby in Scugog FN.
Elected as an Eastern Director for the First Nations Lands Advisory Board in October 2016