Collaborative Leadership Initiative Gathering One

Location
Winnipeg Art Gallery and Inn at the Forks, Winnipeg
Date
March 15-16, 2018

Twenty-three Indigenous and municipal leaders have embarked on a historic process of reconciliation. Chiefs, Mayors and Reeves from Treaty One Territory and southern and central Manitoba worked together for two days forging new relationships and creating the conditions to resolve issues that have been barriers to collaborative action for over a hundred years.

Brought together by a partnership between the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region (formerly the Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region) and the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), Indigenous and municipal elected leaders agreed to undertake a facilitated process aimed at building better understanding of each other and establishing relationships, while identifying actions towards reconciliation. This two-day meeting demonstrated a real commitment to tackle tough and often uncomfortable issues.

The Mayors, Reeves and Chiefs were put to work at the first meeting in a three-part series by facilitators Merrell-Ann Phare, the Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources and Michael Miltenberger (former Northwest Territories Cabinet Minister), who are the architects of world class co-drafted transboundary agreements between Territorial and Provincial governments that were developed with Indigenous governments, and focused on protecting freshwater in the Mackenzie River Basin. This first meeting, held on March 15 and 16, 2018, focused on relationship building and built the foundation to move leaders to a second meeting that will address major information gaps on regional demographics, treaty land entitlement, economic development, and water. In the final meeting, scenario planning was undertaken to allow leaders to work through possible outcomes and choose a path and action steps that will get them where they want to go.

Forging new relationships based on Collaborative Leadership allows Indigenous and municipal leaders to embark on a pathway to reconciliation and to implement the broader political and legal commitments of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action - both calling for direct and ongoing collaboration with Indigenous peoples at all levels of government.

All leaders who took part in the first meeting of the Collaborative Leadership Initiative believe the time has come to take action and agree that by working together they have the power to move forward in leaps and bounds. They also agree this process and the anticipated positive outcomes could provide a path for jurisdictions across Canada to follow.

"Stories of Leadership" book created for the March gathering.

"Stories of Leadership" book created for the March gathering.

Organizing Committee & Facilitators

Braden Smith

City of Winnipeg

Since January 2013 Braden Smith has been the Chief Planner for the City of Winnipeg. Prior to joining the public service at the City of Winnipeg, Braden was the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the District of Tofino on BC’s west coast. Braden is responsible for the overall management of the Urban Planning Division and acts a principal advisor to the Director of Property, Planning and Development and Senior Management Team on planning and land use matters. Since completing his Masters degree in Urban and Rural Planning at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS), Braden has worked as a professional land use planner in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British Columbia. He has a strong technical planning background with a sound understanding of land use planning regulation, legislation and best practices. Several of his planning efforts have been recognized for professional excellence, including the recent (2012) Planning Institute of BC award of excellence for public participation and engagement in the development plan for the revitalization of downtown Tofino. Mr. Smith believes strongly in the role land use planning has in creating balanced, sustainable communities, and is a strong advocate of the Planner’s role in generating collaborative partnerships to achieve beneficial community desires. Braden believes that success is found in finding opportunities that allow for the germination of different perspectives and ideas between various stakeholders.

Colleen Sklar

Winnipeg Metropolitan Region

Colleen graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in Conflict Resolution and International Development, her area of focus has been on creating new organizational structures that meet today’s needs and understanding conflict in organizations. Colleen is a strong proponent of local level engagement to realize the necessary change to build resilience into the future. Colleen’s leadership style focuses on building consensus and partnerships to create dynamic organizational processes that ensure all voices are heard. Colleen’s communication skills have created many opportunities to work with various levels of governments, internal stakeholders and external stakeholder groups. She received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for her commitment and volunteer work and has acted as Vice-Chair on the Lake Manitoba Appeal Commission for the Province of Manitoba. Colleen is an IAP2 Certified Community Consultant. Colleen is proficient in cross-cultural communication and consultation, and has accreditation from Virginia NVC Training Center in Organizational Leadership and Structural Environments. Colleen is the Executive Director of the Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region where she works with local leaders across Manitoba in building opportunities for collaboration, creating new organizing principles and developing integrated regional responses in land use planning, infrastructure investment, economic development, water management and protection that can serve our growing communities and meet the demands of the future. Colleen also leads the Lake Friendly Initiative – a Local Government led engagement strategy aimed at protecting and preserving Manitoba’s freshwater resources.

Denis Paquette

Métis Filmmaker / Principal, RealWorld Media Inc.

Denis is a graduate of the University of Manitoba (Film Studies/Economics) and former co-publisher of Western Canada’s, “Business People” magazine. After penning an article on the company, he joined Winnipeg based Mind Computer Products managing the growth of company revenues from .5M to $25M in five years. Recruited by relocated by Vancouver based Q/Media Software Corporation he directed international sales and marketing for the company’s pioneering multimedia authoring tool Q/Media for Windows. His passion for film and television production motivated his departure from the technology sector and graduating from the Vancouver Film School in the late 1990’s, he co-founded RealWorld Media/RealWorld Films Inc. Over the last twenty years Denis has written, produced, directed and filmed over a hundred hours of commissioned, TV, Web and theatrical content.

Jolene Mercer

Southern Chiefs’ Organization

Jolene Mercer is the Director of Operations of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization. She is an Anishinaabe Ikwe from Peguis First Nation, a mother of four and a Kookum to a beautiful granddaughter. Jolene attended the University of Manitoba, Red River College and the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program at the COADY International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University. She is also a Certified First Nations Health Manager. Jolene has extensive experience working with First Nations communities and organizations in areas of finance, health, youth and strategic planning. She has sat on and continues to sit on numerous boards and committees. Jolene is a co-founder of Wiijii’diwag Ikwewag (Manitoba Indigenous Doula Initiative) and is passionate about the revitalization of Anishinaabe values and ways of being. She brings the teachings of her Elders and Grandmothers into her work to support the empowerment of communities and people.

Laren Bill

Implementation Monitoring Committee for Treaty Land Entitlement

Laren Bill is a member of the Pelican Lake First Nation in central Saskatchewan. He worked with the Treaty Land Entitlement Committee as an Implementation Advisor to First Nations in Manitoba for seven years. He has been the Chairperson of the Implementation Monitoring Committee for Treaty Land Entitlement in Manitoba for the past three years. His Masters degree is in Natural Resources Management with a focus on Traditional Land Use and Occupancy Studies from the University of Manitoba through the Natural Resources Institute.

Merrell-Ann Phare

Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER)

Merrell-Ann Phare is a lawyer, writer and the founding Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), a national First Nation charitable environmental organization. As Chief Negotiator for the Government of the Northwest Territories, Merrell-Ann lead the negotiation of transboundary water agreements in the Mackenzie River Basin and the creation of Thaidene Nene, a national and territorial park in the east arm of Great Slave Lake. She is the author of the book ‘Denying the Source: the Crisis of First Nations Water Rights’ and ‘Ethical Water’. She facilitates the BC First Nations Water Governance Roundtable. She is a member of the Forum for Leadership on Water, Smart Prosperity’s Leadership Council, and is a recipient of Canada’s Clean 50 Award. She is legal counsel and advisor to a number of First Nation and Métis governments and organizations and regularly speaks on water, governance, and Indigenous rights issues.

Michael Miltenberger

Principal, North Raven

Michael is the principal of North Raven. His interests are water protection and governance, working collaboratively on environmental protection, renewable energy development, building efficient government, expediting land claims, and strategic planning. He works with Aboriginal and Crown governments, ENGOs, industry and the private sector providing strategic political advice. Prior to his current work, he spent 20 years as MLA in the NWT Legislature, 14 of those years as Deputy Premier, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Minister of Finance, Minister of Health and Social Services and the Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

Michael Miltenberger

Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER)

Michael is the principal of North Raven. His interests are water protection and governance, working collaboratively on environmental protection, renewable energy development, building efficient government, expediting land claims, and strategic planning. He works with Aboriginal and Crown governments, ENGOs, industry and the private sector providing strategic political advice. Prior to his current work, he spent 20 years as MLA in the NWT Legislature, 14 of those years as Deputy Premier, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Minister of Finance, Minister of Health and Social Services and the Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

Robert Sandford

United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health

Bob Sandford holds the EPCOR Chair in Water and Climate Security at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. In this capacity Bob was the co-author of the UN Water in the World We Want report on post-2015 global sustainable development goals relating to water. In his work Bob is committed to translating scientific research outcomes into language decision-makers can use to craft timely and meaningful public policy and to bringing international example to bear on local water issues. To this end, Bob is also senior advisor on water issues for the Interaction Council, a global public policy forum composed of more than thirty former Heads of State including Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, U.S. President Bill Clinton and the former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Brundtland. Bob is also a Fellow of the Centre for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan and a Fellow of the Biogeoscience Institute at the University of Calgary. He is also a member of Canada’s Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW), a national water policy research group centred in Toronto. Among many other honours, Bob received the Premier’s award in 2011 for his collaboration on the Northwest Territories water stewardship strategy. He is also the author or co-author of a number of high-profile works on water.

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