Please note we are currently in the process of developing our agenda and will be confirming speakers each week. Stay tuned!
CEO, k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation
Conrad is the CEO of K̓awat̕si Economic Development General Partner Corporation (KEDC) which consists of a number of business entities; Construction, fisheries (Shellfish aquaculture), fish processing, forestry, marine services, real estate, and Tourism. As well as his role of CEO, he also continues to be a trusted advisor to Chief and Council during negotiations of agreements with private businesses and all levels of government. KEDC is currently operating within its 5 year ecdev plan, which flowed from the GNN Comprehensive Community Plan. KEDC started with 1 employees and this summer had over 150, in 3 years of operation.
I was born and raised in Gwa’dzi (Port Hardy) I am a Gwa’sala – Nakwaxda’xw member through my parents. After many years in the work force as a laborer I decided it was time for a change and so I went to study Destination Resort Management at Capilano University, I hold a diploma from Port Hardy Secondary School. I have been a proud member of the community from a young age I have had strong ties to the community through my parents (Johnny and Tina Henderson) giving me the drive to learn more about our culture and our history. Through this past it has given me all these great opportunities to work in such great fields like Sacred Wolf Friendship Center, KEDC and k’awat’si Tours some of my greatest accomplishments working side by side with my elders and my father. I am a proud father to four wonderful children and am happily married to Shannon.
President & CEO, Indigenous Tourism Ontario
Kevin, an Anishnaabe from Manitoulin Island, is a member of the Pike clan. He has been a key player in the development of Indigenous cultural tourism in Ontario since 2003. Kevin helped grow the Great Spirit Circle Trail on Manitoulin Island, one of the province’s most renowned Indigenous tourism organizations that provides culturally authentic Indigenous experiences to visitors along with marketing support to Indigenous operators. He has provided leadership to GSCT formally for over 15 years and has imparted his guidance to countless individuals throughout Manitoulin Island and Ontario.
Kevin is now the Executive Director of Indigenous Tourism Ontario and works tirelessly to unite Indigenous tourism providers, grow market reach and bring meaningful employment opportunities to the region. He was a key proponent in the development of the Manitoulin Hotel & Conference Centre that brought together 7 different Indigenous investors and 7 different financing agreements. Kevin is a mentor and visionary who works closely with the Indigenous community to ensure sustainable and organic growth within the Indigenous tourism industry.
In 2015, Kevin was named the Tourism Champion of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. He has also been recognized by numerous media outlets for his accomplishments within the industry. Kevin sits on a variety of boards including Grants for Aboriginal Trail Tourism, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, and owns his own tourism business and business consulting firm.
Founder of Canadian Ecotourism Services
As an Indigenous person from South Africa, Clinton brings an innovative approach to tourism development gained through his entrepreneurial abilities and community driven tourism ventures such as cultural infrastructure projects, tourism strategies, business planning, technology and product development. As founder and CEO he has operated Canadian Ecotourism Services for 21 years, providing sustainable economic development solutions with a social conscience.
Clinton works across Canada and internationally to develop Indigenous tourism projects ranging from individual grassroots efforts to large scale community developments. He is motivated and understanding of cultural keepers and entrepreneurs and their importance to the sustainability of Indigenous tourism. He is thankful for the opportunity to learn from and empower community champions that believe cultural preservation is central to a vibrant and sustainable community. He believes all good ideas start with a conversation and are brought to life by the willingness of the human spirit.
As a speaker Clinton has delivered over 200 workshops to small, medium, and large corporate groups; developed and delivered over 50 interactive workshops on various tourism development models; and has presented as a keynote speaker at many tourism conferences including hosting the 1st International Ecotourism Summit in Chile.
Cultural Entrepreneur & Guide, Great Spirit Circle Trail
Born and raised in Sheshegwaning First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Steven moved away from his community to Sault Ste Marie when he was 9 years old. After graduating high school Steven moved to the United States where he spent the next 15 years travelling, visiting various First Nations communities and learning Indigenous teachings from many different perspectives. Steven is a talented singer on Big Drum and has frequented Pow Wows throughout North America competing and singing with various drum groups.
Steven has passed down his traditions to his 4 children who are all competitive dancers throughout North America. He has since moved back to Manitoulin Island where he is able to use all the information he gathered throughout his travels. He had a desire to come home and embrace his own history and culture. Steven has delivered cultural workshops with elementary aged children all the way up to the university level. He enjoys speaking about the 3 Fires Confederacy and emphasizing the similarities between all humans rather than our differences.
President & Chief Executive Officer, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
Mr. Keith Henry is a Métis person who was born in Thompson, Manitoba and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Mr. Henry achieved a B.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1995. Mr. Henry has become an international Indigenous cultural tourism leader receiving Indigenous recognition as the former CEO for Indigenous Tourism British Columbia (ITBC).
In April 2014 the inaugural World Indigenous Tourism Alliance award recognized the work of ITBC and Mr. Henry’s leadership. Mr. Henry has been spearheading the growth of authentic Indigenous tourism in Canada as he worked to redevelop the national Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada as elected chair when this organization incorporated in April 2015. In October 2015 Mr. Henry took the full time role as the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s CEO.
Chief Executive Officer, Pandion Consulting & Facilitation
Dan Moore has over 15 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, professional adventure guide, and educator. Dan is the CEO of Pandion Consulting & Facilitation, a travel industry consultancy and facilitation company based in Seattle, Washington (USA). Pandion’s mission is to raise the standards, quality, and sustainability of the travel industry. This is accomplished through facilitating community development workshops, designing and delivering industry training, and direct consulting with businesses, governments, and destinations. Pandion is respected worldwide for designing cutting edge tourism education products. Dan sits on several non-profit boards and is a member of the faculty for Adventure EDU, the education and consulting arm of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. He also teaches Ecotourism, Adventure Travel, and Guide Training at Peninsula College in Washington State. He is a founding chair of the Governing Board of the International Adventure Travel Guide Standard.
Director, Elsipogtog Economic Development
Lynn Francis is a member of the Elsipogtog First Nation, she is the Director of Elsipogtog Economic Development; she also oversees economic development for the 9 Mi’gmaq First Nations in New Brunswick. She is also the Vice President of the Elsipogtog Pharmasave and the River of Fire Market; she was also the Vice President of McGraw Seafood 2008 Inc. from 2008 to 2016.
Since 2010, Lynn has sat as an Executive Board Member for the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI). Committee involvement include; Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Officers Network and the Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification Board.
In 2017 Miss Francis was asked to be a part of the Economic Roundtable Working Group, The Peace and Friendship Dialogue between First Nation Chiefs, provincial and federal ministers to establish shared commitments for moving Indigenous economic development forward in New Brunswick.
Miss Francis is a Certification Aboriginal Economic Developer. She is the recipient of the Economic Developer of the Year Award for the Atlantic Region and was also recognized for her success and outstanding achievements in Indigenous community economic development through the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO).
Manager & Heritage Interpreter, Elsipogtog Mi’Kmaq Cultural Centre
Annie Clair is a proud Mi’kmaq mother and grandmother, a band member from Elsipogtog, New Brunswick. She is the Manager and Heritage Interpreter at the Elsipogtog Mi’Kmaq Cultural Center. Annie is a traditional dancer, singer, drummer, basket weaver, and beader. In 2015 and 2016, with assistance from the Council of Canadians, the Media Action Research Group from Lakehead University, along with the Halifax Media Co-op, Annie produced eight episodes of ‘Pjilasi Mi’kma’ki’, a bilingual Mi’kmaq and English podcast. The first of its kind, the podcast was produced by a Mi’kmaq woman, in Mi’kmaq, aimed towards a Mi’kmaq audience. The results were extremely positive and episodes were run on a variety of radio stations across Canada. Annie remains active in the media arts.
Owner & Chief Executive Officer, Roads to Sea Inc.
Anna-Marie Weir is a professionally certified ”Tourism Trainer”, “Tour Guide”, & “Heritage Interpreter”, and the owner and CEO of Roads To Sea Inc. which includes two business divisions: “Roads to Sea” Guided Tours (2003) & “Professional Development, Training, Consulting & Project Management Services”(2007), based from Moncton, NB.
Anna-Marie has created, coordinated, delivered and facilitated numerous career development, guest service, and professional development sessions, workshops and seminars throughout New Brunswick and First Nations. Her ” Workplace Diversity and Cultural Sensitivity Training” & “NB 101 & Exceptional Guest Service” programs have been delivered at most of the major tourism attractions in New Brunswick.
Anna-Marie has been working with the community of Elsipogtog, NB since 2003 but from 2015-2018 has provided mentorship, coaching and training for the “Mi’kmaq Basket Making & Heritage Path Tour” & Elsipogtog Mi’kmaq Cultural Center. Training was specific to the business start up, product development and Heritage Interpreter training. She provides ongoing support and assistance.
Points North Creative
Lynn Feasey has been working in the arts and culture industry since 1999. Her unique blend of both creative and business skills led her to form Points North Creative Inc. in 2004. Lynn is dedicated to developing the arts and culture sector, strategically - and creatively. With a passion and background in arts development work, she uses her experience and knowledge to develop strategy. And, on the flip side, she pours that knowledge into her creative projects, for a holistic offering that builds capacity, elevates artists, and the arts sector that she serves. With projects such as the award winning Canada’s Northern House, the pan territorial Olympic Pavilion for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, a series of NWT Days in Ottawa for Winterlude, and other large scale cultural events, Lynn has a gift for creating transformational experiences for visitors, while creating opportunities for artists.
Chief Financial Officer, Indigenous Tourism BC
Henry Tso has over 10 years of experience in accounting, business planning and financial management and draws on his experience as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Certified General Accountant (CGA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) to provide strategic leadership for finance and corporate services for Indigenous Tourism BC.
Teena Dickson | Owner | Who What Where Tours
Meta Williams | Programs Manager | Kwäday Dän Kenji (Long Ago People’s Place)
Paul Josie | Owner | Josie’s Old Crow Adventures
Dennis Shorty & Jennifer Frohling | Owners | Koa’ Tzih’ Homestay
Marilyn Jensen | Leader | Dakhká Khwáan Dancers
Amy McKinnon | Communications Manager | Champagne & Aishihik First Nations
Joella Hogan | First Nation of Na Cho Nyak Dun
Heather & Kelly Hougen | Owners | Timberline Wilderness Adventures Ltd.
Scott McDougall | Owner | Kanoe People Ltd.
Ron Daub | CEO | Vuntut Gwitchin Limited Partnership
Logan Freese | Manager, Financial Services | däna Näye Ventures
Sierra Van der Meer | Regional Director | CANNOR
Vanessa Innes | Senior Business Development Advisor | Yukon Government
Shannon McNevin | Tourism Development Advisor | Yukon Government
Caili Steel | Tourism Development Officer | Yukon First Nations Culture & Tourism Association
Lisa Dewhurst | Steering Committee | Yukon Tourism Development Strategy
Keith Wolfe Smarch | Master Carver | Carcross Tagish First Nation