NEDC is governed by a Board of Directors  and elected Chief and Council (“Council”), on behalf of members of the ‘NAMGIS FIRST NATION (“NFN”), as set out in our Governance Policy. We operate under six guiding principles:

  1. NEDC creates and directs business opportunities, following the input and approval from its shareholders (the NFN through its Council);
  2. Income, corporate or other taxes on all revenues are minimized, whether earned on or off reserve;
  3. NEDC is transparent and accountable to the members of NFN;
  4. Clearly delineated roles and responsibilities of all parties involved with NEDC;
  5. Any investments from NFN for new businesses flows through NEDC; and
  6. The Council, on behalf of the NFN, through its oversight of the NEDC Board is informed in relation to the business activities under the NEDC umbrella, but it does not engage in management of those entities.

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New Board of Directors:

A warm welcome to our new Board of Directors!

Debra Hanuse, Board Chair

Debra Hanuse, Board Chair

Senior Policy Analyst, First Nations Summit

Debra Hanuse is a member of the ‘Namgis First Nation. She practiced Aboriginal and corporate and commercial law for more than 20 years. She has served as the Chief Treaty Negotiator for the Tsawwassen First Nation, Commissioner on the BC Treaty Commission, Acting Director of Law and Legislation at the Assembly of First Nations and as Acting Executive Director at the BC Assembly of First Nations.

Debra has served as a Director on the Board of BC Hydro, the New Relationship Trust, the Board of Governors of Simon Fraser University and Big Sisters of B.C Lower Mainland.

She has a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Political Science from Simon Fraser University and an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia.

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Tamara Goddard

Tamara Goddard

President, Mahigan Research and Development Inc.

Of the Saulteau First Nation in North Eastern BC, Tamara completed her Master’s Degree in Indigenous Business & Leadership at SFU. Tamara’s primary focus is the study of traditional Indigenous ideologies and how it can effectively mingle with the current western systems in a complementary fashion.

Over the past 15 years, Tamara has performed extensive research pertaining to the gaps between First Nations, Government, and Industry. Tamara utilizes this research in her work with multiple First Nations and Indigenous organizations towards developing and implementing economic strategies and growth partnerships. With this experience, Tamara now works on economic development projects such as hotels, affordable housing, food and water security technologies, and ecological restoration corporations. 

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Jean La Rose, ICD.D

Jean La Rose, ICD.D

CEO, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Winnipeg

Jean La Rose is a First Nations citizen from the Abenaki First Nation of Odanak in Québec. He grew up in Ottawa where he studied Journalism at Algonquin College and obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Social Communication at the University of Ottawa/Université St. Paul.

Since November 2002, Jean La Rose has been the Chief Executive Officer of APTN, the first national Indigenous broadcaster in the world, with programming by, for and about Indigenous Peoples. Since joining the network, he has established it on a strong financial position for long-term growth.

APTN’s workforce now totals 200 positions, including radio and provides production opportunities for over 100 Indigenous producers in Canada.

Mr. La Rose sits on the Boards of Directors of Indspire, the National Screen Institute, Media Smarts, Mother Earth Recycling (a social enterprise located in Winnipeg). He received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award (now known as Indspire Awards) for Media and Communications in 2011, and the CEO HR Champion of the Year Award from the

Human Resource Management Association of Manitoba in 2015. He was named “Alumni of the Year” in 2015 by St. Paul University and received an Honorary Diploma in Journalism from La Cité Collégiale in Ottawa in 2015.

Mr. La Rose is also the Chair of the Heritage Canada Departmental Audit Committee and served on Minister Joly’s Panel of Experts examining the future of the digital economy as it pertains to the Arts and Culture industries.

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Chris Little, CPA, CA

Chris Little, CPA, CA

Director, Finance, Tides Canada

Chris joined Tides Canada in October 2015 and provides operational and strategic leadership for the finance department, including oversight of the accounting, financial, reporting and budgeting processes and organizational risk management strategy for the $65M organization. She is also responsible for managing their $40M investment portfolio.

Before joining Tides Canada, Chris served as Project Manager for a large finance system implementation at Vancity Savings and Credit Union. Chris is also a co-founder of the charitable project Reconciliation Canada and held numerous roles there including Director, Operations and Partnerships and Director, New Way Forward Development.

Chris is a CPA, CA with a breadth of financial experience that includes 11 years with the accounting firm Ernst & Young working both as an auditor and in the tax department, where she led the Scientific and Research Development (“SRED”) department. She holds a BSc in Physiotherapy from the University. Chris serves on the Board of Directors of Raincity Housing.

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Jonathan Lok, RFT

Jonathan Lok, RFT

Managing Director, Strategic Natural Resource Consultants Inc.

Jon began his forestry career on Northern Vancouver Island with companies like Canfor, TimberWest, Weyerhaeuser and Canadian Air Crane and was inspired to co-found Strategic Natural Resource Consultants, one of the larger resource management consultancies in BC. In his role as Managing Director, he is responsible for setting strategy, growing culture and building a world-class team. The firm was recently named as one of the Top 100 Employers in Canada.

Jon studied at SFU, BCIT and UBC Sauder School of Business and has been recognized as the ABCFP’s Forest Technologist of the Year, received the CIF’s James Kitz Award and was named by Canadian Forest Industries Magazine as one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 40 in the forest sector.

Jon has served as President of the Consulting Foresters of BC, the Association of BC Forest Professionals, the Canadian Institute of Forestry and the North Island Community Forest.

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Vanessa Mountain

Vanessa Mountain

Sr. Procurement Advisor, Indigenous Procurement at BC Hydro

Vanessa Mountain is a member of the N’quatqua Band of the St’at’imc Nation.  The first part of her career was spent in the financial services industry working her way up the corporate ladder at one of the larger financial institutions.  She then moved into working with Aboriginal organizations developing programs and services to accelerate community economic development. Vanessa’s focus was working with Aboriginal entrepreneurs and businesses to connect them with the capital and business acumen required to achieve success.  One position she is especially proud of is the position she held with VANOC as Specialist, Aboriginal Procurement.  This position gave her the opportunity to expand her knowledge of local supply chain opportunities and how to connect Aboriginal businesses to them. 

With her almost 20 years working with Aboriginal businesses, she has key knowledge of the development of Aboriginal inclusion strategies that will benefit both parties in the participation of major projects. Vanessa rounded out her expertise in the procurement and supply chain field in her position with BC Hydro as the Senior Aboriginal Procurement Advisor.

At this point in Vanessa’s career she is developing progressive business models capable of building both Aboriginal communities and the local economy. Vanessa brings an expansive network of positive working relationships with both Aboriginal communities and businesses along with non-aboriginal networks.

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Keena Hicken-Gaberria
CEO – Namgis Economic Development Corporation

Bio here: https://namgis-edc.ca/about/#our-team

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Strategic Plan

NEDC’s 5-Year Strategic Plan sets out its goals, strategies, objectives and tactics to be undertaken. This plan has been approved by Council and is to be updated annually. NEDC’s goals are:

  1. Collectively, NEDC’s business portfolio is the leading source of employment on the North Island (“Employment”);
  2. Collectively, NEDC’s business portfolio generate net profits valued at a minimum of 50% of NFN’s annual budget (“Profitability”); and
  3. NEDC’s business portfolio is the leader in environmentally sustainable practices on the North Island (“Environmental”).

NEDC’s current objectives are:

Budget

Based on the approved 5-Year Strategic Plan, an annual budget is developed for NEDC, which is reviewed and approved by the NEDC Board. Learn more at the June 1st Community Meeting. Click here for more info: Community Engagement