Current Work: Manager of Program Development, Federation of Canadian Municipalities
As Manager of Program Development at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, I have been influential in moving the organization and its more than 2,000 municipal members to create meaningful partnerships with First Nations communities. At such a critical period in Canada’s history where there is such opportunity for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples to come together on so many levels, there still remains significant friction between these communities. It was within this context that I developed a new First Nations-municipal collaborative program entitled First Nations-Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative, drawing heavily on previous experience. A year and a half into the program we are observing significant results in innovative joint business development. For example in Northern Ontario, Lac Seul First Nation, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug and the municipality of Sioux Lookout have developed a regional food distribution proposal and have attracted provincial government and private sector interest.
Before my present engagement, I worked with the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Canada (2004-09). During these years, I focussed on developing country partners, such as Ghana, in strengthening their own volunteer development and management programs in support of local volunteering schemes in social sectors such as health and education.
I have fond memories of SCARP. One highlight that deserves mention is the real-world experience I gained through Doug Aberley’s Bioregional Mapping course, where we worked with Lil’Wat First Nation on developing a series of maps on their nation’s history and culture.