Annual general meeting & forum:

Stronger Together

The ABPA is hosting its second Annual General Meeting & Business Forum on October 6th, 2021.

We welcome Members, Non-members, Indigenous and Allies to join us virtually to hear First Nations elected and business leaders share their insights at this time of great change and opportunity. 

This years ‘Stronger Together’ theme will feature talks and panels that explore equitable partnerships, highspeed internet expansion as a gamechanger, and Indigenous leadership laying a path towards wellness and prosperity for First Nations in the north. There will be breakout room networking sessions to bring together ABPA members, Northern Ontario government and industry  representatives and allies, potential investors, and any others interested in the region’s socio-economic development opportunities.  


Anishnawbe Member (51% or more Anishnawbe Owned) | $25

Associate Member (Non Anishnawbe) | $50

Indigenous Non-Member (First Nation, Inuit, Metis) | $25

Non-Member Allies (Non-Indigenous) | $99


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Previous Events

Pathways to indigenous prosperity Web Series:

Blueprints for Economic Empowerment

Our next webinar is coming up on Tuesday, June 22nd from 1:30PM-3:00PM (ET). This session will feature speakers from CreeQuest Corporation, Wabun Tribal Council, NACCA, and Coral Rapids Power. This session will be focused on stories of business success and Indigenous entrepreneurship. Our dynamic panel of speakers will share experiences of community-led economic growth, sustainable development, and growing partnerships that can be modelled for future prosperity.

Moderating the discussion is Jason Rasevych, ABPA Director and Partner at Deloitte Canada for Financial Advisory and National Leader Indigenous Client Services. Jason’s twin passions are advocating for Indigenous rights and reconciliation as well as economic and business development, and he looks forward to an engaging actionable discussion with this excellent panel.

Registration is complimentary for members of the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association and members of First Nations communities. Non-Members are welcome to attend for a fee of $25.00.

The session features the following speakers: 

Tina (Gagnon) Sheridan: Tina Sheridan is a Cree member of Taykwa Tagamou Nation (TTN). She is a mother, grandmother, and served for four years as a Councillor for her community. She is also an award-winning self-taught entrepreneur in a male dominated sector! Tina founded CreeQuest in 2010 as a sole proprietorship, and it has flourished into an incorporated regional Indigenous business which employs 120 people, of whom 51% are women and 40-48% are Indigenous. 

Wayne Ross: Wayne Ross is a member of the Taykwa Tagamou Nation (TTN), and President of Coral Rapids Power (CRP), a wholly-owned subsidiary of TTN mandated to explore and develop hydroelectric opportunities within TTN’s traditional territory. As a key negotiator over almost five years on this major infrastructure project that led to over 50M in business contracts to local communities, Wayne has many insights to share about developing relationships with non-Indigenous partners, mitigating environmental concerns, and building capacity within communities to support future growth and prosperity.

Jason Batise: Jason Batise is the Executive Director of Wabun Tribal Council (WTC). Wabun means sunrise in Ojibwe, reflecting a new day, a new start, or a fresh beginning. Jason has played a leading role in guiding WTC’s member Nations (Brunswick House, Chapleau Ojibway, Flying Post, Matachewan, Mattagami and Beaverhouse) towards a model of sustainable resource development. WTC has demonstrated leadership in the development of successful partnerships in the mining and extractive industries that bring prosperity while also establishing certainty for industry partners. 

Shannin Metatawabin: Shannin Metatawabin is from Fort Albany First Nation, is a fluent Cree speaker, and the CEO of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association of Canada (NACCA). Shannin began at CIBC as a business development officer for the Aboriginal Business Canada program, where he assisted 250+ businesses start up and expand. His current role allows him to continue this development and support with one of the largest social finance networks of Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFI’s) in the world.  

Pathways to indigenous prosperity Web Series:

Procurement opportunities & Processes

Our next webinar is coming up on Thursday, May 27th 1PM-2:30PM (ET). This session will feature speakers from Valard Construction and Supercom Industries, and will be focused on opportunities and challenges in the construction sector related to current and upcoming projects in Northern Ontario. 

The discussion will include highlights of current projects related to Indigenous participation in business contracting, community participation, and employment and training. If you’re interesting in learning more about how those opportunities can be accessed and the ways Indigenous businesses can prepare, submit bids, or qualify for contracts, tune in on the 27th.

Moderating the discussion is Jason Thompson, ABPA Director and owner of Superior Strategies, an Indigenous owned and operated Project Management Consulting & Training Service. Jason is a proud member of the Red Rock Indian Band, and has over 20 years of business and management experience. He is a proven executive and visionary entrepreneur, and prides himself in being an ambassador for Indigenous inclusion and an advocate for northern investment and development.

Registration is complimentary for members of the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association and members of First Nations communities. Non-Members are welcome to attend for a fee of $25.00.

The session features the following speakers: 

Carey Kostyk | Valard Construction LP

Carey provides strategic leadership to all aspects of Valard’s business with a focus on ensuring project excellence. With 23 years of broad experience in operating businesses and in the execution of transmission and distribution projects, ranging from small to megaproject size, Carey has a proven track record of working with teams, partners, stakeholders and suppliers to develop high performance teams that are able to navigate complex challenges successfully.

Blaine Collett | Valard Construction LP

Blaine provides strategic leadership to Valard’s Indigenous Relations endeavours across Canada. He is a First Nation business professional with over 25 years of experience including senior management roles in major resource projects, construction companies and First Nation management. Blaine has a passion for working with Indigenous communities and Industry to strengthen long term, mutually beneficial relationships. His proven experience has brought a multitude of socioeconomic benefits to many communities by supporting and managing outcomes with industry.

Robert Starr | Supercom Industries LP

Robert Starr is a member of Pic River First Nation, and has worked in the mining, forestry, energy development, Federal government, and Energy Transmission industries. Robert’s focus has always been on Indigenous community development. Robert is deeply passionate about active and meaningful economic participation amongst Indigenous businesses, and his current work with Supercom, a unique partnership of six North Shore First Nations, allows him to work towards First Nations participation in the East-West Tie Line Project.

A Virtual Reality:

A Fireside Chat about making the most of virtual communication & events

Join us on April 29th at 1PM (EDT) for an online discussion… about how to have better online discussions!

COVID has affected all businesses, and many of our Indigenous and remote organizations are switching to virtual communications to support their clients and customers in innovative ways. 

Registration is complimentary for members of the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association and members of First Nations communities. Non-Members are welcome to attend for a fee of $25.00.

Moderator Steven McCoy is a director of the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association, as well as the president of Gencity Consulting, an Indigenous firm dedicated to the business, communications, & marketing needs of Northwestern Ontario.





The session features the following speakers: 

Brian Davey Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF)

Brian Davey is a director of the ABPA, and his commitment to Indigenous economic growth has taken many roles. Brian currently holds the role of executive director of NADF, and has previously worked as their special initiatives advisor in the resource services department. Brian served as deputy grand chief for the Nishnawbe Aski Nation for six year, as economic development manager with Matawa Tribal Council for four, and was a managing part­ner with First Nations Equity. Join us to hear Brian’s advice on keeping remote communications professional and high-impact with the right equipment.


Shannon Anderson Ingaged Creative Productions Inc.

Shannon Anderson is a part of the team at Ingaged Creative Productions, an Indigenous marketing, events, and communications firm headquartered in Fort William First Nation, Ontario. The team collaborates with Elders, artists and a wide variety of businesses and organizations to create dynamic and accessible culturally-led hybrid events. Even though there is at least five full-time team members behind every Ingaged Creative event, Shannon will explain how Ingaged leverages culture, multimedia, technology and communication to create unique experiences for a variety of audiences and clients.

20 Years of coastal first nations:

history, governance and lessons learned

Join us on March 25th for the second webinar in our three-part series featuring speakers from Indigenous and environmental organizations as well as businesses to learn about Indigenous-led natural climate solutions in Canada. This session will explore how Coastal First Nations have created unique opportunities for conservation efforts through partnership and carbon offsets. 

Moderated by Jason Rasevych from the Anishinawbe Business Professional Association, the session features the following speakers: 

  • Kelly Brown, Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management
  • Paul Kariya Coastal First Nations


Lessons Learned & Looking Forward:

Virtual Annual General Meeting

Thursday, September 24th

After a successful first year, we are excited to announce our First Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday, September 24th.

After our Anishnawbe-member voting for the upcoming year, we look forward to welcoming our associate members and all interested parties for our AGM Panel Event, Lessons Learned & Looking Forward.

This virtual event will feature:

  • An introduction to the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association for prospective members
  • A moderated discussion followed by a Q&A with three panelists, reflecting on their challenges and successes, and how to become stronger together through strategic partnerships and collaboration.
  • Virtual Meet and Greet and Networking with our Board, Members, and other Northwestern Ontario Business Owners, Operators, and representatives from regional organizations from many sectors
  • Upcoming news and opportunities with the ABPA and Our Members
  • Commemorative Gift
  • A chance to win a free membership, and your registration fee put towards a membership if you join us before October 15th.

Registration open until Wednesday, September 23rd at 4:00pm


John Glover

John Glover is the Chief Executive Officer of Minodahmun Development, a limited partnership owned by Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, Aroland First Nation and Ginoogaming First Nation. Minodahmun means the “clear path” in Anishinaabemowin. Minodahmun Development LP aims to ensure that benefits from development projects are shared equitably between First Nation owners to grow the local economy and provide opportunities for members. Don’t miss his panel on benefits and strategies of not only negotiating with mining corporations, but of making partnerships with other First Nations. 


Robert Starr

Robert Starr is a member of Pic River First Nation, and has worked in many industries, from mining, forestry, energy development, the federal government, and most recently, the Energy Transmission Field. No matter where he’s worked, his focus has always been on Indigenous community development. Robert is deeply passionate about active and meaningful economic participation amongst Indigenous businesses. He looks forward to speaking about his current work with Supercom Industries, a unique partnership of six First Nations along the North Shore and how they working to ensure First Nations participation in the East-West Tie Line Project.

Rachael Paquette

Rachael Paquette is a lawyer and partner at Cheadles LLP, and her practise is dedicated to Education Law, Aboriginal Law, Police Services Law, and Labour & Employment Law. Rachael also advises on Policy Development, and her experience prior to Law School included work with First Nation organizations with a broad range of responsibilities for projects in education, counselling, student services, capital, project management, advocacy, liaising and developing partnerships. Rachael was born in Sioux Lookout and raised in Northwestern Ontario and is bilingual in Northern Ojibwe and English. Rachael will be discussing Joint Venture agreements.


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