March 3, 2021: “A dream of our people for going on eight generations”
What is Rebuilding First Nations Governance all about? Research project co-leads Satsan (Herb George) and Dr. Frances Abele will introduce the scope, structure and purpose of this SSHRC-funded project to support First Nations to achieve self-government and talk with First Nations partners about why being involved in this project is important to them.
Satsan (Herb George), Project Co-Director
"Satsan (Herb George) is one of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs of the Frog Clan and a long-time Speaker for the Wet’suwet’en Nation. He has over 40 years of experience working towards recognition and respect for the inherent right to self-government in the courts, classrooms, and communities. Early in his career, Satsan was a key figure and strategist in the Delgamuukw-Gisdayway decision which ruled, for the first time, that Aboriginal Title and rights exist in law and are recognized and protected under section 35. Following the decision, Satsan went on to serve two terms as elected regional chief, representing BC at the Assembly of First Nations. He has lent his expertise to build educational programming around Aboriginal and Treaty rights and the inherent right to self-government in universities across Canada. In 2005, Satsan founded and became President of the National Centre for First Nations Governance (now the Centre for First Nations Governance). Today, Satsan is leading a collaboration between the Centre (where he continues to serve as Senior Associate), the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) and Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration – the Transitional Governance Program. The Project provides strategic direction and directs applied research and analysis to support First Nations governments who are working to leave behind Indian Act administration.”
Frances Abele, Project Director
"Frances Abele is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy and Administration, Academic Director of the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation, Fellow of the Centre for Governance and Public Management, and Research Fellow at the Institute for Research on Public Policy. She is adjunct professor in the doctoral program in Indigenous Studies at Trent University. Dr. Abele is a former director of the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton. During 1992-96, she was seconded to the research directorate at the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, where she was responsible for research and policy on the North and some of the Commission’s work on governance. A political scientist born in Alberta, Dr. Abele attended the University of Calgary, University of Toronto and York University. She has worked with Indigenous peoples all over Canada and in some parts of the circumpolar Arctic for most of her career. Her research has focused on northern economic and political development, Aboriginal self-government, policy and programs important to Aboriginal people living in cities, policy and program evaluation, qualitative research and citizen engagement. Besides her academic publications, Abele has published research reports with the National Centre for First Nations Governance, Canadian Policy Research Networks, the Institute for Research on Public Policy, the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada. She is currently a member of the editorial boards of two academic journals: Aboriginal Policy Studies, and Canadian Public Administration, and is spearheading two First Nations governance research initiatives.”
Edmund Bellegarde, Tribal Chief and CEO, File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council
Tribal Chief Edmund Bellegarde has served the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council as the Tribal Chief & CEO since September 2006. In this leadership role he also serves as Chairperson of numerous boards at all levels in the community, region and internationally. Edmund is an accomplished business executive and Indigenous leader with experience in the retail banking and casino gaming industries to compliment his role in overseeing the wide scope of Tribal Council businesses, programs, and service delivery. He holds a diploma in administration from Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Casino Executive Education through University of Nevada-Reno, Executive Development Certificate from Queens School of Business, Banff Management School certificates as Internal Strategic Planning Facilitator, and in Aboriginal Negotiations and Dispute Resolution, co-founder of First Nations Professional Director program, and will complete his Master of Business Administration degree at Levene Graduate School of Business in Spring of 2021. In his role as leader of the Tribal Council he is focused on strengthening First Nations capacity through transformational governance founded on Indigenous languages and cultures, youth, economic and social development, education and health. Edmund is passionate about strengthening public policy frameworks through an Indigenous lens and believes in the intrinsic value of First Nations Peoples.
Midori Nicolson, Biologist and Fisheries Manager, Musgamagw Dzawada_'enux_w Tribal Council Fisheries Group
Midori Nicolson is Musgamagw Dzawada_'enux_w from Gwayi, Kingcome Inlet, a small coastal village in British Columbia, Canada. She is a Biologist and Fisheries Manager for the Musgamagw Dzawada_'enux_w Fisheries Group with over 20 years of expertise in policy, mapping and traditional ecological knowledge. She sits on her nation’s elected council as a second term councilor, working on the revitalization of traditional governance, as well as sitting on the board of the Stewardship Centre of BC. Early in her career she looked at food security issues, community gardening in Indigenous villages, and reestablishing a strong presence on the land, sitting on provincial government committees on Indigenous agriculture & traditional knowledge. She managed a multi-stakeholder stewardship group relating to fishing issues in the Broughton Archipelago, and worked as a Coastal Planner with DFO Oceans. Seeking collaborative solutions being one of her key goals, the focus of her work is to increase Indigenous capacity & stewardship practices regarding lands and aquatic resources, while recognizing the essential voice of women in stewardship & traditional governance structures.