7th Annual indigenous clean energy forum

June 26 & 27, 2023

TCU Place | 35 22 Street East Saskatoon, SK

Treaty 6 Territory

Image copyright: Tourism Saskatoon

Creating an Indigenous-led procurement standard in the Canadian economy.

Two-Day Forum Highlights:

  • Indigenous-led Equity Participation
  • Fireside Chats between Indigenous Leadership
  • Financing SMRs
  • Decarbonizing Fossil Fuel & Mining Sectors
  • Indigenous Leadership in Reconciliation
  • Reconciliation in Action
  • Reconciliation, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Clean Energy Education
  • Indigenous Clean Energy Finance
  • Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)
  • Pathways to Net-Zero
  • Open Forum …and more!

Holiday Inn Saskatoon Downtown

101 Pacific Ave, Saskatoon, SK S7K 1N8 (306) 986-5000

Join our Chairman Chief Felix Thomas for our Chairmans Gala & Awards

June 26, 2023 from 6:30PM to 10:00PM

Featuring Clean Energy Awards ceremony, live music, excellent food, silent auction and surprise guests.

Join us in person or virtually!
For more information email: events@fnpa.ca

Meet Our Speakers

Cliffton Cross

Cliffton Cross is a Frog Lake First Nations #121 and #122 Council Member, and has been elected with FLFN for a third term. Cliffton is proud to say that he was born and raised, attended K-12, graduated, married, and raised a family in his home First Nation. Councillor Cross has over 20 years’ experience working with the youth of his community, and he was previously employed with the community for 10 years, as FLFNs Youth and Recreation Director.

Katie Smith-Parent

Katie leads Business Development for Industry Diversification for Spartan Controls, an industrial technology company with process automation, valve, measurement and control solutions in Western Canada.  In addition, Katie is the Executive Director of Young Women in Energy (YWE), a non-profit Alberta organization of more than 4,500 members that provides voice, presence, development, and leadership of women working in the energy industry. 

Booker Cornea

Booker is a proud member of the Saskatchewan Métis Nation and currently makes his home with his family within Treaty 4 Territory and Western Region III. He shares his financial expertise with over twenty years’ experience working within the financial sector, currently as the Manager of Business Development with the First Nations Bank of Canada (FNBC), where he works with Nations across Canada.

Heather Bishop

Heather Bishop is the Economic Development Director with Cold Lake First Nations. Heather has 32 years of experience in the area of Indigenous governance, business development, stakeholder engagement, environmental, socio-economic, and regulatory requirements, Indigenous knowledge, business strategy, training, and social accountability considerations.

Chief Billy Morin

Chief Billy Morin served three consecutive (2013-22) terms leading one of Alberta’s most progressive indigenous Nations. Chief Morin honors the original spirit and intent of Treaty Six by working with all levels of government and private sector to champion Reconcili-Action by creating unprecedented business partnerships for his and other First Nations. 

Kimberly Van Vliet

Kimberley founded WāVv over 16 years ago. WāVv is a strategic consulting company specializing in the transfer of commercialized technology from one industry and implementing it in another. Industries of focus are Aerospace, Defence, & Security, Energy, Tech, Ag, Military, Mining, Construction, Medtech.

Dr. Doyle Anderson

Dr. Doyle Anderson is the founder, President and CEO of FIELDS, Facilitators of Innovative Education, Leadership Development, and Sustainability. Dr. Anderson is a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation and has over 25 years of experience building Indigenous education and economic leadership capacity. Dr. Anderson has spearheaded numerous technology-focused community and industry-driven Indigenous economic and skilled workforce development projects in Canada and the U.S., building a talent pipeline to revitalize Indigenous economies and fuel industry growth in Indigenous traditional territories.

Carol Anne Hilton

Carol Anne Hilton, MBA is the CEO and founder of the Indigenomics Institute and the Global Center of Indigenomics. Carol Anne is a dynamic Indigenous national and international business leader, author, speaker, director and senior adviser with an international Masters Degree in Business Management (MBA) from the University of Hertfordshire, England. Carol Anne is of Nuu chah nulth descent from the Hesquiaht Nation on Vancouver Island.

Carol Anne is an award winning, best selling author of ‘Indigenomics- Taking A Seat at the Economic Table’ and is currently authoring a second book.

Guy Lonechild

Mr. Lonechild (White Bear First Nations- Treaty #4) is a well-known advocate in creating new economic opportunities and serves as President and CEO of First Nations Power Authority connecting both Indigenous and Industry leaders in renewable and alternative energy development.  As a first of its kind organization, Mr. Lonechild heads the organization as our strategic leader and serves the FNPA Board and provides leadership direction to the FNPA Team.

Jennifer Tidmarsh

With a strong background in the energy sector, Jennifer has worked with various organizations, associations, regulated and unregulated businesses, Indigenous communities, governments, and ministerial departments. Prior to becoming the Vice President of Indigenous Relations and Partnerships at Ontario Power Generation, Jennifer was the President of Transmission in Canada for NextEra Energy, the largest renewables developer in North America. 

Ranjith (Ran) Narayanasamy

Ranjith (Ran) Narayanasamy is an accomplished leader with an extensive track record in various high-impact sectors, including engineering, project management, hydroelectric development, cyber security, and Indigenous business development. As the President & CEO of PTRC, Ran oversees the strategic development and implementation of Carbon Capture Utilization & Storage (CCUS) and geothermal initiatives.

Chief Judy Desjarlais

Judy Desjarlais is the elected Chief of the Blueberry River First Nations, a Treaty 8 Nation located in Northeast British Columbia, 80 Kms west of Fort St. John. Chief Judy Desjarlais is of Dunne’Za (Beaver) and Nehiyaw (Cree) descent. Raised by her grandparents on the Blueberry River First Nations reserve, which was a valuable time of her life learning the cultural traditional values instilled in her by her grandparents.


Joshua Thomas is an engineer-in-training, graduated from the U of S with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering.  He was contracted by FNPA for project management and coordination services in April 2020.  Joshua set up and ran PheedLoop for the FNPA National SMR Forum with Indigenous Communities.  Joshua has been conducting community energy plans for FNPA members.

Hillary Thatcher

Hillary Thatcher is Managing Director of Investments, leading the CIB’s Indigenous Infrastructure team. In her role, Hillary is responsible for the CIB’s engagement with Indigenous communities, advancing investments in Indigenous infrastructure projects consistent with key priority areas. 

Ernie Daniels

Ernie Daniels is President and CEO of the First Nations Finance Authority. He is also a CPA-CGA and a Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) who hails from the Salt River First Nation near Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories.

Karen Chong

Karen Chong is a dedicated educator with a strong background in geophysics within the energy and resource sector. After years of working in the industry, she felt a calling to make a greater impact on society by educating the next generation. Driven by her commitment to social and environmental justice, she transitioned into the field of education, focusing on science, physics, and computer science.

Rupen Pandya

Rupen Pandya became the President and Chief Executive Officer of SaskPower in 2022. Before joining SaskPower, Mr. Pandya was the Deputy Minister of Finance and Secretary to Treasury Board for the Government of Saskatchewan.

He has 25 years of public service experience in Saskatchewan, including previous positions as the President and Chief Executive Officer of SaskBuilds, and Assistant Deputy Minister roles with the Ministry of the Economy and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration. He holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Regina.

Sandra Sutter

Sandra is the Aboriginal Partnerships Manager for PTW Energy Services and for CGT Industrial. She serves on several Indigenous focused boards and committees across Canada including the Circle for Aboriginal Relations Society, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, the Métis Women’s Economic Security Council (Alberta), the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, and Careers – Take On the Future.

Steve Mason

Stephen Mason is a seasoned leader and advocate for Indigenous empowerment in the energy sector. With over four decades of experience, he has played a pivotal role in developing domestic and international energy business opportunities. As the CEO and Senior Managing Director of Project Reconciliation, Stephen is at the forefront of an Indigenous focused initiative to establish a foundation to grow inclusive Indigenous inter-generational wealth in Canada through securing majority Indigenous ownership in major infrastructure and energy transition projects, including the 100% Indigenous ownership of Trans Mountain Corporation.

Rebecca Âcikahtê

Rebecca Âcikahtê is Anishinaabe, Dakota, Irish from Cowessess First Nation, Treaty 4 Territory. She joined First Nations Power Authority in 2014 as the Administrative Coordinator – Executive Assistant and took on the role of Membership & Partnerships Manager in 2017. She has 20 years’ experience in Administration having worked for organizations such as Cowessess First Nation, Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services, SIIT, Rainbow Youth Centre, Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board, and the City of Regina. She is the Saskatchewan chapter lead for Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), a Director on the boards of For The Love of Matthew and Bright Sky Homes and is a member of the City Regina Indigenous Procurement Policy Committee.

Pierre Tremblay

Pierre Tremblay is the President of AECOM Canada Nuclear Services, Inc. (ACNS), AECOM’s nuclear service provider in Canada. He oversees the Canadian Nuclear Center of Excellence in Markham, Ontario where his team of specialists provide innovative, value-add and cost-effective client solutions. AECOM continues to make a major investment and commitment to the Canadian Nuclear Market and to add its expertise, significant organizational capabilities and thought leadership to making an ever growing and sustainable contribution to the nuclear supply chain in Canada. ACNS business integrates with AECOM’s robust world-wide network.

Ahsan Upal

Ahsan is the national business development leader with Burns & McDonnell, an engineering and construction firm specializing in design+build of clean energy and civic infrastructure. 

Ahsan has 22 years of experience in business strategy, industry relations, energy infrastructure program delivery in electricity, pipelines and telecom. Ahsan worked with AltaLink managing powerline projects in Alberta, with Enbridge leading development and execution of Canadian mainline expansion projects across Canada/US and then consulted with the AESO on a 500kV transmission line project before joining Burns & McDonnell in 2015 and now focused on electrification, grid modernization and hydrogen.

Cole Sayers

Cole Sayers was appointed Executive Director of CEBC in fall 2022. He has been a CEBC Board Director since 2020, and brings a wealth of experience as an advisor and advocated on clean energy development, particularly to First Nations interested in advancing opportunities in clean energy and technology. From the Hupacasth First Naiton, Cole has led funding initiatives such as the BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative that supports First Nations clean energy development. Cold is particularly skilled in building strong relationshpis with government, First Nations, and industry stakeholders and is committed to working with these groups to support sustainable, ecnoomic, growth in the clean energy industry.

Jordan Keim

Jordan Keim is the Senior Manager, External Affairs and Indigenous Relations for JGC I Fluor Joint Venture – the prime contractor for the LNG Canada Project – a liquefied natural gas export facility under construction on the traditional territory of Haisla Nation, in Kitimat, British Columbia. Jordan has been working with the project, based in Kitimat, since the beginning of construction in January of 2019.

John Gorman

John Gorman is President & CEO of Canadian Nuclear Association, past President & CEO of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) and a Director on the board of the Energy Council of Canada (ECC). John served as Canada’s Designate to the International Energy Agency’s Executive Committee (PVPS) and was a Founder of the Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity (CanCORE). He’s using this experience to secure a leading role for nuclear energy at the heart of Canada’s energy transition.

John Desjarlais

John is Nehinaw (Cree)-Metis from Kaministikominahikoskak (Cumberland House), Saskatchewan. John has a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and started his career in 2001 in the mining industry and worked in a variety of roles including E&S, maintenance and reliability engineering management until moving onto executive leadership in economic development and construction. John now serves as the Executive Director of the Indigenous Resource Network as well as Past President of APEGS. John also has extensive regulatory, volunteer, governance, and civil society experience serving on a variety of boards, committees, and other initiatives culminating into several awards over his career recognizing his civil service and servant leadership.

Nathan Kaye

Nathan Kaye is a member of Zagime Anishnabek Nation in Treaty 4 Territory and is a strong advocate for sustainable living and reconnecting with traditional Indigenous ideologies. He has worked in communities from Alberta to Ontario, including his Nation in a number of capacities to bring sustainable initiatives and projects to those communities while inspiring Indigenous youth to play a role in being stewards of the land.

Jim Ward

James “Jim” Ward is a seasoned professional with a rich background in business operations, planning, community development, and consulting. He provides crucial leadership as the General Manager of the North Shore Mi’kmaq District Council (NSMDC), which has over ten programs servicing its seven-member nations: Ugpi’ganjig (Eel River Bar), Oinpegitjoig (Pabineau), Natoaganeg (Eel Ground), Metepenagiag (Red Bank), L’nui Menikuk (Indian Island), Tjipogtog (Bouctouche), Amlamgog (Fort Folly), as well as 25 other Atlantic First Nation Communities. As a leader, Jim fosters meaningful business relationships with local industries. He spearheads strategic planning for long-term economic and environmental reconciliation. Jim also holds a significant role as a Council Member for the Indigenous Advisory Council on Small Modular Reactors (IACSMRAP).

Lyle Daniels

Lyle Daniels is a tireless advocate for Indigenous communities and a dedicated health campaigner, currently serving as the Community and Indigenous Director for the Building Trades of Alberta. For over a decade, Lyle was the Inclusion Manager for Build Together at the Saskatchewan Building Trades Council. In this role, he was instrumental in preparing the Indigenous population for participation in the unionized Building and Construction Trades sector in Saskatchewan. His commitment to equity and inclusion saw him leading initiatives aimed at creating accessible pathways for Indigenous people into this industry, making a significant impact on the community.

Ken Hartwick

Ken Hartwick is OPG’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Ken joined OPG in March 2016 as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President – Finance. He was appointed President and CEO in April 2019. Under Ken’s tenure, OPG has released its first-ever Climate Change Plan, advanced its electrification efforts through the Ivy charging partnership and PowerON subsidiary, launched a Reconciliation Action Plan, and is currently leading the development of Canada’s first Small Modular Reactor. 

Brett Isaac

Brett Isaac is a luminary in the renewable energy sector, serving as the Executive Chairman of Navajo Power, a company he founded with a mission to empower Indigenous communities through clean, sustainable power. Before establishing Navajo Power, Brett honed his skills as the Chief Operating Officer of Shonto Energy, a solar off-grid residential and commercial company. During his tenure, he focused on implementing strategies for developing innovative solar power systems, reinforcing his commitment to creating renewable energy pathways.

Jesse McCormick

Jesse is the Senior VP, Research, Innovation & Legal Affairs for the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, a non-political and business focussed coalition of over 100 First Nations organizations working to advance the capacity needs of member First Nations in the broad areas of economic participation and environmental stewardship. The First Nations Major Projects Coalition is dedicated to creating pathways to reconciliation by advancing opportunities for First Nations to obtain ownership stakes in major projects that run through their territories. In order to ensure that major projects meet member First Nations standards of environmental stewardship, the First Nations Major Projects Coalition also works to build capacity and promote Indigenous-led environmental assessment processes.

Questions or Concerns? Ask One of our Organizers

Alexandria Shrake
Alexandria Shrake






Martin Ritchotte
Martin Ritchotte

Administrative Coordinator


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First Nations University of Canada
1 First Nations Way
Regina, SK S4S 7K2


Phone: +1(306) 359-3672

Treaty 4 Territory 


TsuuT’ina Nation Taza Developments


30 Commercial Road
East York, ON M4G 1Z4

Phone: +1(855) 359-3672

Treaty 13 Territory 9


Monday to Friday 8:30a.m.–4:30p.m.
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed


+1 (306) 359-3671




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