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Conference Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Senator Murray Sinclair

SenatorSinclair  Hi res Cropped copy Senator Sinclair served the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years. He was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second.

He served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of the TRC, he participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the issuance of the TRC’s report in 2015. He also oversaw an active multi-million-dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and to allow survivors to travel to attend TRC events.

Senator Sinclair has been invited to speak throughout Canada, the United States and internationally, including the Cambridge Lectures for members of the Judiciary of various Commonwealth Courts in England.

He served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba. He was very active within his profession and his community and has won numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (1994) and the Lifetime Achievement Award (2017) from Indspire, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001) and its Distinguished Service Award (2016). He most recently received the President’s Award from the Canadian Bar Association (2018), the SSHRC Impact Award (2019) and will be the 2019 recipient of the Symons Medal.

Senator Sinclair has received Honorary Doctorates from fourteen Canadian universities and was appointed to the Senate on April 2, 2016. While in the Senate he has served on the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. He is currently a member of the Senate Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senator’s Committee as well as Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and Rights of Parliament.

Master of Ceremonies

Math’ieya Alatini


Math’ieya Alatini’s name is synonymous with energy, action and integrity. She’s a capable and experienced leader, known for trailblazing and her no-nonsense approach to getting results. On the heels of two very productive terms serving as Chief of Kluane First Nation, Math’ieya did a quick pit stop working with the Yukon Government Cabinet office and is now bringing her experience and energy to her work for Canada’s Indigenous Governments and Northern communities as the Chief Strategist for GSD Strategies.

She is of Southern Tutchone, Tlingit, Russian and Welsh descent and therefore has extensive family and community connections in Yukon and globally! Math’ieya was fortunate to experience both a traditional Indigenous lifestyle and a modern way of living which has given strong foundations to all her endeavours. The traditional values and “ways of knowing and doing” is also shared by her husband, Tevita, and thereby has been transferred to their two children. Together they ensure their children have the same opportunities for growth and discovery of all cultures and yet are grounded in knowing where they come from. Math’ieya holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Victoria and has experience in many sectors and in different capacities from Tourism to a Non-Profit Volunteer organizations that specialized in First Nation capacity building. With the Federal Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in British Columbia she was responsible for managing a diverse portfolio of capital infrastructure and green energy projects in excess of $400 million for up to 43 different First Nation communities.

Under Math’ieya’s leadership as Kluane First Nation Chief, she guided the nation towards energy self-sufficiency and economic resilience in the small community of Burwash Landing. This was done through the ability to forge partnerships with industry, other Yukon First Nations, Yukon Government and several Federal Departments. Her demonstrated ability to leverage opportunities, facilitate collaborative partnerships to create economic, social and environmental benefits position her as an established leader and game-changer with the credibility of a proven track record.

Building relationships and sharing knowledge is a strong motivator for her. Through her company GSD Strategies, Math’ieya brings her ability to skillfully guide partnerships, create collaborative successes in order to launch big picture initiatives and deliver tangible results for her clients. Her work ethic and vision has earned her a reputation as a leader who can get things done in a good way.

Feature Speakers

Brenda Holder

Owner/Operator, Mahikan Trails

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Brenda Holder was born and raised in the Rockies in Jasper National Park and is pleased to follow her lineage as a traditional Cree/Iroquois Métis guide from the Kwarakwante of Jasper. She is a Master Interpretive guide and is an active advocate of Indigenous Tourism.

She has spent the last 19 years in tourism and has served on many Aboriginal Tourism Advisory Boards and is presently the Chair for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), and Chair for the new Alberta Chapter Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA). Brenda’s main passion is Traditional Medicine and she uses that and other cultural knowledge to build quality programs for guests taking part of her tours and programs. Brenda has spent much of her career as a guide to connect people to the land through Indigenous eyes and through learning about the medicines gifted to all people.

The mainstay of Brenda’s business is in her hands on medicine classes, where people get to spend 2 full days learning about traditional plant medicine and how to make it. Her accomplishments are extensive resulting in many prestigious awards for her work in using her company both in the entrepreneurial spirit and in educating the public about Métis culture.

Some of these awards have included:
• Aboriginal Woman Entrepreneur Award of Distinction presented from the Alberta Chamber of Commerce. • Esquao Award from the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW). • Métis Entrepreneur of the Year.

Brenda is a past member of the Métis Women’s Economic Security Council for the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs. In addition, she is a board member for the Interpretive Guides Association and represents Aboriginal Interpretive Guides. She is the Chair for the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and is the Alberta Director, in addition to being the Chair of Indigenous Tourism Alberta, a newly formed organization under ITAC.

Brenda took part in several film documentaries and one television series: Mahikan Trails was presented on Profiles of Success on Aboriginal People’s Television Network. In addition the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada released a video series called “The Power of Aboriginal Tourism” Featuring Mahikan Trails and Painted Warriors. Tomiuk Productions filmed Mahikan Trails in a documentary/training video to be used in a Lakeland College training course for Adventure Tourism. Mahikan Trails was showcased as one of the Adventure Partners in the Aboriginal Tourism Sector. As part of Alberta Economic Development, Brenda was also filmed with the Story Tellers documentary series on being an Aboriginal Woman in Business. Brenda is most often found guiding clients into the high alpine zones of the Rockies, or leading traditional medicine walks down in the valley bottoms.

Bill Alexander

Executive Chef, Grey Eagle Resort & Casino

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Canadian Indigenous born Bill Alexander is the Executive Chef at the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino, located on the beautiful TSUUT’INA Nation. Further to this Bill is the Indigenous culinary development chef for WestJet in Calgary Alberta, as well as Chairman of the board of the Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations (I.C.A.N)

His early years were spent growing up in Ontario & Western Quebec with heavy influence from his mother & Indigenous teachings. A childhood spent farming, hunting, foraging and trading laid the foundation of locally sourced ingredients and the importance of knowing food origins. By the age of 12, Bill was cooking full meals for his family and community while thriving off an ignited passion for food and the happiness it inspired. At age 15 he began his first formal training in the restaurant industry leading to his first sous chef role by 17 and head chef role by 18 years of age. This inspired a thirst for traveling and continual honing new skills in places such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Prague, as well as various Canadian destinations. After years of working overseas, Chef Bill returned to Canada reaffirming that “food is a magical ingredient needed to create happy memories”, believing this sentiment is echoed in every corner of the world and is a universal language in itself.

Over the last 20+ years, Chef Bill has developed a highly decorated, award winning career with expertise in markets such as Hotels, Conference Centers, Corporate and Private Restaurants, Military & Defense Head Quarters, as well as consulting on 15+ menu concepts for 3rd party businesses.

When the apron comes off, Chef Bill spends his time being a highly accomplished martial artist, a motivational speaker, and a devoted husband and father. He is referred to as the “smiling chef” amongst his colleagues, highly motivated by his passion and desire to make a difference through indigenous culinary experiences. The belief that “food brings people to the table where we get to talk about the necessary change”. Led to his culinary mantra that “Food is such a powerful conduit, what you do with it, is your responsibility”

Clinton Belcher

Founder, Canadian Ecotourism Services

Clinton Belcher

As an Indigenous person from South Africa, Clinton brings an innovative approach to tourism development gained through his entrepreneurial abilities and community driven tourism ventures such as cultural infrastructure projects, tourism strategies, business planning, technology and product development. As founder and CEO he has operated Canadian Ecotourism Services for 21 years, providing sustainable economic development solutions with a social conscience.

Clinton works across Canada and internationally to develop Indigenous tourism projects ranging from individual grassroots efforts to large scale community developments. He is motivated and understanding of cultural keepers and entrepreneurs and their importance to the sustainability of Indigenous tourism. He is thankful for the opportunity to learn from and empower community champions that believe cultural preservation is central to a vibrant and sustainable community. He believes all good ideas start with a conversation and are brought to life by the willingness of the human spirit. As a speaker Clinton has delivered over 200 workshops to small, medium, and large corporate groups; developed and delivered over 50 interactive workshops on various tourism development models; and has presented as a keynote speaker at many tourism conferences including hosting the 1st International Ecotourism Summit in Chile.

Paul Natrall

Owner / Operator, Mr. Bannock Food Truck

IMG 20191018 073638 copy Paul Natrall is 35 years of age, is Coast Salish from the Squamish Nation in North Vancouver. He has been specializing in Indigenous cuisine since 2009-2010, is an active member of Indigenous Culinary Team and went to the World Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany in 2012 representing Indigenous Culinary on the world stage. He is a founding member of Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations, an Indigenous Cuisine specialist, featuring Indigenous Fusion for the locals and people around the world.

John Ritchie

Projector Developer, Indigenous Spirit Creation (div. of Lac La Biche Canadian Friendship Centre Association)

00100dPORTRAIT 00100 BURST20181126143604880 COVER John Ritchie has a rich history of experience from 5 star restaurants, to themed hotels and cultural historical sites. His mentors taught him to dream BIG!!! He believes that our unique individual characteristics are the keys to our success along with a solid plan which he learnt in the years he served his community as economic co-ordinator and tourism management.

John is proud of the successful community resort property that in 2005 he was manager of re-development for the resort and set the foundations of this professional managed property. Today the resort boost 10 cabins and over 200 seasonal sites filled to full occupancy and is an economic driver for the community.

Currently he is works with the Lac La Biche Canadian Native Friendship Centre Association as project developer for Indigenous Spirit Creations: the revenue generation initiative for the non-profit society as he builds his own unique camping experience for tourism market.

Danelia Lopez & Eric Boucher

Puesta del Sol Community Based Tourism Association

140 Danelia Lopez is the Puesta del Sol Community Based Tourism Association coordinator in Nicaragua. With a university degree in business administration, she is proud to be able to participate in the development of the community that watched her grow. Her husband, Eric Boucher, is involved in the project since the beginning 15 years ago. His motivation lies in creating bridges between Canada and Nicaragua, as well as the improvement of the living conditions of his wife’s community. As an agricultural technician, he implements agritourism projects in Quebec and Nicaragua.

Teresa Ryder

Director of Business Development, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

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Teresa Ryder works as the Director of Business Development at ITAC. Teresa is of Musqueam descent, born in the Lower Mainland and raised on Vancouver Island. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Criminology from Simon Fraser University.

Before joining the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC), Teresa worked for the Indigenous Tourism Association of BC (ItBC), as well as in various roles throughout the hospitality industry. Her passion for working with people and joy of connecting with other Indigenous communities has led her to a career in tourism and community development.

Eric Patemen


‘Canadian cuisine is gaining international recognition beyond poutine and in part, it’s thanks to the advocacy efforts of Eric Pateman, one of our leading experts in culinary tourism.’ says John Geiger, CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Eric Pateman has emerged to be at the top of the pile for culinary consultants on the planet. He is a key ambassador of Canadian, Australian, British and New Zealand cuisines and is the strategic mind behind a global culinary tourism focus over the past decade. He is not only the nation’s leading ambassador of Canadian cuisine and a storyteller for hundreds of small artisan food companies, farmers, fishermen, foragers, but is also known to bring together chefs and influencers from all aspects of the culinary world.

With 25+ years of experience in many facets of the tourism and hospitality industries including being an executive chef (cooked with Bourdain, Ramsey etc.), and with an MBA specializing in hospitality finance.

Eric is focusing most of his time on ESP Culinary Consulting, the company that keeps him travelling around the world about 75% of the time working for both public and private sector clients to write strategies, define cuisines, build new brands and renew old ones, curate events and festivals and shape the future of food.

Additionally, Eric owns and operates the successful Edible Canada brand of companies in Vancouver, which includes a restaurant, retail stores and a culinary travel division. Pateman also owns Amola Salt - an award-winning sea salt company.

Youth Speakers

Amber Berard-Althouse

Public Outreach Education Officer, Parks Canada at Kluane National Park and Reserve
Kluane First Nation


Brandon Kyikavichik

Interpreter, John Tizya Centre
Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation

Brandon Speaking Beringia Centre

Chyanne Trenholm

Tourism Management Student, Vancouver Island University

45301301 10156344403439017 4265273601512439808 o copy Chyanne Trenholm is an Indigenous student from Homalco First Nation in Campbell River, BC, completing her final year of her undergrad in the Tourism Management program at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo. As an aspiring entrepreneur Chyanne is driven to turn her passion for the outdoors into a career within the growing Indigenous tourism sector to educate and uplift both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people while focusing on the history, current issues, community economic development, and ways to move forward with the adoption of Indigenous tourism as a pathway to Truth and Reconciliation.

Teah Dickson

Guide/Operations, Who What Where Tours
Kluane First Nation

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Ben Scott


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Chad Rickaby

Consultant, Nordicity

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Deborah Lemaire

Department of Economic Development, Yukon Government

Harry Borlasse

A/Regional Director, The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

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James McPherson

Owner & Operator, Sahtu Adventures Inc.

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Lana Selbee

Executive Director, Yukonstruct

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Lauren Manekin Beille

Manager, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Yukon College

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Logan Freese

Manager of Financial Services, däna Näye Ventures

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Martin Meyer

Program Officer Entrepreneurship and Business Development Program, däna Näye Ventures

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Paul Josie

Owner & Operator, Josie’s Old Crow Adventures
Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation


Paul Kishchuk

Researcher, Nodicity

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Teri-Lee Isaac



Xina Cowan