National Conference 2023 – Breakout Sessions

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MODERN TREATIES: Honouring Our Past; Building Our Future

February 27 – March 1, 2023 at the The Westin Ottawa



Breakout 1A: Co-Management: Case Studies in the Context of Climate Change and Devolution

Speakers: Kirk Cameron, Nuri Frame, others to be announced

An exploration of co-management case studies in the contexts of climate change and devolution. Co-management of the land is a central part of the modern treaty bargain. How is climate change affecting modern treaties, in terms of planning and changes in environmental management processes? How is devolution changing the co-management process and relationship?

*This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.


Breakout 1B: Best Practices in Land Claim Implementation

Tłı̨chǫ Trails of our Ancestors Canoe Journey
Speakers: John B. Zoe, Tammy Steinwand-Deschambeault (Tłı̨chǫ)

An overview of the annual Trails of Our Ancestors canoe journey, which connects Tłı̨chǫ Citizens to the ancient trails throughout the Tłı̨chǫ traditional territory. Preserving and developing land based and cultural knowledge is a critical basis for all aspects of treaty implementation, and the program creates a space for Tłı̨chǫ citizens to spend time on the land together learning the trails from Elders and knowledge holders. The journeys, which depart from each Tłı̨chǫ community, take about two weeks and finish to a celebratory welcome at the annual Tłı̨chǫ Assembly, an essential element of Tłı̨chǫ governance.


Elders Led the Way
Speakers: Alestine Andre (Gwich’in Tribal Council Department of Culture and Heritage), Ingrid Kritsch

An overview of the development of the Gwich’in Tribal Council Culture and Heritage Department over several decades. Elders played a key role in early activities and projects, and continue to guide the Department’s initiatives.


Creating Community Surveys to Understand Wellness Needs – Data Gathering Methods for Data Sovereignty –  Nisga’a Nation
Speakers: Adam Perry (Nisga’a), Shannon West-Johnson (Nisga’a)

An examination of the varied approaches to survey design and methods at the Nisga’a Lisims Government, focusing on adaptations to traditional sampling methods. This case study highlights the hybrid sampling method used to collect data, and features the combined use of convenience and random sampling to collect information from Nisga’a citizens living both on and off Nisga’a Lands.

The Political Development of Modern Treaties
Speakers: Daniel Sherwin

(Session Description to come)


Breakout 1C: Business Capacity Development

Speakers: Glenn Cousins (Kakivak), Clarence Synard (Kakivak), others to be announced

For many modern treaties, government procurement is a key economic opportunity.  In this session, hear the experiences and lessons learned from the Baffin region, as well as dive deep into a program for community-based construction trades training.

*This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.


Breakout 1D: Implementation Policy and Initiatives

Speakers: Alastair Campbell (NTI), Kirk Cameron (Northern Governance Institute), Colin Salter (PST Law), Mat Sargent (Government of Canada)

Modern treaty signatories and federal representatives are developing an implementation policy framework for the federal government. This session provides an update and discussion of this important initiative, which touches on many LCAC priorities from the last 20 years.

*This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.


Breakout 1E: Obstacles to Drawing Down Jurisdiction

Speakers: Matt Mehaffey (Mehaffey Consulting), Bertha Rabesca-Zoe (Tłı̨chǫ Government)

Colonial structures continue to stand in the way of modern treaties drawing down full jurisdiction. What change is needed? This panel discussion will include speakers from modern treaties, the federal government and the provincial and territorial governments.

*This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.


Breakout 1F: Strengthening Indigenous Languages

Speakers: Moderator: Hannah Uniuqsaraq; Speakers: Leena Evik (Pirurvik), Tammy Steinwand-Deschambeault (Tłı̨chǫ), others to be announced

Learn how modern treaty holders are ensuring that their languages are spoken by future generations.


Breakout 2A: Managing the Environment: Maintaining Respectful Relations and the Porcupine Caribou Herd and Salmon

Speakers: Ken Kyikavichik (Gwich’in Tribal Council), Lorraine Netro and Dennis Zimmerman (Vuntut Gwitchin), others to be announced

An in-depth look at efforts by modern treaty organizations to protect the Porcupine Caribou herd and salmon populations, and successful outcomes to date.


Breakout 2B: Taxation and the Section 87 Tax Exemption

Speakers: Michael Welters (AR Law), others to be announced

Section 87 of the Indian Act provides an exemption from direct federal, provincial, and territorial taxes for the property of status Indians and Indian Act bands situated on, or connected to, a reserve. This session will explore the key issues in reforming how Section 87 is addressed in modern treaty context(s), engagements undertaken with Indigenous groups and provincial, and territorial officials, and the future of tax arrangements.


Breakout 2C: Housing Opportunities and Challenges

Speakers: Les Doiron, Scott Coulson (Uchucklesaht), others to be announced

Housing presents both a major challenge across the country, and a major opportunity for modern treaty organizations to innovate and support their people. In this session, dive deep into the successes, challenges, barriers, and opportunities related to housing in the modern treaty context.

Breakout 2D: Federal Policy Updates: Section 87 Tax Exemption; Northern Arctic Framework; Inuit Nunangat Policy

Speakers: Marie-Pier Wallace: Northern Arctic Policy Framework; Jody Touchette: Inuit Nunangat Policy; others to be announced

In this session Government of Canada panelists will provide:

  • An update and discussion on next steps for the Northern Arctic Policy Framework
  • An update on the current status of and next steps for the Inuit Nunangat Policy
  • An update and analysis on Canada’s new approach to the section 87 tax exemption and implications for modern treaty implementation

*This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.


Breakout 2E: Updates on Jurisprudence and Legislative Developments

Speakers: Alastair Campbell (NTI), Katie Tucker (PST Law), Jim Aldridge (Aldridge and Rosling)

A detailed update on case law and legislative reviews with implications for modern treaty implementation. This includes the arbitration on Inuit Employment in Nunavut.


Breakout 2F: On the Land Knowledge and Skills

Speakers: Tammy Steinwand-Deschambeault (Tłı̨chǫ), Kylik Taylor (Tundra North Tours), others to be announced

Hear from modern treaty projects that transfer on-the-land knowledge and skills to youth, and share successes and best practices.

Breakout 3A: The Indigenous Data Governance Toolkit & Tools for Community Well-Being

Speakers: Maggie Mills (Vuntut), Crystal Jack (Kaniikaniit Consulting), others to be announced

Modern treaty and self-government signatories are working together to develop a community of practice around data sovereignty. This session looks at the thought leadership modern treaty and self-government signatories are generating, including examples of how this work is transforming projects on the ground.

*This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.


Breakout 3B: Effective Communications and Media Relations

Speakers:Moderator: Bobby Clarke (Nisga’a); Speakers: Davis McKenzie (Tla’amin), Lisa Kirbie and Dan Pujdak (Blackbird Strategies)

Communicating our programs, news, business activities and priorities is critically important to citizens and members, neighbours and residents, partner governments and partner businesses, as well as internally in our organizations. This session focuses on best practices and will offer inspiring examples.


Breakout 3C: Case-Studies in Mining, Oil, and Gas

Speakers: Charles Morven (Nisga’a), others to be announced

Many modern treaties have significant non-renewable resources or are implicated in their transport. Hear from three modern treaty organizations about their experiences navigating these massive projects.

*This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.


Breakout 3D: Thorny Issues in Implementation

Speakers: Bertha Rabesca-Zoe (Tłı̨chǫ), Dillon Johnson (Tla’amin), Matt Mehaffey (Mehaffey Consulting)

Speakers will map out key technical issues for general awareness-raising and discussion, including remoteness and isolation factors; managing transboundary issues and shared territories, and the program transfer framework.

*This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.


Breakout 3E: Modern Treaties and the Law

Speakers: David Wright (University of Calgary), Janna Promislow (University of Victoria), Dr. Robert Hamilton (University of Calgary)

Editors and contributors present a forthcoming edited volume titled “Modern Treaties and the Law”, which is part of the Modern Treaties Implementation Research Project.

*This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.


Session 3F: Art, Crafts, on the Land Skills and Performance as Cultural Practice and Business Opportunity

Speakers: Alex Flaherty (Polar Outfitting), Kylik Taylor (Tundra North Tours), others to be announced

Modern treaty citizens and members are selling their creations to the world, practicing their skills, and making a living.


Breakout 4A: Modern Treaty Education

Speakers: Vivien Carli (Gordon Foundation), Marlisa Brown (Youth Participant, Gordon Foundation Treaty Simulation)

Hosted by the Gordon Foundation, this session profiles current initiatives to educate the public and membership about modern treaties, including curriculum development in the Yukon and NWT, and other grassroots treaty awareness and community-building efforts.


Breakout 4B: Developing and Implementing Laws and Policies

Speakers: Jody Beaumont (Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin), Bertha Rabesca-Zoe (Tłı̨chǫ), Mary Childs (Tsawwassen), others to be announced

An opportunity to learn from modern treaty organizations who are designing their own legal and policy frameworks.

*This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.


Breakout 4C: Transportation Initiatives

Speakers: To be announced

Transportation is a key industry, critically important for many reasons. In this session, explore the role some modern treaty signatories have taken on in the transportation sector.

*This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.


Breakout 4D: Collaborative Fiscal Policy Development Process Update

Speakers: Moderator: Crystal Jack; Speakers: Colin Salter (PST Law), Michael Welters, others to be announced

Modern treaties with self-government agreements have been collaboratively developing federal fiscal policy with the Government of Canada since 2016. Panelists will provide updates on achievements to date, as well as current initiatives and priorities for the future.


Breakout 4E: Current Research Projects

Researching Modern Treaty Implementation – Considerations for Modern Treaty Governments
Speakers: Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox (Modern Treaties Implementation Research Project), Nicholas Zulu (Modern Treaties Implementation Research Project)

An overview of the accomplishments and in-progress efforts of the Modern Treaties Implementation Research Project (MTIRP). Based on results of the first five years, presenters offer insights into ways research can be utilized by LCAC members in their ongoing intergovernmental and internal initiatives, and identify areas for additional research efforts.

Mind the Gap: Comparative Statistical Analysis of Indigenous Communities with and without Modern Treaties in Quebec
Speakers: Thierry Rodon (Université Laval), Louise Nachet (Université Laval), Karen Bouchard (Université Laval)

Using statistical data from 1981 to 2021 on income, employment, housing and education, the authors aim to determine whether the Inuit, Cree and Naskapi nations have seen a significant improvement in their socio-economic situation compared to neighbouring non-signatory communities such as the Innu, Atikamekw and Anicinape.


“Spirit and Intent” in Modern Treaty Implementation: Measuring Economic Success and Treaty Objectives
Speakers: Sidey Deska-Gauthier

“Spirit and intent” is a phrase often referenced, but there is no clear definition of this term. Consequently, it is absent in implementation assessment practices, performance indicators, guiding approaches, and on-the-ground work plans. This study seeks to respond to this gap, and to center Indigenous voices (First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun) in doing so.


Breakout 4F: Food Security Initiatives

Speakers: Larry Johnson (Maa-Nulth), Nolan Qamanirq (Gordon Foundation), others to be announced

In this session, panelists will share stories about projects and programs that contribute to food security for modern treaty people.

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