Held in February 2021, Pivoting North was an online conference addressing what actions Canada must take now to affirm its sovereignty, address the health, welfare, and future of Indigenous peoples, and develop a sustainable economy in Canada’s North.
Featuring leaders from politics, business, resource development, national security, and Indigenous peoples, such as:
These leaders will join such speakers as: Madeleine Redfern, Co-Chair, Arctic360; Shivani Chotalia, NRStor; Laurence Pathy, Chair, FedNav; and, Tom Paterson, Arctic Economic Council Maritime Transportation Working Group
Canada’s North Pole is magnetic, and compasses point towards it. It’s time for Corporate Canada and our governments to turn in the same direction.
This Discussion Paper is based on the premise that:
- Climate change is quickly impacting Canada’s North and at the same time, increasing the shipping viability of the Northwest Passage. Maritime shipping will foster other large opportunities.
- Canada must act as quickly to assert its sovereignty over the region and support the lives of local Indigenous peoples. Russia, the U.S., and even China have their own ambitions.
- Asserting Canada’s sovereignty over the Northwest Passage and successful economic development are wholly interdependent. Neither can be achieved without the other.
- Without respect for and collaboration with local Indigenous peoples, neither objective is possible.
- It will take a coalition of like-minded business leaders to convince the Government of Canada, with some urgency, to develop policies and programs that support economic development of the North, including the commercial operation of the Northwest Passage.
Throughout our history, Canada has never truly leveraged, collectively, three of its most important assets: our geographic position in the world as the largest land mass in the north; the shipping potential of the Northwest Passage and, our international reputation for political and economic stability. Canada’s North is very large in geographic and economic potential, but very small in population, infrastructure, and national focus. It is perhaps best to look at it in bites and compared to other such places in the world:
Over half of Canada’s land mass is north of 60 degrees latitude – including the territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut as well as Northern Quebec. Yet only 70,000 people live along our northern coast, all of them Indigenous to the region (Inuit, First Nations, and Métis). Most live below the poverty line and the near-term impacts of climate change are already threatening their traditional lifestyles.
This is Canada’s next greatest opportunity – and threat.
As the ice melts, the Northwest Passage will become the centre of the world’s new political chessboard. Canada must control it, alone or in partnership, or our sovereignty and long-term economic future will be in jeopardy. Canada must pivot north, away from its traditional focus on the American border. In our opinion, on large issues such as this, the federal government needs motivation from outside of its traditional decisioning processes to act with of sense real urgency and purpose. Canada’s North needs a business strategy behind it. A coalition of like-minded businesses that can embrace, improve, and enable Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework will not only be able to support the government’s own goals, but also bring real economic gains to the nation, Indigenous peoples, and Canadian business.
If government could have done it alone, it would have done so already.
As it concerns sovereignty and economic development, it’s a bit like chess. Controlling the middle of the board does not guarantee success, but it goes a long way to exerting influence over the outcome. Same with the Northwest Passage. Canadians can – and should – be the main influencers of how, where and when the Northwest Passage is developed. More broadly, Canada’s solution to the critical issues of sovereignty in the North and economic sustainability across the country go hand-in-hand. The opportunity is so large that no government, no single business entity, nor individual group of Indigenous peoples can hope to address this alone.
WE CALL THIS STRATEGY – PIVOTING NORTH.
It will require a robust federal government policy structure supported by investment and operations structures based on such options as public-private-partnerships (P3) and those with Indigenous peoples as partners too. Hard work is needed, by Corporate Canada and Indigenous peoples, so that both groups learn the hard skills as well as the soft skills of how to do business together. We can’t just plant the flag and expect success in a highly competitive and rapidly shifting geo-political context. And the world isn’t waiting for Canada to develop its own northern region. We need to start now, together.
Our goal at Campbell Strategies is to help facilitate the necessary conversations, relationships, and policies that will set the table for Canada’s Pivot North.
The discussion paper we wrote is the first step in that process, followed by an online meeting of interested leaders from Corporate Canada and experts from the North. This event will be held on Wednesday November 25th (11:00am EST).
Following the online meeting, Campbell Strategies will invite interested corporate leaders to establish the CANADIAN ARCTIC INVESTMENT COUNCIL. The Council will:
- Monitor the policies, policy development, and discussions concerning Canada’s North with all governments in the region (Federal, Territorial, Provincial, Municipal, and Indigenous).
- Monitor the same as above in Arctic nations, including United States, Russia, Norway, Denmark, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Iceland, and China.
- Monitor traditional and social media on the relevant themes
- Ensure that Canadian business plays a prominent role in delivering Canada’s 2019 Arctic and Northern Policy Framework and influences any future policy developments within it
- Provide an environment for collaboration among coalition members eager to discuss and pursue partnerships and shared investments in Canada’s Arctic.
- Ensure that the message that sovereignty and economic development are interdependent is embedded in government policy.
- Make Canadians at large aware of this interdependence and its importance to the future of the nation’s sovereignty, prosperity, and respect for Indigenous peoples, through a public website, publications, media relations, speeches, and other communications activities.
- Invite, encourage, and invest in initiatives that support a better understanding between Indigenous peoples and Corporate Canada on each other needs and establish areas of collaboration.
- Ensure the integration of the needs of Indigenous peoples and environmental sustainability in the economic development of Canada’s Arctic, and,
- Pursue Canadian leadership and management of the operations of the Northwest Passage along with any partnerships – with other nations or international businesses – that may be required.
We invite your opinions on this critical matter, and we hope that you and your organization will consider joining with us at this critical intersection of government policy and business needs.
President, Kitikmeot Inuit Association
Stanley Anablak is President of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association (KIA) and Chair of Kitikmeot Corporation. This is Stanley’s second term as KIA President. Before becoming KIA President, Stanley spent 15 years as a Lands Officer in KIA’s Department of Lands and Environment where he administered and managed over 100,000 km2 of Inuit Owned Land in the Kitikmeot region. This background has proven valuable as he leads the KIA in efforts to maximize benefits from the responsible economic development of Inuit Owned Land. This includes negotiating and implementing Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreements with resource developers operating in the Kitikmeot. It also includes leading KIA as proponent of the Grays Bay Road and Port Project – a nation-building infrastructure project that seeks to connect the resources of the Kitikmeot to world markets, while ensuring significant benefits for Inuit and their communities. Stanley also served three terms as mayor of Kugluktuk, and he lives in Cambridge Bay.
CEO, Chamber of Marine Commerce
A seasoned transportation and association leader with strong influencing skills who has a background in developing and implementing strategic advocacy and operational programs that will raise an organization’s public profile and revenues. Bruce is always seeking interesting projects that will help an organization bring its commercial needs together with public interests. Burrows started his career at Canadian Pacific holding successively senior roles in the areas of marketing, asset management and government relations across Canada and in the United Kingdom. He was vice president and acting president and CEO of the Rail Association of Canada between 2000 and 2013, where among other achievements he improved cross-border operations for rail with a new Canada/U.S. border action plan. Bruce has been the CEO of the industry association for Canada’s marine industry since 2016. He is also a board member of The Vimy Foundation. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work to preserve and promote Canada’s First World War legacy.
President, Campbell Strategies
Barry Campbell is President of Campbell Strategies. Campbell Strategies provides government relations and related communications advice to clients in the private sector, helping their clients interact with government. Barry is one of the leading public affairs consultants in Canada, with a career spanning four decades in law, politics, and government relations. He has represented many of Canada’s leading corporations across a host of complex policy areas. Barry served as a Member of the Parliament of Canada from 1993 to 1997. During that time he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, later Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Paul Martin. In this capacity, he assisted in the development of the budgetary policy of the Government of Canada, and assisted in tax policy, trade policy and financial services sector policy. He is a graduate of McGill University, McGill Law School and the Harvard Law School.
Manager, Engineering and Community Partnerships, NRStor
Shivani is an engineer and financial professional focused on the intersection of clean technologies and social impact. She works with NRStor Inc. to build own and operate first-of-a-kind energy storage projects, including Canada’s first commercial flywheel energy storage facility and the first fuel-free compressed air energy storage (CAES) facility in the world. Shivani helps to lead NRStor’s work with remote, off-grid Indigenous communities building partnerships and projects reducing dependence on diesel fuel while supporting local economic growth. Shivani is a co-founder of Bold Realities – a platform for dialogue regarding the role of corporate Canada in reconciliation. The discussion series has run events to explore reconciliation in the energy industry and the mining industry. Previously, Shivani worked to develop biogas projects in Ontario and California and worked in finance as an investment banking analyst in Calgary. Shivani holds a BESc. In Green Process Engineering from Western University and an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. She is a Venture for Canada Alumni – a fellowship program focussed on fueling the Canadian startup ecosystem.
President and CEO of Nunasi Corporation
Clint Davis is the CEO of Nunasi Corporation, an Inuit Development Corporation which is owned by the three Regional Inuit Associations in Nunavut. Headquartered in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Nunasi has investments across a range of industries including fuel distribution, commercial real estate, commercial development and construction. Clint, who is Inuit from Labrador, previously served for over eleven years as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Nunatsiavut Group of Companies, which is the economic arm of Nunatsiavut Government in Labrador. In 2016, Clint received the Indspire Award for Business and Commerce and was also recognized by his alma mater Acadia University as a Distinguished Alumni. Clint has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University, a Bachelors of Laws from Dalhousie University and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University. He is a Canada-U.S. Fulbright scholar and the recipient of multiple scholarships including two awards from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (now Indspire) as well as the Fred C. Manning Entrance Scholarship at Acadia University. Clint lives in Ottawa with his wife Hillary Thatcher, their three children.
President and CEO, Det’on Cho Management
Paul Gruner has 15 years of progressive management experience in several industries including Oil and Gas Midstream Operations, Civil Construction, Telecommunications and manufacturing. He has worked primarily in the North including Northern British Columbia, Yukon, Alaska and currently Northwest Territories. In the past Paul has served as the General Manager of Dakwakada Capital Investments, CEO of Castle Rock Enterprises and President of RAB Energy. Currently he is the President and CEO of Det’on Cho Management LP which is the investment arm of the Yellowknives Dene First Nations. He sits on several boards including the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Future Skills Centre Canada, Northwest Territories/Nunavut Chamber of Mines and Da Daguay Development Corporation. In addition to his professional experience Paul has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Northern British Columbia, a Chartered Professional Accounting Designation and the Institute Corporate Director Designation.
Valerie is a recognized infrastructure project lawyer, with specific expertise in managing large, complicated, multi-party projects often with novel issues. She has led some of Canada’s most innovative, complex power projects spanning over several years on behalf of the range of project participants, including Indigenous groups, project proponents, lenders, investors, contractors, and governmental authorities. One of Valerie’s core strengths is her ability to become a key member of a project team, managing relationships among numerous and often disparate project participants and proposing creative solutions to navigate through problematic project issues. A key part of her practice is working on infrastructure projects that involve Indigenous interests and parties.
Executive Director, NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines
Tom has spent 30 years championing for a strong northern minerals industry. He currently does this through the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines, where he has been Executive Director for over 16 years. Tom was the Manager of Public & Government Affairs at Diavik, Canada’s largest diamond producer for 11 years, and Manager of Public Affairs & Environment at Highland Valley Copper, Canada’s largest copper mine. He also worked for the Federal Government as NWT Director of Mineral & Petroleum Resources. Tom has also worked in northern and Arctic mineral and oil exploration, and has degrees in geology from the University of Saskatchewan and Queen’s University. Tom is a registered Professional Geoscientist in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. He was born and raised in Yellowknife, the son of a gold miner.
General Manager, Area Sales USA & Canada, Wartsila
Mark Keneford spent 27 years in the Canadian Navy as a marine systems engineering officer and project manager. He sailed in ships and had operating tickets (Navy equivalent) for steam, diesel and gas turbines. Since 2008 he has been employed in Wartsila Canada Marine Solutions leading the sales team responsible across Canada and USA to represent Wartsila solutions to shipowners, ship design companies and shipyards, in all vessel segments. Mark is a member of the Canadian Institute of Marine Engineers CIMARE (St. Lawrence branch) and also the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers SNAME (eastern Canada section).
Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer
Canada Research Chair in the Study of the Canadian North and Professor, Trent University
P. (Paul) Whitney Lackenbauer is Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in the Study of the Canadian North and a Professor in the School for the Study of Canada at Trent University, Ontario, Canada. He also serves as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group and is network lead of the North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network (NAADSN). He has (co-)written or (co-)edited more than fifty books and more than one hundred academic articles and book chapters. His recent books include Breaking Through? Understanding Sovereignty and Security in the Circumpolar Arctic (co-edited, 2021); Canada and the Maritime Arctic: Boundaries, Shelves, and Waters (co-authored 2020); Custos Borealis: The Military in the Canadian North (edited 2020); Governing Complexity in the Arctic Region(co-authored 2019); Breaking the Ice Curtain? Russia, Canada, and Arctic Security in a Changing Circumpolar World (co-edited 2019); and China’s Arctic Ambitions and What They Mean for Canada (co-authored 2018). Whitney is also co-editor of the Documents on Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Security (DCASS) series, to which he has contributed thirteen volumes.
The Right Honourable Paul Martin
Former Prime Minister, Chair, Martin Family Initiative
As Canada’s Prime Minister, Martin led an 18-month consultation process involving Canada’s province’s, territories, First Nations, the Metis Nation, and Inuit leaders so that the federal government was able to reach a historic consensus with the 2005 Kelowna Accord to eliminate funding gaps in health, education, housing, and clean water for Indigenous people. As Minister of Finance from 1993 to 2002, he erased Canada’s deficit and recorded five consecutive budget surpluses while paying down the national debt. In 1999, as co-founder of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, he served as its inaugural chair for its first three years. After leaving public life he founded the Martin Family Initiative (MFI) along with his family. MFI is a charitable organization committed to improving education, health, and the overall well-being of Indigenous children and youth in Canada. Since its inception, MFI has sought to walk the path between Indigenous schools and communities as they define their priorities and goals, bridging the gap between community needs and available resources. The organization does so based on its founding principle that every community and school should have the tools available to them to provide their young with every opportunity possible. To this end, MFI gathers the most relevant expertise couple with community-based knowledge to co-develop, support, and implement innovative programming and networks that follow Indigenous ways of knowing.
Assistant Commissioner, Arctic Region, Canadian Coast Guard
Neil O’Rourke was appointed Assistant Commissioner, Arctic Region, Canadian Coast Guard in October 2018. As the Assistant Commissioner for the newly formed Arctic Region, Neil will enhance program and service delivery in the North to better meet the needs of those communities. He will ensure that Northerners have a greater say in the Department’s decisions and opportunities, and will honour the Government of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation and a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples. Neil will also build partnerships, co-develop priorities and support the voice of Northerners. Neil has a decade of experience working with the Canadian Coast Guard. He previously served as Senior Director, Safe Shipping and Economic Intelligence and was responsible for the development of national strategies to sustain and transform Coast Guard’s marine navigation programs, including: Aids to Navigation, Marine Communications and Traffic Services, Waterways Management, and Icebreaking and Ice Information Services. Neil was also the national lead for Arctic program policy, user fees, the implementation of e-Navigation in Canadian waters, and served as councillor with the International Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authority (IALA) on behalf of Canada. He previously worked as the Director, Integrated Logistic Support and Director, Organizational Restructuring for Coast Guard. Over the course of his career, Neil has worked closely with Coast Guard operations, technical services, training (Canadian Coast Guard College), other Government of Canada departments, and external stakeholders (i.e. industry, communities, national and international organizations) to identify service requirements, leverage technological and operational innovations, and competently drive decisions for cost-effective, modern and domestically/internationally aligned marine navigation services. He has also led several corporate initiatives including the consolidation of five Coast Guard regions into three, and co-led the Departmental Comprehensive Review. Before joining Coast Guard, Neil gained significant private sector experience as a former management consultant and executive in the energy sector; specifically, with Petro-Canada Fuels. Neil holds degrees from two Canadian universities: a Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton University (2002), and a Master of Business Administration—International Business from the University of Ottawa (2003). Originally from Aylmer, Quebec, he currently resides with his family in Yellowknife, NT
Dr. Jessica Shadian
President and CEO Arctic360
Dr. Jessica M. Shadian is the President of Arctic360, a Canadian think tank that focuses on bringing together the public and private sectors alongside indigenous development corporations and Northern governments to address infrastructure and related economic development priorities for the North American Arctic. She has spent the past 15 years living and working as an academic and consultant throughout the European and North American Arctic. Her expertise is regularly solicited by Arctic interested media outlets, policy makers, and institutions ranging from the Arctic Council to Northern governments, the private sector, and think tanks throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States. Jessica’s 2014 book entitled The Politics of Arctic Sovereignty: Oil, Ice, and Inuit Governance (Routledge) is the first in-depth history of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) and Inuit sovereignty in global politics reaching back to pre-European discovery. Jessica was the co-creator and organizer of the Arctic Dialogue series which brought together state and local political leaders, oil and gas and other industry leaders, local communities, and academia concerned with Arctic offshore oil and gas development to create and increase information sharing about Arctic resource development. She holds a Ph.D. in Global Governance from the University of Delaware (2006) during which she wrote her dissertation at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), University of Cambridge, UK on an NSF award. She then spent the following five years in Norway as a Postdoctoral Fellow, Barents Institute and then as a Senior Researcher, High North Center for Business and Governance, Nord University, Bodø. She then received an Associate Professor and AIAS Marie Curie COFUND Fellowship, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Denmark and in June 2017 Shadian completed a two-year Nansen Professorship in Akureyri, Iceland co-funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University of Akureyri.
Chair, Oceans North
Mary Simon is a former president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the national Inuit organization she has from 2006 to 2012. After leaving ITK, she chaired the National Inuit Education Committee, whose mandate is to implement a comprehensive national strategy to improve educational standards and achievements among the Inuit population. In 2016, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, appointed Mary as the Minister’s Special Representative to develop a new model of shared leadership for the Arctic, based on the commitments of the Canada-U.S. Joint Declaration on Climate, Energy and leadership in the Arctic. It presented its findings in a final report tabled in March 2017. For four decades, Mary has led to the advancement of critical social, economic, and human rights issues for Canadian Inuit, both regionally, nationally and internationally. She has held numerous senior management positions, including President of Makivik Corporation, a Nunavik land claims organization, President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, and Canadian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark. She led the Canadian negotiations when the Arctic Council was created in the mid-1990s. Mary is an officer of the Order of Canada and recipient of the National Order of Quebec, the Gold Order of Greenland, the National Aboriginal Award of Excellence, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society Gold Medal, the Symons Medal, and the Governor General’s Northern Award. Mary has been inducted into the International Women’s Hall of Fame and is a fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. She is a founding member of the North Oceans Board.
Founding Partner of Imperium Global Advisors
Jordon has many years of legislative, political and professional advocacy experience globally. Most recently, he was the Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), the senior Republican for the House Appropriations Committee and the most senior Republican woman in Congress. He has also served as a nuclear-trained submarine officer in the U.S. Navy, which included assignments as the foreign liaison for the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), and Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). Jordon’s variety of assignments also included work as the Special Advisor to the Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion (Naval Reactors), in a dual-hatted Department of Defense and Department of Energy role, responsible for all aspects of governmental affairs for the US submarine and aircraft carrier programs. Building upon his work with the defense and energy industrial base, Jordon has led global corporate and government relations teams and initiatives across a variety of markets and jurisdictions in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Australia, U.K., E.U., India, and China. Jordon has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University.
Grand Chief Gwich’in Tribal Council
Kenny was raised in Inuvik and Teetl’it Zheh (Fort McPherson). Kenny was most recently the Manager of Corporate Affairs for the global mining company, BHP, in Saskatoon. He worked for BHP for almost nine years in the roles of Community Manager and Senior Advisor for Aboriginal Economic Development for the Jansen Potash Project in Saskatchewan. Prior to BHP, Kenny worked for De Beers Canada in Yellowknife for almost seven years in Manager and Superintendent roles for the Snap Lake and Gahcho Kue Diamond Mines. He has been a Director for the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce and Northern Aboriginal Business Association and has also participated on the Indigenous Affairs Committee for the Mining Association of Canada. Kenny is a member of the Tetlit Gwich’in First Nation (Fort McPherson) and has served on the Gwich’in Settlement Corporation for four years between 2016 and 2020 in the roles of Chair and Vice Chair. He holds a Bachelor of Management (Accounting/Finance) from the University of Lethbridge.
Madeleine Redfern, LLB, is the former Mayor of the City of Iqaluit and Executive Director of Arctic360’s Northern Branch located in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Madeleine has a strong commitment to her community. Madeleine has 30 years of experience working in business and governance, on issues related to economic development, housing, education, employment and training, justice and community services. She has a law degree from the University of Victoria. After graduating, she worked at the Supreme Court of Canada for Madam Justice Charron. Madeleine is a member of the National Indigenous Economic Development Consortium, Trudeau Foundation, President of the Ajungi Group, AjungiTel and Northern Robotics. As President of Nuvujaq, Madeleine is spearheading the setting up of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). Madeleine’s expertise is grounded in partnership-building and developing local capacity towards fulfilling the goal of self-government and good governance. She has a record of working with industry, governments, aboriginal organizations, and communities, helping to assess and identify strategies and approaches for better outcomes.
Chair, FedNav Limited
Laurence G. Pathy is the Chairman of Fednav Limited. He served as President and CEO of thecompany from 1972 to 2010.
Incorporated in 1944, the privately held company has grown to be Canada’s largest oceangoing dry bulk shipping company. Fednav’s activities are worldwide in scope, with the company’s particular areas of specialization being the movement of bulk cargo into and out of the Great Lakes and the servicing of contracts for the transport of minerals out of the Canadian High Arctic and Labrador, using specialized ice breaking vessels. The Arctic is an area in which the company has been active for over sixty years.
Fednav operates a fleet of over 100 bulk carriers which includes the largest fleet of ice class ships in the world. Headquartered in Montreal, Fednav also maintains commercial offices in Antwerp, Brisbane, Hamburg, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Tokyo.
Mr. Pathy is President of the Pathy Family Foundation. Created in 2009, this private foundation works with charitable organizations in Canada and around the world that support communities at risk; women and children suffering from gender-based violence and human trafficking; refugees and newcomers to Canada; and Indigenous communities. The Foundation also supports two fellowship programs for bright and innovative future leaders.
Laurence Pathy is a graduate of Princeton University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Middle East Studies, and of New York University where he earned a J.D. He was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2005.
Member, Arctic Economic Council Maritime Transportation Working Group, SVP FedNav
Mr. Paterson heads a dynamic team at Fednav in operating a fleet of 65 vessels, of which 60 are ice class, including the 3 largest ice breaking bulk carriers in the world. Fednav’s Arctic operations service all of the major mines in Canada’s North and Alaska while continuing to develop new long-term business contracts world-wide. Over the last 20 years, Fednav have increased their position in the Arctic to become one of the leading Arctic Shipping companies in the world. In 2020 under Fednav’s management, the company shipped over 10 million tons from the Arctic region.
In addition to his duties at Fednav, Tom represents the company’s interest on the Arctic Economic Council, the North American Technical Committees of DNVGL, LR, ClassNK, and is a board member of BIMCO.
President, Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce
Michelle Kolla is a lifelong Yukoner, Member of the Selkirk First Nation and great granddaughter of the late Ira and Eliza VanBibber. Michelle and her husband Rob raised their two sons Justin and Ryan Kolla living a northern life style that included spending time traveling throughout the Yukon. Together they own and operate Snap on Tools and Porter Creek Self Storage.
She has worked with non-profits for 15 years including the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre and Council of Yukon First Nations as their Executive Director. During her time with the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre, the centre created an after‐school tutoring program, established the Youth Emergency Shelter and the Youth Employment Centre.
In the past she has worked in procurement with the Federal and Territorial Governments working closely with the local business community and government departments. She is a past Board member of Yukon Workers Compensation Board, National Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, Director/General Manager of Northern Native Broadcasting Yukon, Director of Television Northern Canada and a founding Director of APTN.
Michelle volunteered with local youth sports groups including Whitehorse Minor Hockey and coaching soccer. Currently she is a Director on the Selkirk First Nation Development Corporation, member of the Yukon Government Gas Tax Review Committee and has served as the President of the Yukon First Nation Chamber of Commerce for the past three years. Michelle is an Alumni of the Governor General of Canada’s Leadership Conference.
President and CEO, AGT
FoodsChairman, Arctic Gateway Group
Murad Al-Katib, President, CEO and Board member of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. An international agri-food, strategic business and financial thinker, Murad founded AGT Foods in 2001, building a Canadian start-up into a global billion-dollar value-added pulses, staple foods and ingredient company. Murad also serves as Chairman of the Arctic Gateway Group, a historic partnership with Northern Manitoba Indigenous communities to operate the Hudson Bay Railway and the Port of Churchill.
Murad has a varied experience in board roles including appointments to the Industry Strategy Council of the Government of Canada in 2020, Chair of the SME Advisory Board for Canada’s Trade Minister, Chair of the Government of Canada National Agri-Food Strategy Roundtable, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and as Board Chair of Economic Development Regina. Other board appointments include the Canadian Special Crops Association, Pulse Canada, Protein Industries Canada and a number of Canadian Government advisory boards and committees.
Murad is a passionate advocate of Canadian agriculture speaking extensively on the opportunities and challenges facing the Canada’s agriculture sector. Murad is also passionate about entrepreneurs, championing compassionate entrepreneurism and working to expand female, youth and First Nations participation in business startups, advocating the role of entrepreneurs in driving social change and innovation in the new global economy.
Murad’s awards include 2020 Globe and Mail “Innovator CEO of the Year”, the 2017 Saskatchewan Order of Merit, a University of Regina Honorary Degree, the 2017 “Oslo Business for Peace” Honouree, 2017 EY “World Entrepreneur of the Year”, 2016 UN Association of Canada “Global Citizen Laureate”, PROFITGuide Magazine’s “30 Most Fabulous Entrepreneurs of the Past 30 Years” list, Globe & Mail “Canada’s Top 40 under 40” and the Western Producer “44 Innovators Who Shaped Prairie Agriculture”.