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CEP Calgary x November: Indigenous Relations

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CEP Calgary x November: Indigenous Relations
CEP Calgary x November: Indigenous Relations

Time & Location

Nov 14, 2018, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Koi, 1011 1 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1J2, Canada

About The Event

How can we create shared value for Indigenous People and communities while developing and growing our economy?

Sustainable growth is inevitable to improve our economy, standards of living and social well-being of all Canadians. Making up over 5% of the Canadian population with unique ways of knowing, spiritual ties to the land and their vested interests, Indigenous Peoples have a large role to play in economic and sustainable development. Given Canada’s history of oppressive attempts at assimilation and considering Canada’s current relationship and context with Indigenous Peoples, what is the best way forward? Join us on November 14th with experts from the Indigenous Relations field to explore this topic.


David K. Laidlaw, Research Fellow, Canadian Institute of Resources Law

David K. Laidlaw is a Research Fellow with the Canadian Institute of Resources Law. He holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Economics from the University of Calgary, 1985, an LL.B. from Dalhousie University 1988, and an LL.M. from the University of Calgary in 2013. He was admitted to the Law Society of Alberta in 1989. After 20 years of private practice in Calgary, David returned to Law School to secure LL.M. Admitted to the Law Society of Alberta in 1989, after 20 years of private practice in Calgary, he returned to Law School and obtained an LL.M. from the University of Calgary in 2013. Having practised in Aboriginal law in the early 1990’s his ongoing interest in the area has led to research focussing on aboriginal law.

Michelle Fournie, Indigenous Relations and Communications Consultant

Michelle Fournie is a member of Metis Nation Region III. She is a graduate of the Bachelor of Communications – Public Relations degree from Mount Royal University with a focus on ethical communications in the energy industry. She also holds education in Indigenous Social Work from the University of Victoria and brings professional experience in communications consulting for energy, government relations, and non-profit sectors. She is the Chair of Communications for the Indigenous Gathering Place, a community-driven collective vision of a physical space where peoples of Calgary and area can learn, and practice cultural, historical and spiritual traditions associated with Indigenous ancestry. She was recently appointed to the City of

Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee.  Her experience includes Indigenous relations strategic planning, Indigenous economic security, and multiple advisory committee positions. Michelle's passion and research efforts focus on how Indigenous peoples are portrayed in the public discourse and the meta-narratives founding these conversations.

Jorge Aviles, Senior Advisor, Stakeholder & Aboriginal Relations, TransAlta

After a successful but brief career in Civil Engineering, Mr. Avilés went back to school to complete a degree in International Studies (French) at the University of Calgary. His newly unveiled passion for people and social issues took him to all four corners of the globe to manage green field, sustainable projects and serve as cross-cultural diplomat in some of the most challenging socio-political systems in the world. His years as an overseas Sustainable Projects Manager provided him with more than a

decade’s experience in communicating, training and negotiating with Indigenous groups in Latin America, West Africa and Southeast Asia. A true citizen of the world, Mr. Avilés not only makes good use of the 4 languages he’s fluent in, but he also trains other professionals in the art of cross-cultural communications and negotiations. He also takes the time to volunteer as a

Mentor for the University of Calgary’s Haskayne graduate students program. In 2017, Mr. Avilés collaborated with members of the United Nations and the local Governments to organize and run the first Sustainable Development Goals Symposium – “Together 2017”, serving as part of the Advisory Committee that helped put this very successful conference in place.


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