The Conference Board of Canada

Corporate–Indigenous Relations Council

Members only

Effective corporate–Indigenous relations are increasingly important to our objectives as a country.

Mutually beneficial relationships are at the heart of success and prosperity for industry, public sector organizations, and Indigenous communities and businesses, and sets the foundation for reconciliation in Canada.

The Conference Board of Canada’s Corporate–Indigenous Relations Council (CIRC) is an executive network with a mandate to create equitable, productive, and collaborative corporate–Indigenous relations. It fosters honest dialogue between senior-level representatives from public, private, and Indigenous organizations in a confidential venue. Members work together to find practical solutions to common challenges and opportunities.

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Who should join?

CIRC is a network for leaders from Indigenous, public, private, and not-for-profit organizations whose roles focus on the corporate–Indigenous relations landscape.

Members have a shared and committed interest in improving their knowledge, practices, and policies in Canada.

Key objectives

  • Support organizations from across all sectors in developing best practices and constructive, mutually beneficial relationships
  • Contribute to reconciliation through collaborative and respectful engagement between Indigenous, private, and public sector organizations

Benefits of membership


Work collaboratively and develop productive relationships with peers and stakeholders from across the country in an intimate and confidential forum


Hear from experts and practitioners on key issues and learn from their successes and challenges


Access practical ideas about how your organization can develop and maintain effective corporate–Indigenous relations


Keep your finger on the pulse of key developments and contemporary issues

Current members

  • Alamos Gold Inc.
  • Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation
  • Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.
  • Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat
  • BC Hydro
  • Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
  • Canadian National Railway
  • Canadian Pacific Railway Company
  • Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
  • Clearwater Seafoods Incorporated
  • Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology
  • Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Enbridge Gas Inc.
  • Enbridge Inc.
  • FedNor (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)
  • First Nations Major Projects Coalition
  • First Nations University of Canada
  • Government of the Northwest Territories
  • Indigenous Services Canada
  • Leaders International Executive Search
  • National Association of Friendship Centres
  • Noront Resources
  • Nova Scotia Office of L'nu Affairs
  • Nuclear Waste Management Organization
  • Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
  • Ontario Power Generation
  • Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.

Looking forward

The Council is proud to offer a program plan for the coming two years that is relevant and actionable—one that includes the perspective of Indigenous, private sector, and public sector organizations. Moreover, this plan is flexible enough to address the changing needs and interests of Council members, as well as emerging issues that were not originally anticipated.

  • Systemic racism: The impacts on Indigenous engagement and inclusion
  • UNDRIP legislation: Implications for the evolving corporate–Indigenous agreement landscape
  • Trusted relationships: A renewed emphasis on best practices in engagement and relationship-building
  • Procurement and supply chain management: Barriers, opportunities, and assessing the impacts
  • Seizing the opportunity for Indigenous economic reconciliation: Community and youth-focused capacity development

The Corporate–Indigenous Relations Council  is one of the best forums I have had the opportunity to participate in, and it provides a lot of value to my organization. The meetings provide a unique opportunity to thoughtfully and candidly discuss cutting-edge ideas and practical issues with business, government, and Indigenous leaders from across the country.

Justin Huston, Deputy Minister and Chief Executive Officer, Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs

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Member activity

Next session

Indigenous Governance Virtual Series

Theme: "Canada’s UNDRIP Legislation and Its Implications for Indigenous Governance"

Date: January 20, 2022
Virtual Event

Meeting Objectives: This session will explore Canada’s UNDRIP legislation through a jurisdictional lens, with an emphasis on better understanding the relationships between Indigenous, federal, and provincial/territorial governments. The session will focus on the following questions: 
• What do these relationships currently look like? 
• How does Canada’s UNDRIP legislation affect these relationships and shared jurisdictional authority?
• What do evolving jurisdictional relationships mean for the application of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and/or economic development across the country?

Previous sessions

Fall 2021 Members Meeting

Virtual Event 
 "The Impacts of Systemic Racism on Indigenous Engagement and Inclusion" 
Dates: November 25th, December 1st & 2nd, 2021

Meeting Objectives: How have things like the Black Lives Matter and BIPOC movements as well as Canada’s reconciliation agenda influenced relationships between corporations, Indigenous groups, and the Crown?

CIRC/CRSC Joint Council Meeting 

Virtual Event
: Indigenous Reconciliation Through an Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Lens
Date: September 23, 2021

Featured Speakers:

  • Katie Wheatley, Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative, SHARE 
  • Mark Podlasley, First Nations Major Project Coalition 
  • Mark Sevestre, National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association 
  • Penny Favel, Vice President, Indigenous Relations, Hydro One 

Spring 2021 Members Meeting 

Theme: Measuring progress - evolving performance indicators and metrics for Corporate-Indigenous Relations 
Date: May 12, 13 & 19, 2021   

Featured Speakers:

  • Tabatha Bull, President & CEO at Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
  • Alicia Dubois, Chief Executive Officer, Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation
  • Jamile Cruz, Founder and CEO, I&D 101

Fall 2020 Members Meeting

Theme: Indigenous recruitment, retention, and procurement: Creating an organization-wide commitment to Indigenous inclusion and engagement 
Date: December 2-3, 2020

Featured Speakers:

  • Francyne Joe, Partnerships Manager, National Association of Friendship Centres
  • Sandra Gogal, Partner, Miller Thompson
  • Glenn Nolan, Vice-President, Government Affairs, Noront Resources

Recent themes

  • Indigenous recruitment, retention, and procurement: best practices and new opportunities
  • Measuring progress: evolving performance indicators and metrics for corporate indigenous relations
  • Creating an organization-wide commitment to Indigenous inclusion and engagement: from our colleagues to the boardroom
  • Reconciliation, UNDRIP, and FPIC—Working Towards Consensus on Key Objectives and Principles

Relevant research for members

Boy fixing equipment
Saskatchewan’s Forest Sector: Future Skills for an Indigenous-Led Revitalization

The Canadian forest sector is facing a challenge to attract, train, and retain workers. In this boom-and-bust industry, forestry companies must increase efficiency in order to remain competitive when the market is weak while also responding to growing demand for sustainable practices and high-value wood products. Indigenous forestry businesses are no strangers to this dilemma.

Case study  |  25-min read
November 30, 2021
Client— Future Skills Centre

Indigenous participation in clean energy projects

According to Indigenous Clean Energy, there were over 2,000 Indigenous clean energy projects across Canada in 2019. Almost 200 were medium- to large-sized projects (they produce at least one megawatt). And Indigenous partners are taking on more equity in these projects: On average, Indigenous communities own a 45% share of the projects they’re involved in.

Online experience  |  8-min read
July 5, 2021

Technological change in the north

The economy in Northern Canada is changing. Sectors, such as mining, forestry, and tourism, can quickly expand or contract. Advancing technology is one factor driving those changes. As technologies change, jobs and occupations evolve. Skills development must keep pace if workers are to seize future employment opportunities in the North.

Online experience  |  8-min read
May 20, 2021
Client— Future Skills Centre

Become a member

Corporate–Indigenous Relations Council

Work together to find practical solutions to common challenges and opportunities.

Join us


For more information, or to arrange for a guest invitation to attend one of our meetings, please contact our team.