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
  • Det’On Cho Corporation
  • Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Enbridge Inc.
  • FedNor (Federal Economic Development Initiative in Northern Ontario)
  • First Nations Major Projects Coalition
  • First Nations University of Canada
  • Government of the Northwest Territories
  • Hydro One
  • Indigenous Services Canada
  • Leaders International Executive Search
  • Manitoba Hydro
  • Ministry of Indigenous Affairs
  • National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association
  • National Association of Friendship Centres
  • Nova Scotia Office of L'nu Affairs
  • Nuclear Waste Management Organization
  • Ontario Power Generation
  • Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada
  • Rogers Communications Inc.
  • 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

Stayed Tuned for details on our next event. 

Previous sessions

Spring 2022 Members Meeting 

Virtual Event 
 UNDRIP Legislation: Implications for the evolving corporate-indigenous agreement landscape 
Dates: May 4 & 5, 2022

Indigenous Governance Virtual Series

Theme: Canada’s UNDRIP Legislation and Its Implications for Indigenous Governance
Date: January 20, 2022


Featured Speakers:

  • Chief Scott McLeod, Nipissing First Nation  
  • Sunny LeBourdais, Director of Transformation, Qwelminte Secwepemc 
  • Ken Paul, Wastey Nation 
  • Sandra Gogal, Partner, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Fall 2021 Members Meeting

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

Featured Speakers:

  • Becky Sasakamoose Kuffer, Cultural Diversity & Race Relations Consultant, City of Saskatoon 
  • Bernadette Iahtail, Government of Alberta Anti-Racism Advisory Council Member, Executive Director/Co-Founder, Creating Hope Society 
  • Tara Shea, Senior Director, Regulatory & Indigenous Affairs, Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
  • Sara Mainville, Partner, Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP 
  • Dale Sturges, Head, Indigenous Financial Services, RBC
  • Shannin Metatawabin, Chief Executive Officer, NACCA
  • Sandra Gogal, Partner, Cassels 

CIRC/CRSC Joint Council Meeting 

Virtual Event
Theme: 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 

Virtual Event
 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

Virtual Event
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

  • Canada’s UNDRIP Legislation and Its Implications for Indigenous Governance
  • The Impacts of Systemic Racism on Indigenous Engagement and Inclusion
  • Indigenous Reconciliation Through an Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Lens
  • Measuring progress - evolving performance indicators and metrics for Corporate-Indigenous Relations 
  • 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

Indigenous woman sitting at a desk and typing on a computer
Indigenous Finance and Management Professionals

As reflected in recent Supreme Court decisions, parliamentary debates, and public opinion polls, Indigenous rights are increasingly part of major project decisions. This spans sectors such as power generation, mining, and oil and gas. While at times contentious, the assertion of Indigenous rights presents a bold new vision of economic reconciliation with opportunities for Indigenous communities looking to determine their economic futures.

Impact paper  |  29-min read
June 22, 2022
Partner—Future Skills Centre

Man in the snow with headphones and showing a thumbs up
Fly-In Fly-Out Labour and Airport Infrastructure in Canada’s North: A Case Study on the Rankin Inlet and Mayo Airports

Important discussions and awareness are taking place around the economic impacts of FIFO labour in Canada’s Northern regions. Northern governments are concerned about jobs and wages being lost to residents from other regions of the country. There are also concerns around the leakage of dollars earned by FIFO workers into Southern regions—money that might otherwise be spent in the North and drive additional economic activity within that region.

Case study  |  17-min read
May 17, 2022

Two men in masks working together
Benefit, Burden, or Both? The Economic Impact of Interjurisdictional Workers in Canada’s North

Many interjurisdictional workers (IJWs) are employed throughout Canada’s North. Often flying in to work in Northern communities, these workers are used to fill open positions across several industries due to the lack of required skillsets in local labour markets. Many of these workers are employed in the construction and the mining and quarrying and oil and gas sectors, though they also fill positions across other industries, such as public administration and accommodation and food services.

Issue briefing  |  21-min read
May 11, 2022

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.