Indigenous Leadership Building on Legacy

BANFF, AB, February 24, 2020 – For nearly half a century, Banff Centre has been hosting and offering Indigenous leadership and management programming designed to meet the unique needs and challenges facing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis leaders in Canada, and Indigenous communities around the world. 

“Programs at Banff Centre have supported Indigenous leaders and communities for almost 50 years,” said Brian Calliou, Director of Indigenous Leadership at Banff Centre.

“Led by knowledgeable, thoughtful, and powerful faculty, program offerings have evolved over the years as the needs of Indigenous leaders and communities shift, relationships with colonial institutions change, and Truth and Reconciliation efforts evolve. Throughout the year, our teachings are centered on wise practices and the inherent right to Indigenous self-governance.”

Following a historic donation of $10M from Suncor towards Indigenous Leadership and Leadership for Social Impact/Innovation programs last year, Banff Centre has refreshed its programming model and made practical adjustments to the Certificate of Indigenous Leadership, Governance, and Management Excellence

To achieve the certificate, participants must complete one program from each of the seven elements of Wise Practises, which is inspired by the sacred circle of life and draws from the seven sacred teachings. This gives students a wholistic approach towards strategic planning and leadership. 

The course offerings for 2020 are:

Wise Practice Element 1: Identity and Culture

Wise Practices in Indigenous Leadership 
March 15 - March 20, 2020 & November 15 - November 20, 2020

Through guidance of Elders, participants in this program explore their own personal and professional leadership skills. The aim is to strengthen authentic leadership by allowing space for individuals to connect and reestablish with cultural values and roots of identity, through a combination of land based learning, hands-on case studies, and active conversations.

Faculty include:
Elder Dila Houle, Piikani Indian Reserve
Erin Dixon, Indigenous Awareness Trainer 
Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Chair on Truth and Reconciliation at Lakehead University and Honourary Witness of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Daryl Kootenay, traditional singer, dancer, artist, speaker and, youth leader
Mike Shaw, facilitator

Indigenous Women in Leadership 
December 06 - December 11, 2020

Created specifically for women leaders, the Indigenous Women in Leadership program examines the issues, challenges, and inequities that women face as they strive to fulfill the responsibilities of their job, meet the needs of their family members, and answer the demands of their community.

Faculty and facilitators to be announced.

Wise Practice Element 2: Leadership

Inherent Right to Indigenous Governance
January 26 - January 31, 2020 & January 24 - January 29, 2021

Inherent Right to Indigenous Governance is one of Banff Centre’s oldest and foundational programs and is considered central to our suite of Indigenous Leadership courses. This program will help shed the colonial lens and inspire leaders to build governance structures based on traditional laws, principles, and values. Inherent Right to Indigenous Governance faculty team will be guided by faculty:

Elder Alice Kaquitts, Stony Nakoda Wesley First Nation
Lindsey Burrows, lawyer, author, and researcher 
Gina Starblanket, professor and author
Wanda Dalla Costa, Director and Founder of Indigenous Design Collaborative

Wise Practice Element 3: Strategic Vision and Planning

Indigenous Strategic Planning
May 10 - May 15, 2020 & November 22 - November 27, 2020

Leaders in this program focus on systems thinking and foundations using tools such as a current state assessment and an environmental analysis, while learning how to identify the vision, mission, and values needed for strategic planning. This program demonstrates how making a drum is a traditional example of strategic planning. 

Faculty Include: 
Elder Florence Kelly, Ojibway of Onigaming
Elizabeth Logue, Ottawa River Keeper and Director of Inuit Relations at Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
Murray Dion, executive, entrepreneur and lecturer
Daryl Kootenay, traditional singer, dancer, artist, speaker, and youth leader
Mike Shaw, facilitator

Wise Practice Element 4: Good Governance and Management

Establishing Indigenous Institutions of Governance 
March 01 - March 06, 2020

Leaders in this program learn the tools of how to build and run their own Indigenous governments, from how to set up administration and justice institutions, to handling of land and resources, education, health, and child welfare institutions. 

Faculty include:
Elder Florence Kelly, Ojibway of Onigaming
Kory Wilson, Executive Director of Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships (BCIT)
Tim Raybould, negotiator and researcher
Brian MacDonald, lawyer and negotiator
Brenda Holder, medicine guide
Ed Bamiling, artist and facilitator

Wise Practice Element 5: Accountability and Stewardship

Leading Teams: Governance for Indigenous Councils and Boards
June 07 – June 12, 2020 & September 20 - September 25, 2020

This program explores the structure and management of a governing body for maximum efficiency and effectiveness, with particular focus on building solid foundations for Indigenous governance. Participants will gain tools to understand their leadership style in order to facilitate new processes from the perspective of traditional governance models, working through colonial meeting and decision-making processes.

Faculty include:
Elder Edmee Comstock, Red River Settlement
Margaret Froh, lawyer
Tracey O’Donnell, lawyer and advocate
Francis Butch Wolfleg, consultant and mediator
Robert Breaker, strategic planner, facilitator, mediator, and arbitrator
Ed Bamiling, artist and facilitator

Wise Practice Element 6: Performance Evaluation

Project Management for Indigenous Organizations 
January 19 - January 24, 2020 & June 14 - June 19, 2020 
January 17 - January 22, 2021

Through the lens of wise practices in project management, this program explores developing knowledge and skills in the context of a project life cycle that are rooted in community practice.

Faculty include:
Elder Florence Kelly, Ojibway of Onigaming
Karen Dove, facilitator and project manager
Sheila Niganobe, manager and advocate
Mike Shaw, facilitator
Jason Carter, artist

Indigenous Evaluation Frameworks 
March 22 - March 27, 2020

With a tailored evaluation framework for individual communities, this program provides skills and tools needed to evaluate and self-reflect. Based on design thinking and evaluation principles, this program inspires leaders to bring in traditional knowledge and success factors to determine the stories their communities would like to be sharing with funders, governments and external institutions and organizations.

Faculty include:
Elder Dila Houle, Piikani Indian Reserve
Marilyn Poitras, lawyer, writer, film producer, negotiator, and facilitator
Kim van der Woerd, consultant and evaluator
Sofi Vitalis, consultant and evaluator
Brandy Dahrouge, educator and artist
Dave Verhulst, outdoor educator

Wise Practice Element 7: Collaborations, Partnerships, and External Relationships

Negotiation Skills Training
February 02 - February 07, 2020 & October 04 - October 09, 2020

In the context of negotiation on issues such as land claims, self-governance, fiscal arrangements, natural resources, co-management agreements, and business partnerships, this program focuses on building leaders who negotiate through an interest-based approach with the emphasis being on strengthening relationships. Each day, leaders are invited to go through the negotiation process through real life simulations, role-play, and improvisation to learn how to be powerful and effective negotiators.

Faculty include:
Elder Edmee Comstock, Red River Settlement
Troy Chalifoux, lawyer, facilitator and negotiator
Lorne Ternes, land agent, negotiator and lawyer
Barry Bilinsky, director, curator and performing artist 
Mike Shaw, facilitator

Indigenous Business and Economic Development
February 09 - February 14, 2020

This program invites participants to examine fundamental issues of governance, such as the creation of culturally appropriate governmental institutions, and the role of Indigenous leaders in effectively planning, creating, and promoting economic policy for self-determined Indigenous development. The program also explores the realities of doing business with Indigenous communities, Indigenous-owned companies and institutions, and individual Indigenous entrepreneurs.

Faculty include:
Elder Edmee Comstock, Red River Settlement
Trent Blind, Chairman of the Ermineskin Cree Nation group of Companies
Stephen Cornell, professor and writer
Chris Derickson, speaker, writer, researcher and consultant
Donald Lee, photographer

Stand Alone Program

Truth and Reconciliation Through Right Relations
February 02 - February 06, 2020 & May 24 - May 28, 2020

An intensive experience through ceremonies, lectures, outdoor walks, creative arts practice, application of theory, individual reflection, and group activity deepens an understanding of the shared history of this land, the meaning of reconciliation, and the role non-Indigenous Canadians play in improving relationships. 

Faculty include:
Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Chair on Truth and Reconciliation at Lakehead University and Honourary Witness of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Erin Dixon, Indigenous Awareness Trainer 
Ry Moran, Director for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
Elder Sykes Powderface, Stoney Nakoda Nation

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is Canada’s largest postgraduate arts and leadership school. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home on Treaty 7 territory in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach.

Programs at Banff Centre are made possible in part by the Government of Alberta through Alberta Advanced Education and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage and Canada Council for the Arts/Les programmes du Centre des arts de Banff sont rendus possibles en partie grâce au Gouvernement de l’Alberta par le support du ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur de l’Alberta et de la Fondation pour les arts de l’Alberta, et au gouvernement du Canada, par le support de Patrimoine canadien et du Conseil des arts du Canada.