How To Engage With And Build An Indigenous Peoples Workplace - Webinar

Increase Your Workforce Through Learning How To Engage With Indigenous Communities

Matrix Labour Leasing is committed to the continual improvement and education of workforces to create stronger, more conscious partnerships with Indigenous peoples of Canada. We have formed lasting relationships with many Indigenous peoples across western Canada to offer employment, training, and engagement. These initiatives have mobilized workers to commercial and industrial job sites through our staffing agency. As part of our continued commitment to growth and education, we are honoured to have our five amazing guest speakers joining us: Paul Paterson, Billie Fortier, Cameron HillRebecca Kragnes and Evie Nance.


In 2020, we finalized joint ventures with a First Nations majority-owned company through the creation of Gitga'at Matrix Workforce Services. We look forward to continuing our commitment to fair and informed collaboration with Indigenous peoples and expanding our activities in a socially responsible manner. 

This webinar on Thursday, April 29th at 11:00 am (MST) will highlight how informed collaboration with Indigenous peoples can lead to a growing and sustainable workforce. Companies seeking a competitive advantage should consider internal training and education to create a culture of respectful collaboration with Indigenous peoples.

The goal of this webinar will be to increase:

  • Awareness of the historical context and root cause of key issues that affect Indigenous communities today.
  • Knowledge and tools to create understanding, awareness, and knowledge of Indigenous communities.
  • Employment strategies to bring together a growing workforce while addressing employment demands and a better understanding of cultural differences.
Guest Speakers

Matrix Labour Leasing | Paul Paterson – CEO, Gitga’at Development Corporation

Paul Paterson
CEO, Gitga’at Development Corporation

Paul has worked for over 20 years with Indigenous groups across Canada, primarily in the world of Aboriginal Rights and Title. Paul’s career in the complex world of Aboriginal rights and title began in 1993, working for the Council of the Haida Nation on contract to manage their sports fish management program. Since that time his career has included four years as a Provincial Treaty Negotiator, 12 years as a Federal Treaty Negotiator and several years consulting with First Nations in the areas of capacity building, negotiating resource development arrangements, treaty, governance, and community development. He’s worked independently on behalf of First Nation clients throughout BC since leaving the federal government in early 2014, including serving as lead treaty negotiator for Gitga’at and, since February of 2017, taking on the role of CEO of the Gitga’at Development Corporation.

Matrix Labour Leasing | Billie Fortier - Associate, MLT Aikins

Billie Fortier
Associate, MLT Aikins

Billie Fortier is a member of the Fort McKay Métis and practices law in Calgary, Alberta with the law firm, MLT Aikins LLP. Billie represents First Nations and Métis communities in negotiations with resource companies to establish joint ventures and other business relationships. She has advised the leadership of several First Nations on a variety of matters, including corporate structuring of Nation-owned businesses, financial administration and governance. She also advises clients across a number of industries on general commercial matters and in connection with M&A and corporate reorganizations.
Billie has appeared before the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta and the Provincial Court of Alberta, and has experience with regulatory proceedings before the Alberta Utilities Commission and the Alberta Energy Regulator.

Matrix Labour Leasing | Cameron Hill – Councillor, Gitga’at Nations

Cameron Hill
Councillor, Gitga’at Nations

Cameron Hill is one of the Elected Leaders of the Gitga’at Nation and is also a hereditary spokesperson for Killer Whale Chief.


Matrix Labour Leasing | Rebecca Kragnes - Indigenous Business Relations Manager, Bird Construction


Rebecca Kragnes
Indigenous Business Relations Manager, Bird Construction

Rebecca is a Cree-Metis woman with a passion for Indigenous Relations and changing the socio-economic profile of Indigenous people in Canada. She is a Red Seal Journeyperson Electrician, with more than 25 years of experience in the construction industry. Her work experience includes fieldwork, government administration and in her current role, she provides executive-level support as well as companywide education, engagement, and advocacy to support Indigenous equity within construction projects at Bird.

Rebecca is on the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) Board of Directors, a CAF SWIT (Strategy for Women in the Trades) task force member and was recently appointed to the Women Building Futures (WBF) Board of Directors. She is passionate about improving the representation of marginalized people in skilled trades across Canada. Channelling her firsthand knowledge of the barriers women, Indigenous people, and other underrepresented groups face in the industry, she works with communities and organizations to promote opportunities to those groups to pursue careers in the skilled trades.


Matrix Labour Leasing | Evie Nance


Evie Nance
Employment and Training Manager, Gitxaala Nation

First introduced in March 2020, the Gitxaała/Bird Introduction to Carpentry Program was created in collaboration with Gitxaała Nation, Bird Construction, and the British Columbia Regional Council of Carpenters (BCRCC). The intent of the training program is to develop a local workforce and provide new career paths for Indigenous people in the region. Upon completion of the program, participants have the skills and direct employment opportunity to begin an apprenticeship.

The program was built on meaningful collaboration amongst industry, government, training providers and Indigenous communities to remove barriers, provide skills training and promote greater workforce participation.


Why you should attend:
  • There are 353 Major Projects – resource or energy - valued at $344 billion slated for BC and Alberta between (now) and 2029’ Natural Resources Canada.
  • The lion’s share of those same major and related minor projects – located on Crown land or 80% of our country’s landmass - will require consulting and working with Indigenous peoples for approval.
  • That same process – enshrined in Canada’s constitution and enforced by the courts - will lead to various forms of Indigenous people’s economic participation. 
  • This process will involve demands from the government, project owners and/or prime contractors.
  • These demands will, in turn, require training, job, and career creation for Indigenous Peoples in Canada for decades to come.
  • If contractors do not have innovative and long-term solutions for these growing demands, they will simply face being excluded from the bidding process on any large or small projects located within The Traditional Territories of 633 First Nations or Canada’s crown lands and waterways.
Learn why it is important to:
  • Develop strategic and effective outreach methods to facilitate collaboration with Indigenous people and communities.
  • Increase your workforce through education and engagement with Indigenous communities. 
  • How to engage, support, and retain Indigenous employees.

Sign Up Today!

Don’t miss this crucial educational webinar on Indigenous engagement in the workforce. Take this opportunity to educate your workforce while fostering an informed and inclusive space for growth and expansion. Not only will this webinar empower your team with the knowledge and awareness to engage with Indigenous people in an appropriate and prosperous manner, but you will gain the foundational tools as an employer to build lasting relationships while facilitating learning, empathy, and growth in your employee culture.

Date: Thursday, April 29, 2021
Time: 11:00 am (MST)



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