October 2021

Empowering the Next Generation of Indigenous Female Leaders in Canada

11:45am-1:00pm | EDT - Free Digital Event - ,


This event is part of the exclusive 3-part series is presented by The Economic Club of Canada in partnership with TELUS & TD Bank. Our goal is to highlight the work of Indigenous leaders across Canada and create meaningful dialogue with Corporate Canada to advance corporate community engagement, enable social outcomes and drive economic reconciliation.

October 4 marks the National Day of Action for MMIWG, join us on October 6 as we showcase strong Indigenous female-identifying leaders and honor the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, whose lives have been cut short by violence. Gain a deeper understanding of how these Indigenous women are empowering a new generation of leaders.


11:55am - ELDER BLESSING delivered by Theresa "Corky" Larsen-Jonasson
12:00pm - AFN CHIEF GREETING delivered by RoseAnne Archibald
12:05pm - OPENING REMARKS FROM Her Excellency The Right Honourable Mary Simon - delivered by Krystal Abotossaway
12:10pm to 12:50pm - PANEL DISSCUSSION
12:50pm to 1:10pm - AUDIENCE Q&A
1:10pm to 1:15pm - CLOSING REMARKS FROM Jill Schnarr - TELUS


A link will be sent to each individual attendee 1 day prior to the event date. We ask for your patience until then. If you have any questions, please contact info@economicclub.ca

* The views expressed on the Economic Club platform are not that of the Economic Club or its affiliates but of the speakers alone and the organizations they represent. *

Thank you to our Event Partners:

TELUS is committed to being on a journey of Reconciliation. They believe that connectivity is intricately linked to positive economic, social, health, community and governance outcomes; and the benefits of the digital economy increase for all Canadians when Indigenous communities are connected. This includes contributing to closing the socio-economic gap, enabling communities for long-term prosperity and success, and addressing crucial issues like access to technology and healthcare. In alignment with the Calls to Action, UNDRIP and Calls for Justice, amplifying Indigenous voices is a key part of TELUS’ commitment and they are excited to co-sponsor this three-part series on Indigenous connectivity and reconciliation through a socio-economic lens.

Empowering the Next Generation of Indigenous Female Leaders in Canada

Barbara Ward Burkitt

Executive Director
Prince George Native Friendship Centre

Barbara Ward Burkitt

Barbara Ward-Burkitt, Wahiyow Cawapata Scoo, is a member of the Fort McKay First Nation and is currently the Executive Director of the Prince George Native Friendship Centre, the largest Friendship Centre of 117 Friendship Centres across Canada. She has been actively connected in many capacities in the Friendship Centre movement for 49 years.

Active in her community and provincially, Ms. Ward-Burkitt is the Chair of the Minster’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women (MACIW), President of Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association, and also sits on the Board of Governors of the University of Northern British Columbia and on the Indigenous Business & Investment Council; she also sits on many local, regional, provincial and federal working groups and committees. She completed her Masters of Education degree from Simon Fraser University as a mature student in 2004, with a Major in Administration & Leadership and a Minor in Curriculum Development and Instruction, and also completed her First Nations Design and Technology certificate from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Ms. Ward-Burkitt also holds her Provincial Instructor’s Diploma from the Vancouver Community College and her Native Adult Instructor’s Diploma from the B.C. Ministry of Education, Skills and Training.

Ms. Ward-Burkitt and her husband Jim have been proudly raising five of their grandchildren since 2003. Ms. Ward-Burkitt was invested into the Order of British Columbia in 2010.

Chastity Davis-Alphonse

Indigenous Relations Strategic Advisor

Chastity Davis-Alphonse

Chastity Davis is a mixed heritage woman of First Nations and European descent. She is a proud member of the Tla’amin Nation. Chastity is sole proprietor to her own multi-award-winning consulting business. She has worked with 100+ First Nation communities in BC and several well-known corporations, companies, not-for-profits, and Indigenous organizations. Chastity’s work is completed in the spirit of reconciliation and focuses on building knowledge and capacities for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, organizations, communities, and governments. Chastity’s approach is from an Indigenous women’s lens. She is on the leading edge of Indigenous Gender-Based Analysis (IGBA)in Canada working with the federal and provincial governments, Tsilhqot’in National Government, and several others to weave the Indigenous women’s lens into their daily practices. Chastity is creator and visionary of Deyen –An Invitation to Transform one of the only online learning platforms that centers the wisdom, knowledge, and lived experiences of the original Matriarchs of the lands often called Canada. Chastity has a Master of Arts in Intercultural and International Communications, a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication, and a Diploma in Marketing Management & Professional Sales from BCIT. Chastity is also a certified yoga teacher in two modalities: Yin and Kundalini. She weaves the ancient practice and philosophy of yoga into her personal and professional life.

Jennifer Page

VP, Treasury Model Development, Corporate Transformation and Operations
TD Bank

Jennifer Page

Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in banking and finance. Since joining TD Bank in 2000, she has held several diverse and increasingly senior roles. She is presently Vice President and Head of Treasury Model Development within the Corporate Transformation and Operations area of TD Bank where she is responsible for the development of quantitative financial models and advanced data-driven analytics used in support of asset/liability management, hedging strategies, funds transfer pricing, liquidity and stress testing. Jennifer holds an M.A. in Economics-Finance with specialization in Quantitative Finance from the University of Waterloo and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Manitoba.

As a woman who is proud of her Manitoba Métis heritage, outside of her core banking responsibilities, Jennifer actively seeks out opportunities to contribute to the development of inspiring indigenous leaders. At TD she is a member of the Finance Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council and long-standing participant in the Indigenous Employee Circle. In collaboration with other indigenous employees in positions of leadership at TD, she was instrumental in the development of the Bank's internal web-based Indigenous Resource Centre and continues to advocate for recruitment, mentorship and development opportunities for indigenous employees

Jill Schnarr

Chief Social Innovation and Communications Officer

Jill Schnarr

As TELUS’ Chief Communications Officer with more than 29 years of telecommunications experience and communications expertise, Jill Schnarr leads its Corporate Citizenship & Communications team. At the helm of communications, public relations, brand marketing, sponsorship and community investment, Jill brings TELUS’ social purpose to life to drive social change, leveraging TELUS’ world-leading technology and compassion to enable remarkable human outcomes. Bolstering its storytelling impact, and fostering strong, positive relationships with customers and Canadians, Jill has significantly influenced, built upon and safeguarded TELUS’ reputation as a global leader, enabling TELUS to be one of Canada’s most trusted brands.

Krystal Abotossaway

President, Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada
Diversity Sourcing Specialist, TD Bank

Krystal Abotossaway

Krystal Abotossaway is a proud member of Aundeck Omni-Kanging First Nations and Chippewas of Rama First Nations. Krystal received her Honours Human Resource Management degree from York University. In her current role at TD Krystal manages specific diversity programs designed to recruit and retain top talent Enterprise Wide. As a diversity sourcing specialist she is responsible for building diversity pipelines for hard to fill roles and business critical roles.

As an Urban Aboriginal woman, she continuously looks for ways to create social impact. Her primary focus is Aboriginal women in leadership as well as Aboriginal Youth. Krystal is an avid community advocate sitting on many boards within the GTR. Some of which include Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training and The Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada.

Specialties: Diversity Workforce Insights, Diversity and Inclusion, and Talent Acquisition/Sourcing Strategies. Experienced helping business attract, integrate, retain and engage diversity talent.

RoseAnne Archibald

National Chief
Assembly of First Nations

RoseAnne Archibald

RoseAnne Archibald of Taykwa Tagamou Nation, is a strength-based and
heart-centered leader, with 31 years of experiences in First Nations politics.
RoseAnne is a third generation Chief in her family whose leadership has
been ground-breaking and historical for women and youth. She was the first
woman and youngest Chief elected for Taykwa Tagamou Nation (TTN) in
1990 at 23 years of age. She was also the first woman and youngest
Deputy Grand Chief for Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN), as well as the first
female and youngest Grand Chief for Mushkegowuk Council. She served a
second term as Chief of TTN, and a second term as NAN Deputy Grand
Chief. For nine years, she ran a successful consulting business providing
advice and guidance to First Nations leaders, and organizations,
specializing in negotiations and facilitation. She returned to politics in 2018
becoming the first woman to be elected as Ontario Regional Chief.

Education is a priority and essential to self-determination. RoseAnne holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and was the first member of her community to complete a Master’s Degree (Humanities). She has also been awarded the prestigious “Canada 125 medal” for having “made a significant contribution to
Canada” through her leadership.

Positive and lasting change requires creative and innovative thinking and ways of being. RoseAnne balances her political life with creativity and art practice. She is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work focuses on political art, landscape and portrait photography, music and as well as documentary short films that reflect a personal passion for social justice, political engagement and community building.

RoseAnne has dedicated her adult life to serving and striving to create a better quality of life and future for First Nations people. She represents a generational change, bringing diplomacy and encouragingunity in the First Nations political system, while breaking down barriers since the start of her political career.

For the last three years as Ontario Regional Chief (ORC), RoseAnne worked tirelessly and collaboratively with the Ontario Leadership Council to ensure that the Chiefs of Ontario organization turned a corner to be fully financially responsible, accountable, and answerable to the Chiefs, resulting in a restructured and stable advocacy organization. She has made positive changes during her term including a strong and effective pandemic response that focused on saving lives and preserving the health and well-being of First Nation citizens; improved relationships with the federal and provincial governments; the establishment of a Council of Elected Women Chiefs; and the creation of an
Economic Growth and Prosperity Table.

Selena Mills

Project Manager & Communications Strategist
The Centre For Wise Practices in Indigenous Health, Women’s College Hospital

Selena Mills

Selena (Cree, French Canadian-Settler | She/Her) is a direct descendant of the Woodland Cree peoples of Lac Laronge, Treaty 6. A people and purpose-driven interdisciplinary—she’s an innovative leader with over two decades of experience as a senior-level Indigenous knowledge translation consultant, communications strategist, educator, artist, and community partnerships builder. A digital media and web development specialist, she's produced virtual and print reconciliation publications and has led several digital media and web development campaigns in Indigenous-led film, television, the arts, healthcare, and education. Selena is currently Project Manager, Health Transformation & Strategic Communications for The Centre For WISE Practices in Indigenous Health at Women’s College Hospital.

As Owner/Creative Director of ROAR Creative Agency, Selena is passionate about elevating First Nations, Inuit, and Métis stories, leadership, perspectives, and voices—mentoring and collaborating with Indigenous youth. A Digital Publishing Awards & National Magazine Awards nominated writer and editor, Selena has been producing content for acclaimed publications for over 15 years (CBC, Babble Media, Disney, United Way’s Local Love, Today’s Parent, The Mighty, Quill & Quire). She strives to build bridges renegade style, self-taught in artful practices and digital illustration. Past and current clients include:

The Office of Indigenous Health, Temerty Faculty of Medicine (University of Toronto)
The Royal College of Physicians of Canada
The National Consortium for Indigenous Medical Education
The Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario
RedCloud Studios
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit & Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin
Western University
Barrie Native Friendship Centre
Future History TV
International Indigenous Music Summit
Rogers Media

Self-taught and academically trained, Selena has recently manifested into a kind disruptor of collaborating on the delivery of trauma-informed Indigenous cultural safety training in healthcare and education. Supporting the rematriation movement, her mentors, and uplifting youth leadership are some of the core values aligned with her work. When the chaos permits, Selena is a member of the Tkaronto Indigenous Ceremonial Practices Alliance and Anishnawbe Health’s Circle of Landscape Cultivators Committee.

Theresa “Corky” Larsen-Jonasson

Theresa “Corky” Larsen-Jonasson

Our Sponsors

Telus Interac Green Shield Canada