New vice-chairperson and board members appointed to Canada’s National Indigenous Economic Development Board

New vice-chairperson and board members appointed to Canada’s National Indigenous Economic Development Board

Ottawa, Ontario — Traditional unceded Algonquin Territory — Indigenous Services Canada.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, and Dawn Madahbee Leach, Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, extend their congratulations to Victoria LaBillois, who has been appointed as the National Indigenous Economic Development Board’s new Vice-Chairperson.

Victoria LaBillois, a Mi’gmaq entrepreneur from Listuguj, Quebec, has been a member of the board since June 18, 2018, and serves as mentor for Coady International Institute’s Indigenous Women in Community Leadership and New Brunswick’s JEDI Aboriginal Business Accelerator Program. She is bilingual in French and English and teaches financial literacy to Indigenous youth.

Minister Hajdu and Ms. Madahbee Leach would also like to welcome Dana Soonias and Robert Dickson as two new members of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board.

Dana Soonias is the Director of Economic Development and Employment Training Services at the Saskatoon Tribal Council. He is a former Chairperson of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada and the Aboriginal Entrepreneur Committee of National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association, as well as a previous member of the First Nations Financial Management Board. Mr. Soonias has over 25 years of executive leadership experience overseeing organizational restructuring, developing strategic and investment diversity in economic portfolios, leveraging partnerships to build capacity, and creating stability and long‐term growth in the profit and not-for-profit sectors.

Robert Dickson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Attawapiskat Enterprises Inc. group of companies and one of the founders of the Aboriginal and Visible Minority Supplier Council. Mr. Dickson—who has held executive leadership roles in the profit, not-for-profit and public sectors—is known as a strong leader with excellent negotiation, interpersonal, presentation and public-relations skills. He is committed to renewal and ongoing change, and he is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University.

Quotes

“Congratulations to Victoria LaBillois as the new Vice-Chair, and Dana Soonias and Bob Dickson as new members of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board. Thank you for contributions and for sharing your considerable experience and guidance in support of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board’s mandate.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services

“I would like to extend my congratulations to Victoria LaBillois, Dana Soonias and Bob Dickson on their appointments. Their leadership, energy and enthusiasm will be invaluable in reaching our goals, and they bring a wide variety of experience and expertise that will be crucial to developing well-rounded recommendations to the federal government on a comprehensive range of Indigenous economic development issues.”

Dawn Madahbee Leach
Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board

“The work of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board is imperative in helping rebuild Indigenous economies. I am happy to serve in the role of Vice-Chair, alongside a board committed to sharing their knowledge and voices.”

Victoria LaBillois, MBA
Vice-Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board

“It is my great honour to serve as a member of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, working closely with my new colleagues toward strategic initiatives that will influence policy for our communities and entrepreneurs across the country.”

Dana Soonias
Member, National Indigenous Economic Development Board

“I am delighted to be a member of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board and look forward to working with my colleagues on behalf of Indigenous Peoples across Canada. I look forward to learning and serving.”

Bob Dickson
Member, National Indigenous Economic Development Board

Quick facts

  • The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) is the only national, non-political organization of its kind. It is mandated to provide strategic policy advice and guidance to the federal government on issues of Indigenous economic development.
  • Composed of First Nations, Inuit and Métis business and community leaders from across Canada, the board helps governments respond to the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
  • The principle role of all NIEDB board members is to provide strategic policy and program advice to the federal government on all matters pertaining to Indigenous economic development.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to open, transparent and merit-based selection processes. As they become available, all appointment opportunities are posted on the Opportunities for ministerial appointments web page.

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