October 16 & 17, 2019
The Pas Metis Hall

The University College of the North is excited to announce that the Linkages in Northern Economic Development Conference will be taking place October 16th & 17th in The Pas, Manitoba. 

The focus is to initiate creative, critical thinking and collaborative conversations about northern economic and human development. Northern Manitoba is at a critical juncture and we need to work together to create new paradigms, new goals and new opportunities for northern people. The Linkages Conference will be the conversation about our future.



Day 1 – Wednesday, October 16, 2019

11:30AM - 12:15PM

Registration & Lunch

12:15PM - 12:45PM

Opening Prayer & Welcome Greetings
Elder Mabel Bignell

Co-Chairs: Jennifer Flett and James Wilson

12:45PM - 1:15PM

Session #1

Speaker: Michael Yarowy, Community Market Manager, Norman Market, Royal Bank of Canada
1:15PM - 2:15PM

Session #2

Speakers: Andrea Legary, Senior Manager, Deloitte Global Investment and Innovation Incentives, Winnipeg and Zach Robert, Manager, Deloitte Private Audit Group, Winnipeg

Session #3

Speaker: Teresa Dukes, President, North Forge

Health Break

3:15PM - 4:00PM

Session #4

Speaker: Ken Coates, Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation

Closing Prayer
Elder Nick Halcrow


Session Ends


Dinner & Keynote Address

Speaker: Dr. Matthew Coon Come

Day 2 – Thursday, October 17, 2019


Breakfast & Registration 


Opening Prayer
and Recap of Day 1
Elder Mabel Bignell

Co-Chairs: Jennifer Flett and James Wilson



Session #5

Speaker: Senator Patricia Bovey



Session #6

Speaker: Sonya Penner, Executive Director, Post-Secondary Education and Labour Market Outcomes, Manitoba Education and Training

Session #7

Speaker: Gary Merasty, Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President NWC Ventures



Session #8

Moderator: Kathy Knight, CEO, Information & Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba
Panelists: Joel Dandeneau, Director, People & Culture, ID Fusion Software; Ashleigh Lodge, Application Development Manager, Neovation Learning Solutions; Kent Smith, Independent IT Consultant

Session #9

Look North: A Nothern Manitoba Story
Speaker: James Wilson, Chairperson, Communities Economic Development Fund




Closing Address

Footprints in the Snow: Creating Pathways of Connection
Speaker: Gabrielle Scrimshaw, Hatchet Lake First Nation


Closing Prayer & Concluding Remarks
Elder Nick Halcrow

Co-Chairs: Jennifer Flett and Jamie Wilson


City: The Pas, Manitoba 
Venue: The Pas Métis Hall

Group accommodations have been setup at the following hotels for Linkages attendees. Attendees are responsible to book their own accommodations.

Anderson Inn and Suites
1717 Gordon Avenue, The Pas, Manitoba | 204-623-1888
Group Code: CGUC11
Booking Deadline: Sept. 16th, 2019

Kikiwak Inn
Highway 10 North, Ospaskwayak, Manitoba | 204-623-1800
Group Code: 144380
Booking Deadline: Oct. 1st, 2019

Wescana Inn

439 Fischer Avenue, The Pas, MB | 204-623-5446
Group Code: None required
Booking Deadline: N/A



Senator Patricia Bovey

Short Bio

Before being appointed to the Senate on November 10th, 2016, the Honourable Patricia Bovey was a Winnipeg-based gallery director and curator, art historian, writer, professor and, for many years, a management consultant in the arts and not-for-profit sector.

Extended Bio

Formerly Director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1999-2004) and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1980-1999), she was appointed Director Emerita of the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 2014. She was a founder of the Buhler Gallery at St Boniface Hospital; the University of Winnipeg’s Manitoba Arts and Culture Management Program, and MA in Curatorial Practice; the British Columbia Government House Foundation and the National Fundraising Society (NSFRE) Vancouver Island Chapter.  Director/Curator of the Buhler Gallery from its 2007 inception to Dec 2016, she is Adjunct Professor of Art History at the University of Winnipeg. She writes and lectures widely on Western Canadian art. 

Former Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba, she has served on the Boards of the National Gallery of Canada (2005 – 2009) and the Canada Council for the Arts (1990-1993); the 1986 Withrow/Richard Federal Task Force on National and Regional Museums; the National Board for the Canadian Center for Cultural Management at the University of Waterloo (2002-2010); is a past Chair of the Board of Governors of Emily Carr University and of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization. She was a member of the Public Art Committee of the City of Winnipeg (2003-2007), and of the Mayor’s Task Force on Public Art to develop Winnipeg’s Public Art Policy (2002-2003). Former member of the Board of the University of Manitoba Press, she presently serves on the Eckhardt-Gramatté Foundation. She served as Board Chair of the Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art, and was a member of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation; the Manitoba Rhodes Scholarship and Loran Scholarship Selection committees; the board of Manitoba Artists in Healthcare and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.  

The recipient of the 2015 Winnipeg Arts Council Investors Making a Difference Award, Senator Bovey’s honours include her appointment as Fellow of the UK’s Royal Society for the Arts, and as Fellow of the Canadian Museums Association; the Canada 125 Medal; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal; Winnipeg’s 2002 Woman of Distinction for the Arts; the Canadian Museums Association Distinguished Service Award; the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Medal; and the 2013 Association of Manitoba Museum’s inaugural Award of Merit.

Involved in international projects, touring exhibitions and artist exchanges, she was an official guest of the Japan Foundation, the British Council, the Government of France, has lectured in the US and Britain and been involved in special initiatives in Finland, Iceland Norway and China.

Bovey’s consulting since 2005 has focused on governance, policy development and strategic and business planning for galleries, museums and multi-disciplinary arts organizations. 

Joel Dandeneau
Director of People and Culture for ID Fusion

Short Bio

Joel Dandeneau is the Director of People and Culture for ID Fusion, a Manitoba Indigenous IT company. 

Extended Bio

Joel is currently the Program Manager for the Indigenous ICT Development Project which, along with project partner, FireSpirit, is working with Indigenous youth and underemployed people to test innovative approaches to meaningful training and paid work experience preparing professionals for a career in IT. 

Kathy Knight
CEO at Information and Communication Technologies Association (ICTAM)

Short Bio

Kathy joined the Information and Communication Technologies Association (ICTAM) as CEO in January 2005. As a member-driven, industry association, she has worked with ICTAM’s Board of Directors and the Manitoba ICT sector to grow the organization in the robust, relevant and responsive association it is today.

Extended Bio

With approximately 150 corporate members representing a wide range of solutions providers and ICT consumers, ICTAM has evolved to become the leading voice of the ICT industry in Manitoba.

Over the years, Kathy has delivered programming and initiatives to create the conditions for Manitoba’s ICT sector to thrive. These include: targeted business development activities; promoting ICT careers to youth; and, creating greater knowledge about how this sector contributes to the economic well-being of this province.  

In addition, Kathy serves as a Director on the Board of Directors for Technology Councils of North America (TECNA).  At home in Winnipeg, she served as Vice Chair of Red River College’s Board of Governors and Chair of the Audit Committee. Currently, she contributes to a number of other Committees in Winnipeg including the External Advisory Committee for the Department of Science at the University of Manitoba. Kathy is one of the founding partners in establishing the Pathways to Technology Early College and High School (P-TECH) network in Manitoba. 

Prior to joining ICTAM, Kathy was a successful independent marketing consultant. Her client base was in information technology, digital media, education and training.  She was instrumental in the design and implementation of Manitoba’s first-ever post-secondary training programs in digital animation, game development and new media.  She is a proud alumni of Red River College’s Creative Communications Diploma Program and the University of Manitoba’s accredited Business Management program.

In her free time, Ashleigh consumes a truly frightening amount of pop culture media, including movies, TV shows, comic books and novels. You can usually find her with Pokémon Go open on her phone, no matter where she is or what she’s (supposed to be) doing.

Gary Merasty
Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President, The North West Company

Short Bio

Gary is currently the Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President of The North West Company. He was formerly President and CEO of a First Nation owned Group of Companies called The Des Nedhe Group (Des NeThey), he also served in an Executive capacity as Vice President at Cameco Corporation of Corporate Responsibility, Government Relations & Communications. Earlier in Gary’s career he was also the Chief of Staff to the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and Associate Director of Education for his home community. 

Extended Bio

In addition to his professional career Gary has had a distinguished career in politics. He proudly served as Grand Chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council for two terms from 1999 to 2005 where education, health and business development experienced significant growth. He is also a former Member of Parliament serving in Canada’s 39th Parliament. Gary played a key role in facilitating the Government of Canada to apologize to the survivors of the Residential School system by initiating and lobbying the Canadian Parliament to apologize with a motion he put forward in the House of Commons in 2007. 

Gary has held numerous board positions including Chair of West Wind Aviation, The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, The Canada West Foundation, The Prince Albert Development Corporation to name just a few. 

He is well known for his community support, advocating better public policies for Indigenous education, infrastructure and northern development. Gary has been recognized for his many years of commitment to public service and business. He received both the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals, the 2005 Saskatchewan Centennial Commemorative Medal and the University of Saskatchewan named Mr. Merasty as one of the Top 100 Alumni of Influence. He also received an Honorary Diploma for Business from Saskatchewan PolyTechnic.

Gabrielle Scrimshaw

Short Bio

Growing up in the remote Hatchet Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, Gabrielle Scrimshaw was the first in her family to get a post-secondary education. Raised by a single father, she lived in a community challenged by addictions, suicide and a lack of educational opportunities. Now she is determined to provide “footprints in the snow” for other Indigenous youth to follow in order to create a better world.

Extended Bio

Since graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, she has earned an MBA from Stanford and is a Gleitsman Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard. Her customized presentations provide strategic insights to help organizations build engagement with Indigenous communities and to work with the rapidly growing population of Indigenous youth. She is an ideal speaker for educational groups, companies and any conference that wants to shape the future of Canada.

Ken Coates
Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation

Short Bio

Ken Coates is a rare public commentator who brings deep understanding of past and present realities together with compelling ideas about Canada’s future. His passionate and highly engaging talks have captivated diverse audiences across the country, from college administrators and economic development officers to Aboriginal entrepreneurs and community activists.

Extended Bio

Ken is Canada’s Research Chair in Regional Innovation and brings his experience in East Asia and around the Circumpolar world to bear on his understanding of Canada’s strengths and weaknesses. Ken combines irreverence, insight and a sense of humour in his conversations about the issues that matter most to Canadians.

Teresa Dukes
President of North Forge Technology Exchange

Short Bio

Teresa Dukes is the President of North Forge Technology Exchange. She has worked with companies of all sizes, including large organizations and startup entrepreneurs, Teresa has a fresh perspective on partnerships and how partnerships can ignite innovation and grow the economy.
Gary Merasty
Andrea Legary
Senior Manager, Deloitte Global Investment and Innovation Incentives, Winnipeg

Short Bio

Andrea Legary is a Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Global Investment and Innovation Incentives group here in Winnipeg.  Andrea joined Deloitte in 2014 after a decade of working in Winnipeg’s aerospace and defense industry on programs for CSA, NASA, and Lockheed Martin. 

Extended Bio

Her primary focus is assisting clients to access funding in support of their research and development initiatives via the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program.

Sonya Penner
Sonya Penner, Executive Director, Post-Secondary Education and Labour Market Outcomes, Manitoba Education and Training

Short Bio

Sonya Penner is the executive director of the Post-Secondary Education and Labour Market Outcomes branch, Manitoba Education and Training. She has over 20 years of experience in management and leadership positions at the University of Manitoba, Government of Manitoba, and as an independent consultant and member of several boards.

Kent Smith
Independent IT Management Consultant

Short Bio

Kent Smith graduated from Midwestern School of Business and Technology in 2001 wearing an entrepreneurial and IT leadership hat since. He is sharing his know-how as an Independent IT Management Consultant after wrapping up a 13 year career overseeing all facets of the Technology and Innovation portfolio’s at Tundra Oil & Gas.

Extended Bio

Prior to Tundra, Kent was a partner in an IT consulting firm with clients in Real Estate, Automotive, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Legal industries.  Kent currently sits on the board of directors with the Manitoba Chapter of the CIO Association of Canada and is very involved within the IT community in the Province of Manitoba.

Raised in a Southwest Manitoba farming community, Kent enjoys taking his young family “home” to share some of those rural roots.

In her free time, Ashleigh consumes a truly frightening amount of pop culture media, including movies, TV shows, comic books and novels. You can usually find her with Pokémon Go open on her phone, no matter where she is or what she’s (supposed to be) doing.

Michael Yarowy
Community Manager, NorMan Region at RBC

Short Bio

Michael Yarowy is the Community Manager for a vast geography in Canada’s heartland from the North Eastern lakes of Saskatchewan to where the borders of North Western Ontario and Manitoba meet; from the wild beauty of upper Lake Winnipeg to the Polar Bear Capital of the World in Churchill.  

Extended Bio

With almost 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and at RBC, Michael has held a variety of roles and responsibilities including Market and Branch Leadership, Lending, and Client Service.  His career has taken him from Manitoba to Nunavut to Saskatchewan and then back home again to Canada’s City Built of Rock – Flin Flon, Manitoba where he began his financial services career almost three decades previously.  

Born and raised in Swan River, Michael learned firsthand the values of the environment at a very young age.  This was evident by his first job as a Radio Operator with the Manitoba Department of Natural Resources.  Michael’s other passion is for helping youth prepare for the future world of work through skill development – a value he learned from his father, a school teacher.

Michael holds an MBA from Providence University College and Seminary in Counselling, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba, and a Business Admin diploma with a specialization in Marketing from Red River College in Winnipeg.  

Michael is also an active member of the Chamber of Commerce in Flin Flon where he currently resides along with his wife Sharon and four children.

Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come
Former Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees

Short Bio

Matthew Coon Come is former Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Chairperson of the Cree Regional Authority. The Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee is an Aboriginal Nation with a population of about 18,000 and traditional territory to the east of James Bay in Northern Québec, Canada.

Extended Bio

Matthew is a national and international indigenous leader and advocate for the aboriginal, treaty and other human rights of indigenous peoples in Canada and internationally. His election in July 2011 to the office of Grand Chief of the James Bay Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee and Chairperson of the Cree Regional Authority is his sixth re-election to those positions. Matthew was first elected as Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees and Chairman of the Cree Regional Authority in 1987, and served for five terms of office. He was former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, the national organization of First Nations in Canada, from 2000 to 2003. He became known throughout Canada for his efforts to end the federal policy of extinguishment of aboriginal peoples’ human rights of self determination.

Born in 1956 on his parent’s Mistissini Trapline, Matthew was soon recognized by the elders as a natural leader. He was asked to be coordinator for all the inland Cree communities for the negotiations with Canada that enabled the James Bay Crees to escape the Indian Act and achieve the first ever aboriginal self-government legislation in Canada, the Cree-Naskapi (of Québec) Act.

Matthew studied political science, economics, native studies and courses in law at Trent and McGill Universities, and also undertook theological studies in the United States following his tenure as National Chief in 2003.

Matthew has also had an active and successful business career, with participation in energy, mining, information technology and arts and crafts ventures. In 2019, Matthew was awarded the Order of Canada. 

Jennifer Flett

Short Bio

Jennifer is a proud member of two Nations. Her father is the late George Flett, Opaskwayak Cree Nation. 

Extended Bio

Her mother is Maggie Flett, Vuntut Gwichin from Old Crow, Yukon. She has 3 brothers and 2 sisters, being the youngest in her family. She is university educated, earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba.
Jennifer worked in federal corrections for 20 years and became a representative of OCN in 2016 as the Vice Onekanew and is excited to embark on her new role as an Onuschekew.

Ashleigh Lodge
Application Development Manager at Neovation Learning Solutions

Short Bio

Ashleigh is the Application Development Manager at Neovation Learning Solutions in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She manages a team of over 20 developers, UX designers, and QA analysts who work to maintain and grow two separate products. A graduate of the Computer/Analyst Programmer (CAP) program at Red River College, she has held various development and management roles in the tech industry for the past 10 years.

Extended Bio

Ashleigh is a vocal advocate for accessibility and inclusive design, working to make Neovation’s products more accessible to users of all types and abilities. Most recently, Ashleigh was a speaker at TedxWinnipeg, bringing the idea and foundations of digital accessibility to an audience of nearly 700 Winnipeggers and Manitobans.

In her free time, Ashleigh consumes a truly frightening amount of pop culture media, including movies, TV shows, comic books and novels. You can usually find her with Pokémon Go open on her phone, no matter where she is or what she’s (supposed to be) doing.

Zach Robert
Manager, Deloitte Private Audit Group, Winnipeg

Short Bio

Zach is a Manager in Deloitte’s private audit group in Winnipeg. Zach has more than five years of experience providing support to entities in the private, not-for-profit and private sectors.

Extended Bio

He previously spent time in the private sector as a Controller for a local manufacturing company. Zach’s primary focus is assisting clients in the completion of financial statement audits and reviews, and both tax and accounting issues.

Jamie Wilson

Short Bio

Jamie is a visionary who is passionate about building bridges between First Nations and business communities, as a pathway to a strong and prosperous economic future for all.

Extended Bio

With a background as a Deputy Minister, educator, an elite military Ranger and as Manitoba’s Treaty Commissioner, Jamie is uniquely positioned to work with innovative organizations looking to tap into Canada’s hidden potential.   Jamie’s greatest leadership strengths are as a facilitator and relationship builder where his calm and thoughtful demeanor enables him to navigate complex situations and often highly charged situations, to positive and successful outcomes.


For those that require assistance with registration, please call Sheri Domenico at 204 257 5205.


Planners Plus Inc.
c/o UCN – Linkages Conference
Suite 106, 475 Provencher Blvd.
Winnipeg, MB • R2J 4A7

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