Northern Manitoba and the World

October 20 & 21, 2022
Kikiwak Inn, The Pas, Manitoba

Presented by:
University College of the North, Manitoba Chamber of Commerce and Look North


Linkages: Northern Manitoba and the World Conference is focused on initiating creative, critical thinking and collaborative conversations about northern economic development and the future. Today we are faced with an economy challenged by geopolitical disruption, a global pandemic and international turmoil. How does this impact Northern Manitoba? What is required of our governments, workforce, and communities to emerge?

Linkages: Northern Manitoba and the World Conference will begin to foster these conversations to create new paradigms, new goals and opportunities for northern people.

Objectives and Outcomes

Assess the current northern economic situation

Describe the effects geopolitics has on Northern Manitoba

Understand the importance of reconciliation for the economy

Identify strategies for growth and regional prosperity




11:30AM – 1:00PM

Registration, Networking & Lunch

1:00PM – 1:45PM

Opening Conference
Drum Song:
North Buffalo
Opening Prayer:
Elder Mabel Bignell
Kevin Carlson, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
Judy Mayer, Manitoba Metis Federation
Province of Manitoba
Mayor Herb Jacques, The Pas
Jennifer Moose, University College of the North

1:45PM – 3:00PM

CEO Panel
Chuck Davidson, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce
Ann Evans, Canadian Kraft Paper
Cal Huntley, Northern Mining
Joelle Foster, North Forge
Michael Woelcke, Arctic Gateway

3:00PM – 3:45PM

Networking Break

3:45PM – 4:15PM

Prairies Canada Priorities & Plan
Gerry Marques, Prairies Canada

4:15PM – 4:45PM

Naawi-Oodena Master Plan, Capion Development
Whelan Sutherland, CEO, Treaty 1 – Virtual
Click here to watch

4:45PM – 5:00PM

Daily Closing
Closing Prayer:
Elder Martha Jonasson

5:30PM – 10:00PM

Networking Reception & Dinner
University College of the North Campus
Elder Martha Spence


Keynote Address
Dr. Chitra Anand, Intraperneurship Tech Advisor


8:00AM – 8:45AM

Breakfast & Registration

8:45AM – 9:00AM

Daily Opening
Drum Song:
North Buffalo

Opening Prayer:
Elder Mabel Bignell

Emcee Recap and Opening

9:00AM – 10:15AM

Keynote: Geopolitical, Global Economic Systems
Peter Ziehan (Livestreamed)
Click here to watch

10:15AM – 10:45AM

Health Break

10:45AM – 11:30AM

 Indigenous Ownership: A New Economic Era
Matthew Belliveau, The Conference Board of Canada

Click here to download presentation

11:30AM – 12:00PM

The inTERN Project

12:00PM – 12:30PM

The Art of Possible
Don (Shorty) Glenn, North Forge

12:30PM – 12:45PM

Conference Closing
Closing Prayer:
Elder Freda Albert


Networking & Lunch
Seated and To-Go Lunch Options


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Peter Zeihan - Geopolitical Strategist & Critically-Acclaimed Author

Peter Zeihan is a geopolitical strategist, which is a fancy way of saying he helps people understand how the world works. Peter combines an expert understanding of demography, economics, energy, politics, technology, and security to help clients best prepare for an uncertain future.

Over the course of his career, Peter has worked for the US State Department in Australia, the DC think tank community, and helped develop the analytical models for Stratfor, one of the world’s premier private intelligence companies. Peter founded his own firm — Zeihan on Geopolitics — in 2012 in order to provide a select group of clients with direct, custom analytical products. Today those clients represent a vast array of sectors including energy majors, financial institutions, business associations, agricultural interests, universities and the U.S. military.

With a keen eye toward what will drive tomorrow’s headlines, his irreverent approach transforms topics that are normally dense and heavy into accessible, relevant takeaways for audiences of all types.

Peter is a critically-acclaimed author whose first two books — The Accidental Superpower and The Absent Superpower — have been recommended by Mitt Romney, Fareed Zakaria and Ian Bremmer. His latest third title, Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World became available in March 2020.

Peter’s fourth book, The End of the World is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization, becomes available in June 2022.

Joelle Foster - Chief Executive Officer at North Forge Technology Exchange

Joelle has spent two decades working with entrepreneurs.  Joelle is a co-founder and the CEO of North Forge Technology Exchange, a technology incubator accelerator that also runs the largest fabrication lab in North America. Joelle recently became a co-founder and general partner for the Women’s Equity Lab (WEL) Manitoba; she is creating and managing a fund to increase the number of women angel investors in Manitoba.

During COVID, she developed a complete four-stage digital ‘Founders Program, which led to a 294% increase in the number of technology-enabled and advanced manufacturing companies they are working with. She created an Angel Network in 2021 and is in the process of creating the Women in Innovation Lab called WiLab™.

Before this, Joelle was in Calgary, where she spent two years as the inaugural Executive Director for the University of Calgary’s Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking.  She spent eight years as a Director for Futurpreneur Canada, overseeing Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavut, and NWT.  Under her leadership, in Manitoba alone, 325 businesses opened their doors.  Some of her prominent national startups were Skip the Dishes, Callia Flowers and Go Oil.

Joelle sits on the National Board for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization. She is a Board Director for the Black Manitoba Chamber of Commerce, is the co-chair of the Business Administration Advisory Board for RRC Polytech and the co-chair for the University of Manitoba Education, Entrepreneur and Student Experience Committee.  Other committee work includes the Inuit Business Development Hub, the Lab2Market Steering Committee, and the RRC Polytech ACE Entrepreneur-In-Residence Advisory Committee.

She is also a proud member of the Associates, the C100, the Canada Tech Network and the Canadian Incubator Accelerator Network.

Dr. Chitra Anand - Intrapreneurship Tech Advisor to High-Growth Companies, Former Head of Communications for Microsoft Canada

Dr. Chitra Anand is at the forefront of an important new movement in the workplace: intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurs are the people within your organization who possess an entrepreneurial spirit — driving innovation, creative thinking, and new ideas. Her engaging talks reveal how to foster that spirit, and how to stay on the cutting edge of market trends, technology, and consumer behaviour.

In 2022 Chitra Anand was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Top 50 ‘Changemakers’ – an annual list of emerging leaders changing business today. Dr. Anand is an award-winning communications & marketing executive passionate about innovation and intrapreneurship. With over 20 years in the technology industry her roles have included head of Communications for Microsoft Canada, Director of Marketing at TELUS Corporation and Director of Operations at Open Text.

Dr. Chitra Anand is Managing Director, Clariti Strategic Advisors, where she focuses on advisory mandates in the Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) and Social Impact arenas, with particular emphasis on the Technology and Healthcare verticals.
In 2020, she was named by the Forbes School of Business & Technology (FSBT) a member of their new Masters of Business Administration (MBA) advisory committee and her book The Greenhouse Approach, How to Cultivate Deliberate Innovation in Organizations became a required read for students in the Forbes School of Business & Technology’s MBA program.

She was involved in the launch as a founding member of Maverix Private Equity, a growth private equity firm dedicated to transforming industries focused on tech-enabled disruption. She helped shape the brand and marketing strategy through overseeing all digital marketing, branding, research, insights and thought leadership functions. She is pioneering a community of disruptors, focused on building a dynamic partnership of entrepreneurs to create transformative and sustaining impact.

She is currently a Professor at Centennial College in the Communications and Media Program focusing on marketing, communications and public relations with The Story Arts Centre. Her writing has been continuously featured in the Globe and Mail, the Huffington Post.

Dr. Anand has been named as a “bridge builder” for women in tech by the A-list; a yearly publication that features 50 prominent Indo-Canadians who through various career and community efforts have helped foster relations between Canada and India.

She has an MBA from The Kellogg School of Management and earned her PhD at Bradford University in the UK and her Associates Degree in Organizational Leadership at Harvard.

Michael Woelcke - Consultant

Michael Woelcke serves as a consultant to VIA Rail in matters involving Indigenous Relations and Asset Management/Real Estate. In this role, he has chaired and supported various meetings with Indigenous communities in northern Manitoba and developed an Indigenous Relations Policy for VIA Rail’s Board of Directors.

Before his retirement in 2020, he most recently served as VIA Rail’s General Manager of Regional Services where he was responsible the operations, community relations and customer satisfaction results of VIA’s remote train services across Canada. 

Michael is an active volunteer, serving in a number of different roles such as a Member of the Province of Manitoba Medical Review Committee, Board Chair of Concordia Hospital, Chair of First Mennonite Church Worship Committee, Chair of Concordia Hospital Foundation, President of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Manitoba, Chair of National Go Green Task Force BOMA Canada and Chair of First Mennonite Church Council.

Whelan Sutherland - CEO, Manager & Entrepreneur

“I look forward to working with our communities, our leaders, and our partners towards a brighter future for our Nation.”

Whelan is a proud member of Peguis First Nation who has played a lead role in a wide variety of Indigenous business ventures over the past 15 years, as a CEO, manager, and entrepreneur.

Since leaving the Chief Peguis Investment Corporation in 2012, he’s been involved in the business end of Treaty One organization and management. He is a graduate of the Asper School of Business in Winnipeg.

Matthew Belliveau - Senior Research Associate at Conference Board of Canada

Matthew Belliveau joined the Conference Board of Canada in August 2021 as a Senior Research Associate in the Indigenous and Northern Communities knowledge area. Prior to joining the Conference Board, Matthew held the role of Executive Director for both Habitat for Humanity Northwest Territories and the Northwest Territories & Nunavut Construction Association.

He has also worked as a policy researcher with the Northwest Territories Business Development & Investment Corporation, and as a lawyer in private practice in Alberta, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories. Matthew holds a Juris Doctor from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology from Acadia University.

Ann Evans - President of Canadian Kraft Paper Industries (CKP)

Ann Evans is President of Canadian Kraft Paper Industries (CKP) appointed on April 1, 2022. She previously served as CKP’s Chief Financial Officer.

Ann holds a master’s in business administration from Royal Roads University where she was awarded the Founder’s Award for leadership, earned her Chartered Professional Accounting designation (CPA/CMA) through Simon Fraser University and is a certified Lean Level II Greenbelt. Ann is a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and serves as pension trustee for CKP pension plans. She also serves as a board delegate for the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and is a member of its audit committee.

Her career spans more than 30 years exclusively in manufacturing with varied experience in business leadership, corporate strategy and financial management. Before joining CKP in September 2017 as CFO, Ann’s career roles have included: VP Finance, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Finance and Administration and General Manager with responsibility for finance, accounting, human resources, production, supply chain and engineering.

Gerry Marques - Director of Community Economic Development for Prairies Economic Development Canada

Gerry Marques is the Director of Community Economic Development for Prairies Economic Development Canada, Manitoba Region.  Mr. Marques has played a number of roles over the last 22 years with the Government of Canada, including program and project management, communications, strategic planning, among other roles.  As a strong advocate for community economic development, Mr. Marques spent a number of years as the manager responsible for the Community Futures Network at Western Economic Diversification, and most recently was the manager responsible for the department’s innovation and community economic development programming.  Mr. Marques is married with two teenaged daughters.  In his spare time, Mr. Marques enjoys playing sports including soccer, golf and tennis.

Cal Huntley - Northern Mining

Representing Northern Mining, Cal Huntley is professionally committed to business excellence in the Mining Industry with 44 years of experience. He is committed to community through a multitude of venues from municipal government to provincial governance to economic development initiatives.


1717 Gordon Ave
The Pas Manitoba, R9A 1K3
Phone: 1-204-623- 1888

Reserve your room before Sept. 18/22. 
Block Code: KFEM22

Highway 10
The Pas Manitoba, R9A 1K8

Reserve your room before Sept. 18/22.
Block Code: UCN Meeting



For more information on registration, please contact Kelly Forgala at [email protected].


Kelly Forgala
Kelly Forgala Events
[email protected]
204 391 4419


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