Summit on Aboriginal Economic Development

Summit on Aboriginal Economic Development

Developing Aboriginal Economies

May 1, 2008
9:00am – 5:00pm

University of Toronto Faculty of Law
Bennett Lecture Hall, 78 Queen's Park

On May 1, 2008, the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, in partnership with the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, hosted a summit entitled “Developing Aboriginal Economies.”  The summit was a one-day symposium featuring two roundtables with a diverse group of panelists.  The goal of this summit was to provide a forum for new ideas and new approaches to economic development in Aboriginal communities.

Canada’s Aboriginal communities are extremely diverse, and so too is the range of economic challenges facing these communities.  The Faculty of Law recognizes that meeting the challenge of developing Aboriginal economies will require complex and multifaceted solutions.  Thus, the intention of this summit was not simply to generate ideas, but to bring together the parties needed to forge unique and useful coalitions.  With this in mind, our panelists included not only members of the bar and the Academy but also elected officials such as Ontario's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, business persons, and Aboriginal people in their capacities as leaders, bankers, and heads of corporations.

Registrants were able to attend the conference without charge, but also had the option to purchase tickets to support this event.


9:00-10:00 am
Opening Remarks

  • Prayer: Joanne Dallaire, elder
  • Welcome: Dean Mayo Moran
  • Key Note Address: Rupert Ross, author and Crown Attorney

Round Table 1 -- Moderator: Professor Shin Imai

Lands and Resources: Control, Access, Consultation and Accommodation

The speakers at this round table explored the constitutional, regulatory, statutory, and jurisdictional
issues that affect Aboriginal economies and their development.


  • Jason Madden, counsel, Métis Nation of Ontario
  • Former Chief Mike Carpenter, Attawapiskat First Nation
  • Professor John Borrows, University of Victoria
  • John A. Olthuis, partner at Olthuis, Kleer Townshend
  • Professor Michael Trebilcock, University of Toronto
  • Professor John Richards, Simon Fraser University, and the CD Howe Institute
  • Darwin Hanna, Counsel to many BC First Nations, Adjunct Professor, UBC
  • Kimberly Thomas, Lawyer

Lunch Time Greetings and Welcome

  • The Hon. Michael Bryant, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Province of Ontario

Lunch and Student Presentations
1:00-2:00 pm

Student Presenters

  • Judith Rae
  • Austin Acton
  • Darcy Belisle

Round Table 2 – Moderator: Professor Darlene Johnston

Overcoming the Legacy: Developing Aboriginal Economies

The speakers at this roundtable examined strategies for transforming Aboriginal economies and


  • Herb George, National Centre for First Nations Governance
  • Douglas Sanderson, Visiting Scholar, University of Toronto
  • Professor Stephen Cornell, co-director of The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic
    Development, and Director of the Udall Centre for Studies in Public Policy and Professor of
    Sociology and of Public Administration and Policy at The University of Arizona
  • Sylvia Maracle, Executive Director, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres
  • Clint Davis, President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
  • Manny Jules, Chairman, First Nations Tax Commission
  • Professor Marianna Prado, University of Toronto
  • Rochelle Côté, University of Toronto, Department of Sociology

5:00 pm
Closing Remarks

  • Speaker: the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin