Associates

Carol Anne Hilton, MBA, CEO

Carol Anne is a recognized leading First Nation’s business entrepreneur with an international Masters Degree in Business Management (MBA) from the University of Hertfordshire, England. Carol Anne is from the Nuu chah nulth Nation on Vancouver Island.

Carol Anne was recently appointed as a senior advisor to the Federal Finance Minister on the Canadian Economic Growth Council. Carol Anne currently serves on the Canadian Community Economic Development Network Board and has recently been appointed to the McGill University Institute of Canadian Studies. Carol Anne has served as Director on the Vancouver Island Investment Fund, the World Fisheries Trust, the Victoria Community Micro Lending Society, Community Social Planning Council, the First Nations Health Authority and served for 9 years on Council of Hesquiaht First Nation.

Carol Anne works to incorporate an Aboriginal worldview while bringing First Nations, industry and government together to design new approaches for sustainable, inclusive development. Carol Anne brings project management experience across industries in resource management, governance, and regional development.

Carol Anne is currently authoring ‘Indigenomics – a Global Power Shift’ and has been an instructor at Camosun Business School Leadership Program as well as at Simon Fraser University’s Community Economic Development Program, the University of Winnipeg’s Masters in Community Planning Program and most recently with the Banff Center’s Indigenous Business Program where she is also currently a Fleck Fellow.

Lawrence Alexander, Strategic Adviser

Lawrence Alexander is a Victoria lawyer who has been practising and thinking about environmental law reform for 24 years.  For close to ten years he advised deputy ministers to the Premier in the BC Government — on both sides of the political spectrum.  He has worked for the national law firm Heenan Blaikie and the environmental advocate West Coast Environmental Law.   He has led law and policy reform projects on several topics including climate action, green cities, water, alternative energy and power technology, de facto expropriation, sustainable food, oil and gas, environmental auditing, green economics, ecological tax shifting, drinking water, fish protection, tailpipe emissions, and environmental assessment.  He advises highly ambitious groups who are using innovation and technology to tackle stubborn public policy problems.  Current projects include defining and modelling new approaches to the regulation of natural resources, access to justice, youth mental health, finance and investment, and the discovery of treatments for unsolved diseases.

Mark Anielski, Project Manager

(B.A., BScF, MScFE) is an economic strategist specializing in measuring well-being and happiness of nations, communities and businesses. He holds two bachelor degrees in Economics and Forest Science and a Masters of Science   in Forest Economics from the University of Alberta.

He is currently developing Well-being Impact analytic tools to support social impact value investment, workplace and community well-being assessments, community asset development strategies, and a new corporate model Mark calls the Well-being Corp. 

He is the author of the best-selling book The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth, which was released in China in 2010.   He  has developed the Genuine Wealth model, as a tool or governments and business to measure trust, relational capital and the well-being. Using conventional accounting and economic analysis tools with a well-being impact lens, Mark helps organizations measure the well-being returns on investment of what he calls the five-capital-assets of a business, community or nation.

Mark served 14 years as a senior economist and policy analyst with the Alberta Government.  For over 25 years, Mark has served as an economic strategist and advisor to governments, business, non-profits, and financial institutions in Canada, the US, the Netherlands, Austria, China, Bhutan and French Polynesia. His intuitive analytic skills combines the best of economics, accounting and forest ecology into a new form of economic analysis that focuses on well-being impacts and well-being value investment. For 25 years he has dedicated his time in service to building a new economy based on well-being. Mark was a founding professor of corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship for graduate (MBA) students at the University of Alberta’s School of Business.

Robert Beamish, Adviser

As an innovator and facilitator of economic development, Robert is passionate about globalization and building relationships that transcend national borders. As a man of mixed heritage Robert understands the profound impact culture and identity have on business, life, and family. His father is an Ontario Metis, and his mother hails from the Arawak, one of the Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean.

Robert’s background in finance and trade have allowed him to work on what he is most passionate about, developing people and businesses through sound financial knowledge. His academic background in Economics, Business and International Trade provided him the opportunity to jetset to Hong Kong where he used the tools of finance to connect Asian and Canadian businesses. Now, as a co-Director at Anokasan, Robert works to bridge the gap between East Asian markets and Indigenous businesses and communities. Ultimately, his passion is bringing Canadian Indigenous business to the international arena. Robert’s company website can be found at www.anokasan.com

Jacqueline Quinless, Adviser

Jacqueline specializes in environmental issues, community-based research, health and wellness, and gender-based analysis. Quinless is an award winning sociologist recognized by the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) and the Angus Reid Foundation for her community based research that has advanced human welfare in Canada. She was the recipient of a prestigious CLIR post doctoral fellowship through Washington DC and Digital Scholarship and Strategy at the University of Victoria with a focus on research data management (RDM) and digital sovereignty.

She founded Quintessential Research Group which is a community-based social research consulting practice, and was a presidents scholar recipient at the University of Victoria along with a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) holder for her doctoral research on urban Indigenous health and wellness in Canada. She has authored several peer reviewed articles and numerous research reports for all levels of government, Indigenous communities and non-profit organizations.

Dr. Dara Kelly, Adviser

Dara has achieved a PhD in Management as well as a Master of Commerce in Management from The
University of Auckland Business School, Aotearoa-New Zealand. Dara also completed a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies from the University of British Columbia. Dara Kelly is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.

Dara’s doctoral research entitled, “Feed the people and you will never go hungry”: Illuminating Coast Salish economy of affection” explores Coast Salish philosophy of freedom, unfreedom, wealth and reciprocity and how that shapes Coast Salish philosophy of economy. Economic unfreedom emerged with introduction of the Potlatch Ban across Canada, and its residual impacts are prevalent today reflected in an aspect of the research findings that honour Xá:m! Crying, weeping—the affective expression of grieving that shapes how the Coast Salish wisdom keepers in this research talk about gatherings. Economic freedom from within Coast Salish worldview is inherently spiritual by virtue of the interrelated nature of exchange between Xá:ls, the Creator, Sólh Téméxw, the river environment, and Xwélmexw, the river people. She conducted this research using research methodology emerging from Coast Salish philosophy, protocols and worldview.

Brenda Ireland, M.A. (Anishinaabe/Métis) Associate

Brenda is Principle of First Light Initiatives – an Indigenous firm providing reconciliation, social and economic development strategic advice and planning as well as community/industry engagement leadership and cultural competency training. First Light works with companies and organizations to develop reconciliation strategies and action plans based on cultural competency evaluation and gap analyses processes designed to increase Indigenous participation and inclusion in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors.

For over 20 years, based on the premise that ‘history matters’, First Light has incorporated Indigenous methodologies and transformational learning approaches in its intercultural training workshops. Having prepared a wide range of reports on Indigenous issues in the social science, education and economic development fields, First Light also provides comprehensive research, policy development and report writing services.

Brenda established the First Nations Programs and Services department at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and has completed research projects on Indigenous education for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the Canadian Council on Learning.

Brenda is currently the Advisor, Indigenous Training and Employment for BC’s Workforce Development Working Group. In addition to working with the province, she is completing a research project with the Tahltan Central Government establishing foundational processes for reconciliation. Brenda and her associate, Dr. Paulette Regan, are currently engaged in a reconciliation strategic development initiative with the BC Building Trades Council. Brenda is Anishinaabe/Métis from Manitoba and holds a Masters’ degree in History (1994) from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Paulette Regan, Associate

Paulette – a Senior Associate of First Light Initiatives – is a scholar/practitioner who brings a decolonizing perspective and applied experience to the theory, ethics, practice, and process design of reconciliation in intercultural contexts. From 2007 to 2015, she worked for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and was the senior researcher and lead writer for the Reconciliation Volume of the TRC Final Report. Post-TRC, she has provided expertise and practical advice to various public commissions, inquiries and research centres in Canada and abroad.

Paulette speaks frequently about the TRC’s work at academic conferences and has forthcoming publications on the critical importance of implementing the Commission’s Calls to Action in ways that support Indigenous self-determination and non-Indigenous decolonization, responsibility and accountability.

As an associate, Paulette works with First Light Initiatives to design and deliver intercultural workshops which examine how the unresolved conflicts of Canada’s colonial history continue to impact relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples today. Workshop participants then explore strategies to promote reconciliation in their own lives, workplaces and communities.

Paulette is the author of Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling and Reconciliation in Canada (UBC Press, 2010). The book was short-listed for the 2012 Canada Prize by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and is widely used by educators across the country. She holds a PhD in Indigenous Governance (2006) from the University of Victoria.

Amy Robichaud

Amy owns a specialized Advancement Practice that uses a diversity and inclusion lens to guide organizations with their fund development strategy and operations, and communications including persuasion campaign planning and management. With a decade of experience she helps non-profit organizations advance their ideas, revenue and diversity goals through policy and practice.

In addition to her advancement practice: She is currently working on a start up, developing a proprietary auditing framework to apply a maturity model to the hard and soft policies that govern inclusive behaviour within organizations.

Amy is the former Director of Partnership & Engagement for Minerva BC, the cofounder of FundHer.ca – a cross-partisan fundraising solution for women political candidates in the 2011 Ontario provincial election, and the 2009 winner of the CBC’s Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister.  She’s a regular political contributor to the CBC, and has also appeared on, CPAC, and german broadcaster ZDF and spoken to groups such as the Canada School of Public Service and Elections Canada  about women in politics, implicit bias, and civic engagement.

Amy and her husband have lived all over Canada but happily call Vancouver home. Her passion for practical ways to harness the diversity dividend, create economic inclusion, opportunity and prosperity for all inform everything she does.

Sage Berryman

Sage Berryman is the founder of the Prosperity Pollinator movement to help bring sustainable impact based companies into the areas that need them the most.

Sage’s executive experience has been directed towards leading companies up to and through large game changing corporate transactions (having lead multiple transactions of a total value around $4 billion). Sage serves on a number of boards, including Coast Opportunity Funds, Vancouver Island Technology Association (previously), Canadian Women in Technology and multiple corporate boards, and is an active mentor and advisor for numerous entrepreneurs and their businesses. Sage has also been recognized for her successes building prosperity through business with a number of awards including winning BC’s Top 40 under 40, BC’s Top Influential Women in Business Award, finalist for the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliances Peter Brojde Award for Canada’s next generation executive leadership and recognized by the Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Association for the Innovative Excellence Award for business process.

Authentic success to Sage is the identification of the right opportunities teamed with the right people to build sustainable companies supporting growth-based economies.