Masters of Ceremony

Janice Maloney (Executive Director, Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative)

Janice Maloney joined KMKNO as the Executive Director.  Originally from Indian Brook First Nation, Janice grew up in Montreal, Quebec, and graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Janice returned to Nova Scotia to attend law school at Dalhousie University, graduating in 1994.  Janice has worked for the Nova Scotia Legal Aid, in private practice Melnick Doll Condran, the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association and the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq where she helped develop the Mi’kmaq Legal Support Network and Mi’kmaq Wills Kits.  Janice is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and currently sits on the society's Race Relations Committee (2004 – present).  Janice lives in Millbrook with her husband and three sons, Waylon, Jaxon and Luc.

Julie Towers (Chief Executive Officer, NS Office of Aboriginal Affairs)

Julie graduated from University of Toronto and University of New Brunswick with Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Biology.  She has trained and worked as a wildlife biologist in the field of population ecology, wildlife habitat, and the interactions of forestry operations and wildlife.  She has also worked for New Brunswick Fish and Wildlife Branch, the Canadian Institute of Forestry, and ran a biological consulting business in British Columbia. She has held positions as Senior Policy Advisor, Manager of Environmental Assessment and Director of Wildlife with Province of Nova Scotia. Julie currently serves as the CEO with the Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Chief Sidney Peters, Co-Chair of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs

Chief Sidney Peters is the fourth Chief from the Peters family.   Elected in early 2012, Chief Peters is proud to carry on the family tradition and represent Glooscap First Nation. Chief Peters has dedicated his entire career to the betterment of First Nations people working in the fields of social, housing and natural resources with various First Nation organizations and government. Chief Peters brings over 25 years of financial, planning and program management experience to his community.  As Chief, his goal is to work together with his Council and community members to foster a community spirit where all members (on and off reserve) are heard, respected and proud to be members of Glooscap First Nation.  Chief Peters also looks forward to working together with Assembly of Mi’kmaq Chiefs for the betterment of all First Nations in Nova Scotia.  The son of the late Joseph and Doris Peters, Chief Peters grew up in Middleton.  After graduating from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro he settled in Masstown where is continues to reside with his wife Darlene and their two children.

Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

Premier Stephen McNeil attributes his core values and strong commitment to public service to his large, close-knit family. He is the 12th of 17 siblings who were born and raised in Nova Scotia’s beautiful Annapolis Valley. Before becoming involved in politics, Premier McNeil graduated from Nova Scotia Community College and put down roots in Bridgetown, where he owned and operated a small business for 18 years. He was inspired to serve his community by his late mother, Theresa, who was the first female sheriff in Canada. Premier McNeil was elected to the Legislative Assembly to serve the people of Annapolis in 2003. After winning re-election in 2006, he became leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party in 2007. He served as leader of the Official Opposition for four years before being elected Premier on Oct. 8, 2013. In his election night speech, Stephen said he was inspired by the families he met while campaigning across the province. “You have told me about your hopes and dreams for a Nova Scotia where your children and grandchildren can prosper. I share that dream,” he said. Premier McNeil lives in the Annapolis Valley with his wife Andrea. They have two grown children, Colleen and Jeffrey. - See more at:

Duty to Consult: Context and Update

Justin Huston, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs 

Justin Huston is the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs and previously served as its Director of Consultation.  Prior to his positions at Aboriginal Affairs, Justin spent ten years with Nova Scotia Fisheries & Aquaculture, leading the inter‐departmental Provincial Oceans Network and its work to develop a provincial coastal management strategy. Originally from Maine, Justin moved to Nova Scotia in 2000 to earn a Master’s degree in Marine Management at Dalhousie University in 2000.  Justin also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Bruno Steinke, Director Consultation and Accommodation, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Bruno Steinke is the Director of the Consultation and Accommodation Unit, in the Treaty and Aboriginal Government Sector at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. This Unit is responsible for leading the Government of Canada’s work on consultation and accommodation which includes: leading the development of policy on consultation and accommodation; developing partnerships with provinces, territories and Aboriginal communities; implementing tools for federal officials on consultation and accommodation and working with federal departments and agencies. Prior to his current position, Bruno worked in the Aboriginal social policy and justice programs areas for the federal government. 

Provincial Environmental Assessments and Consultation

Peter Geddes, Director of Policy and Planning, Nova Scotia Department of Environment

Peter Geddes is the Director of Policy and Planning at Nova Scotia Environment where his responsibilities include managing the department’s regulation development process and operational planning, as well as oversight of the provincial environmental assessment review process.  Peter has spent 13 years at the Department of Environment in both policy and regulatory positions, with several years as an Environmental Assessment Review Officer responsible for major mining and industrial projects.  Prior to joining government, Peter worked in environmental education in the areas of energy efficiency and solid waste management. 

Federal Environmental Assessments and Consultation

Betty Cougle, Senior Advisor, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Betty holds an undergraduate degree from Dalhousie University and a Master of Science in Planning and Development from the University of Guelph.  She has worked for both the Province of New Brunswick and the Province of Nova Scotia and is currently a Senior Advisor on Aboriginal Affairs with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.  Since joining the Agency in 2010, Betty has held the consultation file for several major projects in the Atlantic Region including the Labrador-Island Transmission Link, the Donkin coal mine and the Kami Iron Ore Mine. Betty is a mother to two little girls, Clara and Ellie.

Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia Perspective Revised Mi’kmaq Ecological Knowledge Study Protocols

Twila Gaudet, Consultation Liaison, Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative

Twila Gaudet, a member of Glooscap First Nation, is the Consultation Liaison Officer for Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office. Twila completed a Bachelor of Law degree from Dalhousie University in 2000 and practiced at a small firm before joining KMKNO. As the Consultation Liaison Offer, Twila coordinates the Mi’kmaq to Crown consultation on behalf of the 13 Mi’kmaq communities in Nova Scotia. Having joined KMKNO during the initial stages of the Terms of Reference for a Mi’kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Consultation Process, Twila has been involved with this milestone document from trial run through to ratification in 2010.  Twila brings a wealth of knowledge on the consultation process with the Crown and how proponents can meaningfully engage with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.

Mi’kmaq Perspective on the Willams Decision (Tsilhqot’in Nation vs. British Columbia)

Naiomi Metallic, Burchells LLP

Naiomi W. Metallic is an associate lawyer at Burchells LLP in Halifax.  Originally from the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation on the Gaspé Coast of Québec, she is an alumna of Dalhousie Law School, and the University of Ottawa’s Civil Law program and is currently obtaining an LL.M. from Osgoode Hall at York University with a focus on administrative and constitutional law.  She was the first Mi’kmaq person to clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada.  She is a member of her firm’s Aboriginal and Litigation practice groups.  She also sits on the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Bar Council and Racial Equity Committee, the Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission and the Dalhousie Board of Governors.

Environmental Assessments and Aboriginal Consultation - Consultant’s Perspective

Ann Wilkie, Vice President, Environmental Services, CBCL Limited

Ann Wilkie is a graduate in sociology and geography from Edinburgh University, an environmental lawyer, professional land use planner and Vice President Environment at CBCL Limited. Ann has over 40 years of experience working with multi-disciplinary teams in Canada, Europe and Asia. She has managed and been the principal investigator for several of the largest environmental assessments undertaken in Eastern Canada and has conducted environmental assessments overseas including the socio-economic analysis of displacement programs. She has designed and executed the technical execution of the socio-economic assessment of many projects including that undertaken for low level flight training over Labrador and Quebec, an enormous geographical area that involved the harvesting practices of several First Nations peoples, the economies of fishing and mining communities and the dynamics of rapid change in the community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Other work has included the management of the assessment of the Sable Offshore Energy Project and the design and execution of the socio-economic assessment of that project and the Maritime & Northeast Pipeline Project, including the multi-year consultation program associated with the parallel execution of these related projects. Ann has given evidence on the socio-economic dimensions of the work undertaken in front of federal and provincial environmental assessment panels and the National Energy Board.

More recently Ann has executed the environmental assessments, including the socio-economic assessments, associated with several wind farms and the exploratory phase of the assessment undertaken for the Donkin Mine in Cape Breton. For the past six years she managed the evaluation and reporting of the local economic benefits accruing from the $400 million invested in the remediation of the Sydney Tar Ponds. This program involves both a qualitative and quantitative dimension and the quarterly and annual reports demonstrate clearly the incremental benefits that have accrued to various groups in Cape Breton including First Nations.

South Canoe Wind Project – Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia

Jennifer Pratt, Environmental Scientist, Nova Scotia Power

Jennifer Pratt is an Environmental Scientist for Nova Scotia Power and for the last two years has represented the South Canoe Wind Project as the leading Environmental Specialist.  Jennifer has been a resident of Halifax since 2008 when she moved from her hometown of Oromocto, New Brunswick to pursue a Master’s of Resource and Environmental Management at Dalhousie University. She has worked with Nova Scotia Power since 2010, where she has had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and initiatives including wind projects, transmission line siting and development, wetland compensation projects, and greenhouse gas emissions reporting. These initiatives have allowed her to gain experience in several areas including environmental assessment, environmental project management, environmental due diligence and environmental permitting and compliance monitoring.

Mary-Frances Lynch, Community Relations Manager, Minas Energy

Mary-Frances Lynch is the Community Relations Manager for Minas Energy and is currently leading community engagement efforts on the South Canoe and Ellershouse Wind Farms. She moved to Halifax from Ontario more than seven years ago to pursue a Masters of Environmental Studies and has been working with Minas since 2011. She has acquired an understanding of how to effectively engage communities on renewable energy projects. She has gained experience on a variety of projects such as research on Mi'kmaw cultural tourism, co-developing a First Nations renewable energy toolkit, environmental education initiatives, and community-based initiatives in developing countries.

Avalon Rare Metals – Perspective from a Mineral Development Company

Don Bubar, President

Don Bubar is a geologist with over 35 years experience in mineral exploration in Canada. Don is a graduate of McGill University (B.Sc., 1977) and Queen’s University (M.Sc., 1981). From 1984 to 1994, he worked for Aur Resources Inc. as Exploration Manager and later as Vice President, Exploration. Don has been President and CEO of Avalon Rare Metals Inc. since 1995. He served as a Director of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) for nine years and chaired its Aboriginal Affairs Committee from its creation in December, 2004, until retiring from the Association’s board in March 2013. He now serves on the Board and the Executive Committee of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines.