Virtual Speaker Series

Our Virtual Speaker Series features expert presenters to discuss topics relevant to Indigenous economic participation through equity share partnerships. 

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Virtual Speaker Series – Unprecedented: How the Largest Indigenous Energy Partnership in North America was Formed (online)

Thursday, November 10, 2022, 1:00 – 2:30 P.M. MST

This installment of the series will highlight the recently announced equity share partnership between 23 Indigenous Communities, which collectively make up Athabasca Indigenous Investment (Aii), and Enbridge.  

Register here.

Speaker Bio – Sam Munckhof-Swain

Sam Munckhof-Swain was raised in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and moved to Canada in 2008. He’s worked in the energy industry his whole career, focusing on collaborating with Indigenous communities, stakeholders and various levels of government on large infrastructure projects. 

Sam’s passion for creating economic partnerships with Indigenous communities began with his engagement work on the Northern Gateway Project for Enbridge in 2013. Sam saw first-hand how transformative an ownership stake in major infrastructure projects like this could be for Indigenous peoples and quickly came to believe it was not only the right to do thing from a reconciliation perspective but also is the path forward to deliver important energy to North America and across the world.  

Sam has spent the last four years leading the Community & Indigenous Engagement team for Enbridge across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Most recently, he’s played an important role in stewarding two important Indigenous economic partnerships for Enbridge in Alberta – 

the Open Access Wabamun Carbon Hub with five Indigenous Nations west of Edmonton and an investment in seven Enbridge pipelines by 23 Nations across Treaty 8 and 6.  

With these partnerships proceeding, Sam has just accepted a newly created position to work on Indigenous economic partnerships full time for the Liquids Pipeline business at Enbridge. He’s excited to commence this work, with the goal of helping to deliver many more innovative Indigenous partnerships across North America. 

In addition to his “day job” at Enbridge, Sam builds on his passion for community service and consensus building as a second-term City Councillor representing the people of Beaumont, Alberta. 

Speaker Bio – Justin Bourque

Justin Bourque is the elected Vice President and CEO of Willow Lake Métis Nation (WLMN). As the third-generation owner of his family’s trapline in Anzac, he continues to exercise his harvesting rights on the land while passing on his knowledge to his community and kin. Justin takes great pride in both his home and his Métis upbringing, which instilled in him a deep connection to the land, environmental stewardship, cultural integrity, and respect for the governance his ancestors promoted. He has a true passion for all Indigenous people and communities and continually strives to build capacity, develop partnerships, and maintain cultural connections. 

Justin has a multi-faceted history in Alberta’s energy industry – from apprentice through to CEO. His journey began at the age of sixteen in the oil sands resource sector through the Registered Apprentice Program. Throughout his distinguished career, Justin has worked at several high-profile companies including Syncrude Canada Ltd., CNOOC (formerly Nexen Inc.), and CEDA. In 2019, he became General Manager of Operations for Willow Lake Métis Group (WLMG), a separate entity owned by WLMN with a mandate to create and explore partnerships and business ventures supporting the WLMN, and in 2020 he became WLMG’s President. 

Since his election to WLMN in January 2019, Justin and his leadership team have taken great strides to create a Nation that is accountable to its citizens, driven for community prosperity while being culturally grounded, motivated to bring new community-based services, and determined to protect and enhance the rights of the WLMN peoples. As part of that commitment, the Nation recently made a historic 205-acre land purchase to give its citizens a permanent home.  

This past September Justin announced his role as President of Athabasca Indigenous Investments; an organization comprised of 23 First Nation and Métis communities that have partnered with Enbridge to invest in seven pipelines that make up the Trunkline Asset. Athabasca Indigenous Investments is a historic, landmark partnership. The purchased seven pipelines move critical energy resources from their traditional lands to global markets. The investment provides the Indigenous peoples who are most impacted by these assets a direct stake in and accountability for their stewardship and positions the 23 communities for long term success by providing a significant economic impact now and for generations. 

At the centre of this success is Justin’s passion for ESG. He plans to continue to advocate and create a framework for measurement to ensure industry, community, and stakeholders are engaged, accountable, and driven to collectively work towards a sustainable future for the oilsands.  

In recognition of his leadership, Justin was named one of Canada’s Top 20 Dynamic CEOs, one of the 10 Most Innovative Business Leaders to Follow in 2022, and has received Junior Achievements’ 2022 Innovator Award.