A Certified Management Accountant, Darrell Hasiuk is the Project Manager and Financial Analyst for First Nation Governments with Ulnooweg Development Group Inc. The location of the head office is Millbrook First Nation, Nova Scotia. Mr. Hasiuk has over 30 years experience in the financial services industry. This includes 10 years as a General Manager of a credit union where he gained broad experience in finance, accounting, and corporate governance. He has worked in both a chartered bank as well as several credit unions. From a corporate perspective Darrell has training in the project management department as well. This opportunity has allowed him to support the current activities at Ulnooweg Development Group.

For the last 3 years he has been working with Ulnooweg Development on a project to improve Atlantic First Nation Governments’ options for financing. This work has allowed Mr. Hasiuk to work closely with many of the Atlantic First Nation Governments and build a process for financial analysis and development of options for these communities with the desire to obtain long term government style financing options for the participating governments.

Mr. Hasiuk has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Mr. Hasiuk received his CMA designation in 2008, and he was granted his CAFM designation in 2010.


Atlantic First Nations Water Authority  

This session will explore the Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program (AAEDIRP). AAEDIRP is a unique partnership between member communities of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat (APCFNC), the Inuit of Labrador, fifteen Atlantic Canadian universities, and federal and provincial government funders. The main purpose of the AAEDIRP is to work with Aboriginal communities to improve the knowledge base concerning Atlantic Aboriginal economic development in order to improve the lives of Aboriginal peoples in the region. The research approaches community economic development from a broad, holistic perspective based on Aboriginal culture, languages and direction from Elders.



Ulnooweg Finacial Education Centre 

This session will explore the Ulnooweg Financial Education Centre. The Ulnooweg Financial Education Centre is a registered charity established to assist First Nations Chief and Councils to enhance their financial decision-making ability. It allows them to take full advantage of the unprecedented opportunity to increase their nation’s and their member’s participation in the Canadian economy, create jobs and put an end to the cycle of poverty.

Celeste Sulliman, 

Director, Treaty Education, 

Nova Scotia Office of

Aboriginal Affairs 

Darrell Hasiuk

Project Manager and Financial Analyst for First Nation Governments with Ulnooweg Development Group Inc.

Paqtnek Highway Development Project  

​Penny Polchies is a member of the Wolastyik Nation, and resides on the St. Mary’s Indigenous Community in Fredericton NB.

Penny has been working on Indigenous economic and labour market initiatives for the past 25 years. She brings with her many years of experience to her employer, the Joint Economic Development Initiative.  An Indigenous not for profit organization dedicated to serving 15 first Nations and the Indigenous communities off-reserve.  Penny has been employed with JEDI for the past 6 years as the Provincial Aboriginal Employment Coordinator.  Penny, advocates between Provincial and Indigenous governments to bring programs and services to frontline workers at the community level.  Penny sits on various working committee’s such as the New Brunswick Career Development Action Group, Indigenous Works and is the chair for the Aboriginal Employment Services Initiative.  She’s created a network of Employment and Training officers and have created certification training in partnership with a National organization called the Canadian Career Development Foundation.  Just recently, CCDF had certified N.B.’s largest Indigenous group in Canada. 

Penny continues to advocate and bring awareness to the systematic barriers facing Indigenous people and in support, JEDI had created a TRC Cultural Awareness Module as it relates to the mandate of the JEDI organization.    

Rose comes from the Mi'kmaw Nation . She is a member of the Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Na of Nova Scotia.  Rose has been the Economic Development Officer for  11 years and worked in advocacy for the improvement of the Nation on by developing partnerships, such as negotiating in major projects for the community and seeking funding to support capacity development for her Nation . Her major project is a multi million dollar Highway Twinning Project that will showcase Commercial Development , supporting business development And entrepreneurship and expansion of land base and resources.

Rose holds Masters in Business Administration with a Major in Community Economic Development.

Rose has always worked hard not only for her nation but also as a strong advocate, speaker at the regional and national level  when it comes to business arising that can maximize aboriginal economical benefits.

James MacKinnon,

Team Leader of the Housing & Infrastructure Department at Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat

Loni Vicaire, 

Junior Policy Analyst, Treaty Education, Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs

This session is about the work being led by the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs Secretariat to establish a First Nation Water Authority in Atlantic Canada, as part of its work on assisting its communities to provide clean, safe and reliable drinking water in innovative, cost-effective ways.

Geri Musqua-LeBlanc is a member of the Nakawe Nation (Keeseekoose First Nation), Saskatchewan and a member of the Bear Clan. Her traditional name is "Miskwe Ginew ikwe," meaning "Red Eagle Woman." She is a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Geri is retired from the public service where she received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in employment equity. She is also a residential school survivor.

Mary Oxner is an Associate Professor at the Schwartz School of Business having joined the School of Business in 2000 to develop and teach various courses in the accounting and finance disciplines. Mary’s research interests have included auditor expertise, corporate government in a Canadian context, instructional strategies in management accounting curricula, and financial literacy and labour force readiness in First Nations communities. Financial literacy has become a sustained focus in her current research program coincident with outreach into communities. Mary recently partnered with several colleagues in Universities across the Maritime Provinces along with the Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program (AAEDIRP) to explore labour force readiness.

Penny Polchies, 

Provincial Indigenous Employment Coordinator, Joint Economic Development Initiative 

Treaty Education in Nova Scotia

This session will explore the Paqtnkek Highway Development, and how it exemplifies reconciliation in action. 

Rose Julien

​​​​​Paqtnkek Director of Economic Development

Learning Sessions

This session will explore the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI). JEDI is an Indigenous not-for-profit organization dedicated to working with partners to foster Indigenous economic development in New Brunswick. Founded in 1995 as a tripartite partnership, JEDI provides its clients with a variety of Indigenous business and workforce development services.  JEDI serves Indigenous people across New Brunswick and works closely with partners in the public and private sector.

This session will educate conference attendees on Peace and Friendship Treaties in the Maritimes. On the East Coast, Peace and Friendship Treaties were signed with Mi'kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy First Nations prior to 1779. Treaties are solemn agreements that set out long-standing promises, mutual obligations and benefits for both parties.

Mary Oxner

​​​​​Associate Professor 


Geri Musqua-Leblanc

​​​​​Dalhousie's Elder in Residence

Joint Economic Development Initiative  

Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program  

​​​​Celeste joined the provincial government over 10 years ago after a career as a tenured professor of communication studies at Cape Breton University. Before coming to the Office of Aboriginal Affairs, she worked with Communications Nova Scotia as a communications director and as a managing director in a number of government departments; served as senior policy director on the First Nations gaming file at Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation; and before taking on her current role spent a year leading the dispute resolution team at the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. She has a passionate interest in diversity, inclusion and equity; regularly contributing to a number of provincial government networks and community organizations. As a livelong learner and educator, she sees being part of the province’s Treaty Education initiative as a highlight of her career - she firmly believes ‘We are all Treaty People.” Originally from Cape Breton, Celeste lives in Fall River with her husband and their two Labrador Retrievers who ensure she gets outside to enjoy nature every day.

​Loni started working the Office of Aboriginal Affairs in the summer 2015 after completing her undergraduate degree at Saint Mary’s University. She contributes to a variety of provincial government initiatives including the Mi’kmaq History month committee; L’nu Network; Treaty Education Implementation Committee; and this year was the province’s lead on Treaty Day events. She consistently demonstrates her commitment to the advancement of truth reconciliation in all aspects of her work on Treaty Education, especially in the development of a Mi’kmaw Speakers Bureau and training and education pieces for public servants. Loni lives in Bedford with her partner Jacob and their two children but will always call Listuguj First Nation home.

​James MacKinnon is the Team Leader of the Housing & Infrastructure Department at Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat (APC). James began working at APC as a Junior Policy Analyst in 2012 and has worked diligently to bring awareness to the housing and infrastructure challenges of Atlantic First Nations. Currently, James is working toward a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Dalhousie University, and holds Bachelor of Science (Chemistry & Sociology) from Dalhousie. Before working at APC, James spent time as an Assistant Chemical Safety Officer with Dalhousie University’s Environmental Health and Safety Office and as a Technical Officer in a Natural Products Chemistry Lab at the National Research Council of Canada.