Meet our new team member, James!


April, 2017

James Spencer is a scientist and hands-on entrepreneur and management professional with a background in land use and permitting on First Nations Territory. James has worked as an Environmental Coordinator on mine sites in the Yukon liaising with First Nations and currently works as a consultant on project coordination and management of lands and resource programs while also specializing in business development and venture opportunities in the resource industry. He has focused his energy on water quality, water conveyance and water treatment for the mining industry, and in fisheries resource management, governance and entrepreneurial start-up. James has a Professional Biologist designation from the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists and a Project Management Certificate from the University of Toronto. With 15 years of hands-on project management and coordination, James has experience in water treatment, drilling operations, power grids, earthworks, reclamation and water conveyance networks of $1M-$20M. James has worked on resource development as a limited partner in value-added wood products and currently consults on First Nations Economic Development particularly as it relates to capacity, readiness, and sustainability. Economic development can only progress alongside social and cultural change. In the age of rapid acceleration, we must adapt and innovate. To think out of the box you must get out of the box.

What does reconciliation mean to you?

I believe that impactful change happens at the community level. Where the legal minefield of policy and bureaucracy can be simmered down to the one golden rule nearly every culture is familiar with in some form or another, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. If we can spread this culture of support for diversity, change and openness at the community level there is hope that we can foster change at the global level through these same tenets. At Castlemain, we lobby for impactful and true reconciliation for our clients that will carry this ideal forward. Change needs to happen to people and for people to help them better “manage their house”.

Taking a community-based approach to looking at economies through the lens of corporations and states by anchoring themselves in strong families and healthy communities will allow us to see our neighbours as brothers and sisters. This is where the true meaning of “economy” is realized and where meaningful change happens

Is there anything you’re particularly excited to work on at CMG? 

I think the most exciting part of working with Castlemain is working within the First Nation space that has allowed for a diversity of vision and process to drive change at the economic, social and governance levels. Perpetrating a monoculture of thought in an accelerating world is one of the biggest threats to success for people and communities at large. We can not take this for granted and rest on our laurels and not be thinking ahead of the curve. In a rapidly accelerating world of technology, data, automation, and geopolitics the biggest challenge will be to nudge the typical glacial speed of policy, legislation, and governance to keep pace and be reactive to opportunities. Having the privilege to support nations to take measured risks and push the needle forward on a better way to build economies and community is a serious responsibility but also an opportunity to think differently and to look forward…and also to pause…think…and look back, at how different cultures have responded to economic challenges in the past.

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