Castlemain is proud of the hard-working people on our team that advise and assist Indigenous communities.
We have a team of nearly three dozen employees and associates – economists, policy advisors, professional negotiators, governance experts, communications and social media professionals, digital experts, lawyers and land management specialists – who can advise and assist Indigenous organizations with virtually any economic, governance, social or communications issue or opportunity.
The team we have built has more than 60 years of combined consulting experience. Our partners and advisors have long and successful track records with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit, and have also built and managed leading Canadian and international consulting companies.
The knowledge and experience of our professionals and the successful results they achieve for our clients are what distinguishes Castlemain from other firms, and has made us the leading advisors to Indigenous groups in Canada.
Neil is an established leader in the economic development, financing and community development arena. He has worked with many First Nations to access capital for over 200 business development and community-based projects. Neil’s passion lies in the development of a values-driven approach to investments, with a focus on the broad set of community goals and benefits often sought by Castlemain’s Indigenous clients.
Jeff is one of the most experienced on-reserve project managers in the country, with over 70 infrastructure projects under his belt. Jeff has over 20 years experience working for indigenous groups. He has a Masters Certificate in Project Management from York University’s Schulich School of Business, and has his Project Management Professional (PMP) designation.
Alyssa is one of Canada’s leading indigenous governance and policy experts, with direct experience transitioning First Nations to self governance. She has worked for the BC AFN as a key contributor to “A Guide to Nation Building” series, and she has a Master’s degree with Honours in Political Science from the University of Regina.
With her Master’s degree in Dispute Resolution, Jessica specializes in tailor-made community-building and governance tools for First Nations. She has a breadth of knowledge and experience in treaty issues, indigenous policy, project management, governance best practices, and leading research methods.
Rob is an accomplished indigenous economist and is a member of the Tahltan Nation. Since 2009, he has negotiated over $3b worth of agreements on behalf of our First Nations clients. The agreements Rob negotiates set the standards in the areas of socio-cultural strategy, impact benefits, environmental oversight, and co-management of major resource projects.
A recognized business leader with extensive First Nations negotiation and land development experience, Stefan is a Vancouver “Top Forty under 40” and co-founder of the Urban Land Institute of BC. He is recognized as an authority in land negotiations, land valuation, land development on-reserve, and leads Castlemain’s land practice.
Courtney is a lawyer and strategic advisor with extensive knowledge in the areas of Aboriginal law, policy and governance and has held positions in the legal, political and social realm. Most recently, Courtney was the Director of Operations at the BC Assembly of First Nations under then Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould. Courtney has a BA in Sociology and a law degree, both from the University of British Columbia, and is a member of the Law Society of BC.
Kelly is an Economic Development specialist and has worked with dozens of indigenous communities in British Columbia to build their local economies by helping to identify opportunities, plan projects, and execute implementation. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Victoria as well as a Master’s degree in International Development with a focus on Economic Development from Simon Fraser University.
Chelsea is a capacity-development specialist with years of experience supporting personal growth and professional development in non-profits, private sector and First Nation communities. Passionate about facilitating learning to help individuals and organizations achieve their goals, she works closely with multiple stakeholders to identify opportunities and implement programs that make sense. Chelsea holds a BA in International Development & English Literature from Dalhousie University.
Fernando Salazar graduated in 1997 as Marine Biologist from Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur, Mexico. He worked for 4 years on several studies related to reproductive biology and abundance of commercially fished sharks and rays; cultivation of pearls; and providing consulting services in aquaculture and environmental management.
Immigrated to Canada in 2002 and by 2006 he completed an MSc in Aquaculture from the University of Guelph. By 2007, he moved to St. Andrews, NB to work at DFO’s biological station in the Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture project. Fernando joined the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia in 2008 as a R&D Coordinator working in project management, technology transfer, innovation and development of aquaculture. This position gave him the necessary exposure to understand the challenges and needs of aquaculture in Atlantic Canada and to build a valuable network of national and international contacts within the sector. In 2010, Fernando joined Ulnooweg as the Aquaculture Advisor working for the Business Development Team. In this position, he has been responsible for providing advice and guidance in the establishment of commercial aquaculture projects with First Nations from Atlantic Canada and Quebec. So far, he has assisted 30 communities with their projects, concepts, and ideas.
Karenn is a scientist and business professional. She led management, accounting and marketing activities for small and large businesses for over fifteen years. She was responsible for budgets of up to $6.5 million and teams of 15. She has designed sales materials and communication plans, and developed Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) and company policies. Karenn became a biologist in 2013 and worked in natural resource consulting and environmental assessment before becoming a Lands and Resources Manager for a First Nation.
In addition to business roles, Karenn has experience in outdoor education and tourism as a guide and entrepreneur. She has been a wildlife ranger and pesticide applicator. She has championed many multi-stakeholder projects aimed at restoring terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and led field activities designed to build scientific skills within Aboriginal communities. Karenn draws on her diverse skills and life experiences in order to effectively assess and adapt to the needs of her clients for the best outcome for all.
Karenn is a Registered Professional Biologist (BC), has accreditations in Business and Marketing and a Bachelor’s in science from BCIT. She holds many technical certifications required for fisheries including SVOP, electrofishing, sediment and erosion control, and she is a certified Oil Spill technician.
Racheal is a community economic development specialist with ten years of experience working with Indigenous communities throughout Canada. She is an enthusiastic project manager with experience in business development, fisheries management, environmental consulting, harbour management, entrepreneur support, supply chain management, seafood traceability, policy development, and fisheries observer training. Racheal holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fisheries Biology as well as a certificate in Community Economic Development from Simon Fraser University.
James is a scientist with a background in land use and permitting on First Nations Territory. James has worked in management on mine sites in the Yukon liaising with First Nations and currently works as a consultant specializing in lands and resource development opportunities for First Nations. James has a passion for food and energy security and has focused his professional work on fisheries, tourism and business start-ups in the private sector. James’ formal education includes; a BSc. from the University of Victoria, a Professional Biologist designation from the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists and a Project Management Certificate from the University of Toronto.
Born and raised in Quesnel, B.C., Torrye has a Bachelor of Health Science with a major in Biomedicine and a minor in First Nations Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia. Her previous work was centered around international development and sustainable procurement. She was a national manager who worked with community groups, businesses and government to build relationships, campaigns and policies that benefitted both people and the planet. She is a talented project manager with strong communications and supply chain management skills. Her expertise lies within the social, cultural and environmental elements and opportunities within community and economic development. Torrye lives on Vancouver Island and takes every opportunity she can to be outside with her friends and family.
Aaron Samuel is nehiyaw (Plains Cree) and Caribbean. He holds a Juris Doctor with a Specialization in Aboriginal Law from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. Prior to that, he completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Alberta in Political Science and Economics. Prior to joining Castlemain, Aaron worked in Edmonton with Cando, a national not for profit focused on the development of Aboriginal Economic Development Officers. He has also worked with various First Nations and Métis communities at both the private and public sector level.
Amber is a Governance and Policy Analyst and a proud member of Cheam First Nation. She brings with her years of professional and academic experience working on Indigenous issues, with a special interest in social policy and economic development. Amber has a Bachelor of Communications from Simon Fraser University and she is currently completing a Master of Public Administration from the University of Victoria.
Leanna is a talented facilitator and policy writer who brings a planning lens to her work at Castlemain. She specializes in the design and facilitation of community-led policy drafting initiatives, and works with Indigenous communities to develop tailored policy and planning tools to strengthen core governance. She holds a Bachelor of the Arts (with Honours) in Communication from Simon Fraser University and a Masters of Arts in Planning from the University of British Columbia. She is also a Registered Professional Planner (RPP) and a Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP).
Anna is a strong communicator and facilitator with years of experience working in community. A member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Anna has a background in youth engagement, facilitation, qualitative research, and program evaluation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations and Indigenous Studies from the University of British Columbia. Anna has worked with Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society (VACFSS), the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA), and Watari Counselling & Support Services Society.
An exceptional designer, Jasmine has a unique ability to transform standard documents into engaging material, in print and online. Jasmine develops and applies distinctive branding to professionally tailored print and web materials, taking clients’ visions from concept to reality. Her productions have been featured in the Tyee, Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight and Sing Tao Daily. Jasmine has a BA in Interactive Arts and Technology from Simon Fraser University.
Lydia is Cree (Swampy) and Dak’elh (Nak’azdli). Her skill set includes communications, web development and commerce. She has worked with many Indigenous organizations in British Columbia and Alberta. She holds a Bachelor of Design from The Alberta College of Art & Design. She aims to use her unique talents to benefit all Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island.
Maia is an experienced marketing and communications professional, with a strong background in digital marketing strategy, website development, email marketing and social media strategies. Maia has a Bachelors of Commerce with a double major in Marketing and International Business from the University of Manitoba. She previously worked for the UBC Sauder School of Business, where the managed the digital marketing team, and was responsible for over-seeing a large-scale digital strategy project for the whole school. Before that, she managed the Digital Marketing team at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, where she worked with her team to create compelling content that showcased participant and faculty stories. In her previous roles in marketing and advertising agencies she developed campaigns and strategies for small and large brands across North America.
Teyem has been working in Aboriginal organizations in BC since 1999. Her office leadership ranges from a grassroots level as Youth Coordinator and Education Assistant in First Nation band offices, to political level as Snuneymuxw’s Chief and Council’s Secretary and as Administrative Assistant at the BC AFN.