Financial Management Conference & Annual General Meeting

Join us June 15th-17th

The goal of the Governance Development Network is to maintain a “grassroots” approach and ensure the direction of the organization remains in the hands of First Nation communities. We provide solutions, information and promote good governance practices for all First Nation Communities in Ontario. Our Financial Management Conference and AGM will provide Financial Management in First Nations communities and leadership with our GDN Financial Management Training Module and our Financial Assessment tool. This will be a perfect opportunity for First Nations Leadership and financial officers to learn valuable tools for their communities, as well as network, share experience, and grow in leadership together. We look forward to hosting you.

If you've already registered, you will receive an email with a Zoom link before the event starts each day!

If you have not received an email, kindly check your junk/spam folder before reaching out to our Event Technical Support Team at or 807-700-7001.



Tuesday, June 15th, 2021




Mathew Lane, Executive Director, Governance Development Network & Board Chair, Elder


Mathew Lane has a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), as well as a Business Marketing and Business Administration Diploma from Confederation College. He is passionate about cultural exchange and language, and studies Spanish, Italian, French and Ojibway/Oji-Cree. Matt has previously worked in Sports Marketing for The Lakehead University Thunderwolves, Charter sales with Wasaya Airways LLP, Marketing and Communications with Nokiiwin Tribal Council, and Anti Money Laundering investigations, global dispersments and on-boarding at HSBC Bank Canada HQ.

Mathew has grown with the Governance Development Network from a youth member onto board member and is currently in his 5th year as Executive Director. He is a strong supporter of Indigenous affairs and his role with the organization allows him to constantly increase his knowledge and contacts in the Indigenous business and community development sectors.

10:30 AM

Guest Speaker: Financial Management Presentation

Ana Nichols, Financial Controller & Priscilla Graham, Band Administrator, AZA


Ana Nichols is the Financial Controller for AZA. Ana has lived in the Beardmore area all her life and has had the good fortune of always being able to work in the area. Ana completed high school in Geraldton, and has, over the years continued her education with College Courses, as Ana stated, “but life and raising a family sort of got in the way of a full degree”.


As well as doing many small and contract jobs, Ana worked primarily for the Township of Beardmore for 23 years, where her interest in finance was fostered, as a Deputy Clerk Treasurer, and finally as the Clerk Treasurer. Ana has now been with AZA for 18 years and has helped in every department over the years.


Ana also serves as ‘Runner’ and does all the bookkeeping and necessary paperwork for a construction business with her husband.


I am pleased to be here and thank you for the opportunity.”  Ana Nichols - Presenter


11:30 AM

FM 101 Presentation

Heather Lesperance, Governance Development Network



Hands-on Exercises

1:30 PM

Q & A Reflection on Group Work

Group 1 - 4 Presentations
2:00 PM

End of the Day


Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

10:00 AM

Welcome Back

Mathew Lane - Executive Director, Governance Development Network & Board Chair & Hayley Lachinette, Youth Board Advisor
10:05 AM

Hands-on Exercises

Mathew Lane & Heather Lesperance
12:00 PM


1:00 PM

Workplace Ki - Achieving Great Organizational Leadership

Jeff Robert, Presenter & Coach


Jeff launched ‘Workplace Ki’ as a model to better understand common threads leading to success. Workplace Ki blends thinking from business leaders, traditional practices, and academic research to create inclusive working cultures.

Jeff is a proud member of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek with several family ties to the Fort William First Nation Community. As a seasoned workplace harassment prevention advisor, Jeff has a passion for supporting national Indigenous communities from coast to coast. Jeff has worked on a multitude of initiatives within his community of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek. Over the last 5 years, Jeff has worked alongside Northern Ontario Indigenous organizations in an HR capacity with a focus on compensation, benefits, performance management and employee relations.

Jeff actively demonstrates his commitment to building strong, healthy, and sustainable First Nation Communities. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Lakehead University and a post-graduate diploma in Human Resources from Confederation College.

2:30 PM

End of the Day


Thursday, June 17th, 2021

10:00 AM

Welcome Back and Recap

Mathew Lane - Executive Director, Governance Development Network & Board Chair & Hayley Lachinette, Youth Board Advisor
10:15 AM

Financial Assessment Tool For First Nations Presentation

Heather Lesperance, Governance Development Network
Heather Lesperance has over 17 years experience in the field of Accounting and Finance with First Nations and the private sector.
Heather is a member of Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek (Rocky Bay First Nation) which is on the shores of Lake Nipigon. In September 1985 she started the Business-Accounting Program at Confederation College, there she found her passion. In 1991, she left the city and moved to Lake Helen Reserve and worked for Red Rock Indian Band as Band/Finance Manager.
She then accepted a position as Financial Administrator in 2012 at her home reserve of BZA, where she commuted to every day for 5 years. In September 2017, Heather began working in Finance with The Governance Development Network.
Heather has extensive experience in all areas of Accounting and Finance including preparation of budgets, account reconciliation, financial statements, financial analysis, internal controls and computerized accounting software.
11:00 AM

Discussion, Q & A

11:15 AM

Mitaanjigamiing First Nation Governance

Chris Henderson, Community Planner and Membership Clerk, Mitaanjigamiing First Nation


My name is Chris Henderson from Mitaanjigamiing First Nation, I have worked for my community in various capacities throughout the years from Band Councillor to my current job Community Engagement Coordinator. I worked as a Governance Coordinator for 7 years (2011-2017) and CCP for the last 3 years (2018-2021) Band Council for 2 terms. I received my CAPA designation in October 2019, I am currently a trustee for the community, Vice President for Weechi it te win Family Services Board.

12:15 PM


1:30 PM


  • MNP
  • By Law
  • Elections
  • Elder Appointment
3:00 PM

Draws/End of Day/Closing Prayer- Elder