New Horizons: BC First Nations Advancing Equity Participation in Land Development

Jun. 7, 2022 at 10:20 a.m. PDT

Moderated by Sheryl Rivers “Siamtnaat & Milnitdi” of Rivers Consulting Solutions, panelists David Negrin (MST Development), Councillor Dennis Thomas “Whonoak” (Tsleil-Waututh Nation), and Johnna Sparrow (Aquilini Development) dive into the MST Partnership model, transformative new approaches to Indigenous-led land development, and joint ventures in urban land development.

Sponsored by Beedie.

Sheryl Rivers (also known as Siamtnaat or Milnitdi) is a member of the Squamish Nation and owner of Rivers Consulting Solutions. She currently serves the City of North Vancouver as the commissioner for the North Vancouver Museum & Archives.

Over the past 30 years, Mr. Negrin has established himself as a leader in the Development and Construction Industry throughout Canada, developing strong working relationships with First Nations throughout British Columbia. He is a long-time Director and former President of the Urban Design Institute (UDI) and from 2008 to 2016, David served as the President of Aquilini Development and Construction Inc. There, he established partnerships with Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Tsawwassen First Nation culminating in over 1 Million SF of development.

Dennis Thomas “Whonoak” is a member and an elected Councillor of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (People of the Inlet) in Deep Cove, North Vancouver. Since working for his community as the coordinator for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Dennis pursued business with his Nation and managed several band-owned companies, including Takaya Tours. He also led new business ventures, including implementing the largest Solar array project to date in the North Shore. As a consultant, he was TWN Cultural Liaison for MST Development Corporation, where he ensured Tsleil-Waututh Nations' history and culture are at the forefront and rooted in the building structure, architectural design, and the overall public realm. He was recently selected by Business in Vancouver’s 2021 Top Forty under 40.

Johnna is a member of the Musqueam First Nation. Her unique experience began as the Communication Protocol Officer in the Musqueam Indian Band and as Coordinator for the Musqueam Indian Band in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Her previous work experience and relationships built with development executives in Vancouver have led her to her current role as Indigenous Relations Advisor in Development. There, she spearheads a team of development coordinators actively participating in the development and municipal process and are fostering grassroots community engagement in the three partnering nations: Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh.

Subtitles available in: English