Bridging the Cultural Gap: Building Meaningful Relationships with Indigenous Communities

Power Skills


STUDENTS: our chapter is offering a discount on the event. Please e-mail proof that you are currently enrolled in an Educational Institution to for a Student Promo Code. 



6:30 - 7:00 p.m. - Registration/Networking

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Dinner/Speaker Presentation 

9:00 p.m. - Event Ends

*The event happens in PST time (Vancouver Time). If you get the calendar invite from our website, you might get the wrong timezone. We are working to fix this issue. Sorry for the inconvenience.


Join us for an evening with representatives from the First Nations Major Projects Coalition and their non-Indigenous partners in honour of National Indigenous Day. A panel discussion.  

What can we do to further Reconciliation with Indigenous Communities? Spend time with representatives from the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, COWI, and guests to learn more about what helps relationships work and how we can actively play a role in Economic Reconciliation.  



The First Nations Major Project Coalition (Canada) is a national 130+ Indigenous nation collective working towards the enhancement of the economic well-being of its members, understanding that a strong economy is reliant upon a healthy environment supported by vibrant cultures, languages, and expressions of traditional laws, and in particular to support members to: 

  • Safeguard air, land, water and medicine sources from the impacts of resource development by asserting its members’ influence and traditional laws on environmental, regulatory and negotiation processes; 
  • Receive a fair share of benefits from projects undertaken in the traditional territories of its members, and; 
  • Explore ownership opportunities of projects proposed in the traditional territories of its members. 


FNMPC is currently providing business capacity support to its members on 9 major projects located across Canada, each with a First Nations equity investment component, and a portfolio exceeding a combined total capital cost of over $40 billion. FNMPC’s business capacity support includes tools that help First Nations inform their decisions on both the economic and environmental considerations associated with major project development. 




Tina Gillanders – Manager of Training, Communications and Cultural Affairs (FNMPC) 

Tina (she/her) is an experienced leader, facilitator and knowledge bridge-builder, with Reconciliation at the heart of her work. For over 16 years her career has primarily focused on Indigenous engagement throughout BC with experience working for provincial government, post-secondary institutions, industry, and First Nations. 

She is a proud member of both Black River First Nation in Manitoba on her mother’s side and Ross Clan in Fife, Scotland on her father’s. Tina brings a unique and refreshing perspective on how to bridge worldviews and incorporate both the Calls to Action from the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into her work. As the President and CEO of her consulting company, Sweetgrass & Thistle, and along with her volunteer work on the UNBC Childcare Centre Board and the School District 57 Indigenous Education Advisory Committee to name a few, she is actioning her passion to help build a more meaningfully engaged and culturally aware future. 

Tina grew up in BC’s Lower Mainland and has spent most of her adult life in Northern BC, primarily in the Traditional Territory of the Lheidli T’enneh. As an Indigenous female raising two daughters, she ensures she honours the findings in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Report in her life and work. She holds a bachelor’s degree in First Nation Studies, Certificates in Traditional Environmental Knowledge, and Métis Studies  


Jesse Unke – Vice President, Canada (COWI) 

Engineering and construction executive with a focus on leading with emotional intelligence as a responsible leader, while utilizing strong relationship-building, operational, strategic planning, finance and analytical skills. 
Experienced with setting business direction, purpose, and goals in alignment with my organization's strategy, while communicating and ensuring successful execution of those goals. Developing and empowering high-performing teams and leaders is my passion, while ensuring a healthy and safe working environment incorporating an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and trustworthy approach to leadership. 
As a PMI Project and Risk Management Professional (PMP/RMP), I have intimate knowledge of multiple project management/delivery tools and techniques. My background as a Professional Engineer in Canada (P.Eng.) and the USA (PE), a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP), Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP), and a MMCD Certified Contract Administrator (CCA), I have the ability to lead teams effectively, incorporate sustainable design and construction principles, interpret and administer contracts, and understand the technical aspects of my team’s projects. My effective written and verbal communication, workshop facilitation, and engaging presentation skills to both technical and non-technical audiences, allow me to serve as a knowledgeable leader and advisor to my team and clients. 
My strong belief in equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace led me to pursue my Certified Canadian Inclusion Professional (CCIP) designation, and my active support of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, EGBC’s 30by30 Network, Builders Code, and the Canadian Center for Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. I incorporate these principles into the leadership of my teams, as well as succession planning for the future through formal and informal mentorship of my team and support of EGBC’s AE program, UBC Engineering and the PMI’s Mentorship Programs. 
I enjoy being actively engaged as a volunteer in the engineering and construction community as past three-term President/Board Chair with the British Columbia Construction Roundtable, as a conference speaker, and via executive committee and board positions (past and present) with the ACEC-BC, Project Management Institute, Vancouver General Hospital, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, and the MMCD.  

In 2020, I was one of the proud recipients of the 40 under 40 in Canadian Construction, and in 2022 I was named as one of Engineers Canada 30 by 30 EDI Champions for leaders in engineering workplaces. "




Warm Wild Mushroom Bruschetta – grilled italian bread, sauteed mushrooms, fresh herbs, truffled tahini (vegan)


Main Course

Regular: Grilled ½ Spatchcock Game Hen – garlic lemon & herb basted, Israeli couscous, grilled vegetables, chermoula Chicken Marbella – citrus, prunes, olives, capers, parmesan risotto, light demi-glace (gluten free)

Vegetarian: Harissa Grilled Eggplant – moroccan spiced couscous, pistachio tzatziki (vegan)



Black Forest Cake – chocolate cake, cherry compote, whipped coconut cream, shaved chocolate (vegan)



It is no longer possible to register for this event

It is no longer possible to register for this event


Type of category: Dinner Event

Type of activity: Power Skills, Business Acumen

Date: 14 June 2023

Hour: 18:30 to 21:00

Number of PDUs: 2


Student Members$55.00

Members: $55.00

Future members: $65.00


Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

639 Hornby St
Vancouver, BC , V6C 2G3