Leadership in Aboriginal Finance and Management Recognized at 8th Annual AFOA National Conference

    MONTREAL, Feb. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The Aboriginal Financial Officers
Association of Canada is pleased to announce the 2008 recipients of the
AFOA/Xerox Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership awards at 8th Annual AFOA
national conference in Montreal, Quebec.
    The recipients for the 5th year of the award are Chief Thomas M.
Bressette of Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation just north of
Sarnia Ontario and Dan Christmas, Senior Advisor to Chief and Council at
Membertou First Nation in Nova Scotia.
    Mr. Christmas receives the AFOA/Xerox Excellence in Aboriginal Leadership
Award -community/regional category - for his 30 years of dedication and
leadership to the Unama'ki communities, the five First Nation communities in
Cape Breton Island. He is highly respected throughout Mi'kmaq Nation as well
as his own community of Membertou where he has been senior advisor to Council
for the past 10 years. "Dan has earned uncommon respect for his consensus
style of leadership..." states Chief Terrance Paul of Membertou, "a style
deeply rooted in Mi'kmaq culture. His leadership has contributed greatly to
the advancement of Mi'kmaq First Nation communities."
    The national category award is presented to Chief Thomas M. Bressette for
his commitment and perseverance in financial policy leadership that spans
community and regional to national over the past twenty years. At the
community level, he and council created and implemented financial management
bylaw, policies and standards to guide the establishment of a Financial
Management Board and community investment strategies aimed wealth creation - a
reverse from the deficit situation he inherited when first elected as chief.
Chief Bressette has served community and region as Southwest Regional Chief
and Executive Board member for the Union of Ontario Indians as well as Ontario
Regional Vice Chief for the Assembly of First Nations. An advocate and
practitioner of sound financial management policy, Chief Bressette served on
the joint CGA/AFN national accountability study group that recommended the
creation of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association and chaired the
formative stages of the First Nation Statistical Institute
    "These awards, presented in partnership with one of Canada's outstanding
companies, Xerox Canada, help's us to celebrate and recognize leadership in
Aboriginal finance and management." States Ernie Daniels, AFOA President and
Chief Operating Officer. "It keeps getting better every year."
    Xerox Canada and AFOA have partnered on the award for the past five years
in order to raise awareness and to recognize the often "over-looked" side of a
very vibrant, dedicated and emerging professional community.

    About the Award

    The Aboriginal Financial Officers Association (AFOA) of Canada and Xerox
Canada are dedicated to helping Aboriginal professionals reach the highest
standard of excellence in financial management. This is one example of that
    The Excellence in Leadership Award was created in 2004. It is designed to
recognize and celebrate Inuit, Métis and First Nation achievement in financial
management. Winners have supported a vision for excellence and innovation, and
demonstrated advanced expertise, outstanding professionalism and leadership.
Their contributions have led to the betterment of Canadian Aboriginal
communities and people.
    There are two categories for nominations for the AFOA-Xerox Excellence in
Leadership Award. The National category recognizes individuals who have
contributed to the Aboriginal financial management profession on a national or
institutional level. The Regional category recognizes those individuals who
have made their contributions at the regional, local or community level.

For further information:

For further information: Suzanne Seebach, AFOA Canada, (613) 722-5543,
sseebach@afoa.ca, www.afoa.ca; Thomas R. Maracle, Xerox Canada, (613)
783-5913, Tom.maracle@xerox.com

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Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada

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