Indigenous Programme

To celebrate and showcase indigenous participation in the Canadian diamond industry, a workshop entitled An Indigenous Perspective on 30 Years of Diamonds in Canada will be held from 14:00 to 17:00 on Sunday 7 July 2024 in the Caribou Room at the Chateau Nova Hotel.

With a combination of informative speakers and a thoughtful panel discussion, this session will offer the opportunity to learn about how the local indigenous people of the north and the diamond industry have partnered in a mutually beneficial way over the past 30 years.  

14:00 to 14:30 – Kathy Racher – Mackenzie Valley Land & Water Board

A short presentation from the Executive Director at the Mackenzie Valley Land & Water Board providing a summary of the current project review process in the NWT, and a board perspective on what has gone well with respect to the diamond industry and things that might be done better.

14:30 to 15:30 – Panel #1:  Employment and Business Impacts of 30 Years of Diamonds in the North

Moderator: Wally Schumann – NWT Mẻtis Nation


  • Paul Gruner – CEO, Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation
  • Mark Lewis – CEO, Det’on Cho Group of Companies
  • Marc Whitford – CEO, Metcor Inc.
  • Leigh-Anne Palter – CEO, Denesoline Corporation

15:30 to 16:00 – Coffee Break

16:00 to 17:00 – Panel #2:  Personal Stories of How the Diamond Industry in the North has Impacted Individual Indigenous Lives.

Moderator:  Gaeleen MacPherson – Tłı̨chǫ Nation


  • Wally Schuman – NWT Mẻtis Nation
  • Darryl Bohnet – NWT Mẻtis Nation
  • Dianna Beck – Yellowknives Dene First Nation
  • Violet Camsell-Blondin – Tłı̨chǫ Nation

Panel Format:

  • Moderator Introduction (5 min).
  • Each panelist has 5 minutes to describe themselves and/or their business (20 min).
  • Moderator questions to the panel (20 min).
  • Open discussion with questions from the audience (15 min).
Photo Credit: Teepee with Aurora / Angela Gzowski / NWT Tourism