The Distinguished Leader Lecture Series honours leaders from the business community and offers students the opportunity to learn from these outstanding individuals.
The Distinguished Leader Lecture Series is supported by the D.G Willmot Lecture Fund
2021 Distinguished Leader
CEO of Wataynikaneyap Power
Margaret Kenequanash, a prominent First Nations leader and energy executive, is the Goodman School of Business 2021 Distinguished Leader.
For more than a decade, Kenequanash has been championing the Wataynikaneyap Power Project, an endeavour between 24 First Nations to bring power to 17 remote communities that are currently powered by diesel fuel. This is Canada’s largest First Nations-owned infrastructure project. Wataynikaneyap, which means ‘line that brings light’ in Anishiniiniimowin, represents more than the power it will supply the communities — it also reflects the socio-economic opportunities it will bring for future generations.
In partnership with Fortis Inc. and other private investors, the 1,800-kilometre, up to $1.9-billion transmission line has a 2023 target completion date. Kenequanash ensures that the work between all the partners is anchored in First Nations protocols, culture and respect for the land and the environment.
Kenequanash said she is accepting the Distinguished Leader award on behalf of “our People and our partners.” “The Wataynikaneyap Power Project is an unprecedented undertaking, majority owned by First Nations controlling the development in their homelands. I hope students will be inspired to think about new, innovative partnership models for the 21st century as they embark on their own careers.”
Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes said Margaret’s “collaborative approach to leadership and holistic perspective on project management can lead to a positive transformation in the lives of an entire community.”
Kenequanash has more than 30 years of experience working with First Nations and Tribal Councils in senior positions, was the first female Chief of her community, North Caribou Lake First Nation, and has significant experience in the fields of financial, health and project management and supporting community development initiatives.
The Distinguished Leader series honours leaders from the business community and offers students the opportunity to gain insights from outstanding individuals.
About the award
|2020||Bonnie Lysyk||13th Auditor General of Ontario|
|2019||Michael Lee-Chin||Founder and Chairman, Portland Holdings, and Chairman and CEO, Mandeville Private Client Inc.|
|2018||Julia Deans||CEO, Habitat for Humanity|
|2017||Deepak Chopra||former President and CEO, Canada Post|
|2016||Martine Irman||Vice Chair, TD Securities and Senior Vice President, TD Bank Group|
|2015||Rossana Magnotta||Founder and CEO, Magnotta Winery|
|2014||Len Pennachetti||President and Founding Partner, Cave Spring Cellars|
|2013||Ned Goodman||Founder and CEO, Dundee Corporation and Dundee Wealth, Chancellor, Brock University|
|2011||Donald Ziraldo||Chairman, Ziraldo Estate Winery|
|2010||Galen G. Weston||Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited|
|2009||Michael McCain||President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods Inc.|
|2008||John McCall MacBain||Founder and President, McCall MacBain Foundation|
|2007||Paul House||Chairman, CEO and President TDL Group Corp (Tim Hortons)|