National Indigenous Economic Board Appoints Co-Chair, Introduces Two New Members

The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) would like to extend heartfelt congratulations to Victoria LaBillois, who on June 17, 2021, was appointed as the Board’s new Vice-Chairperson.

Ms. LaBillois has been a member of the Board since June 18, 2018.  Ms. LaBillois holds an MBA from the University of New Brunswick and is currently the President of Wejuseg Construction Inc.

Victoria serves as mentor for the Coady International Institute’s Indigenous Women in Community Leadership and New Brunswick’s JEDI Aboriginal Business Accelerator Program.  She is bilingual and teaches financial literacy to Indigenous youth.

We would also like to welcome two new Board Members to the National Indigenous Economic Development Board. On December 10, 2021, the Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, confirmed Mr. Dana Soonias and Mr. Robert Dickson in these roles.

Dana Soonias is the Director of Economic Development and Employment Training Services at the Saskatoon Tribal Council. He is a former Chairperson of AFOA Canada and the Aboriginal Entrepreneur Committee of National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA), as well as a previous member of the First Nations Financial Management Board. Mr. Soonias has over twenty-five years executive leadership experience overseeing organizational restructuring, developing strategic and investment diversity in economic portfolios, leveraging partnerships to build capacity, and creating stability and long-term growth in the profit and not for profit sectors.

Robert Dickson is the Chief Executive Officer of Attawapiskat Enterprises INC., group of companies, and one of the Founders of the Aboriginal and Visible Minority Supplier Council. Mr. Dickson, who has had executive leadership roles in the profit, not for profit and public sectors, is known as a strong leader with excellent negotiation, interpersonal, presentation and public relations skills. He is committed to renewal and on-going change. He is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University.

Under the leadership of our Chairperson, Dawn Madahbee Leach, and our Vice-Chairperson, Victoria LaBillois, and energized by the addition of our new members, the NIEDB looks forward to continued progress on a number of priorities, including the next iteration of the National Indigenous Economic Progress Report in 2023 to measure Indigenous inclusion in the economy.


I would like to extend my congratulations to Victoria LaBillois on her appointment as Vice-Chairperson of the NIEDB. Her leadership, energy and enthusiasm will be invaluable in reaching our goals and providing expert advice and guidance to the Government of Canada. The breadth and depth of her knowledge in relation to Indigenous economic development is unparalleled.

“At the same time, I am very pleased to welcome Dana Soonias and Bob Dickson to the NIEDB. Between them they bring a wide variety of experience and expertise that will be crucial to developing well-rounded recommendations to the federal government on a comprehensive range of Indigenous economic development issues.

Dawn Madahbee Leach

Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board

The work of the NIEDB is imperative in helping rebuild Indigenous economies. I am happy to serve in the role of Vice-Chair, alongside a Board committed to sharing their knowledge and voices.

Victoria LaBillois, MBA

Vice-Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board

It is my great honor to serve as a member of the NIEDB, working closely with my new colleagues towards strategic initiatives that will influence policy for our communities and entrepreneurs across the country.

Dana Soonias

Member, NIEDB

I am delighted to be a member of the NIEDB and look forward to working with my colleagues on behalf of Indigenous peoples across Canada. I look forward to learning and serving.

Bob Dickson

Member, NIEDB

Quick facts

  • The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) is the only national, non-political organization of its kind. It is mandated to provide strategic policy advice and guidance to the federal government on issues of Indigenous economic development.
  • Composed of First Nations, Inuit and Métis business and community leaders from across Canada, the Board helps governments respond to the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
  • The principal role of all NIEDB board members is to provide strategic policy and program advice to the federal government on all matters pertaining to Indigenous economic development.