«What is the Kumtuks Group?»
Kumtuks = Chinook language meaning “to know, to have wisdom, to be wise”
The Kumtuks Group is a professional group of consultants who are all of First Nations / Aboriginal origin. We operate by a set of principles, guidelines and standards common to First Nations of Canada – respect, honor, contribution, trust, integrity – and we self-monitor our group to ensure the initiatives we are involved with contribute positively to the well-being of First Nations and Aboriginal people for many generations to come.
In many First Nation languages, there is no word for “Consultant”. Each member of the Kumtuks Group has been given the name in their First Nation language that reflects the knowledge, skills and experience they offer as a service provider / consultant.
Who is a Kumtuk?
Kumtuks is a professional group whose term “Kumtuks” is legally protected and can only be used by those persons who have been invited to be a part of the group, accepted and uphold the standards of the group. All Kumtuks are experienced consultants of Aboriginal origin who have a proven track record for quality work that honors the values and principles of the group.
Beverley O’Neil, Ktunaxa – In the Ktunaxa language, Kyakxa? haq?tima?i? means a knowledge provider, expert. Beverley owns and operates two companies – O’Neil Marketing & Consulting, and Numa Communications Ltd. Prior to starting her businesses, O’Neil worked as the Director of Community Economic Development for the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council (now the Ktunaxa Nation Council). Beverley has nearly 30 years experience working in First Nation / Aboriginal community economic development and tourism. In her businesses, she focuses on community economic development in a wide variety of sectors including tourism, agriculture, facilitation, event planning, training program development, proposal preparation, and business and marketing planning. She has worked across Canada and in Northern communities and has worked and spoken internationally. Recently she volunteered in Kenya, and was a role model story in the book “We are born with the song inside us,” by Katherine Gordon. In her spare time she is a stand-up comic and marathon runner. For information on Beverley, click here.
Brian Payer, Objibwe – operates Brian Payer and Associates, a consulting company that focuses on business development, market enhancement and strategic economic development primarily with Aboriginal individuals, corporations and organizations. Brian has been involved in Aboriginal economic development for more than 25 years. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC which complements the experience he has gained in business development to strategic planning over a broad range of sectors including tourism, manufacturing, resource-based business development, and governance. Brian has been working exclusively with Aboriginal clients particularly in the area of entrepreneurship where he develops strategic business plans along with balanced financial packages for his clients. With many of his clientele, he provides business implementation services where he guides them through the process of establishing their businesses followed by business support, which effectively provides the client with an experienced ‘sounding board’ and ‘trouble shooter’ as they proceed with business operations. Having owned and operated his own manufacturing enterprise for 11 years that employed over 30 people and had sales in excess of $1.3 million per year, Brian provides consulting expertise from “on the ground” experience.
Roger LeClerc, Métis – is president of LeRoger Consulting Ltd. He has a Masters Degree in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University, and extensive management experience in economic development, business development and training and possesses expertise in Aboriginal research and engagement. Before Roger moved into managing training centres, which included manager of Kitimat Valley Institute (an accredited private post-secondary institution owned by Haisla Nation and Rio Tinto Alcan), he owned/operated a logging/construction company for many years. Roger previously managed a Communities Futures Development Corporation for five years and previous to that sat on their Board of Directors and was involved on Economic Development Commission for the City of Terrace for five years. In the past few years Roger has worked with consultants on research projects at a provincial level. The first research project was a study of Aboriginal Housing in BC which was commissioned by the Province of BC. The second study was on Aboriginal Apprenticeship which was commissioned by ITA and Aboriginal Human Resource Council. Roger presently serves on Coast Mountain School District #82 Board as vice-chair, ITA’s Aboriginal Apprentice Advisory Committee and the Province of BC Passenger Transportation Board as a Director.
Harold Tarbell, Mohawk – is a member of the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne, a First Nation/American Indian community located in Ontario, Quebec, and New York State. He served as the Tribal Chief on the U.S. portion of Akwesasne from 1987 to 1990.Prior to founding his own consulting company, Harold developed extensive experience working with Aboriginal and First Nations organizations in both the U.S. and Canada at the local, regional, and national levels. Harold has served as the multicultural coordinator for the North American Indian Traveling College, land claims researcher for the Union of Ontario Indians, parliamentary liaison with the Assembly of First Nations, director of the National Aboriginal Management Board, executive director of Buffy Sainte Marie’s Cradleboard Teaching Project, and chief of staff to the Assembly of First Nations’ National Chief Ovide Mercredi during the Charlottetown Canadian Constitutional Negotiations. This experience gives him comprehensive experience with cultural, technical, and political issues related to Indigenous nations. Website: www.tarbell.ca
P Jerry Asp, Tahltan – is one of western Canada’s most prominent Aboriginal leaders. He is committed to enhancing the quality of life for Aboriginal people through the creation of new business opportunities and development of skills and capacity in the community. In addition to supporting Aboriginal business development, Jerry has also applied his leadership skills to serve the public. For the first 15 years of Jerry’s working life was spent as in the mining industry as a construction worker, a diamond driller and an underground miner. He started working on the diamond drills in 1965 and worked both surface and underground. He started the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation in June 1985, to take advantage of the construction opportunities in the mining industry, and served as President and CEO until December 1993. In 1989, while he was President, the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation and the Tahltan Tribal Council jointly won the BC Environmental Award. In 1988, Jerry negotiated the first Impact and Benefits Agreement in B.C. between the owners of the Golden Bear Mine and the Tahltan Nation. TNDC has built roads into mines, built settling ponds, constructed mining operation sites, and contracted the open-pit mining in a joint venture with Grant Stewart Construction. By 1991, TNDC was the largest Native-owned and operated heavy construction company in Western Canada. He is now the Vice-president of the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association and works as a consultant/negotiator for Resource Developers and First Nations. He was also a member of the International Mining, Minerals, and Sustainable Development Committee – North American Branch. Jerry has worked with Indigenous People, on mining issues, in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Dominica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, the Philippines, Peru, and the United States.