Blaine Christopher Favel
Honourary Doctor of Laws - Spring 2012
Mr. Favel, currently the CEO of One Earth Oil and Gas, is an influential Plains Cree leader who has made significant contributions to scholarship, education, public service and the Canadian public good.
During his tenure as Chief of the Poundmaker Cree Nation in Cutknife, SK, Chief Favel established the first community-based justice program for First Nations with the introduction of sentencing circles on reserves. A former Grand Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Mr. Favel pioneered two national firsts; the establishment of the First Nations Bank of Canada, Canada's only Aboriginal controlled bank, and the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, Canada's first Indian gaming organization. In addition, he implemented the 1996 Treaty Implementation Process under the supervision of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner with the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan. Chief Favel initiated the 1996 demographic study entitled "Saskatchewan and Aboriginal Peoples in the 21st Century: Social Economic and Political Changes and Challenges" - a study that has been accepted as a reference document for the business community and government in designing education, employment, and Aboriginal business strategies.
Upon leaving politics Mr. Favel was appointed to an Ambassadorial level posting by Prime Minister Chretien as Canadian Counsellor on International Indigenous Issues. This office advised Cabinet and the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister on human rights and trade issues affecting indigenous peoples globally. Mr. Favel has also worked as legal counsel with the law firm of Bennett Jones and as an investment banker with RBC Capital Markets energy group. He was a senior personal advisor to two Assembly of First Nations National Chiefs, National Chiefs Ovide Mercredi and Phil Fontaine.
In the not-for-profit sector, Mr. Favel served as a board member of the Calgary United Way heading the Aboriginal Education initiatives. He was a member of the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness, which introduced into Canada the pioneering development of "Housing First" which has tremendous success in reducing the levels of homelessness in many major US cities. Mr. Favel is a Board Member of Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, a national organization launched to introduce the Housing First program to Canadian cities. Mr. Favel has served on the Board of Governors for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
Mr. Favel is an alumni of the Indian Teachers Education Program at the University of Saskatchewan where he received his B.Ed. He received his law degree at Queens University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. Mr. Favel resides in Calgary, Alberta and is a proud father to five children.