Nexus 96 focuses on development.
Calgary hosted the Nexus 96 Conference and Trade Show at the Metropolitan Centre. This is the fourth annual Nexus conference, sponsored by the Native Investment and Trade Association and it was the first time it was held outside of Vancouver.
Approximately 150 delegates and exhibitors met with the 1,500 or so people who came through the door.
Even though the participation wasn't as high as expected, the conference organizers were pleased with the result.
"It takes time to build up momentum," said Blythe Rogers of NITA.
The highlight of the first day's events was the gift of a totem pole from British Columbia's First Nations to the Alberta First Nations. Carved by Coast Salish artist, Richard Krentz, the 1.5 m raven totem pole was presented to Harold Healey, chairman of the Buffalo Nations Cultural Society. The totem pole will be exhibited in the Luxton Museum in Banff.
Andrew Bear Robe, director of Aboriginal Leadership and Self-Government Programs at the Banff Centre for Management considered the Nexus 96 conference "very productive."
"It is a way to network and form alliances across the country," he said.
He was also very pleased with the announcement by Linda Hohol, senior vice-president of Personal Banking for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, that the CIBC would "be a key corporate sponsor of newly expanded Aboriginal Leadership and Self-Government Programs at the Banff Centre of Management."