John Graham & Associates

John Graham

Mr. Graham is a senior executive with over 40 years’ experience with the federal and Ontario governments, the private sector, Bank of Canada, and a Royal Commission. He joined the Institute On Governance in 1996 as its Director on Aboriginal Governance and since then has conducted over 350 governance related projects.  He remains a Senior Associate with the Institute.

In 2010 he established Patterson Creek Consulting Inc., which specializes in Aboriginal Governance and offers a range of services including facilitation, evaluation, policy research, governance workshops and professional development courses.

After receiving an Honours B.A. from Queen’s University in mathematics and economics in 1967, Mr. Graham graduated from York University in 1969 with a Masters in Business Administration.

Mr. Graham is married with three children, all of whom, happily, have left the parental home.

Anne Noonan

Ms. Noonan specializes in the field of Aboriginal affairs with thirty years experience in Canada. She has worked for both the public and private sector providing policy analysis, research, advisory and evaluation and performance measurement services related to Aboriginal programs. In 1997, she established Anne Noonan and Associates; one of the first Aboriginal owned consulting businesses in Canada.

Ms. Noonan has been involved with policy and strategic initiatives launched by Aboriginal groups and served for three years as the Director of Indian Self Government for the Assembly of First Nations post Penner Report. She has provided advisory, facilitation and research services to numerous federal agencies, commissions and Aboriginal organizations. She has also provided strategic advice to Aboriginal leaders in order to garner federal and provincial support for their social, environmental and economic priorities and has lead evaluation teams on national Aboriginal programs.

Ms. Noonan has an interest in governance and established Nika Technologies Inc. in 1999 to work with Geographic Information Systems in support of local government. Nika has provided consulting services to Mongolia, Guyana and the Philippines.

Ms. Noonan was appointed as Special Federal Representative to Treaty Six (Alberta) Bilateral (2001-2007) and is presently Special Federal Representative for the Labrador Innu Comprehensive Healing Strategy (2009-10).

Pat Baxter

Patricia Baxter, specializes in organizational development, facilitation and training with Aboriginal people across Canada. Her efforts include major facilitations at national forums and roundtables, working on women’s issues, in the areas of economic development as well participating as a board member of the Aboriginal Human Resource Council for the past 10 years and is the current Co-Chair.  Pat continues to work at the community, regional and national level on Aboriginal issues. She is the past Co-President of the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Chairperson of the Women’s Economic Development Consortium and continues volunteer work and advisory support for CWF on economic development issues for Aboriginal women. These activities led to the establishment of a bursary at Trent University – Patricia Baxter Anishnawbe Kwe Award.

Since 1994 Pat has been self-employed working with a variety of clients both in the public/private sectors and non-profit organizations across Canada. She volunteers with  several national and regional organizations in Canada, including work as a Board member on the Ottawa United Way. Pat enjoys working on human resource development work, capacity and organizational development work.

Patricia is a member of Shegundiah First Nation and currently lives in Aylmer, Quebec.

Claire Marshall

Claire Marshall has focused on governance issues for 21 years. She was a Director of the Institute on Governance for 14 years following over twenty years experience with the federal government which included senior assignments in economic policy development and public sector reform as a senior policy executive, a Privy Council officer, a Canadian Trade Commissioner (India, Nepal & Sri Lanka) and an economic analyst.

She provides advice on civil service reform, building policy capacity, decision-making process and government-citizen communications in Canada and overseas. Canadian clients include multiple federal government departments, provincial and regional governments (e.g. Manitoba, Nunavut and Nunatsiavut), non-profit Boards. Overseas, she has worked with several international donor organizations and has volunteered with VSO. She has lengthy experience in professional development (design, delivery) and also undertakes group facilitation, public speaking and editing.

Jim McCarthy


Following a 11-year career with the Canadian Armed Forces, Mr. McCarthy joined the federal government in 1977 and held progressively senior positions in Public Works Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. In 2002 he established his own consulting practice, completing a variety of assignments in finance and resource management, First Nation programming, governance and support of negotiations with Aboriginal groups.

Mr. McCarthy graduated from the Royal Military College with a BA in history. He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Dalhousie University.

Ruth Cardinal

Ruth Cardinal

Ruth Cardinal has over 35 years of experience in government communications. When she left the federal government in 1998, she was Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Communications and Consultation.

Ruth was Director General of Communications in six federal departments including Justice, Secretary of State, the Canadian International Development Agency, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the Federal-Provincial Relations Office and the Department of National Defence. She provided advice to Ministers and Deputy Ministers, developed corporate communications strategies, strategic communications plans, directed crisis and issues management initiatives, marketing, consultation and media relations, as well managing regional communications and communications operations.

As a communications consultant, Ruth advises federal government departments and agencies on strategic communications planning, communications organization, issues management and media relations. Recent projects include: advising on an audit of crisis communications at the Public Health Agency of Canada, development of a communications strategy for the Office of the Federal Interlocutor, creation of an overview of the Aboriginal Canada Portal for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and development of a communications plan for the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada to support the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund.

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