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Eric Joseph Christmas Indigenous Entrepreneur

Eric Christmas has dedicated the entirety of his professional career to the advancement of aboriginal communities, corporations and institutions through a variety of private/public sector engagements. 

 

In 2011, Mr. Christmas led the efforts to develop and execute the Mi’kmaq Renewable Energy Strategy (MRES). He led the project teams responsible for developing an energy investment and energy efficiency plan for the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia via the Assembly of NS Mi’kmaq Chiefs. He also secured and delivered the required equity funding.  

 

Included in MRES effort was the development of two major wind farms for the Mi’kmaq of NS, both of which are now operational. Mr. Christmas also led the team to design and deliver a major energy efficiency project for the 13 Mi’kmaq communities. In 2012, he led the development team to launch a 13 Mi’kmaq community development corporation, known as Beaubassin Wind Energy Management Ltd. 

 

Mr. Christmas also has an extensive business development background. Previous engagements have been with Membertou First Nation (Director Corporate Affairs), Wagmatcook First Nation (Corporate Director), National Centre for First Nation Governance (Governance Advisor) and Exxon-Mobil Canada (Aboriginal Liaison).

 

Current Engagements

 

Mr. Christmas currently has engagements BigMoon Energy, Pictou Landing First Nation and Tobique First Nation.

 

With BigMoon Energy, a company seeking to develop tidal energy in Nova Scotia and abroad, Mr. Christmas is designing a tech transfer and commercialization process for First Nations in the Nova Scotia tidal industry.  

 

With Tobique First Nation, Mr. Christmas is realigning the band’s corporate fisheries and commercial acquisition program (including aquaculture) and redesigning their fisheries training through virtual reality (Virtual Nation).

 

Mr. Christmas is currently developing Pictou Landing First Nation’s Development Corporation including selecting a BOD for the DevCorp, building a Mi’kmaq temporary employment agency, developing partnerships for Boat Harbour clean up project and land management, and a First Nations modular home company. 

 

Entrepreneurship: At present, Mr. Christmas is developing a virtual reality company (Virtual Nation) whose long-term objective is to develop First Nation business skills and capacities. Mr. Christmas also owns a farmer’s market in Sydney and, until recently, a restaurant in Cole Harbour (sold in April 2017).

"I joined the Board of LearnSphere because the opportunity to work with a non-profit organization that behaves and operates very much like a for-profit venture and in turn supports the SME community was overwhelming. LearnSphere truly draws upon the entrepreneurial skills and spirit of its board members and I am very excited to play a role in its continued success. I bring a unique skill set to LearnSphere that primarily includes direct business development within the First Nations communities. I view my individual role as enhancing the outreach of LearnSphere to the aboriginal community and perhaps one day replicating the model for our community."

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