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Economic developer recognized by governor general

Dawn Madahbee Leach receives medal for meritorious service
Dawn Madahbee Leach (left) receives the Meritorious Service Cross from Governor General Julie Payette on March 26, 2019. (Supplied photo)

Dawn Madahbee Leach has been recognized for her service to Indigenous economic development with a Governor General’s Meritorious Service Cross.

The first Indigenous woman to lead a regional financial lending institution, Madahbee Leach has had a positive impact on the quality of life and economic well-being of Indigenous Canadians within her community and across the country.

Madahbee Leach has served as general manager of the Waubetek Economic Development Corp. since 1989, where she has overseen millions of dollars of investments in Indigenous businesses and has helped establish community development projects throughout Northern Ontario.

She has served on a number of boards and committees, including for the Northern Policy Institute, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., and the Ontario Development Corp. Madahbee Leach has also served on council for her home community of Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation on Manitoulin Island.

Most recently, through her role at Waubetek, Madahbee Leach has helped launch the Aboriginal Mining Strategy for North-East Ontario, whose aim is to develop Aboriginal mining industry knowledge, build relationships, engage the Aboriginal skilled workforce, and promote Aboriginal business partnerships.

As part of the strategy, Waubetek launched the Association of Indigenous Mining Suppliers in Toronto in March, during the 2019 convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.

Madahbee Leach was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross on Aug. 2, 2017, and was invested by Governor General Julie Payette on March 26, 2019 in Ottawa.