JP Gladu has been tapped to lead the Indigenous Resource Network (IRN) in its shift from a volunteer-led group to a professional organization.
Gladu, who hails from Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sand Point First Nation) in northwestern Ontario, will serve as the group's acting executive director during the change, assisting with the search for a permanent leader.
Described by IRN as “one of Canada’s foremost business leaders,” Gladu brings “exceptional insight into Indigenous entrepreneurship and economic development,” the group said.
He is the former president of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, an advisor to the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, a board member at Suncor and Noront Resources, chair of the Boreal Leadership Champions, former chair of the Mikisew Group of Companies, and former chancellor for St. Paul's Waterloo University College. Gladu is also a founding advisory board member of the IRN.
“We are excited that JP will be working with us to move the Indigenous Resource Network to the next level and position our organization for greater impact and influence,” IRN board chair Arnie Bellis said in a June 11 statement.
“We remain committed to sharing the voices of Indigenous workers and business owners, and growing opportunities for Indigenous participation in the resource sector.
"With his background in forestry, mining, and oil and gas, JP is the perfect person to lead these efforts.”
The Indigenous Resource Network was launched in 2020 as a platform for Indigenous workers, business owners and leaders who support Indigenous engagement in the resource sector.