RCA 2023 Conference Speaker Session Announcement: Learning from Treebeard – Innovation in First Nations

Join us for the highly anticipated 2023 RCA Circular Economy Conference, at the picturesque Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise from October 18 to 20. Immerse yourself in the theme, “There and Back Again: The Journey to Circularity,” inspired by the epic Lord of the Rings saga. Get ready for a transformative journey, featuring three days of captivating insights and engaging discussions on the circular economy. Each of our speaker sessions will offer a unique perspective on the circular economy.

In the journey toward reconciliation, First Nations offer valuable insights into fostering a more harmonious relationship with nature. In this journey, we uncover boundless opportunities for collaboration, as we embrace their wisdom to forge a sustainable and harmonious future together.

As we approach National Truth and Reconciliation Day, it is important to take time to learn from our history and reflect on our present. There is strength in diversity and only through sharing and learning from each other can we ensure a better future for ourselves and our land. Our conference aims to support this journey by fostering dialogue, collaboration, and learning opportunities for all who attend.

Sponsored by Reverse Logistics Group

Moderator: Andrea Chmielinski (Reverse Logistics Group) 


  • Glyn Lewis – Renewal Home Development
  • Kate Nelson – Indigenous Services Canada: Reconciliation from Trash
  • Lucinda Phillips – Indigenous Zero Waste Technical Advisory Group (IZWTAG)
  • Jule Asterisk – Regional Environmental Action Committee: Plastics Remanufacture Project

Full speaker bios for this session can be found below. Stay tuned for updates on speakers for our other sessions!

Secure your registration now and explore sponsorship options or host a tradeshow exhibit during the event. Visit www.conference.recycle.ab.ca for the program and more details. For any further inquiries, please contact the RCA at 403.843.6563 or email us at info@recycle.ab.ca.

Glyn Lewis – Renewal Home Development

Glyn Lewis is the founder and CEO of Renewal Home Development. Glyn’s company seeks to save, relocate and repurpose high-value homes slated for demolition for new owners in coastal communities here in the Pacific Northwest. Glyn is a graduate of the Sustainable Community Development program at Simon Fraser University and an alum of Barack Obama’s 2007-08 US Presidential campaign. His personal mission is to leverage enterprise to create social change.

Kate Nelson – Indigenous Services Canada

Kate is from Mi’kma’ki the ancestral and unceded territory of the L’nu. After living and travelling across Canada, Kate made her way back to the East Coast to raise her children and get free child care from her mom and sister. She has also accumulated a saucy Puggle, a chatty Husky and a hateful cat. She has lots of schooling that no one cares about except her mom and formerly, Canada Student Loan. Kate has over 15 years’ experience in Government (Tribal & Colonial), Non-profit, Project Management, Communications, Rural and Community Economic Development and Rural Leadership.

Kate has been on a mission for about eight years to convert as many people into waste management nerds as possible and to create an equitable environment for Indigenous Communities to access waste facilities and diversion programs. It’s a good thing that she is the Team Lead for the First Nation Solid Waste Management Initiative with Indigenous Services Canada because it’s nice when obsessions work out to be pensionable.

She gets to do work that she loves, with folks she cares about, in places that mean the most to her. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Lucinda Phillips – Indigenous Zero Waste Technical Advisory Group (IZWTAG)

I am Lucinda Phillips, a proud member of Lil’wat Nation in BC.

Lucinda has over 20+ years of experience working with First Nations organizations in a variety of departments, Lucinda was the Chief of her community from 2011-2015 and on Council for many years. She has been with IZWTAG (Indigenous Zero Waste Technical Advisory Group) as the Executive Director since 2019 and quite enjoys her time working with all First Nations within BC.

Jule Asterisk – Regional Environmental Action Committee

Jule was born in England, as her parents felt their children should have European citizenship in case we settlers give North America back to Indigenous peoples. Growing up on several continents has led Jule to ask the question “Where are we going?”  One of life’s defining moments, at age eight, was when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire in 1969, making her question whether the ‘grown ups’ know what they are doing, and sparking Jule’s lifelong regard and concern for our environment.

Jule moved to Slave Lake in 2001 to initiate the new regional landfill with certifications as Landfill Manager and Compost Facility Manager. She also initiated new recycling programs including tires, electronics, paint, fluorescent bulbs, and batteries, in addition to our residential recycling program, and yard waste compost program.