Aboriginal Community Involvement
The Jim Bourque Connection
The Halifax Group had virtually no involvement with Aboriginal people until Jim Bourque attended a company picnic in June 1994. Born into a Cree and Metis family in Wandering River, Alberta in 1935, the Honourable James Bourque P.C. was at the time of his introduction to The Halifax Group, the co-director of policy for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People. Jim’s commitment to public service started early when he was elected president of the hunter and trapper association in Fort Chipewyan when he was eighteen. Following a term as the park warden in Wood Buffalo National Park, Jim served as chairman of the Metis Association of the Northwest Territories, founded, and served as chair of, the Fur Institute of Canada, chaired the Northwest Territories Constitutional Committee, and held the position of Deputy Minister Renewable Resources for the NWT government. On July 1, 1992, Jim was sworn into the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.
A life-time activist and promoter of Aboriginal values and traditional knowledge, Jim was also a cosmopolitan, world traveller, interested in the benefits which science and technology might provide to Canadian Aboriginals. In January 1995, The Halifax Group and Jim’s family incorporated Transpolar Technology Corporation to pursue, at that time, non-traditional Aboriginal business opportunities.