The most trusted Indigenous advisors in Canada.


First Peoples Group prides itself on providing consultant teams customized to match client needs. Starting with the firm’s core team of consultants, we build the right team for each mandate by drawing on the large network of subject-matter experts that we have developed through our many years of successful collaborations. These experts include educators, sociologists, economists and health care professionals.

First Peoples Group Consultants

Guy Freedman

President and Senior Partner

President and Senior Partner of the First Peoples Group, Guy Freedman is an entrepreneurial leader and talented facilitator with diversified experience in the development, implementation, management and operation of projects, services and programs. Guy is… Read More

Melissa Hammell

Vice President

Melissa Hammell grew up in Ottawa and is proud of her Anishinaabe (Kitigan Zibi) and European mixed heritage. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from the University of Waterloo, specializing in public… Read More

Brenda Macdougall

Partner & Senior Education Consultant

Appointed as the Chair of Métis Research at the University of Ottawa in 2010, Brenda Macdougall has worked with a number of Metis communities documenting their cultural history through the stories of families. She began… Read More

Cassidy Caron

Cassidy Caron


Cassidy Caron is a Métis woman with roots in the historic Métis communities of Batoche and St. Louis, Saskatchewan. She grew up closely connected to her Métis traditions, heritage and culture and is driven by… Read More

Heather Watts

Heather Watts (she/her)

Heather Watts is Mohawk & Anishinaabe from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Education has been a central part of her work over the past ten years, graduating from Syracuse University with a degree… Read More

Lynne Toupin

Senior Associate

Lynne Toupin is an experienced professional who has worked in the public, nonprofit and cooperative sectors in Canada. In the last twenty years, she has led and managed a number of national non-profit organizations, successfully… Read More

Danielle Roy

Danielle Roy

Danielle is French-Canadian with Haudenosaunee ancestry from Iroquois Falls in Northern Ontario.  She moved to Ottawa for her post-secondary education in 2014 and has since been on a continuous journey working alongside the Indigenous community… Read More

First Peoples Group West Consultants

Neegann Aaswaakshin (Senior Associate)

Vice President

Neegann Aaswaakshin is Saulteaux of the Anishinaabe Nation, a member of Fishing Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan – Treaty No. 4, and Bear Clan. Her name O’Niigaannii Aaswaakshin means “leader to lean on” in Anishinaabemowin,… Read More

David Turner

Vice President

A non-status Indian of Saulteaux (Pinaymootang First Nation, Manitoba) and African American descent, David is an independent consultant with a Diploma of Social Work (Honours) from Mount Royal College in Calgary. His experience includes initiatives… Read More

Patrick Kelly

Senior Associate

Patrick is a member of the Leq:amel First Nation (Sto:lo Nation.) He operates a consulting business and was Advisor and Director of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. In September 2012 he completed a five-year… Read More

Elders and Senior Advisors

Maria Campbell

Senior Advisor

Maria Campbell is a writer, playwright, and teacher. She started her career in 1973 when she published her first book, Half-breed. That book has become a literary classic and continues to be one of the… Read More

Fred Kelly

Senior Advisor

Fred Kelly is a citizen of the Ojibways of Onigaming, a community of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty #3. Kizhebowse Mukwaa (Kind Walking Bear) of the Lynx Clan is an Elder in Midewin, the Sacred… Read More

Bob Watts

Senior Fellow (Reconciliation)

Robert (Bob) Watts is a much sought after trainer and expert in Indigenous policy, negotiations, conflict resolution and reconciliation. He is the former Interim Executive Director of the Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which examined… Read More

Velma McColl

Velma McColl

Strategy Advisor

Velma McColl is delighted to join First Peoples Group as a strategy advisor during a time of growth and opportunity. A Westerner with more than 20 years in Ottawa, Velma is committed to resilience in all things.… Read More