Dawn Madahbee Leach is the Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board. She is also a proud member of the Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation on Manitoulin Island in Central Canada where she has served as a member of her community’s Council. Since 1988, she has been General Manager of the Waubetek Business Development Corporation, an Aboriginal Financial Institution that provides financing and economic services to Aboriginal entrepreneurs and First Nation communities throughout North-East Ontario. Under her leadership, Waubetek has proudly invested more than $100 million in 3,500 Aboriginal businesses who experience a business success rate of 94%. Dawn was instrumental in the development of the OECD’s first-ever international Indigenous 2020 report on “Linking Indigenous Peoples to Regional Development”. She also led the development of the National Aboriginal Economic Benchmark Report (2012) and the follow-up National Aboriginal Economic Progress Reports 2015 and 2019.
Dawn is a graduate of the University of Waterloo Economic Developers Program. She also studied at York University and Laurentian University where she earned a degree in Political Science with a minor in Law. Besides serving on the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, she is also on the boards of Peace Hills Trust and NioBay Minerals Inc. She has been recognized with numerous national awards and has been a speaker at international forums in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Paris, Germany, the US and the UN on Indigenous economic development.