Nch’kaỷ Development Corporation – Executive Vice President, Real Estate and Development

Ottawa, Ontario
November 11, 2021
December 12, 2021

Executive Vice President

 Real Estate and Development

Nch’kaỷ Development Corporation


Squamish Nation

Building on a rich, resilient history and a bright future, the Squamish Nation continues to prosper and thrive. The Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) culture and traditions are strongly interconnected with their territories and communities. They continue to occupy and govern their lands as well as safeguard their rights, title and identity.

The modern-day Squamish Nation was formed in 1923 when the Squamish People and their leaders voted to amalgamate the many individual Squamish bands into a single entity and rebuild their governance to the Squamish Nation. The effect was to combine resources and work together to protect Squamish Nation lands and interests for all generations. This joining of communities is now known amongst Squamish Nation members as the Amalgamation.

More than a decade ago, the Squamish Nation Council developed  a Community Development Plan (CDP) to achieve:

“A Squamish Nation that is made of sustainable communities that are geographically dispersed but are unquestionably linked by our traditions, heritage and culture.  We will embrace a balance of environmental protection and economic vitality on our lands.  This approach to land use will provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment for us to live, study, work, play and enjoy a high quality of life now and for future generations of Squamish People.”

Nch’kaỷ Development Corporation

Nch’kaỷ Development Corporation (NDC) was formed to support the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw by generating wealth and creating prosperity from economic opportunities for current and future generations of the Nation in a manner that respects the Snewayelh and Nexwniw of the Nation and upholds the spirit and intent of the Amalgamation.  As the main driver of future business success for the Nation, NDC plays a crucial role in making the Squamish Nation vision and CDP come to life through “economic vitality.” 

NDC’s seven-member Board is made up of two Squamish council members, one community member and four independent directors. The Board is actively guiding the consolidation of the Squamish Nation business portfolio to achieve best-practices in governance. Bringing together the existing suite of businesses from across the real estate, natural resources, energy, and retail sectors, NDC and the Squamish Nation are poised to become one of the most influential business leaders in Metro Vancouver and British Columbia.


“There is a legend in Squamish Nation oral tradition that talks about the well-known peak of Nch’kaỷ (Garibaldi).

In ancient times, a flood covered Squamish lands and reached as far south as Xwsa7k (Mount Baker). Nch’kaỷ was the only piece of land peaking out of the flood waters. During the flood, the Squamish people tied their canoes to the mountain’s volcanic peak. For the Squamish Nation it was a place of refuge, reconciliation and wealth.”


With the 11.7-acre reserve-land development at the South end of the Burrard Bridge in the area now known as Kitsilano, the Sen’ákw development is the largest real estate project in Canada led by First Nations to date and focused on building a community connected to people and the environment in a way that fits with Squamish values.  The planned eleven tower development is situated on a sliver of land within the 80-acre Kitsilano Indian Reserve No. 6 (also known as Sen’ákwby the Squamish people). Sen’ákw will bring the following to a highly attractive neighbourhood, answering the demand for increased housing on Vancouver’s west side: 

  • 6000 new units
  • 80 percent of the land available for parks and community space, including basketball and lacrosse courts

NDC is working with Westbank, one of North America’s leading developers, in a 50/50 partnership. While Westbank is responsible for raising the $3 billion in construction financing, the 50/50 structure means that neither party can make decisions without the buy-in of the other.

“This is a once in a generation and lifetime opportunity. Our new CEO will lead in one of the most incredible development projects our community has ever seen. They will need to inspire others to do things they have never done before—to create a vision that includes Squamish Nation members and one that builds trust amongst  our people, the City of Vancouver and Metro Vancouver, as well.”

~Chris Lewis, Board Director and Councillor

The Role

Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and having the necessary latitude and autonomy to make decisions, the EVP leads and collaborates with the CEO and other Senior Leadership Team to identify, develop and complete real estate projects. They will be accountable for ensuring that all due diligence requirements have been considered and completed and that the various funding and finance models abide by NDC policy. They will also ensure that all projects reflect the highest standards of corporate social responsibility and land stewardship in alignment with Squamish Nation values.

Through a respectful, constructive and energetic style, guided by corporate objectives, the EVP provides the vision, leadership, and management necessary to ensure that the Corporation continues to foster, build, and maintain relationships with external partners.

Key Responsibilites
  1. Identifies and promotes business ideas with governments, health authorities, non-profit societies, First Nations, community agencies, and the private sector to create and pursue innovative real estate strategic opportunities.
  2. Reviews and evaluates real estate projects by conducting a due diligence review of all project sites, land use and zoning requirements, geotechnical issues, building designs, construction specifications, cost estimates, development schedules and management plans. Undertakes a thorough feasibility analysis, financial funding analysis, need and demand assessment, site feasibility, traffic analysis and risk assessment, and tests pro-forma scenarios (sensitivity analyses) to protect the NDCs mandate and investment.
  3. Develops real estate project scope, capital and operating budgets, lending parameters, risk profiles and development and construction schedules and works closely with stakeholders to determine where efficiencies, compromises and/or alternatives can be utilized in order to achieve the desired outcome for each project. Ensures appropriate risk mitigation measures are in place to control risks and ensure desired results.
  4. As projects move through any municipal or other approval processes, participate in a collaborative multistakeholder communications process, as well as public consultation meetings, to ensure the development plan is correctly conveyed and that incoming and outgoing messaging is accurately documented and incorporated in accordance with project needs and policy requirements.
  5. Depending on the nature of each project, leads or manages stakeholder relationships with non-profits, municipalities, developers, consultants, contractors, neighbourhood groups, architects, lawyers and others throughout the development and construction process. Ensures understanding with respect to Federal, Provincial, Municipal and BC Housing`s policies, procedures, standards, and sustainability guidelines and requirements. Responds to requests for information and facilitates the resolution of issues that could hinder the achievement of project objectives.
  6. Attends and/or presents at various industry events, technical forums, and seminars maintains a good knowledge of current industry practice and building code requirements and stays current with construction costs, general housing market conditions, project management techniques and legal updates affecting the general housing industry.  
Key Responsibilites (con’t)
  • Interacts with and negotiates terms with corporations and/ or their Boards, Chiefs and Councils, resource groups, community and professional organizations.
  • Responsible for hiring, training, and developing a capable and accountable real estate development team.
  • Consults widely within the Squamish Nation community to develop and strengthen a widely accepted vision for NDC and its businesses while building personal credibility and acceptance.
  • Provides executive oversight to employees and consultants to ensure:  o   All real estate projects are economically viable for NDC and the Squamish Nation, and that all       commitments and agreements made by contractors and partners are kept.  o   All necessary and appropriate consultations with appropriate regulatory approval agencies take          place in a spirit of cooperation and honesty. All legal and reporting requirements for the organization       are met and are in accordance with policies and agreements.
    • All partners that participate in real estate projects with NDC are well regarded, respected, trustworthy,       have well-earned reputations in their sector, and have values that support the goals and objectives       of NDC and the Squamish Nation.
    • NDC responds to market demands by conducting and/or reviewing market research to ensure        projects meet market/consumer needs as well as NDC and Squamish Nation goals and objectives.     o   All initiatives adhere to an overall strategic plan and annual plans to ensure that the cash flow of                 NDC is sufficient to minimize the need to borrow.
    • NDC effectively manages all aspects of contract management.        o   Risks are identified and managed appropriately through effective internal controls and other risk                management methods.
  • Seeks legal, accounting, human resources, or other professional advice at appropriate stages to ensure due diligence.
  • Regularly evaluates the progress of NDC and reports on significant variances from plan to the CEO in a timely manner with recommendations for addressing them.
  • Other related duties as required.
  • Preferred Qualifications
    • Bachelor’s degree in a related field; Urban Land Economics, Urban Planning, Architecture, Engineering or a related Master’s degree will be an asset
    • Minimum of 10 years’ experience leading in a land development role at a senior executive level with a proven track-record of complex project delivery, a strong focus on organizational development, team leadership, and business development.
    Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
    • Visionary Leadership: Displays passion and optimism; inspires respect and trust; mobilizes others to fulfill the vision; provides vision and inspiration to peers and subordinates.
    • Managing People and Teamwork: Works in a multi-cultural, diverse environment that demonstrates cultural awareness and sensitivity; manages all staffing planning; takes responsibility for subordinates’ activities; makes self available to staff; provides regular performance feedback; develops subordinates’ skills and encourages growth; solicits and applies customer feedback (internal and external); fosters quality focus in others; supports everyone’s efforts to succeed.
    • Strategic Thinking: Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; understands organization’s strengths & weaknesses; analyzes market and competition; identifies external threats and opportunities; adapts strategy to changing conditions.
    • Change Management: Develops workable implementation plans; communicates changes effectively; builds commitment and overcomes resistance; prepares and supports those affected by change; monitors transition and evaluates results.
      Analytical: Synthesizes complex or diverse information; collects and researches data; uses intuition and experience to complement data; designs workflows and procedures.
    • Judgment: Displays willingness to make decisions; exhibits sound and accurate judgment; supports and explains reasoning for decisions; includes appropriate people in the decision-making process; makes timely decisions.
    • Planning/Organizing: Prioritizes and plans work activities; uses time efficiently; plans for additional resources; sets goals and objectives; organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; develops realistic action plans.
    • Technical Skills: Assesses own strengths and weaknesses; pursues training and professional development opportunities; strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; shares expertise with others.
    • Quality Management: Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
    • Adaptability: Adapts to changes in the work environment; manages competing demands; changes approach or method to best fit the situation; able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
    • Strong computer skills: Become and remain proficient is all programs necessary in evaluating and managing real estate development projects.
    Location - Squamish Nation Territories

    Squamish Nation homelands include some of the present-day cities of Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster, all of the cities of North Vancouver and West Vancouver, Port Moody and all of the District of Squamish and the Municipality of Whistler. These boundaries embrace all of Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet and English Bay, as well as the rivers and creeks that flow into these bodies of water. The Nation’s historical links to these lands and waters are numerous. Squamish place names exist throughout the territory. In many instances, a location has particular meaning to the Nation because of the existence of oral traditions that served to explain that place in the Squamish universe and in their relationship to the land. In addition, the land bears witness to the settlements, resource sites, and spiritual and ritual places of our ancestors, including villages, hunting camps, cedar bark gathering areas, rock quarries, clam processing camps, pictographs and cemeteries. Some of these village sites date back 3000 years. 

      To Apply

    This is an exciting leadership role that offers the unique opportunity to work with the single largest First Nations Economic Development project in Canada and grow their operations for further future success. For more  details, please contact:

    Laurie SterrittPartner Joy Beshie • Consultant Leaders International Leaders International

    880-609 Granville Street                                               1 Rideau St. Suite 700

    Vancouver, British Columbia                                        Ottawa, Ontario

    Telephone: 778-838-4569 Telephone: 613-296-2315

    To apply, please submit a Cover Letter and Resume directly to Leaders International outlining your interest, qualifications and experience.

    Leaders International specializes in the recruitment of Board of Directors, leadership succession and executive level positions. Our global network, Penrhyn International, is a world leader in the executive recruitment industry, with more than 47 offices in over 25 countries on 5 continents.

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