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Kelly Lendsay
Indigenous Works
President & CEO

Kelly Lendsay is a social entrepreneur who is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s foremost innovators and organizational development experts in Indigenous engagement and workplace inclusion systems, models and corporate/indigenous partnerships. His dynamic communications style and passion for innovation has earned him the reputation as an engaging thought leader and effective bridge-builder fostering trusted partnerships for workforce and economic development across Canada, USA, Australia and abroad. A proud Canadian Indigenous leader of Cree and Métis ancestry, he moves seamlessly between both worlds fostering economic inclusion, well-being and prosperity for all. He was honored by the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) as one of their “100 Alumni of Influence” in the last century whose accomplishments have been recognized for influencing the growth and development of the university, the province, and the world during the last century. Kelly is recognized for creating many ‘innovative firsts’ including his newest initiative, “Luminary: Advancing Indigenous Innovation for Economic Transformation, Employment and Well-Being” with more than 140 Luminary partners from the academic, Indigenous business and NGO communities from Canada, USA and Australia. He spent the 80’s in aquatic and recreation management creating new lifeguard and swiftwater rescue training programs and was the youngest person to serve as the National Lifeguard Service Chairman of Canada. He completed his MBA in 1993 with research on Indigenous business education leading to the creation of the first Aboriginal Business Education Program in Canada at the Edwards School of Business – University of Saskatchewan where he served as the inaugural director from 1994-1998, creating undergraduate courses and the first “Aboriginal MBA Program”. In 1998 he became the inaugural President and CEO of Indigenous Works (formerly the Aboriginal Human Resource Council of Canada) and has been leading the charge to design and develop workplace inclusion models, systems and engagement strategies to increase Indigenous engagement in the economy. Some national and global achievement includes: the Inclusion Continuum, the first workplace inclusion system to benchmark practices and strategies; the first Indigenous job board in the world; the first national Indigenous recruitment fairs in Canada; the first national Indigenous career education program; and many other innovative programs, services and research. He conducts numerous speaking engagements and in 2021 delivered the keynote address to the World Indigenous Forum and the World Indigenous Research Council Conference on the topic of Luminary and growing Indigenous Innovation. He is married to Shiela and has five adult children. 

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