Cliff Fregin was born and raised in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and is Haida from Old Massett, Haida Gwaii. With 35+ years management experience, Cliff has been extensively involved in Indigenous economic & business development throughout Canada. A strategic thinker and strong financial manager he is known nationally for his expertise in leadership development, stakeholder relations, partnership development and development of programs and services.
Through 1995-2002, Cliff had been employed as the Executive Director of the Gwaii Trust – a partnership between the Haida Nation and the settlers on Haida Gwaii. Gwaii Trust manages a perpetual trust fund initially capitalized at $38 million in 1994; market value in early 2003 was $62 million.
In December 2002, Cliff was hired by National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association (NACCA) as the Chief Operating Officer, responsible for finance and programs in Ottawa, ON. NACCA is an association of Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs); these 55 AFIs provide high risk small business development financing and services to aboriginal entrepreneurs throughout Canada.
From October 2006 – July 2019, Cliff Fregin has led the New Relationship Trust (NRT) as Chief Executive Officer. NRT is a trust fund charged with building capacity for British Columbia First Nations by supporting First Nation governance, economic development, education, language revitalization, and youth & Elders initiatives.
Cliff has experience establishing youth mentorship programs with corporations nationally and internationally particularly in the business sector; Cliff is one of the founders of YES – Young Entreprenuers Symposium, which provides entrepreneurship training through an annual conference – for 15+ years.
Since August 2019, Cliff has held the Chief Operating Officer (COO) position with Indspire; a nationally recognized top 10 charity in Canada supporting indigenous students through scholarships, bursaries and mentorship initiatives. Indspire has grown to provide $20+M in scholarships to 6,900 students in the past 2021-22 year.