On September 30, 2021, Woods, LaFortune LLP marked National Truth and Reconciliation Day with partner, Michael Woods moderating the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization’s webinar – Get Your Skills Ready for International Trade. [ Get Your Skills Ready for International Trade – IITIO] At the outset of the webinar, Michael acknowledged the importance of the commemorating and reflecting upon the painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools and his firm’s commitment to work with Indigenous communities in the process of reconciliation.
Michael is a founding member of the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization IITIO which teamed up with the University of Oklahoma School of Law to provide the fifth offering in its educational series aimed at promoting and enabling increased Indigenous participation in international trade. He was joined by the CEO of the Forum for International Trade (FITT), Caroline Tompkins, and fellow IITIO member Dr. Jim Collard. Dr. Collard is Director of Economic Development of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Oklahoma. With the discussion focused on building the basic skills required to be a successful international trade practitioner. There was a special focus on the will draw on the world-class FITTSkills program. [ FITTskills Online Courses | Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) (fittfortrade.com)]
In 2017 IITIO played a lead role in pushing for Indigenous involvement in Canada’s process at the outset of the NAFTA re-negotiations and was the catalyst in the creation of the Global Affairs Canada’s Indigenous Working Group (IWG). [ International Trade Agreements and Indigenous Peoples: The Canadian Approach]. Michael joined at the IWG’s creation and continues to be an active has member the group interacts with Canadian officials vis-à-vis Canada’s ongoing trade policy formulation and negotiations. He is currently donating his time to work on the APEC initiative – the Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement (IPETCA)