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National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada

Posted by on Oct 1, 2021

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)...

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Michael Woods – Director on FITT Board 2008-2021

Posted by on Aug 9, 2021

In June 2021, Michael Woods completed his fourth term and final term on the Board of Directors of the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) [ | Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) (fittfortrade.com) ]. FITT is a Canada-based not-for-profit (NFP) organization dedicated to providing international business training, resources and professional certification to individuals and businesses. It provided the only international business training programs and related professional designation (CITP/FIBP) endorsed by both the World Trade Centers Association and the Government of Canada. [ FITTskills Online Courses | Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) (fittfortrade.com) ]. Membership on the FITT Board is limited to four terms and Michael is honoured to have been elected for the maximum number of terms and serving since 2008.  Among the many highlights of his work on the Board was the work process that led to FITT’s formal partnership arrangement with Export Development Canada (EDC) aimed at delivering enhanced trade education to Canadian companies and trade professionals.  At the core of the partnership is the EDC-FITT International Trade Learning Centre (Centre) – a digital platform from which EDC and FITT that offers information, learning modules, and other knowledge-based resources focused on helping small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) go, grow and succeed internationally. [ https://fittfortrade.com/edc-fitt-online-training]. Michael is looks forward to maintaining close ties with FITT members and...

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Michael Woods to Host a Indigenous Law and Policy Session on September 30, 2021

Posted by on Aug 3, 2021

On September 30, 2021, Michael Woods will host and moderate the fifth offering in an online educational series on aspects of Indigenous international and inter-tribal trade.  The series is offered the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization (IITIO).  Michael is a founding member of IITIO and is active in the work of promoting Indigenous participation in international trade. He is  member of the Government of Global Affairs Canada’s Indigenous Working Group (IWG). [ http://www.wl-tradelaw.com/practice-areas/indigenous-trade-and-investment/ ]. The topic is Get Your Skills Ready for International Trade. Michael will be joined by the CEO of the Forum for International Trade (FITT), Carolyn Tompkins and fellow IITIO member Dr. Jim Collard who is Director of Economic Development of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (Oklahoma).  The focus of the session will be on learning and/or building on the basic skills required to be a successful international trade practitioner with a special focus on Indigenous potential perspectives.  The panellists will draw on the world class FITTSkills program  [  FITTskills Online Courses | Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) (fittfortrade.com)  ].   You are invited to register for the session at no cost at:...

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Michael Woods Invited to Participate in APEC Policy Dialogue on Indigenous Economies

Posted by on Feb 25, 2021

The APEC Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Co-operation has invited Michael Woods to attend a policy dialogue on Understanding and Valuing Indigenous Economies within APEC.  APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) is a 21- member intergovernmental forum dedicated to promoting economic growth, and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.  The purpose of the March 3, 2021, virtual conference is to  review the findings of an APEC report on Indigenous economies and how they can contribute to inclusive economic growth.  The objective is also to identify opportunities for future work by APEC on the role of governments in unlocking the potential of indigenous economies. New Zealand has lead the work on this initiative with Canada as one of the co-sponsoring nations.   Canada’s related case study can be found at this link – APEC case study on inclusive policies: Advancing Indigenous peoples’ economic interests through Canada’s trade agreements (international.gc.ca).  Through his work as founding member International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization (IITIO), Michael is active in promoting Indigenous trade.  He has served on Global Affairs Canada’s Indigenous Working Group (IWG) since its creation in...

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Global Affairs Canada – Indigenous Working Group

Posted by on Dec 14, 2020

On December 11, 2020, Michael Woods participated in the most recent meeting of Global Affairs Canada’s Indigenous Working Group (IWG). As part of its commitment and inclusive approach to trade Global Affairs established the IWG in September 2017 in order to better engage with Indigenous Peoples and their representatives during the NAFTA renewal negotiations that lead to the Canada-U.S.-Mexica Agreement (CUSMA).  Michael participates in the IWG as a founding member of the International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization (IITIO)  [ Home – IITIO ; see also NAFTA Submission to Global Affairs Canada from IITIO – IITIO ] Post-CUSMA, the IWG has continued to engaged on Canada’s wider trade policy objectives and negotiations.  The December 11, session included  discussion of  on-going Canada-Mercosur FTA Negotiations, the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement, WTO Negotiations on Investment Facilitation and E-Commerce, the Canada-European Union CETA Civil Society Forum, and an update on CUSMA implementation with a focus on the SME and Competitiveness Committees. For more about the IWG and Global Affairs Canada’s ongoing program of  engagement with Indigenous Peoples on International Trade see –  International Trade Agreements and Indigenous Peoples: The Canadian...

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CETA – Third Annual Civil Society Forum

Posted by on Dec 10, 2020

Michael Woods was honoured to be invited to participate in the third edition of the  Civil Society Forum, established under the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The event was held on December 8th and 9th.  The Civil Society Forum (CSF) is a joint initiative of the Government of Canada and the European Union that  provides an opportunity for important dialogue and exchange of views between Canadian and EU representatives from employers, unions, labour and business organizations, environmental groups, Indigenous organizations, and other civil society organizations.  Participants also have the opportunity to present views to officials of the Government of Canada and the European Commission, on CETA implementation relating to the Trade and Sustainable Development (Chapter 22 of the Agreement), Trade and Labour (Chapter 23), and Trade and Environment (Chapter 24) as well as on matters relating to Trade and Gender, SMEs and Trade, Climate Action and the Paris Agreement, Indigenous trade, and other inclusive trade related issues. The two-day event was held virtually due to COVID-19 concerns and included  a special focus on sustainable development.  See this link to the agenda – 2020 Canada-EU CETA Civil Society Forum Programme (international.gc.ca).  Michael also attended the second Civil Society Forum which Canada hosted in Ottawa in November 2019. See this link to the final report –...

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