Chief Operating Officer


Cliff Fregin was born and raised in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and is Haida from Old Massett, Haida Gwaii.  With 30+ 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.

Since October 2006, 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.

In 2011 under Cliff’s leadership the New Relationship Trust Foundation, a registered charity, was created which is responsible for the distribution of scholarships and bursaries to First Nations students in British Columbia.

Cliff has experience establishing youth mentorship programs with corporations nationally and internationally particularly in the business sector. His experience leading and developing education and training initiatives include:

  • Developed an annual national Youth Entrepreneur Symposium (YES), which is in its 13th year with 160 – 200 delegates annually from across Canada;
  • Experience with overseeing curriculum and training around governance and economic development.