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Brian can trace his heritage back to the Red River Community of the 1800’s in Northern Manitoba.

He is of Ojibwa and Scottish descent. Born in 1953 his birth mother gave him up for adoption, he was a perfect example of the Welfare System of the day in that he was placed without regard to his heritage in a Ukrainian Family that for years led him to believe that his darker coloring was due to him being of African Descent. It wasn’t until he was in his early forties that he met his birth mother and realized he was Indigenous and spent the next part of his life exploring that background not only with his new found family but also through his work at the Royal Bank where he became involved in Indigenous Banking and travelled all of Alberta visiting at the time all 45 First Nations, but also worked with 5 of the 8 Metis Settlements including Metis Settlements General Council.


Brian Hjlesvold has worked a majority of his career in Banking mostly Commercial and was Manager of Indigenous Banking for Alberta, NWT and the Yukon his last 15 years working with First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Communities. Brian was involved in growing the Indigenous banking business for RBC in Alberta, which at its peak had business with almost 25% of the Market. He proudly supported the Royal Eagles which was the employee based group of RBC and that in Edmonton hosted an annual Barbeque and Cultural Event in downtown Edmonton celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day with First Nation, Metis and Inuit performers on June 21 of each year and raised funds from the sale of Buffalo Burgers, chips and pop for $5.00 to support the Hot Lunch Program for Amiskwaciy Academy the first all Indigenous School in Edmonton, raising on average $5,000 per year for the 7 years involved.  


He completed his Institute of Corporate Directors designation  ICD.D  from the University of Toronto’s  Rotmans School of Management, and the University of Alberta’s School of Business in September 2022.

He also completed the Governance Essentials Program for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations from the same as above in March 2013

He also holds his PAED which is the Certified Indigenous Economic Developer Certification granted by the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers, which he received in September 2010.


His extensive board experience ranges across several indigenous organizations, financial education and health sectors.  His experience includes:


  • Board Chair Metis Settlements Development Corporation

  • Director for Aboriginal Financial Officers Association -Alberta

  • Committee Member Finance & Audit Committee – Covenant Health

  • Past Vice Chair for Little Red River Group of Companies (Little Red River Cree First Nation)

  • Past Director and Chair for the Human Resource Committee for Goodfish Lake Development Corp (Whitefish Lake Indian Band #128)

  • Past Vice Chair, Chair Human Resources, Chair Governance Committee Norquest College

  • Past Independent Director on the Board for Embark Engineering (partnership between the Lax Kwa'laams First Nation and the Engineering firm Kerr Wood Leidel)

  • Past Board Chair for Loon River Development Corp (Loon River Cree First Nations)

  • Past Chair Apeetogosan (Metis) Development Inc.

  • Past Co-Chair Child & Family Services Region 6 Edmonton and Area

  • Past Member – Industry Advisory Committee – Pearl Calahaisen – Minister Indigenous Affairs Alberta


Brian is retired and resides just north of Edmonton with his wife of 21 years. He is the proud father of 4 children and 9 grandchildren. When not actively involved in his board roles, he enjoys curling and golf for recreation and is an avid reader.  

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