Opportunities and Challenges for Land Development

Presenting organization: Indigenous Business and Investment Council

This learning session will be a presentation and panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges in land development. The panelists have significant experience whether as developers, Chiefs or managers. The panelists will provide their rich understanding of the opportunities, challenges, constraints, successes and failures in the land development process. The presentation will focus on key themes and experience around those themes. 

What Participants will learn

  • Shared experience of the land development process
  • Key themes for land development
  • A greater understanding of certainty and uncertainty in the land development process.


  • Chief David Jimmie
  • Mel Woolley
  • Jonathan Kruger

Presenter Biographies
Chief David Jimmie is the Chief and CEO of Squiala First Nation located in Chilliwack, BC. He is the President of the Sto:lo Nation, representing 11 Sto:lo communities and the President of Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe Management Limited, representing 7 communities and operating 4 businesses. He is a Board Director for the New Relationship Trust and the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce. He previously owned and operated a construction company that built 224 homes and 175 apartment units in Chilliwack and Westbank. He is currently working on a 600,000 square foot shopping center in Chilliwack. David has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. 

Mel Woolley is the Principal of Land Strategies Ltd. Mel’s firm offers the full scope of land development services from initial market research and opportunity analysis through land planning and construction programming to the development of Joint ventures and fundraising. Mel’s projects include hotels, wineries, vineyards, RV Parks, Interpretive centers, trade centers, business parks, and retail and commercial plans. Mel’s past and present clients include more than 20 First Nations, primarily in western Canada. 


Jonathan Kruger is the manager of Indigenous Relations in western Canada for Sodexo. Jonathan was elected Chief of the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) for two terms from 2008-2016 and was a proponent in the creation of the Penticton Indian Band Economic Development Corporation. He created a business-friendly environment opening PIB and Certificate of Possession (CP) holders up for business opportunities. Jonathan worked with his Council and staff to develop Laws, by-Laws and Policies.