Kelly J. Lendsay
Read Kelly’s President’s Message.
A proud Indigenous leader of Canadian Cree, Métis, and European ancestry, a social entrepreneur who is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s foremost innovators of Indigenous social & economic inclusion, corporate engagements and partnership bringing his message of inclusion to more than 250 audiences in Canada, USA and Australia.
His dynamic and sharp communications style and social entrepreneurial success has earned him the reputation as an engaging thought leader, facilitator and effective bridge-builder between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples, companies and communities.
He earned his MBA in 1993, launched the first Indigenous business education program in Canada at the University of Saskatchewan in 1995 and is the inaugural council president leading the charge since 1998 to build stronger corporate – Indigenous engagements and growing the council into an ISO certified enterprise. He has served on over a dozen corporate, crown and non-profit boards in Canada, numerous advisory services and in 2015 graduated from the Director Education Program hosted by the Institute of Corporate Directors, Rotman’s School of Management.
He was co-recipient of the Canadian Institute of Management's All-Around Outstanding MBA Graduate Award, recipient of the 2005 Saskatchewan Government Commemorative Medal, the 2012 Xerox Aboriginal Financial Officers Association Excellence in Leadership National Award, and appointed a Distinguished Lecturer by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (2009-10) and is an alumnus of the 1995 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Tour. Kelly was honoured by the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) as one of their “100 Alumni of Influence” in the last Century whose accomplishments have been recognized for influencing the growth and development of the university, the province, and the world during the last Century.
He also leads the Indigenous Works national charity, Kocihta, designed to empower Indigenous youth to reach their human resource and career potential. Kocihta is tackling the social deficits of poverty, despair and hopelessness and with a growing group of partners reversing the history of exclusion to unleash the path of human resource potential.
Lendsay was the first in his family to attend university where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology-Physiology Minor, and attained his MBA from the U of S in 1993. He credits lifesaving and lifeguarding for developing his formative leadership abilities.
With an unwavering passion for an inclusive society, he moves seamlessly between both worlds fostering a spirit of trust, relationship and healthy partnerships. He has, and extends, great pride toward his Indigenous culture, his country, his province and his communities.
Kelly is active in running, kitesurfing, yoga, golf and attained his Black Belt in Tae-Kwon-do in 2015. He resides in Saskatoon with his wife Shiela and their children.
Lendsay was the inaugural director of the very first Indigenous Business Education program in Canada, which included the first MBA with a specialization in Indigenous management at the U of S. As a professor and program director he redefined the future role Canadian universities can play in developing an Indigenous economy.
Lendsay’s consulting study, The Impact of the Changing Aboriginal Population on the Saskatchewan Economy: 1995-2045 is one of the most widely cited sources on the implications of Indigenous demographics and the economy.
Lendsay was co-recipient of the Canadian Institute of Management's All-Around Outstanding MBA Graduate Award, recipient of the Xerox Aboriginal Financial Officers Association Excellence in Leadership National Award, and appointed a Distinguished Lecturer by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. He is an alumnus of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Tour.
In the eighties, Lendsay was active in the recreation world as the director of aquatic and recreation services at the University of Saskatchewan and was the national chairman of the national lifeguard service and on the national board of the Life Saving Society.
His career has been a series of catalytic flash points demonstrating that with effective networks, corporate and Indigenous community goals can translate into actions that advance education, employment, and economic opportunities for Indigenous people with positive business outcomes.
His community involvement is extensive.
National Board - Vanier Institute Board (current)
National Board-Mothers Matter Centre: Proud Home of HIPPY Program (current)
CORCAN-Corrections Canada Advisory Board (current)
CoMPASS Advisory Committee: Heart & Stroke Foundation (current)
Teach for Canada Advisory Board (current)
North American Indigenous Games Board (current)
National Task Force on International Trade
Canada West Foundation Urban Aboriginal Strategy
Sask Indian Gaming Authority Board (SIGA)
Mining HR Council Board
The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum Board
SaskWater Corporation Board
Royal Life Saving Society National Board
CANDO Board-Native Development Officers
Kelly’s inclusion philosophy is based upon re-kindling trust, renewing relationships, and building partnerships to create social and economic prosperity for ALL people.
Kelly currently resides in Saskatoon, SK with his family. He is an avid kitesurfer, Taekwondo (black belt), runner and golfer.