Dennis is proud of his mixed Mohawk and Euro-Canadian ancestry. He brings a wealth of practical and political experience to his work along with a deep and abiding interest in the history, culture and protocols of First Nations & Metis peoples.
When Dennis Martel works with you, he brings over 40 years’ experience with Chiefs, Councils and Aboriginal organizations, Universities & Colleges and governments to the table.
First Nations & Metis Organizations: Inter-governmental Liaison and Negotiations; Issues Management; Project Proposals; Communications (print, electronic, photography); Research, Backgrounders, Briefing Notes; Crisis Prevention & Intervention.
Life Long learning: Curriculum Development & Course Design; Post-secondary Education - Course Director, Lecturer, Seminar leader, Student Advisor, Mastering research & writing essays.
Corporate & Government Affairs: Introductions & Liaison with Aboriginal leadership and communities; Fostering sound working relationships with First Nations and Metis organizations; Issues Management; Environmental Scans; Negotiations; In-house Awareness Training; Research, Backgrounders, House Notes, Briefing Notes.
If your organization requires assistance in any of these areas, contact Dennis Martel.
Born in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood, and raised in Timmins prior to moving to Georgetown Ontario to finish high school, Dennis spent more than a decade hitch-hiking across Canada and parts of the U. S. Encouraged to attend university as a mature student, he applied his knowledge of First Nations’ culture and history, gleaned partially from his Mohawk-Irish ancestry, to a Master’s of Arts degree. His world was dramatically altered when he was offered a teaching position at York University in 1972 by Governor-General Award-winning poet, Eli Mandel.
He has forty years’ experience as a university professor while working closely with First Nation peoples on a wide variety of initiatives. His work has taken him from the corridors of political power at Queen’s Park and Ottawa, to the Palace of Westminster in the United Kingdom; from the Atlantic to the Pacific and north to Hudson Bay.
When requested by the Chiefs, he has forayed into mainstream politics as an advisor to Premier David Peterson, two Attorneys General and a number of cabinet ministers. He has recently worked in the corporate sector as a First Nations and Metis Relations Advisor to Ontario Power Generation. Dennis has been admitted to the Georgetown District High School Hall of Fame for his work and dedication.
Martel is especially pleased with his work as a bridge-builder between divergent and competing interests - First Nations, governments and the private sector. He has applied his skills to communications and media relations, research, policy advice and as a writer for many First Nation organizations, communities and Chiefs. He is familiar with the political intricacies and cultural protocols of First Nation and Metis communities.
His work has taken him to the Palace of Westminster during the patriation debates over the Canadian Constitution. He is also familiar with high pressure, and sometimes dangerous, political situations such as Restigouche and Ipperwash.
He has created and/or collaborated on community projects, strategic plans, research papers, backgrounders, briefing notes, media releases, articles and special interest magazines.
Martel has a deep commitment to both post-secondary education and life-long learning. Since 1970, he has developed course curricula for colleges and universities (as well as the private and political sectors) in a variety of disciplines at undergraduate and graduate levels.
He has consistently received exceptionally high evaluations from his university students and peers alike, and has subsequently worked in partnerships with a number of former students.
At Queen’s Park, he offered media training (interviews, scrums, speech writing & public speaking) to the caucus and cabinet under Premier David Peterson.
Member of the committee to create a memorial at Queenston Heights to commemorate the participation of the Indigenous peoples, on behalf of the Crown, during the War of 1812-15.
Community Member, Aboriginal Student Advisory Committee 2013-14.
Martel has an acute understanding of the complex challenges of cross-cultural relations, alliances and partnerships and has worked with clients in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors to improve relationships between government and First Nations and Metis peoples. He has an established reputation in the area of Aboriginal relations and can assist with the development and delivery of customized First Nations and Metis Relations training.
At the request of some Anishinabek Chiefs, Dennis went to Queen’s Park (1985 – 1989) under Premier David Peterson where he served as a media trainer, speech writer, TV and radio producer, photographer and eventually as the Director of Communications in the Liberal Members’ Service Office.
Emery Business Improvement Association community park (Phase One) based on the Indigenous habitation of the area, in collaboration with the Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations.
Mr. Martel’s presence in Canadian Studies has been an enormous benefit to the program. He brought a unique outlook and persistent enthusiasm to the course which clearly and positively affected student interest in the class.
Renee Lafferty: Course Director, Canadian Studies, Brock University
Dennis Martel is probably the best teacher I have had all year. He is an awesome teacher and really develops a clear understanding of course material as well as Canadian history in general.
You made seminars interesting, love your stories! It was definitely my favourite seminar. Thank you very much.
He threw himself into the task, and following the 1987 election had emerged as Director of Communications for LMSO, where he established a working television studio and editing suite.
George Hutchison, Press Secretary to the Premier, Queen’s Park
In my capacity as Executive Director for the Chiefs of Ontario, Dennis worked for me as Director of Communications and Intergovernmental Relations…most importantly [he] utilized his vast network among the media and governments in Ottawa and Queens Park to keep our chiefs informed of policy and program initiatives.
Andrew Reuben, Executive Director Chiefs of Ontario
I have known Dennis for many years. During that time we worked together on a number of projects. He was especially helpful dealing with communications and the media during the crisis that emerged at Ipperwash during a confrontation between members of my community and the Ontario Provincial Police resulting in the death of Dudley George….H e has a sound understanding of the inner workings of government.
Tom Bressette, Chief, Kettle and Stony Point First Nation
He was a valued addition to the Mnjikaning First Nation Casino Rama revenue sharing team that took part in the successful revenue sharing negotiations with Ontario over a four-year period culminating in a $420 million First Nations Fund.
Loraine McCrae, Chief, Rama/Mnjikaning First Nation
Dennis understands and appreciates the uses of communications as an instrument of political and social change. He has worked in the area of for many years and has enjoyed many successes.
Robert Martin, Professor of Law, the University of Western Ontario