Eugene ‘Clifford’ Bull is the Chief and a Band Member of Lac Seul, an Ojibwe First Nation that is signatory to Treaty 3 and a member of the Independent First Nations Alliance. Clifford is a successful public servant who has established a reputation for developing relationships between First Nations, Industry and Municipalities.
He served 4 years as a Lac Seul First Nation Councilor from 2000 to 2004 and 12 years as Chief from 2006 until today. In between his public service in office, Clifford served the community from 2004 to 2006 as a Social Worker on the Truth and Reconciliation file and supported Residential School survivors to overcome obstacles and access supports.
In his position as Chief, Clifford worked with Elders, Councils and Administrative Teams to take Lac Seul First Nation from third-party management to a local and regional economic engine that provides a shining example to other First Nations and communities. Together with his colleagues, Clifford achieved many successes, including the Whitefish Bay and Kejick Bay Causeways and roads, Obishikokaang Elementary School, the Events Centre, their forest management company, Obishikokaang Resources Corporation and many other joint ventures.
Clifford is a recognized facilitator and architect of successful business ventures and partnerships. Clifford was influential in the negotiations and signing of the first enhanced Sustainable Forest License (eSFL) in the Province of Ontario on the Lac Seul Forest. The negotiations involved the active participation of First Nations, Industry, Municipalities and Government and the resulting agreement was signed by 3 forest sector companies, two First Nations and 7 independent loggers.
Clifford helped to establish alliances with other First Nations, Industry and neighbouring Municipalities. He was instrumental in signing the Obishikokaang Collaboration Agreement between Lac Seul First Nation and Goldcorp and he led negotiations that resulted in the joint venture with Ontario Power Generation at the Lac Seul Generating Station (Obishikokaang Waasiganikewigamig). He led negotiations that resulted in the signing of Shared Territory Protocol Agreements with Slate Falls, Cat Lake and Wabauskang First Nations.
He has a proven track record of bringing communities and individuals together to achieve common goals. After working diligently to see the signing of a Friendship Accord with the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, Clifford and Mayor Doug Lawrence organized the first ever of its kind roundtable discussion that brought together Municipal and First Nation leaders. The purpose of the roundtable was to discuss common issues that affect all communities in the region and the success of the first roundtable led to a second – a collaborative example of true relationship building between diverse participants.
Clifford represents Lac Seul First Nation on the Board of Directors for the Wataynikaneyap Power Project; a key infrastructure project that will see 13 northern communities connected to the Provincial power grid. He is also a Member of the Sioux Lookout Mayor’s Committee on Truth and Reconciliation and is a Residential School Survivor.
For 12 years, he has been a Co-Chair of the Chiefs Committee on Health representing the Sioux Lookout Zone Chiefs. His ability to navigate difficult negotiations combined with his experience on the health portfolio; Clifford was asked along with other First Nation Leaders to be part of a tripartite group tasked with starting discussions on health transformation. The task team is charged with developing a framework that will transform the way health services are delivered in First Nation communities by taking responsibilities away from the Federal and Provincial Governments and giving the decision-making power to Ontario First Nations. The new framework will allow First Nations to develop and implement their own health plans and avoid getting caught in government red tape.
Clifford lives in Whitefish Bay with his wife Amelia (nee Brisket) with whom he has four children; Cynthia, Colin, Carrie and Ashley. Prior to entering public service, Clifford spent 15 years as co-manager of Mahkwa Lodge and holds a Certificate in Community and Economic Development from the University of Manitoba.