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Laura Forsythe

Indigenous Program Researcher

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He has served as chairman of a recent Aboriginal trade delegation to China and introduced an innovative business model to promote long-term benefits to indigenous people from natural resource development.

"Calvin Helin, in revealing the true path to prosperous living, has provided an opportunity for us to achieve our desires and dreams. The Empowerment Mindset is a tool for fixing the broken parts of our lives."


–Jimmy W. Arterberry, THPO
Comanche Nation


Calvin Helin, a member of the Tsimshian Nation, comes from the community of Lax Kw’alaams on the Northwest coast of British Columbia, Canada. The son of a hereditary chief, Helin works as an attorney and entrepreneur.

Mr. Helin has written several publications on law, Aboriginal business, and associated issues. He has developed an international reputation through his now seven times best-selling book, Dances with Dependency: Out of Poverty through Self-Reliance. With the recent release of his new ground breaking book, The Economic Dependency Trap: Breaking Free to Self-Reliance, recognized as a finalist in the 2011 U.S.A. Best Books awards and won the Gold Medal at the IPPY Awards (America’s 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards), Mr. Helin has an expanding international role as a popular public speaker and thought leader. His common sense message of self-reliance and self-responsibility are now being promoted on a global platform.

His third book The Empowerment Mindset follows up on the first two books of the author which provided a high-level survey of problems and barriers people face in often trying circumstances. This lecture discusses Helin’s “final” handbook for anyone looking for a blueprint on how to empower themselves to greater success and happiness as well as opens dialogue regarding the obstacles Indigenous people face in today's society. Calvin Helin will provide the knowledge for anyone to take their power so they can live life to their greatest potential.

His upcoming title Dances with Spirits: Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World will be released in March 2014.

Helin runs business enterprises that include the Eagle Group of Companies, the Native Investment and Trade Association and is associate counsel with the law firm Stewart, Aulinger & Company. He has was recently appointed Chairman and President of Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings, Ltd. He holds a directorship on the Vancouver Board of Trade (where he chairs the newly formed Aboriginal Opportunities Committee), GeoScience BC, and the Canada–China Resource Development Foundation. In addition to numerous national and regional distinctions, he has received top “40 Under 40” awards for both British Columbia and nationally for Canada. He has served as chairman of a recent Aboriginal trade delegation to China and introduced an innovative business model to promote long-term benefits to indigenous people from natural resource development.

Helin also serves as an ambassador for SOS Children’s Village B.C., a non-profit providing a safe foster care environment for the most vulnerable children, and is a member of the Advisory Council of the prestigious think tank, the MacDonald-Laurier Institute. As a third degree black belt he teaches at the Shudokan Karate and Education Society, a group he founded in 2002 that provides free martial arts lessons to disadvantaged inner-city children as a way of teaching them discipline, manners, self-respect, and other important life lessons. Mr. Helin is divorced and has three grown children.

“My purpose in writing is to help people help themselves by providing the knowledge to do so,” said Mr. Helin. “People naturally think visually—in images. So I seek to write in a way that ordinary people can form a picture in their minds to clearly understand how they got to where they are, why they may be suffering unnecessarily, and what they need to do for their future success and wellbeing. At the end of the day, it is nice to receive awards of acknowledgement, but it is most gratifying to know that my books are making a difference in the lives of people who read them.”  

- Calvin Helin

An evening with Calvin Helin presented by the First Nations Student Association (FNSA)

October 24th Fletcher Challenge Centre
Room 1900
SFU Harbour Center
7:30pm - 9pm
Free and open to public


Register for this event now!

"A fundamental teaching of indigenous cultures urges individuals and communities to take responsibility to uphold healthy cosmic interrelations. In a world of dependency, imbalance, and cultural and political marginalization, Helin shows how the wisdom of the elders gives the gift of empowerment and future well-being."

– Duane Champagn, Professor of Sociology and American Indian Studies, Member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Author of Notes From the Center of Turtle Island

About the Author

Laura Forsythe

Indigenous Program Researcher

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The First Nations Student Association is hosting an evening with best-selling author Calvin Helin on October 24th at Harbour Center. Attendance is free and open to the public.

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The First Nations Student Association is hosting an evening with best-selling author Calvin Helin on October 24th at Harbour Center. Attendance is free and open to the public.

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