Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox


Deputy Grand Chief Derek FoxDerek Fox is an Anishinaabe father, lawyer, and an avid outdoorsman. He is from Bearskin Lake First Nation in Treaty No. 9 territory.

As a youth, he found strength and comfort on the outdoor rink and his love of hockey brought many achievements, namely, being a first round draft choice in the Ontario Hockey League by the Soo Greyhounds at age 16. He was also given opportunities to play for Ted Nolan and with First Nations hockey star Jonathon Cheechoo on the International stage.

Derek enjoyed a successful career in major junior and semi-pro hockey and eventually combined his love of the sport with his desire to pursue an education by playing hockey at University. Soon after he was blessed with his first son he received a degree in Political Science and Economics from the University of Manitoba. After the birth of his second son Derek decided to pursue a career in law and completed his Juris Doctorate Law Degree at the University of Manitoba.

He was called to the Ontario bar with the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2014 and practiced in the area of Civil Litigation with a focus on Aboriginal and corporate and commercial law. He has a passion for his people, his territory, and for instilling a love of culture, sport, and education in Anishinaabe youth. He encourages young people to be focused and determined so they can reach the highest levels of education possible.

Derek was elected as one of three Deputy Grand Chiefs of Nishnawbe Aski Nation in August 2015 and remains a lawyer in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada. His portfolio responsibilities include education, economic development, broadband, environment and sports and recreation.


Portfolio and Responsibilities

Economic Development

  • Apprenticeship Programs

  • Employment and Training

  • Food Security


  • Climate Change

  • Public Environmental Education


  • Energy East Pipeline
  • NAN Energy Initiatives
  • National Energy Board


  • Education Jurisdiction

  • Post-Secondary Institutions and Initiatives/Protocol

  • Special Education 

  • Education Partnership Program (EPP)

  • First Nations Student Success Program (FNSSP)

  • Native Education and Training Strategy


  • Preservation and Retention


  • NAN Summer Sports Festival Games

Special Initiatives

  • Broadband

NAN Representation – Committee Participation

  1. Bora Laskin Law School Advisory Board
  2. Regional Investment Management Board
  3. NAN Chiefs Committee on Education
  4. Chiefs of Ontario First Nations Education Coordinating Unit (FNECU)
  5. AFN Chiefs Committee on Education (CCOE)
  6. Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund – Ex-officio
  7. Ojibway Cree Cultural Centre – Ex-officio
  8. NAN Governance and Education Jurisdiction Steering Committee
  9. Northern Ontario School of Medicine
  10. Oshki-Pimache-O-Win – Ex-officio