First Nations’ Centre for Human Rights in Canada


1 Gillian Gunderson { 11.26.08 at 12:58 pm }

Hello, Michael,

Your pitch was compelling and full of passion. Your connection with the viewer was evident through the eye contact you maintained throughout the presentation. You laid out the problem and overall solution clearly. You have identified a market and have given examples of people and organizations that would benefit from the First Nations’ Centre for Human Rights in Canada, and have detailed your vision of the value of having the Centre created. The uniqueness of the proposal is mentioned, and I have to assume that the timeline is connected with that of the larger Human Rights Centre.

Throughout your presentation, you kept mentioning “our”; for example, you stated “our team” and “our proposal”. However, I watched your pitch twice and was still confused about the “our”. I wasn’t able to gain a clear idea of who was on the team. This meant I couldn’t verify if the team actually had the skills or expertise to drive this admittedly ambitious project.

Your thoughts about the governance of the Centre once it was in place seemed sound. Including recommendations from a similar venture showed the acknowledgement of the difficulties inherent with this type of structure as well as a willingness to address those difficulties. Additionally, you had a long list of strategic relationships that could possibly collaborate in the running of the Centre.

The “ask” seemed to be very large – dedicated space and just over 20% of the ongoing operational funding already committed by the Government of Canada. I could see that autonomy over the use of the funding could lead to conflicts with the other aspects of the larger venture.
The idea has great potential and your passion almost had me convinced. However, I would need to learn more about who you and your team are. In addition, I would like to see more specifics about funding.

Thanks for letting me view your presentation.


2 Joe Dobson { 11.26.08 at 8:32 pm }

Hi Michael,

You are clearly passionate about human rights and the concept for a First Nations’ Centre for Human Rights in Canada. The rationale and focus of the proposal are very clear. I suppose I’m not entirely sold on separating it from the Human Rights Museum (that is how I understood the proposal) and wonder if it might be better integrated as part of the overall project as opposed to as a distinct unit.

In the pitch itself, you talk about how the centre’s synchronous/asynchronous communication projects and other ways it would reach out. However, I wonder if specific discussion about the use of technology to achieve these ends would have made the pitch stronger.

It’s an ambitious multi-million dollar project with a big vision and I think that it has great merit, but I feel that there were a few gaps that if addressed could make the pitch that much stronger.

BTW – great idea including the elevator pitch!


3 Alex { 11.27.08 at 9:53 pm }

Hi Michael,

A persuasive and capturing oral presentation with skilled technique. I enjoyed viewing your video clip. The brief introduction on the webpage prepared me on what to expect in the audio clip before viewing. I could capture the essence of the presentation in one sitting which I appreciated very much.

International Human Rights is a difficult issue to be “taught”. For the Canadian Human Rights Museum to become an “international destination of human rights”, the museum must be sensitive to every international human rights issue with equal importance and equal respect. A special center of First Nations would contradict the crucial objective of the philosophy of human rights and equality.

Your presentation was excellent but your venture project does not agree with the basic principle of International Human Rights.


4 Marc Kampschuur { 11.28.08 at 11:11 pm }


You speak very clearly and convey the information well orally. Your presentation may be made more engaging with a little bit of movement (if you draw an outline on the white board behind you would have remained within it for all 4 parts), and illustrations (there is a white board behind you – a diagram of the structure, the funding coming in, going out…). Different people process information in different ways and only delivering it orally may miss some important audience members.

You cover a number of the EVA criteria, however, I dont fully appreciate the advantage over having a separate building and fixed funding over an integrated and more flexible approach (I also see disadvantages).

The claim that one group requires preferential treatment over an other group (separate building, protected funding…) in the context of human rights may be a difficult one to make.


5 Drew Murphy { 11.28.08 at 11:21 pm }

Hi Michael: Your basic concept is very admirable. I think the idea of harnessing resources to create an important social and ethical organization in a venture style model is an ambitious and worthy endeavor. Your presentation captures the passion of your pitch quite well. Your direct delivery in the videos is both honest and intelligent.

As some of the others have mentioned, you might consider integrating the project into the museum more and sought ways to enhance your project as a strong value-added addition to the existing museum. However, I realize you need to tread a fine line. You don’t want to compromise on your project as an acknowledgment of First Nations Treatment but at the same time you can’t be seen to be “selling out” to a western interpretation of human rights in Canada. So your venture is a tricky one to guide, but that also makes it all the more compelling.

6 Alan Kilistoff { 11.29.08 at 9:50 am }

Hi Michael:

Excellent presentation. Your passion is evident and the project is worthwhile. When dealing with human rights issues the path is narrow with dangers everywhere. This makes it risky, but the value is great. Good luck with this adventure.

7 Laura Macleod { 11.29.08 at 11:02 am }


A compelling and thoughtful pitch. I found the community engagement aspect thorough, well-thought out and generally high quality.

My concern with the proposal was that the underlying specifics were a little vague, although I recognize we’re all probably out of our depth in that aspect of the presentations. Because your proposal involved bricks and mortar, it is even more difficulty to show a profit and loss sheet.

I would have liked to see some information on visitor stats – what kind of attendance is the Human Rights museum projecting? Do you see your project getting all of those visitors? most? just some? Would people come just for that museum (I suspect the answer to that one is yes!)

My EVA assessment, in the end, is that your proposal is more suited for large-scale government and foundation-type support than for venture capital. It is too large a project – and perhaps too important a project – to be done privately.

Thanks. Laura

8 Kenneth Heales { 11.29.08 at 6:55 pm }

Hi Michael,
You gave a very thought provoking presentation. I echo other comments though that perhaps this project could be housed within the existing structure of the Human Rights Museum. It is obvious that you feel very strongly about this topic and I agree that it should be included. I was a little unsure as to who you were targeting for funding and what kind of return of investment could be expected. I was also unsure as to what kind of growth could be expected.
Overall, this is a worthy cause that perhaps needs some refinement in terms of who should be considered for investment and where that investment can go.
All the best,

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