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December 02, 2021

Patricia Stirbys joins CNL as new Director of Indigenous Relations

Canada’s national nuclear laboratory welcomes accomplished lawyer and former consultant to oversee its Indigenous engagement program 

Chalk River, ON – December 01, 2021 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that Patricia Stirbys has joined the organization as its new Director of Indigenous Relations. A citizen of Cowessess First Nation, Ms. Stirbys is an accomplished lawyer with extensive experience leading Indigenous consultation and engagement activities for both private and public sector organizations, and will oversee CNL’s efforts to grow its relationships with Indigenous Peoples.

As Canada’s national nuclear laboratory, CNL is fully committed to meaningful engagement with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples to identify mutually beneficial partnerships and opportunities for collaboration. In particular, CNL recognizes that Indigenous knowledge can complement and improve the operations and activities carried out at its sites, and is actively seeking early and ongoing engagement opportunities to enhance Indigenous involvement and participation.

“Given her extensive experience and many accomplishments, Patricia is very clearly the right person to help us better engage with local First Nations and Métis Citizens,” commented Joe McBrearty, CNL’s President and CEO. “CNL is working hard to build trust and mutual understanding, and to support relationship-building through long-term agreements. With Patricia’s guidance, I am confident that we can grow our efforts and expand areas of mutual interest.”

Among her responsibilities as Director of Indigenous Relations, Patricia will help CNL to improve its Indigenous engagement practices to better align with the needs and interests of local Indigenous Peoples, and to build capacity through long-term relationship agreements. Patricia will also play a leadership role in cultivating collaboration in areas including environmental monitoring and protection, human resources, cultural heritage, and diversity, equity and inclusion, among others.

“I am very excited to be joining the CNL team, and I hope that my knowledge and experience can help build and strengthen understanding and partnerships between CNL and Indigenous nations,” commented Patricia. “It’s clear that CNL takes Indigenous engagement very seriously, and is fully committed to being an active participant in Canada’s ongoing journey towards healing and reconciliation. This is a commitment that I share, and together we will work hard to play our part in supporting the Indigenous Peoples of Canada.”

With over 20 years of experience in law, communications, policy, teaching and management, Ms. Stirbys has developed a deep understanding of Indigenous interests, issues and challenges. Over the course of her career, Patricia has provided legal advice related to program statutes, policies and government law in general, and has negotiated and liaised with various levels of government, media and stakeholders on a variety of different Indigenous issues. Patricia also has extensive public sector experience working with federal and provincial governments, as well as Crown corporations, and has worked constructively with Indigenous Peoples.

Prior to joining CNL, Patricia worked as an independent consultant and contractor leading Indigenous consultation and engagement activities for clients in the mining, renewable energy and engineering and construction sectors. Among her many professional accomplishments, Patricia has successfully negotiated agreements with Indigenous nations and organizations across Northern Ontario, including nations within the Ring of Fire. Patricia also holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Ottawa, and is a former professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law.

For more information on Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, including its Indigenous engagement program, please visit

About CNL

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology, offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

For more information on the complete range of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories services, please visit or contact [email protected].


CNL Contact:

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications
Phone: 1-866-886-2325
Email: [email protected]

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