Phil Fontaine

Former Assembly of First Nations national chief Phil Fontaine is joining NB Power's board of directors. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

A former grand chief of the Assembly of First Nations has joined the board of directors of NB Power.

Phil Fontaine was named to the board by Ed Barrett, the chairman of the utility's board of directors.

"We are fortunate to have Fontaine joining the board," Barrett said in a statement.

"His proven expertise in bringing people together and opening the lines of communication, coupled with his extraordinary ability to speak from the heart and teach others how to achieve results, is an asset to our company."

Fontaine, 69, was the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations from 1997-2000, and again from 2003-2009. His is a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba.

Barrett said Fontaine "will be an integral part of further developing our relationship with First Nations in New Brunswick and improving their role and involvement in our ongoing operations and major projects.

"Fontaine's leadership will be an asset to the board in ongoing responsibilities to the First Nations groups throughout the province."

In March, NB Power added Paul V. Beesley to its board as the chairman of its audit committee. Beesley is the executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Empire Co. Ltd. He was previously with The Globe and Mail in Toronto as its vice-president and chief financial officer.