OUR TEAM

Gordon Elliott, Director of Operations, Co-Founder

Gord comes to the WLC with many facets of management experience and training. Gord worked as the Operations Manager at the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board for the past 30 years, and he also has Project and Construction Management experience and certifications. Prior to its incorporation, Gord worked as the WLC’s Coordinator. Once the WLC incorporated, Gord was appointed the Director of Operations. He has been an active elected Councilor for Tsartlip First Nation for the past twelve years.

“I am the master of nothing, but I am an expert of getting the right people together to discuss and solve issues” – GE

Eric Pelkey, Community Engagement Coordinator

Eric Pelkey brings 25 years experience working in First Nations administration. During his career, he has held the roles of Band Manager, Chief Executive Officer, Director of Operations as well as Lands Manager.

Additionally, Eric was Coordinator for the SENĆOŦEN Alliance, representing Tsawout, Tsartlip, Pauquachin and Semiahmoo Nations on common Aboriginal and Douglas Treaty Rights and Title issues, a position he held for four years.

In addition to his administrative roles, he holds certification from AANDC for First Nations Lands Manager, a lifetime appointment for Commissioner of Oaths and Affidavits for First Nations, and a Degree in Indigenous Language Revitalization from the University of Victoria.

Justin Fritz, Policy / Negotiations Manager

Justin has worked as a contractor and consultant for First Nations throughout BC, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories since 2012: writing reports that document government infringements on Aboriginal rights and title and treaty rights, identifying historical and current encroachments on reserve, incorporating Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Use Studies. Between 2014 and 2017, he completed his master’s degree at the University of Victoria in the Department of Anthropology in collaboration with the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation. His Master’s thesis focused on the history of dispossession by the colonial governments in the U.S. and Canada, and the current efforts that exist within the W̱SÁNEĆ community to revitalize the reef net fishery. Justin has also worked for the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation as a Policy Analyst. He hopes to bring his many years of experience working with, and for, Indigenous peoples to help the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council make progress on these difficult issues.

Joni Olsen, Policy / Negotiations Analyst

Joni Olsen is a Policy/Negotiations Analyst for the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council. She strongly believes in the principles and values of the W̱SÁNEĆ culture, in Indigenous Rights and Title, their Treaties and working towards implementation and structural change.

Joni has been an elected Councillor for the Tsartlip First Nation for 14 years and has a Major from the University of Victoria in Political Science and a double Minor in Indigenous and Environmental Studies. She is currently half way through her Master’s degree in Public Administration. Her goal is to create structural change in government, organizations, communities and society. She is working on creating policies and building relationships that are guided by W̱SÁNEĆ values, that educate, create opportunity and remove barriers, and that fundamentally change the system in which we live. Joni’s favourite part of her work is listening to the words of the W̱SÁNEĆ people and taking it to create new policy and design new opportunities. Although this is followed by difficult, slow negotiations, this challenge is her other favourite aspect.

Joni is a mother to three teenagers and loves learning, cooking, hiking, playing soccer, knitting, teaching, talking with people and dreaming big.

Shauna Johnson, Marine Use Planner

Shauna Johnson is Coast Salish from the Tsawout First Nation on her mother’s side and Tsimshian from Laxkwala’ams on her father’s side. She has a Master of Science degree in Indigenous Community Planning (ICP) and has specialized expertise in providing planning support for indigenous communities to revitalize and promote indigenous community planning research, methods and practices grounded firmly within indigenous laws, legal traditions and ways of knowing and being. She is a registered Applied Scientific Technologist (A.Sc.T.) and is currently working towards becoming a Registered Professional Planner (MIP, RPP). She has experience working with indigenous communities on housing strategies, comprehensive community plans (CPP), strategic, land use (reserve based, and watershed level based), environmental management, marine spatial/use plans (MSP/MUP), economic development plans and indigenous food systems projects. She is also an adjunct professor at University of British Columbia (UBC) in the School of Community of Regional Planning (SCARP) Indigenous Community Planning (ICP) program, mentoring, supervising and co-teaching ICP practicum students.

Tiffany Joseph, GIS/Planning Coordinator

ŚW̱,XELOSELWET (Tiffany Joseph)–meaning “Camera Lady” in SENĆOŦEN–is a trained filmmaker, an experienced environmental steward and advocate, a SENĆOŦEN language learner, a writer, a teacher, and an astrologer. The history of W̱SÁNEĆ people’s self-advocacy has inspired her to learn and practice the W̱SÁNEĆ ways of life her elders and ancestors fought for her, while also doing whatever she can to provide those same opportunities to her children and future W̱SÁNEĆ generations.

Dave Paul Jr., CRD Liaison

Dave Paul Jr., a member of Tsartlip First Nation, has lived in Tsartlip for almost his entire life. He recalls summers growing up spending a lot of time down Moodyville going fishing at the ferry dock or walking down to the beach to get pile worms or little crabs for bait. The entire summer was spent with his brothers and cousins. He would spend hours every day down on the docks fishing, swimming and hanging out.

Dave attended Simon Fraser university and obtained a degree in criminology. While enjoying academic pursuits he realized there was a lot of systemic racism rooted in those institutions and the people there. “Back then there weren’t very many of us going to university and even fewer went to SFU.” People would often ask why Indigenous people were there and how our families could afford to send us there. There were no First Nations student groups. After graduating, Dave spent 30 years in federal corrections as a parole officer. Another institution rife with systemic racism. While he enjoyed a fairly long career, he has always wanted to return back to our community to work with the people.

David Dick, SRKW Monitoring Program Senior Manager

david.dick@wsanec.com
(250) 886-2433

W̱SÁNEĆ LEADERSHIP COUNCIL EXECUTIVE

Chief Don Tom, Director / Chair of the Board, Co-Founder
Chief Harvey Underwood, Director, Co-Founder
Chief Tanya Jimmy, Director / Secretary, Co-Founder
Councilor Simon Smith, Tsartlip Rep, Co-Founder
Councilor Brian Jimmy, Tseycum Rep
Currently Unappointed, Tsawout Rep

Chief Harvey Underwood, Director / Treasurer, Co-Founder

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COMMITTEES

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

John Elliott
Simon Smith
Louis Claxton

BACKGROUND

The W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council (WLC) is in discussions with Crown – Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) at the WLC – Canada Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination (RIRSD) Exploratory Table to discuss and resolve certain priority issues. To assist in the above matter, the WLC has established the W̱SÁNEĆ Technical Advisory Committee: WLC – Canada RIRSD Exploratory Table (WTAC RIRSD). This committee will make recommendations to the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council discussed at the WLC Canada RIRSD Exploratory Table.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Robert Clifford
Nick Claxton
William Morris
Dr. Peter Evans
John Elliott
Eric Pelkey
Justin Fritz
Gord Elliott
Katelyn Beale
Joni Olsen

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Ashley Cooper
Beangka Elliott
Earl Claxton Jr.
John Bradley Williams

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Charles Elliott
Doug Lafortune
Mark Henry
James Jimmy

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Youth Committee information to be added.

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