Rebecca David, Chief, Pauquachin First Nation
Chief David was elected Chief of Pauquachin First Nation in October 2014 at the age of 33, with a vision of applying her experience and education in the hope of improving the quality of life of Pauquachin First Nation members.
Chief David has attained the following educational achievements: Diploma in Social Work at Malaspina College University; Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Youth Care- Vancouver Island University; Post-Degree in Business Management and Leadership at Vancouver Island University; Master’s in Business Administration- Vancouver Island University and a second Master’s Degree in International Business and Science – University of Hertfordshire. While completing her education, Chief David focused on furthering her efforts to gain as much experience and knowledge to enhance her ability to make a difference and influence change. Having worked within First Nation Businesses and Organizations for about 15 years, she maintains a resilient commitment to enhancing Aboriginal programs. Chief David prides herself in being able to balance the effectiveness of a job with its efficiency.
A proud mother of four children, aside from her role as a Director of the BCAFN, Chief David also sits on the following boards and committees: National Indian Brotherhood Board of trustee (BC Representative); and is a Member on the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and the Environment (BC Region Representative).
Marilyn Slett, Chief, Heiltsuk First Nation
Marilyn Slett is a member of the Heilsuk Nation and is serving her ninth year as elected chief councillor. Marilyn has served two consecutive terms as an elected tribal councillor and is a former executive director of the Heilsuk Tribal Council. She has completed the certificate in the administration of indigenous governments and diploma in public sector management with the University of Victoria. Her regional representation includes current President of the Coastal First Nations/Great Bear Initiative and is the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations Women’s Representative on the National Assembly of First Nations Women’s Council.
Harvey McLeod, Chief, Upper Nicola Band
Chief Harvey McLeod is the elected chief of the Upper Nicola Band. He was elected to the BCAFN Board of Directors on October 12, 2017. Chief McLeod was first elected to Upper Nicola Band council in 1982. He was elected Chief of Upper Nicola Band in March of 2014 and re-elected in March 2017.
As an individual, Chief McLeod has experienced some lows and highs in his lifetime. As a residential school survivor, Chief McLeod has taken steps to improve his wellness and throughout his healing journey has built up the confidence to take on any challenge and face any demons. Understanding that forgiveness and knowing life is more fulfilling gives Chief McLeod the strength to assist his family and community and to step forward in a good way. In his two grandchildren, he sees the opportunities that he never had, and knowing that they will have the opportunity to be seen gives him the strength to continue serving his community and the Chiefs of BC.
As the eldest of seven siblings (five surviving), Chief McLeod was the first to graduate in his family, and the first to receive a college diploma in Agriculture from Fairview College in Alberta in 1984. Harvey has previous experience with the Western Indian Agriculture Corporation and the Nicola Valley Indian Development Corporation as a small business advisor, and has worked for Human Resources Development Canada for nine years. Chief McLeod has also worked for many years as the Executive Director of the Interior Salish Employment and Training Society (AHRDA).
Willie Blackwater, Chief
Simo’oogit (Chief) Djiiwuus (Willie Blackwater) originates from the Gitxsan Nation in British Columbia. His authentic home community is Kispiox First Nation and he is a registered member and Elected Chief Councillor of the Gitsegukla First Nation. He is the wing Chief next to Sim’ogit (Hereditary Chief) Tsa Bux; Wilp’sTsa Bux is one of many Lax’gibuu (Wolf Clans) within Gitxsan First Nation.
Willie is married and he and his wife have a daughter and two granddaughters. Willie also has a son from his previous relationship who has blessed him with three grandsons and one granddaughter.
Willie is also Residential School Survivor of the Alberni Indian Residential School. Willie is well known locally, provincially, nationally and internationally for his precedent setting Indian Residential School landmark litigation lawsuit victory against defendants: the Government of Canada in Right of Her Majesty the Queen and the United Church of Canada. He initiated this court case in 1994; this historical court case concluded in 2001 at the Supreme Court of Canada, where it upheld the decision of BC Supreme Court; that all defendants were both vicariously and directly liable for Sexual & Physical Abuse Atrocities inflicted on the plaintiffs while in their care. The Blackwater et. al court case set a national case law that resulted in the foundation of the $2.9 billion Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement (Common Experience Payment, Independent Assessment Payment and Truth & Reconciliation Commission processes) and was also the foundation of the United Church of Canada and Prime Minister, Stephen Harper’s apology on behalf of the Government of Canada.
Willie is well known to media; TV, magazines (Readers Digest, Times Magazine, etc.); but he is a very humble man who doesn’t brag publicly about his accomplishments. Willie also responsible for setting the precedent in getting the “Residential School Syndrome” recognized as a short and long-term disability with Mutual Life Insurance.
Willie continues his humbleness within his past and current leadership roles: a 2-year term as an elected Band Councillor of Gitsegukla: a 2-term as an elected Chief Councillor of Gitsegukla: currently in a 4-year term (2017-2021) as an elected Chief of Gitsegukla. Willie had been the President of the First Nations Student Council at Langara College: Board of Director of the Gitxsan Child & Family Services Society and President of the Board of Directors of the National Indian Residential School Survivors Society. Willie is currently employed with Gitxsan Child & Family Services Society as the “Family Enhancement Program Coordinator”. He is also currently a Board of Director of First Nations-Major Projects Coalition and a Board of Director of BC Assembly Of First Nations.
Willie designed and facilitates workshops on: “Traditional Grief & Loss Healing Model: Seven-Step Sexual & Physical Abuse Healing Model” and “Gifts of Resilience”.
Charles Morven, Chief Councillor, Nisga'a Village Gov't of Gitwinksihlkw
Chief Charles Morven is the elected Chief Councillor of the Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw. He was elected to the BCAFN Board of Directors on October 12, 2017.
Charles Morven is a member of the Nisga’a Nation and belongs to Wilps Axdii Wil Luugooda and Ksim Xsaan. Charles currently holds the Nisga’a name, Daaxheet. Chief Councillor Morven originates from the community of Gitlaxt’aamiks and is currently serving as the Chief Councillor on the Gitwinksihlkw Village Government. Charles holds the responsibility for Economic Development and Finance to the Village Government. He also has responsibilities to Nisga’a Lisims Government where he sits on the Executive Committee, Finance Committee, and where he chairs the Nisga’a Fisheries and Wildlife Committee.
Chief Councillor Morven has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in First Nations Studies through UNBC and a certiﬁcate in Advance Management attained through the UBC Sauder’s School of Business. A future educational goal for Charles is to obtain a Masters in Business Administration.
Charles also served as Council Representative for the Northwest on the First Nations Health Council (FNHC) from 2012-2016. Charles had the responsibilities while on the FNHC as chairperson for the Northwest Regional Table, Partnership Table with Northern Health Authority and the Policy Committee.
Chief Councillor Morvin currently resides in the community of Gitwinksihlkw the home of beautiful wife Nicole Morven. Charles and Nicole have one daughter Peyton Azak-Morven.