Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Chris Robertson

Chris Robertson has over 18 years of experience specializing in community economic and organizational development, professional management, public communications, strategic planning, governance, lands and resources support with First Nation communities, governments and businesses. Chris, of Gitxsan ancestry, includes in his extensive experience being Executive Director for the Office of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, Senior advisor to the AFN, BC Regional Chief, COO of the National Centre for First Nations Governance and Band Administrator for the Musqueam First Nation. He currently sits as a Board Director for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Chris was COO of NCFNG (National Centre for First Nations Governance), our predecessor organization

Satsan (Herb George)

Satsan is a Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief of the Frog Clan and has been a long-time Speaker for the Wet’suwet’en Nation, which is located in BC. He previously served as Speaker for both the Gitxsan and the Wet’suwet’en Nations. Satsan was a key figure and strategist in the Delgamuukw-Gisday'wa case, which was the subject of a successful judgment before the Supreme Court of Canada in December 1997. Satsan was President of NCFNG (National Centre for First Nations Governance), our predecessor organization, and is now a Senior Associate for the Centre for First Nations Governance. He served two terms as Regional Chief, representing B.C. at the Assembly Of First Nations, and one term on the Executive of the First Nations Summit. Satsan was also Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, and taught for several years in the University’s Administration of Aboriginal Governments Program.,

Don Jones

Don was born and raised in Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation near Fort Frances, Ontario. He was elected chief at 25 years of age and served five terms, as well as, Tribal Chief for three terms for Grand Council Treaty #3. He served for 14 years as Research Director for the (TARR) Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research Program for the Grand Council Treaty #3 and as an Executive Director at Pwi-Di-Goo-Zing Ne-Yaa-Zhing Advisory Services.

Pawa Haiyupis

Pawatsqwachiitl Haiyupis is a member of the Ahousaht First Nation on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.Over the past 10 years Pawa has developed a diversity of professional skills from her work experience with First Nations people in relation to stewardship and the environment. Much of Pawa’s work has focused on facilitating dialogues on all aspects of governance, leadership and nation rebuilding. A major focus of her work is developing and implementing emerging leadership events, workshops and think tanks for youth. Pawa is committed to the Centre's philosophy of creating new memories for our children and this philosophy guides her work at the community level. Pawa’s areas of training include First Nations Studies and Environmental Science with a focus on Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Traditional Governance and Coastal Ecology.

Charles Douglas

Charles (“Corkey”) is a member of the Cheam First Nation, located on the southwest corner of BC. Starting at age 25, he was elected to council five consecutive times, the last term as chief. Throughout this ten year period he held the health and social development portfolio, and the finance portfolio. He also represented Cheam and the Sto:lo people on fisheries issues with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Charles has a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies and has earned his L.L.B.

Len Hartley

Len has worked for many years as a communications director and consultant, providing strategic communications and web services to government, non-profit and Aboriginal organizations. He has an extensive background assisting small business start-ups and is keenly interested in social enterprise. Len’s career includes over 15 years with the Government of British Columbia developing and managing in-person, call centre and award-winning online services. Len is proud of his Secwpmec ancestry.

Jocelyne Wasacase-Merasty

Jocelyne is a member of the Kahkewistahaw First Nation in Saskatchewan. Her past employment includes working for the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations as the Communication's Manager, Editor of Saskatchewan Indian magazine, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) as the Director of Communications and acting Vice President of Corporate Affairs. Jocelyne has a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communications from Royal Roads University in Victoria.

Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian is on our board and brings his insight as former Chief Financial Officer for the Nisga'a Lisims Government and past Director of Finance for NCFNG, our predecessor organization.

Marcel Tessier

Marcel Tessier, a Mi’kmaq from the Shubenacadie First Nation in Nova Scotia is a proud member of the Indian Brook band. Over the past 18 years Marcel has developed a range of professional competencies from his local experiences in Quebec First Nation Human Resources Development and in First Nations governance. He has learned there is a great deal of respect and admiration for the governance of First Nations’ institutions and the support required for it to succeed. Marcel resides on the south shore of Montreal, is a husband and a father of two children.

Robin Vernest

Robin is on our Board. She is our East Coast connection and has many years of experience working in First Nations communities assisting them with rebuilding governance. She is currently pursuing her degree in law.