Council Board Members

Indigenous business Investment Council membership include First Nations’ and industry leaders from across British Columbia promoting Indigenous business, First Nation industry partnerships, economic certainty and encouraging sustainable economic growth in Indigenous communities.

Our goal is to better equip businesses to work with Indigenous communities, and to identify practices that will foster greater participation of First Nations in economic development.

Our Mandate

The Indigenous Business and Investment Council’s (IBIC) mandate is to help improve Indigenous participation in the economy and promote economic certainty in the province by encouraging economic growth in Indigenous communities.

IBIC’s strategic objectives are to advance Indigenous peoples’ participation in the economy by:

-Identifying successful businesses and partnerships between Indigenous communities and investors, and identifying ways that they can be replicated in BC;
-Helping act as a conduit for Indigenous associations and communities to voice their issues to the Province;
-Providing investors with a forum to engage and partner with BC First Nations and Indigenous people; and
-Encouraging relationships between Indigenous communities, industry and government to implement practical measures for economic development.

History

The Indigenous Business and investment council was created under the BC Jobs Plan in September 2011.

Initial council membership was announced in December, 2011.

Council Board Members

  • Chief Aaron Sumexheltza

    Ski’us Aaron Sam Sumexheltza (Aaron Sumexhelta) is Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band. He… Read more »

    Ski’us Aaron Sam Sumexheltza (Aaron Sumexhelta) is Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band. He previously worked as a lawyer for Fulton & Company and several other organizations, focusing on representing residential school survivors and criminal defence. Aaron is currently a member of the board for the Assembly of First Nations – Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment, the BC Aboriginal Justice Council, and the Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation. He was previously a Councillor for the Lower Nicola Indian Band and the Nicola Valley Community Justice Services Society. Aaron has a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from California State University.

  • Kimberly C. Baird

    Former Chief Kim Baird served as elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation from 1998… Read more »

    Former Chief Kim Baird served as elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation from 1998 – 2012. On Dec 6, 2007, history was made when Chief Baird signed Tsawwassen First Nation’s first treaty in Ottawa on Parliament Hill. She has the distinction of being the first aboriginal woman to address the BC Legislature on October 15, 2007 when the BC Treaty Legislation process was initiated. Ms. Baird has received a number of prestigious awards, including Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, the National Aboriginal Women in Leadership Distinction Award, Vancouver Magazine’s Power 50 Award, and Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award. Ms. Baird was also the first First Nation representative on the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors. She is a member of the BC Hydro, Mayors’ Council on Transportation, the Vancouver Skills and Employments Program, Ministers Advisory Council of Aboriginal Woman, UBC Vancouver President’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, Chief Joe Mathias Scholarship Foundation and the TFN Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. Her ancestral name is Kwuntiltunaat.

  • Chief Aaron Sumexheltza

    Ski’us Aaron Sam Sumexheltza (Aaron Sumexhelta) is Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band. He… Read more »

    Ski’us Aaron Sam Sumexheltza (Aaron Sumexhelta) is Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band. He previously worked as a lawyer for Fulton & Company and several other organizations, focusing on representing residential school survivors and criminal defence. Aaron is currently a member of the board for the Assembly of First Nations – Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment, the BC Aboriginal Justice Council, and the Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation. He was previously a Councillor for the Lower Nicola Indian Band and the Nicola Valley Community Justice Services Society. Aaron has a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from California State University.

  • Kimberly C. Baird

    Former Chief Kim Baird served as elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation from 1998… Read more »

    Former Chief Kim Baird served as elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation from 1998 – 2012. On Dec 6, 2007, history was made when Chief Baird signed Tsawwassen First Nation’s first treaty in Ottawa on Parliament Hill. She has the distinction of being the first aboriginal woman to address the BC Legislature on October 15, 2007 when the BC Treaty Legislation process was initiated. Ms. Baird has received a number of prestigious awards, including Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, the National Aboriginal Women in Leadership Distinction Award, Vancouver Magazine’s Power 50 Award, and Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award. Ms. Baird was also the first First Nation representative on the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors. She is a member of the BC Hydro, Mayors’ Council on Transportation, the Vancouver Skills and Employments Program, Ministers Advisory Council of Aboriginal Woman, UBC Vancouver President’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, Chief Joe Mathias Scholarship Foundation and the TFN Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. Her ancestral name is Kwuntiltunaat.

  • Arnold Bellis

    Arnie Bellis is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Gwaii Wood Products. He is… Read more »

    Arnie Bellis is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Gwaii Wood Products. He is a member of the Strastas (Eagle) Clan and is the former two-term elected Vice President with the Council of the Haida Nation. From 2002 to 2004, he was elected a Councillor with Old Massett Village. Mr. Bellis was involved in the Haida Reconciliation Agreement with British Columbia in 2009, a former Chair of the Haida Power Authority, and a current member of the Haida Gwaii Health Communities. He has been involved in numerous fisheries issues and the Haida land use planning processes.

  • Lee Anne Cameron

    Lee Anne Cameron is currently the Director of Lands for the Okanagan Indian Band. Previously,… Read more »

    Lee Anne Cameron is currently the Director of Lands for the Okanagan Indian Band. Previously, Ms. Cameron was the Director of First Nations and Metis Relations for Hydro One Networks Inc.; a Special Advisor to the National Chief for the Assembly of First Nations; and special advisor to the Minister of Indian & Northern Affairs Canada and later advisor to the Minister of Human Resources Development Canada. She previously served as a Director for Hydro One Remotes Community Inc. and Co-Chair for the Hydro One Charity Campaign. While at Hydro One, Lee Anne led the negotiating team resulting in the B2M LP, a transmission partnership with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. The assets held by the partnership are in excess of $500m.

  • Russ Chipps

    Russ Chipps is the Chief Councillor of the Beecher Bay First Nation. His position as… Read more »

    Russ Chipps is the Chief Councillor of the Beecher Bay First Nation. His position as Chief involves the governance of the Beecher Bay First Nation, the overseeing of health and business opportunities, and the guidance and development of Spirit Bay in the community. In addition, he owns and operates the company Nanny Goat Yard Works. Prior to becoming Chief, Mr. Chipps was involved as a councillor and managed the Cheanuh Marina. He is also the former Economic Development Officer of the Beecher Bay Casino Corporation. Mr. Chipps sits on the Spirit Bay Development board, which guides the development of building a sustainable town for Beecher Bay and other residents. He is a member of both the Indigenous Advisory Committee and the Inter Tribal Health Board. He is a former board member of the South Island Wellness Board. He participated in the creation of the First Nations Health council and served as a representative at that time.

  • Greg D’Avignon

    Greg D’Avignon is the President and CEO of the Business Council of B.C., a 260-member… Read more »

    Greg D’Avignon is the President and CEO of the Business Council of B.C., a 260-member driven policy and advocacy organization comprised of the province’s leading businesses in every sector of the provincial economy and B.C.’s post-secondary institutions. Collectively BCBC members employ 25 percent of the province’s labour force.

    A fourth generation British Columbian, Greg has held senior private and public sectors leadership positions over the last 25 years, including serving the Prime Minister of Canada. He is a frequent contributor, facilitator and commentator on business and public policy issues that influence the economy and prosperity of Canada and British Columbia.

    Greg is the immediate past-Chair of the BC Cancer Foundation and former Chair of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. He is a current member of the Board of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, the Premier’s Indigenous Business Investment Council and a Board Member of the BC Academic Health Science Network. Greg additionally serves as a Board member for the Pacific Autism Family Centre Foundation.

    In 2013, Greg was a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and has been named one of Vancouver’s Power 50 list of influencers.

  • Lana Eagle

    Lana Eagle works as a Senior Advisor for Lana Eagle Consulting. Previously, she was the… Read more »

    Lana Eagle works as a Senior Advisor for Lana Eagle Consulting. Previously, she was the Executive Director for the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business and worked as the Director of Aboriginal Engagement for PR Associates. In addition, she was the Manager of Aboriginal Services for T.E. Wealth Management and was Chairman of Electra Gold. Her professional experience also includes working as the Manager Economic Development & Social Housing for the Quatsino First Nation, working as an Investment Advisor with Investment Advisor Practise and as a Banker with Royal Bank. Ms. Eagle is an Advisory Board Member for DPI Mining. She is also Director of Central City Foundation and Association for Mineral Exploration. She is the current Vice President of Western Canada for the Canadian Institute of Mining. Ms. Eagle holds a Psychology Major and History Minor from the University of Saskatchewan.

  • Michelle Edwards

    Michelle Edwards is the Chief Economic Strategist for Cayoose Creek Development Corporation. Previously, she was… Read more »

    Michelle Edwards is the Chief Economic Strategist for Cayoose Creek Development Corporation. Previously, she was the Fisheries Manager for Lillooet Tribal Council; a Lands and Heritage Monitor for Cayoose Creek Indian Band; and a Heritage Manager for Lillooet Tribal Council. Ms. Edwards is involved as Vice Chair for Cayoose Creek Development Corporation and the Director of Lillooet Tribal Council. She previously served as a Director for St’at’imc Government Services. Ms. Edwards holds her Aboriginal Tourism Business Diploma from the Native Education Centre and her Forest Technician designation from the University College of the Cariboo.

  • Obie Erickson

    Obie is the retired President of Britco’s Canadian Operations. With nearly 35 years of industry… Read more »

    Obie is the retired President of Britco’s Canadian Operations. With nearly 35 years of industry experience, 27 of those at Britco, Mr. Erickson was accountable for the company’s financial performance, directing the company’s strategic planning activities and providing leadership and overall guidance in the administration, management and safe operation of the company. Formerly, as the Vice President of Manufacturing, Mr. Erickson oversaw the design and construction of Britco’s full range of modular products in Canada at three modular construction facilities (Penticton, Agassiz, and Edmonton). Mr. Erickson’s career highlights include the execution of the design and construction of workforce camps in Siberia for Bema Gold, Devon Energy, and Manitoba Hydro projects that ranged from $50 million to $250 million. He also assisted in the construction of the Whistler Athletes Village for the 2010 Olympics.

  • Carol Anne Hilton

    Carol Anne Hilton, MBA is the CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute. Carol Anne… Read more »

    Carol Anne Hilton, MBA is the CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute. Carol Anne is a recognized First Nation’s business leader and adviser with an international Masters Degree in Business Management (MBA) from the University of Hertfordshire, England. Carol Anne is of Nuu chah nulth descent from the Hesquiaht Nation on Vancouver Island.

    Carol Anne currently serves on the BC Emerging Economy Task Force as an adviser to the Minister of Jobs, Trades and Technology as well as on the BC Indigenous Investment Council for the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. Carol Anne was appointed as a senior advisor to the federal Finance Minister on the Canadian Federal Economic Growth Council.

    Carol Anne has led the establishment of a line of thought called #indigenomics- the building and strengthening of Indigenous economies. Carol Anne is currently authoring ‘Indigenomics- a Global Power Shift’

    Carol Anne’s work has been recognized with an Outstanding Business Achievement Award from the BC Achievement Foundation, a Creating Wealth Award from the National Indigenous Council of Elders and Business of the Year Award from the Nuu chah nulth Economic Development Corporation and most recently the Excellence in Aboriginal Relations Award from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

    Carol Anne currently serves as Director on the McGill University Institute of the Study of Canada, the National Canadian Community Economic Development Network as well as a juror on the national Smart Cities Challenge. Carol Anne is an instructor at Simon Fraser University’s Community Economic Development Program and a faculty lead at the Banff Center’s Indigenous Business Program where she was also a Fleck Fellow

  • Nikki Johnson

    Nikki Johnston is the Director of RiverFresh Wild BC Seafood. Previously, she was a Manager… Read more »

    Nikki Johnston is the Director of RiverFresh Wild BC Seafood. Previously, she was a Manager for RiverFresh Wild BC Seafood; an Unassigned Manager for Mexx; and a District Manager for Armani Exchange. Ms. Johnston has extensive experience in building teams with operations, training and development of staff, human resources and sales generation.

  • Lennard Joe

    Lennard Joe is an Administrative Advisor to the Shackan Indian band and General Manager of… Read more »

    Lennard Joe is an Administrative Advisor to the Shackan Indian band and General Manager of Stuwix Resources Joint Venture. Previously, he was the Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Nicola Tribal Association, Partner at Stoyoma GIS Ltd., and Owner of Grizzly-Man Resource Management Ltd. Very active in his community, Mr. Joe serves as part of the Working Group for the Sustainable Forest Initiative, Director of the Scw¿exmx Child & Family Society, Director and Chair of the Scw¿exmx Community Health Services Society, and Committee Member of the University of British Columbia (UBC) First Nations Council of Advisors, the National Aboriginal Forestry Association, and the Aboriginal Forest Industry Council. Previously, he has served as Director of the Nicola Similkameen Innovative Forestry Society and Director and Vice President of the Nicola Tribal Association. Mr. Joe holds his Bachelor of Science (Natural Resource Conservation) from the University of British Columbia and a Diploma (Wildland) from Selkirk College.

  • Jim Kew

    antha kwes’ kwestin. kin jawge tsun, tə nə ski’ ew James Kew. I am Kwes’… Read more »

    antha kwes’ kwestin. kin jawge tsun, tə nə ski’ ew James Kew.

    I am Kwes’ Kwestin. In the English language my name is James Kew.

    I am from Musqueam. My late mother was from the Charles Family, her parents Andrew and Christine carried our language and law into the 20th century. My father is Mike Kew, from a settler family in Quesnel; he became an Anthropologist, and he taught at UBC for decades. My wife Marion and I have not been blessed by children; but we are blessed to live amongst our many nieces and nephews, and extended family grandchildren.

    I serve as a speaker, and as a witness, at our Salish ceremonies. While my health permitted, I carried a mask for many years. In my youth I served on our Council. I am now the Elders representative on our Land Code Committee.

    I have worked as a labourer, an archaeologist, a sculptor, and a carver. I have worked in our band office as Assistant Manager in housing, and as the head of both Employment and Training, and Gaming; and most recently, as acting Protocol Officer for the past six months.

    I have worked for Musqueam as President of Sun’Aq Management, which pursued an unsuccessful bid on a Casino license. I have previously had small partnerships and incorporated companies, and for a couple of years I took consulting contracts from overseas investors considering First Nation investments.

    I have been developing, assembling financing, and proposing a shared Cultural Centre to Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh for the past year. I expect this project to take several more years. I have other joint ventures in construction and tourism in which are now my immediate priority.

  • Sidney A. Peltier

    Sid Peltier is the owner and President of White River Helicopters Inc. and Pelair Helicopters…. Read more »

    Sid Peltier is the owner and President of White River Helicopters Inc. and Pelair Helicopters. Active in the community, he is the Vice President of the Northwest BC Metis Association, a Director of the Kermode Friendship Society, and a committee member on the Metis Consultation Project Team Enbridge. Previously, Mr. Peltier was the Chair of the Metis Ad Hoc Adoption Committee with Metis Nation British Columbia.

  • Vince Prince

    Vincent is a member of the Nak’azdli Whut’en, son of the late Nick and Irene… Read more »

    Vincent is a member of the Nak’azdli Whut’en, son of the late Nick and Irene Prince. Vincent is currently living and working in Prince George. The bulk of Vincent’s employment history is in the area of Community and Economic Development. Vincent’s volunteer experience includes the Prince George Native Friendship Centre, UNBC, CNC, Nezul Be, and several other community organizations. Vince is a current member of the CNC Board of Governors, an External Advisor with the UNBC Community Development Institute and a Director with the Aboriginal Business Development Centre.

  • Chris Scott

    Chris is a Bachelor Commerce Graduate from U.B.C. Chris was involved in numerous management positions… Read more »

    Chris is a Bachelor Commerce Graduate from U.B.C. Chris was involved in numerous management positions and was also the owner of a successful food manufacturing business, Okanagan Dried Fruits Ltd. that earned him the Exporter of the Year Award for the Province and entrepreneur of the Year for the region. In 1998 after the sale of his company Chris was hired as the Chief Operating Officer for the Osoyoos Indian Band where numerous ventures in all sectors of the economy were successfully created. After retiring from the Osoyoos Indian Band effective 2012 Chris became the acting C.E.O. for the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation. Currently Chris is a Board member for the Tzeachten First Nation development Corporation, the Lower Indian Band Development Corporation, Director of 5 First Nation Bands in the Thompson Nicola region, advisor to the Lake Cowichan First Nation and a Director of FortisBC. Chris resides in Kaleden, B.C. with his wife Judy where he operates a premium vineyard.

  • Willie Sellars

    Willie Sellars was born and raised in Williams Lake, BC, and is a Member of… Read more »

    Willie Sellars was born and raised in Williams Lake, BC, and is a Member of the Williams Lake Indian Band (“WLIB” or “T’exelc”) of the Secwepemc Nation. Elected onto WLIB Council at the age of 23 in 2008, Willie was one or the youngest elected Councillors in WLIB history. He served three terms as a Councillor before being elected as the Chief of the WLIB in 2018. Mr. Sellars also worked for a number of years as a Wildland Firefighter for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations before returning to his community to assume the position of Special Projects Coordinator in the WLIB Economic Development Department. During this time he was responsible for new business initiatives flowing from Impact Benefit Agreements, engagement with proponents in the traditional territory and community consultation for major WLIB projects such as the First Nations Land Management Initiative and the Coyote Rock Infrastructure Project. In his community, Mr. Sellars currently serves as the starting goaltender of the Senior AA Williams Lake Stampeders of the Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL). In 2009, Willie won a Coy Cup while playing for the Williams Lake Stampeders. Mr. Sellars published his first children’s book, “Dipnetting with Dad,” in the Spring of 2014. The book describes a personal account of a young Secwepemc boy and his fishing adventures with Dad and Grandpa, he’s following this up with another title, “Hockey with Dad,” that will be released December 2018.

     

  • Crystal Smith

    Crystal Smith is the elected Chief Councillor for the Haisla Nation. Over the years she… Read more »

    Crystal Smith is the elected Chief Councillor for the Haisla Nation. Over the years she has taken on various roles in the Haisla community including Chair of the Haisla Nation Council Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Stakeholder Relations Committee. She is working within the Haisla Nation to support Haisla members and to create opportunities for industry and business to invest in Haisla territory. Active with her community, Ms. Smith serves as a Board Member for First Nations LNG Alliance, First Nations Limited Partnership and MK Bay Marina GP Ltd.

  • Barb Ward-Burkitt

    Barb Ward-Burkitt is the Executive Director for Prince George Native Friendship Centre. Previously, she was… Read more »

    Barb Ward-Burkitt is the Executive Director for Prince George Native Friendship Centre. Previously, she was the Director of Education & Employment for Prince George Native Friendship Centre; a Faculty Mentor – Field Programs for Simon Fraser University; and a Program Coordinator/Instructor for the Prince George Native Friendship Centre. Ms. Ward-Burkitt is very involved within her community. She currently is the President of the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association and an UAKN-Chair for the University of Northern British Columbian. In addition, she serves on the Labour Market Advisory Committee for the National Association of Friendship Centres; the Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee for the College of New Caledonia; and the Collective Impact Strategy Development Team for the City of Prince George. Ms. Ward-Burkitt holds her Native Adult Instructor’s Diploma from the Association of Post-Secondary Institutes; her Provincial Instructor’s Diploma from Vancouver Community College; and her Master of Education Degree from Simon Fraser University. She also holds her First Nations Design & Technology Certificate from Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design and her Train the Trainer Certificate from True Colors Canada.

  • Denise Williams

    Denise Williams is currently the Executive Director of the First Nations Technology Council, where she… Read more »

    Denise Williams is currently the Executive Director of the First Nations Technology Council, where she is leading a theory of change that considers all aspects of an Indigenous digital strategy, from internet connectivity to skills development and leadership in the technology and innovation sectors. Previously, Ms. Williams was the Director of Operations for the First Nations Technology Council; a Policy Analyst for the Department of Indigenous Services Canada; and a Manager of Education Technology for the First Nations Education Steering Committee. With a passion for contributing and volunteering in initiatives and organizations that influence the advancement reconciliations, she proudly serves as the President of the Urban Native Youth Association, Member of the Premier’s Technology Council, Advisor on innovation for the Governor General of Canada, Minerva Foundation board of directors and on the Simon Fraser University Board of Governors as Alumni-in-Order. She holds her Masters of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University.