The BC Ministry of Advanced Education and
the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology are proud to announce the
BC Post-Secondary Truth and Reconciliation Summit
on Wednesday, October 19 and Thursday, October 20, 2016
at the SFU Wosk Centre
580 W Hastings St, Vancouver BC
The Summit will feature:
Honourable Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education
Honourable John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Shawn Atleo, former National Assembly of First Nations Chief, and
Shane Gottfriedson, BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief
The Symposium will also feature panel discussions led by BC Post-Secondary and
Indigenous Institutes of Higher Learning Senior Leaders, and
collaborative group planning to advance reconciliation in higher learning locally, and regionally,
to create a just society for the benefit of future generations.
The attainment of a just society is not just a dream
it is the responsibility of all leaders and
a legacy for our all of our children.
This event is for BC Public Post-Secondary Institution and Indigenous Institutes of Higher Learning Leaders.
Chief Simpcw First Nation
In education he has been part of the development of the B.C. First Nations Schools Association, the First Nations Education Steering Committee and the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association. He has been a principal of a First Nations school, a director of the Short Course for Principals of First Nations Schools at UBC, and the Executive Director for Aboriginal Education at Thompson Rivers University at Kamloops. He has represented B.C. First Nations at the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs Committee on Education and has been a senior negotiator for BC First Nation education issues. He is currently the Chairperson of the SD 73 Aboriginal Education Council in Kamloops.
Honorable Andrew Wilkinson
Minister of Advanced Education
Andrew Wilkinson was appointed Minister of Advanced Education on December 18, 2014. Previously he served as Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services from June 2013, after being elected MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena in the 2013 General Election.
He is a former deputy minister of the British Columbia Ministry of Economic Development, where he had responsibility for economic issues, trade and tourism. He also served as deputy minister for Intergovernmental Relations in the Premier's Office for two years.
Prior to his election as MLA, Wilkinson worked as a lawyer in the Vancouver offices of a major national law firm. Prior to being called to the bar, Wilkinson was educated and licensed as a physician. He lived and worked as a doctor in Campbell River, Lillooet and Dease Lake. He holds degrees from the University of Alberta, Dalhousie University, and Oxford University, where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.
He has also served as president of the BC Civil Liberties Association and president of the BC Mountaineering Club, and president of the BC Liberal Party.
Honorable John Rustad
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
John Rustad was re-elected to represent the riding of Nechako Lakes in 2013 and was appointed Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation on June 10, 2013.
He previously served as Parliamentary Secretary for Forestry to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and as a member of the Environment and Land Use Committee, Legislative Review Committee, Treasury Board, Select Standing Committee on Education, Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Select Standing Committee on Health.
Rustad was born and raised in Prince George and has lived all of his life in northern B.C. He grew up enjoying fishing and hunting. In 2009, he and his wife, Kim, moved to Cluculz Lake where they enjoy the peace and beauty of rural living.
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
Hereditary Chief Ahousaht First Nation
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo is a Hereditary Chief from the Ahousaht First Nation. Traditional teachings have guided A-in-chut to serve First Nations as a leader, facilitator, mediator, planner and teacher.
Advancing a vision of supporting and enabling the success of every First Nation on the basis of their rights and responsibilities, A-in-chut has been a tireless advocate for First Nations in every region of the country especially in the area of education, with federal, provincial and territorial leaders, corporations and civil society, nationally and internationally.
A-in-chut was first elected in 2009 as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. He was re-elected in 2012 receiving an overwhelming majority of support for a second consecutive term. Previously, A-in-chut served two terms as Regional Chief for First Nations across British Columbia. Committed to the principles of working together through inclusion and respect, he forged the historic Leadership Accord among First Nation leadership in B.C. in 2005 as well as advancing and achieving the Transformative Change Accord between First Nations and both the federal and provincial Governments.
In 2008, A-in-chut’s commitment to education was recognized in his appointment as Chancellor of Vancouver Island University, becoming B.C.’s first Indigenous Chancellor. He has been deeply honoured to receive twelve Honourary Doctorates of Laws from universities throughout Canada. He also received the University of Technology (Sydney) Alumni Award for Excellence 2011 in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. In February, 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his advocacy work on behalf of First Nations across Canada. He holds a Masters of Education from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia (in partnership with University of British Columbia, University of the Western Cape South Africa, and University of Linkoping Sweden).
In 2014, A-in-chut was named the first Distinguished Fellow of the William A. MacDonald, Q.C Fellowship in Indigenous Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto as an Adjunct Professor. He was also appointed to the important academic role of Shqwi qwal for Indigenous Dialogue at Vancouver Island University, appropriately housed in the Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation.
A-in-chut began his career as a facilitator, trainer and entrepreneur working with and for First Nations peoples. He has recently returned to his entrepreneurial roots as co-founder, partner and Executive Chairman of A-in-chut Business Group, which is a First Nation business and investment group focused on supporting and empowering First Nations to create and build sustainable economic development based on rights and title. He is also a partner and current CEO of Gitpo LP, which is a First Nations procurement and construction management contractor.
Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson
AFN Regional Chief, BCAFN
Elected as Regional Chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations in June 2015, Shane Gottfriedson represents the 203 First Nations in BC at the provincial and national level. Prior to this role, he served 4 terms, a total of 12 years, as Chief of the Tk’emlúps Indian Band situated in the traditional territory of the Secwe̓pemc people. Shane has also served as the Tribal Chief for the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council which concentrates on advancing Aboriginal rights and title by focusing on unity and shared territory.
Regional Chief Gottfriedson was instrumental in the recent decision by the Federal Court to certify a class action lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of First Nations students who attended day schools. He also serves on a number of boards and committees working to advance First Nations priorities. Regional Chief Gottfriedson has also served on the 1993 Canada Summer Games Board of Directors, the 2006 BC Summer Games Board of Directors, the 2011 Western Canadian Games Board, and coached the Tk’emlúps Coyotes, a local youth hockey team, to the Western Canada Native Hockey Championships. In addition, Shane has served on the Chief's Governance Council, the Aboriginal Business Investment Council, Ch'nook Sauder School of Business Advisory Board, Minister Polak's Roundtable on Environment and the First Nations Gaming Commission.
The father of 5, grandfather of one, he has spent his life serving his home community. In his new role, Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson is committed to creating a better quality of life for BC First Nations and has embarked upon this goal through a community-driven, Nation-based approach. In addition to his role as Regional Chief, Shane currently holds the Assembly of First Nations national portfolios on economic development, Justice, and Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.
Doug White, B.A., J.D., is a member and former Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo, BC. His Coast Salish name is Kwul’a’sul’tun and his Nuu-chah-nulth name is Tlii’shin.
After completing his B.A. in First Nations Studies (with distinction) from Malaspina University-College, he graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria in 2006. He was called to the Bar of British Columbia in January 2008. He has been a director of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada and an associate lawyer at Mandell Pinder.
He was the elected Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation from December 2009 to February 2014 where a major focus of his work was in relation to the implementation of the Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854.
From June of 2010 to June 2013, he was elected by Chiefs of British Columbia to lead the First Nations Summit as a member of the FNS Task Group. In that capacity, he advocated for First Nations seeking resolution of outstanding issues with the Crown. In that role, he was also a member of the BC First Nations Leadership Council working on common issues with BC First Nations, particularly the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate, and advocated on their behalf with the governments of British Columbia, Canada and internationally at the United Nations.
Doug was appointed to the BC Aboriginal Justice Council by the First Nations Summit in April 2016
He is currently the Director of the Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation at Vancouver Island University and practices as a lawyer and negotiator across the country for First Nations governments. He is an also legal counsel for First Nations across the country.
He lectures frequently at universities on Indigenous legal issues.
Ken Tourand is the current President and CEO of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. He is the Chair of the Colleges and Institutes Canada Indigenous Advisory Committee and led a National committee in the development of a National Indigenous Protocol for Post-Secondary Institutions. He currently sits as an Advisory member for the BC Aboriginal Business Awards and is a past Board member of CANDO. Ken holds degrees from Simon Fraser University and Royal Roads University.
He resides in Merritt BC with his wife Darlene, his daughter Stephanie and his son Jake.
Ministry of Advanced Education
Sandra has a 27-year career within the BC Public Service and has held a variety of executive positions. Prior to the Ministry of Advanced Education, she was the Deputy Minister of International Trade. Appointments also included the Chief Operating Officer (COO) with the Ministry of Health, providing corporate leadership for the health system innovation and change agenda with the responsibility for health labour negotiations and a variety of Assistant Deputy Minister positions with the Minstry of Transportaion and Infrastructure.
Sandra has an Associate Degree in Business and has received the Premier’s Award in Excellence for service delivery and the Premier’s Award for Organizational Excellence. Sandra is a recent graduate from the Advanced Leadership Program with the Canadian School of Public Service.
Mavis Benson is an Aboriginal woman from the Cheslatta Carrier Nation. She moved to Vancouver, BC in 2009 to continue her education after being out of school for over 20 years. She brought her 3 grandchildren with her and was the primary caregiver of all of them as she embarked on her educational goals.
As a young girl she went to Lejac Indian Residential School and experienced racism amongst her own people as well as abuse by adult supervisors. It was not an experience she will ever forget. Education was never the key, discipline was. Upon her return home to her community she continued to endure horrific abuses of all kinds at the hands of a family member. Her only refuge was when she attended school where the teachers always encouraged her to excel at everything she did. Home life was not good but one thing she will never forget is the words of her mother and father: “school is the only way you will do good in life, because no one is going to do it for you”. She was an excellent student both in elementary and secondary school even though she continued to get into trouble on a daily basis.
At the age of 13 she ran away from home due to the unrelenting abuse that she had to endure on a daily basis. Thinking that running away was going to solve her problems she was very wrong. She went from one hell to another. At the age of 16 she had her one and only daughter and did not know how to be a parent. As a single mother not long after her daughter was born she went back home to her community to find her way in life. During that time she felt a yearning to return to high school and graduate. In 1986 she graduated from the Lakes District Secondary School, while her mother helped by taking care of her daughter.
She began to work after graduation but continued to move from one city to another trying to run from her past. Eventually in 2001 she went home and made peace with her family. It was at this time that her daughter had her first baby at the age of 21. She was a great mother until her relationship soured with the father of her 4 children. Her daughter got into the wrong crowd and turned to alcohol and drugs. She currently lives on the DTES where she is slowly recovering from her addictions. Residential school took all her parenting skills away and she could never hug her daughter or show her love therefore, taking sole custody of all of her grandchildren was Mavis’ way of finding peace within herself and forgiving herself for the way she raised her daughter.
Her return to school after two decades of professional experience has left her very interested with the law and driven to find expression for her enthusiasm and curiosity. Her previous academic, and professional experiences demonstrate that she has the skill set to succeed at anything she puts her mind too and education was always a part of who she was. Prior to law school she worked for the Cheslatta Carrier Nation as an Assistant General Manager, and served as an elected Band Councilor for many years. This taught her the importance of professionalism and sensitivity while upholding fiduciary obligations to her community and the government of Canada.
Through the successful completion of each course at UBC Law from 2011 - 2016, she gained significant experience researching and writing on a variety of complex and sensitive topics, from the law and policy of Criminal law, to title & rights, and to the legal definitions of "Aboriginal people" in Canada. While completing her studies as the mother (grandmother) of 3 children of whom she is in the process of adopting, she continues to be involved in her community activities as well as advocates for Aboriginal girls on the DTES on a voluntary basis. This demonstrates her compassion and love for her people.
Throughout her life she has never stopped educating herself to become the best that she can be and now she mentors her young children and community members in succeeding in their educational endeavors. If it had not been for school during her younger years she said she would’ve died at a young age and that is why she is thankful that her teachers became her “rock”, and her professor at UBC Law Nikos Harris became her “light” at the end of the tunnel. Yes, she admits law school was hell but if you have it in your heart to succeed your world will forever change only for the better.
The T & R Symposium will also feature breakout sessions that are designed to support inquiry into reconciliation, and reconciliation planning and implementation, informed by Canada’s Public Post-Secondary Best Practices. The evening of October 19th we will be featuring a pre-dinner cultural event to continue to expand understandings of the local Musqueam First Nation culture.
Agenda - Coming Soon
Accommodations - Coming Soon
For more information please contact Laara Mixon, M.A. Event Manager at email@example.com, ph: 604.988.9500