Harley John Chingee
Appointed by the First Nations Summit, Harley Chingee is a member and former Chief of the McLeod Lake Indian Band with over 20 years experience in First Nation administration and business management. Currently working as a resource consultant, Mr. Chingee, brings a wealth of forest sector policy experience to the First Nations Forestry Council. Harley Chingee is currently a national board member of the Lands Advisory Board, and former member of the First Citizens Fund board of directors who believes in a "business first” approach to forestry. In the 80’s, as a logging contractor, he was instrumental in the creation of Duz Cho Logging Ltd. Owned by the McLeod Lake Indian Band; the company has utilized profits to support legal action defending their rights in their territory. As a negotiator, Mr. Chingee has experience working with all levels of government, and has concluded several public/private resource development partnerships between First Nations, government and industry groups. Mr. Chingee is committed to increasing First Nations access to, and involvement in, the forest sector.
Chief Bill Williams (ta-lall-SHAM-cane siyam) , President
Elected to the First Nations Forestry Council in 2008, Ta-lall-SHAM-cane siyam, Bill Williams, has served as an elected member of the Squamish First Nation Council since 1980, and as a member of the community’s Hereditary Council since 1995. Throughout his political career Chief Williams has played a leadership role among First Nations by successfully blending business and conservation efforts.
Notably, Chief Williams is the current President of the North West Forest Company which holds the Timber forest License for the Squamish Nation. In this capacity, Williams successfully negotiated Squamish control of 80% of the allowable cut in Squamish Territory. He is also currently negotiating for Squamish mangament of sixteen area parks and has been instrumental in the development of a land use plan for the entire Squamish territory. On a regional level, Chief Williams serves as the appointed Vice-President of the British Columbia Native Forestry Association, and was awarded the 2005 Eugene Rogers Award for Leading Conservation Efforts by Western Canada Wilderness Committee.
Leonard Thomas, Vice President
Leonard Thomas has been involved in politics with the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and the Nak’azdli First Nation for 23 years acting as Chief, Councillor, and Vice Tribal Chief.
His role in forestry spans a similar history and he was influential in the development of one of the most successful First Nations forestry joint ventures in Canada. Tl'oh Forest Products is a value-added finger joint mill owned by the Nak’azdli First Nation that employs more than 60 First Nations people. A parallel company called Nakalkoh Timber also employs band members. This company holds four forest licenses. The above companies are governed by Nak’azdli Development Corporation and the board is Chaired by Leonard Thomas.
Leonard was one of the Carrier Sekani Chiefs that was a catalyst behind the First Nations Mountain Pine Beetle meeting in Prince George in September 2005. This meeting led to his appointment by the First Nations Leadership Council to the Interim Mountain Pine Beetle Working Group. This Working Group has since evolved into the First Nations Forestry Council.
- Board of Director – Northwest Tribal Treaty Group
- Board of Director – First Nations Forestry Council
- Board of Director – BC Capacity Initiative
Dave Porter is a member of the Kaska Nation whose traditional territory covers a large part of north-eastern British Columbia and south-eastern Yukon. His career includes journalism, politics, communications and extensive public service on behalf of aboriginal organizations as well as public governments in the Yukon, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.
Mr. Porter spent the first seven years of his life on a trapline near Good Hope Lake, B.C. His education included Lower Post Indian Residential School, F.H. Collins Secondary School in Whitehorse, Confederation College in Thunder Bay and Pre-Law at the University of British Columbia.
Mr. Porter was founding Chairman of Northern Native Broadcasting, Yukon and was elected as Vice-Chair of the Council for Yukon Indians through two terms (1978-1982), holding several portfolios including Land Claims, Housing and Economic Development.
In 1982, Mr. Porter was elected to the Yukon Legislature and upon re-election in 1985 he served as Deputy Premier. He has also served as Minister of Renewable Resources, Tourism, Heritage and Culture, and Minister Responsible for Constitutional Devolution.
After leaving the Legislature, Mr. Porter was named Executive Director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission, then Deputy Minister of Culture and Communications for the Government of the Northwest Territories.
In the 1990’s Mr. Porter served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs for the British Columbia government. He later led the Fur Industry European Lobby on behalf of the Governments of Canada and the United States.
Mr. Porter was also the first Oil and Gas Commissioner in British Columbia, where he strived to build an open environment that would bring various interests in the province to a common table.
In 2002, Mr. Porter was elected Chair of the Kaska Dena Council, with a special commitment to preserve Kaska culture and create greater opportunity for Kaska youth.
Mr. Porter was elected to the three member political executive of the First Nations Summit, the Summit Task Group, in June 2004. The Task Group is authorized by the Summit to carry out specifically mandated tasks on issues related to treaty negotiations in British Columbia. Dave Porter is also a member of the BC First Nations Leadership Council.
Chief Bob Chamberlin
Chief Bob Chamberlin is the elected Chief Councilor of the Kwicksutaineuk Ah-kwa-mish First Nation. Chief Chamberlin currently serves as the Vice President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and has served as Chairman of the Musgamagw-Tsawataineuk Tribal Council for 5 years.
Bob is a Traditional singer for the Kwakwakawakw people and has a son who is 16 years old. He has also worked as an Audio Consultant where he digitized libraries of reel to reel and cassette recordings of traditional songs of his people and re-mastered them digitally.
Chief Chamberlin has been successful in negotiating the necessary resources to rebuild virtually the entire village of Gwa-yas-dums on Gilford Island. This included a water treatment facility, power supply, new subdivision and every home being rebuilt, 6 Home’s are currently being constructed today.
In his role as Co-Spokesperson of the First Nation Chiefs Family and Wellness Council, Chief Chamberlin has turned his attention to address the short comings of adequate funds, resources and services for the Children in Care in British Columbia.
Director Chief David Walkem
David Walkem is the Chief of the Cooks Ferry Indian Band and vice-chair of the Nicola Similkameen Innovative Forestry Society. He is also the president of Stuwix Resources Joint Venture, which manages a forest licence for eight shareholder Indian bands in the BC interior.
Chief David Walkem is President of two other Band joint ventures with two sawmills, and manages a log home building business — Eagles Nest Log Homes — for four Bands. David graduated from the University of Western Ontario (MBA 1984) as well as the University of BC (BScF 1980) and was named Forester of the Year in 2001.
Chief Michael LeBourdais
Michael LeBourdais is of Secwepemc, Statimc and Okanagan Heritage. His strengths are facilitation, finance and management. He attended Olds College in Alberta, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby and University College of the Cariboo at Kamloops. He was instrumental as President of the Cariboo College Student Society to activate the UCC Native Student Society.
Chief LeBourdais pursues the responsibilities of moving the Pelltiqt and its neighbours towards self sufficiency through agreements with other governments. He believes that with entrepreneurship, human resource development and financial support will regain the spirit of our people.
"Since the beginning of time, the Pelltiqt have sustained themselves with the resources and the political jurisdiction to care for and enhance the quality of life; which continues today. The past Chiefs laid the foundation of mitigating the impacts and the negative consequences of Indian and Northern affairs Canada,” states Chief LeBourdais. "Through negotiations and human resource development we can once again begin to enjoy that which we need to sustain ourselves.”
Currently Chief LeBourdais serves on the following committees on behalf of the Whispering Pines/Clinton community:
- The Secwepemc Child and Family Services Society
- The Secwepemc Cultural Education Society
- The First Nations Chiefs Health Committee
- The Qwemstin Health Society
- Shuswap Training and Employment Program
- Commanding Officers Aboriginal Advisory Committee
- The Secwepemc Community Justice Program