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by Ante Beljan | Nov 2, 2022
I am a proud and strong Nlaka’pamux woman who was born and raised in the Shulus (Lower Nicola Indian Band) and Shackan areas. My parents are Charlotte Joe of the Lower Nicola Indian Band and Maynard Joe of the Shackan Indian Band. My grandparents were Minnie Pierre and Herbert Pierre of the Lower Nicola Indian Band and Chief Anthony Joe and Rose Joe of the Shackan Indian Band. I have two older sisters, a son, and a grandson and currently reside in Shulus with my son and grandson.
My days as a child were spent between Shulus and the 14 Mile Ranch in Shackan. Our family was a ranching and logging family; days were spent on the ranch, at rodeo grounds, and out on the land, whether it be working on it or harvesting from it. I was involved in 4-H Beef for several years which taught me leadership, diversity, equality, and inclusion. All my experiences through childhood up to today as an adult has made me the strong Nlaka’pamux woman I am today; a voice that can and will be heard; I will not quit until we are heard, and our concerns are addressed.
I am a member of the NunatuKavut, Inuit of Labrador, currently working and residing in the qathet Region (upper sunshine coast), the Traditional Territory of the Tla’amin Nation. I have been with Tla’amin Fire Department, assisting with administrative supports and training as a firefighter and medical first responder since 2018. I also sit on the board for PR Therapeutic Riding Association, we provide equine therapy to improve the emotional, mental and physical health of children and adults with disabilities in the qathet Region. I work for a family business, enjoy volunteering at community events and participating in fire, medical and emergency response training. When I am not working or training, I am spending time with my children, out exploring the territory by land or sea, reading or curling. I look forward to working with FNESS.
Walter Paul is from the Tla’amin First Nation which is located 100 miles north of Vancouver on the Sunshine Coast. Walter is a former chief of his nation for the past 4-years; as well a council member for 32 years. Walter is also a member of the Tla’amin Fire Department for 42-years of which 2-years as the Fire Chief.
Walter is proud to mention the Tla’amin Fire Department as of this year is the first fully accredited Aboriginal Department to have full service accreditation in BC. He believes in supporting First Nation communities to achieve healthy and safe communities through collaborative relationships and credible services
Stephen Hunt, known to most as Sonny, is a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation. He is an integral member of his community and has held many different position in emergency services there. Sonny was previously a FNESS Board Member; he’s glad to be back and looks forward to serving the First Nations of BC through FNESS.
Appointed by the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, Michael Kelly is a member and an elected councillor of Leq’a:mel First Nation. Michael retired early after 35 years, when working with the Provincial Government within the Ministry of Highways throughout the province of British Columbia. He has worked extensively withing the Engineering Technical and Inspection component of highway construction. After leaving eht Ministry of Highways in 2002, he worked as a machine operator within the public works section with the University Endowment Lands until 2009. Currently, Michael is a member of the Strategic Engagement Agreement board. He is a representative of the Sto:lo Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association for Leq’a:mel First Nation. Michael also works with the S.X.T.A. Governance working group and holds the fisheries portfolio for Leq’a:mel First Nation. With the changing landscape of the Forest Industry related to the First Nations in British Columbia, Michael is committed to working with all groups involved diligently for positive progress.
Anthony Moore comes from the Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw, located in Northwest BC. He has been a part of the Gitwinksihlkw Fire Department since 1998 is the current Safety Officer for the Department. Anthony holds the position of Emergency Response and Health & Safety Coordinator for Nisga’a Lisims Government, there he provides direction of emergency management and business continuity, as well as providing strategic guidance and continuity in corporate knowledge to ensure legal compliance of the Health and Safety Legislation for the Nisga’a Nation.
Anthony has graduated from the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) receiving an in Emergency Management Certificate, Emergency Medical Responder Certificate and working on Health & Safety Professional Certificate from British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the Exterior Attack Fire Fighter Course from JIBC.
Working diligently with other members of his department, they have worked to develop a strong junior fire fighter training program and an annual summer boot camp, instilling the traditions and mindset of a fire fighter into the youth of Nisga’a Nation and its four communities. As well as serving in his fire department, Anthony also serves in many other nonprofit organizations in areas of Cultural dancing and Concert Bands and the Salvation Army.