Three First Nations Women Bring Wealth of Knowledge and Experience to Coast Funds Board of Directors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST, BC—Coast Funds announced today the appointment of three First Nations women to its board of directors: Christina Gray, nominated by the North Coast Skeena Stewardship Society; Ts’xwiixw Megan Moody, nominated by the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance; and Kii’iljuus Barbara Wilson, nominated by the Council of the Haida Nation.
K̓áwáziɫ Marilyn Slett, President of Coastal First Nations and Coast Funds Member, says Indigenous women offer diverse knowledge, experience, and perspectives to organizations. “These qualities will serve to enhance the planning, decision-making, and governance of organizations like Coast Funds,” said K̓áwáziɫ. “I am thrilled with the brilliance and strong leadership they bring to Coast Funds. They are all important role models in our communities, particularly for young women and girls.” Listening to, and including the viewpoints of the new board members in a meaningful way, will bring a new perspective and new ideas to move forward Coast Funds’ progressive agenda, K̓áwáziɫ added.
The directors each bring a unique set of competencies and backgrounds to the board: Gray (Ts’msyen/Dene) is a lawyer and Indigenous law scholar, currently completing her Master of Laws. Ts’xwiixw (Nuxalk) has served her community and other coastal communities as a stewardship expert and biologist, with significant experience in fisheries. Kii’iljuus (Haida) holds a Master of Arts in Education, and brings to the board a diverse background in stewardship, Indigenous justice, education, and cultural advising, as well as prior experience developing a training program for Guardian Watchmen.
The directors were officially appointed by Coast Funds’ Members at the annual general meeting on July 5, 2019. Members expressed their support for the diversity of experience Gray, Ts’xwiixw, and Kii’iljuus bring to the board and were impressed by the competencies of the new directors.
“We are grateful for the depth of knowledge and experience each of these women bring to the board,” said HuuxPercy Crosby, chair of Coast Funds’ board of directors. “Their diverse skill sets will strengthen the ways in which Coast Funds can serve First Nations as they pursue well-being in their communities.”
The three directors joined the board after an in-depth consultation with each of the regional groups responsible for nominating directors to Coast Funds’ board. Gray and Ts’xwiixw will be serving on the board until 2023, and Kii’iljuus until late 2021.
“It continues to be an honour to work for such a committed and talented group as we operate in service of First Nations who are uplifting the well-being of their people while leading stewardship throughout their territories,” said Brodie Guy, executive director of Coast Funds.
Christina Gray is a Ts’msyen member of Lax Kw’alaams in Northern British Columbia as well as Dene-Métis from Łutselkʼe in the Northwest Territories. She is currently completing a Masters of Law at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. Ms. Gray received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of British Columbia Peter A. Allard School of Law in 2013. She was subsequently called to the bar with the Law Society of Ontario in 2015. Her legal experience includes, articling at Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto, working as a human rights lawyer, and a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation in Waterloo, Ontario. While at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law, Ms. Gray has worked as a Research Assistant with the Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU), contributing to numerous projects, which focus on Indigenous legal orders through the application of the ILRU methodology. Ms. Gray is also a current Yellowhead Institute Research Fellow, which is a First Nations-led think tank rooted in community networks and committed to Indigenous self-determination. Previously, Ms. Gray has volunteered her time in the capacity of board of directors for the Indigenous Bar Association, Reach Up, and the Law Union of Ontario. Follow Ms. Gray on Twitter at @STINA_GRAY
About Ts’xwiixw Megan Moody
Megan was introduced to fishing and salmon at a young age as she fished on a commercial gillnetter with her father on the Central Coast and worked as an intern for many summers at the local fish hatchery. She started working for her community as the Nuxalk Fisheries Manager in 2001 after completing her undergraduate degree (Biology) at the University of Victoria. In 2008 she began working more broadly with First Nations communities as a Biologist for the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (CCIRA) after finishing a Master of Science degree at the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Center. From 2013-2017 she returned home to Bella Coola to work for her community, the Nuxalk Nation, as their Stewardship Director. After relocating to Masset in late 2017, she continues to playa role with her Nation, as a technical advisor for their Stewardship Office. Currently she also works with Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative, as a manager of their Stewardship Director’s Committee. This committee works collectively to implement community land and marine plans in the Great Bear Rainforest. In an elected leadership capacity, Megan was an elected Councillor of the Nuxalk Chief and Council (2013 – 2017). And also, has served two terms as the Central Coast delegate for the First Nations Fisheries Council (2012-2014) and (2017-present).
About Kii’iljuus Barbara Wilson
Barbara J. Wilson, is an elected representative of the Council of the Haida Nation. She has been involved with many boards both on Haida Gwaii and in other areas. Barbara has experience as the Chair and a member for the Legal Aid Society for approximately 30 years. Barbara has worked to develop a training program for the Guardian Watchmen programs of the coast. She represented the United Church of Canada as an Official Observer at COP21, Paris in 2015. For many years she has been part of the Advisory group and the Chair of Indigenous Justice and Residential Schools. In her community, Barbara is a mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and friend to many. She has taught/lectured for NorthWest Community College, Simon Fraser University, University of BC, University of Victoria and attended conferences internationally and across Canada. Barbara has been a keynote speaker, cultural adviser, liaison between government, unions executive, photographer, cinematographer. She has completed her Masters of Arts in Education through Simon Fraser University. Her passions are her family, homeland – Haida Gwaii, and leaving the world a better place through education.
About Coast Funds
Coast Funds is a globally recognized model of Indigenous-led, permanent conservation finance that invests to strengthen the well-being of First Nations and the ecological integrity of the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii regions of British Columbia, Canada. Founded with $118 million in 2007, and approving funding for its first project in 2008, Coast Funds is a partnership of private foundations and government. As of June 18, 2019, Coast Funds has approved $87.4 million towards 372 conservation and sustainable economic development projects. For more information, visit: coastfunds.ca
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