Who we are

Governance

The First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation is an Indigenous-led organization with a seven-member Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is constituted at the annual general meeting with a mandate to establish a skills-based board and create a sustainable fundraising strategy. Four directors are elected, and three directors are appointed by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council.

Dr. Lorna Wánosts’a7 Williams

Chair

Dr. Lorna Wánosts’a7 Williams

Chair

Dr. Lorna Wánosts’a7 Williams is Líl’watul from Mount Currie, B.C. Dr. Williams is an educator with many years of experience in Indigenous education and Indigenous languages. She served as past Chair of First Peoples’ Cultural Council.

Throughout her career, Dr. Williams has held a number of senior positions, notably at the University of Victoria as Director of Indigenous Education and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, and as Canada Research Chair in Indigenous knowledge and learning, cross-appointed between the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Linguistics. She retired in 2014. In addition, Dr. Williams served as Director of the Indigenous Enhancements Branch of the Ministry of Education. She currently serves as the Elder and member of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women and a member of the Indigenous Circle for SSHRC. She was inducted into the Order of B.C. in 1993, the Order of Canada, Officer in 2019, and was awarded with an Indspire Award in 2017, all for her work in Indigenous education and languages.

J,SINTEN, John Elliott

Past-Chair

J,SINTEN, John Elliott

Past-Chair

J,SINTEN, John Elliott is a respected Elder of the Tsartlip First Nation and has taught at ȽÁU,WELṈEW Tribal School in Saanich for over 30 years. His dedication to the revitalization of First Nations languages began over 30 years ago, inspired by the efforts of his father, David Elliott, to preserve the SENĆOŦEN language. In 1999, Mr. Elliott co-founded FirstVoices, a suite of web-based tools that supports language archiving and learning, and which is now used worldwide. Mr. Elliott sometimes teaches evening classes at Camosun College and is the Chairman of the Saanich Native Heritage Society. He serves on the Advisory Committee of the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and previously served for six years as a director on the FPCC board. In 2009, he received an honorary PhD from Maharishi University of Management in Iowa for his work in language revitalization, and in 2019, he received an honorary Doctor of Education from the University of Victoria, also for his work in language revitalization.

John Haugen

Vice Chair

John Haugen

Vice Chair

John Haugen is from the Nlaka’pamux Nation in Lytton, B.C. He has committed much of his life to the revitalization of First Nations languages, arts and cultures. He is a valued Knowledge Keeper within his tribal group – a go-to person for genealogy, history and place names. He is currently employed as a Restorative Justice Coordinator for the Tribal Council and will be playing a key role in repatriation of many ancestral remains to his nation from various institutions. Currently a member of the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park Board and the Lytton First Nation Council and Director of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, Mr. Haugen has also served as Director for the Fraser Basin Council, the First Nations Alliance for Land Management and the First Peoples’ Cultural Council. He also volunteers as host of a gathering on the fourth of every month to share knowledge, language, protocols and teachings that help him and others stay connected to who they are as Nlaka’pamux.

Gary Johnston

Director

Gary Johnston

Director

Gary Johnston is Skwxwú7mesh Uxwumixw and has been an educator for most of his career with a focus on First Nations history and culture. Mr. Johnston has taught First Nations tourism development among other courses in colleges, universities and various organizations for over 25 years. The focus of all of these programs was cultural revitalization, language, authenticity and cultural integrity.

Mr. Johnston has a Masters of Arts in Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in tourism management. He owned and operated a successful tour company, conducted “train the trainer” sessions for BC Schizophrenia and has taught literacy in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Currently he is a contract trainer for Indigenous Community for Leadership and Development and teaches tourism and small business development programs

Dena Carroll

Secretary

Dena Carroll

Secretary

Dena Carroll is a member of the Chippewa of Nawash Unceded First Nations in Ontario and has been a visitor on the Lekwungen-speaking Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations for 32 years. Dena worked for the B.C. provincial government for over 15 years supporting Indigenous-led programs and services and policy for children, youth and families, and in health and education. She re-started her career in B.C. at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre. She now enjoys spending her time with her five grandchildren, her two grown children and her husband of 45 years. As a mature student, Dena obtained her BA and MBA from the University of Victoria.

Shannon Rohan

Treasurer

Shannon Rohan

Treasurer

Shannon is settler of Irish and Polish origin residing on the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She is the Chief Strategy Officer at SHARE, a non-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing investor leadership for a sustainable and inclusive economy. Shannon advises asset owner boards on their implementation of responsible investing practices and leads strategic projects for SHARE, including the Valuing Decent Work Initiative, the Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative, and Foundation Investing 2.0.

Shannon has a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University.

Shelley Sainsbury

Director

Shelley Sainsbury

Director

Shelley is settler of Italian and English origin residing on the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Shelley is a leader within the philanthropic community with a proven track record as an effective, dynamic and creative leader. Shelley’s most recent experience was Campaign Director for the new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, BC. This 5-year campaign was the largest in Western Canada, at well over $225 million, and holds the promise of beginning a significant change in healthcare for the people of BC. She has more than 12 years of fundraising experience at the leadership level and has an extensive background in campaign and program, event and campaign development, sales and marketing.