First Nations Health Directors Association

Board of Directors

The FNHDA Board of Directors is made up of three regional representatives from each of the five health authority regions in BC. The Board’s key purpose is to ensure that the Association is meeting the appropriate interests of their members related to the FNHDA Constitution and Bylaws, mandate and strategic plan.

Our Board has strong representation, talent and skills – coupled with a passion and commitment to faithfully advocate for the interests of their members.

Elder Advisor

Virginia Peters

FNHDA Elder Advisor

Virginia (Ginny) was one of the founding FNHDA Board members. She has committed the past 6 years to the creation and development of the Association. Our Board relies on her, based on her many years of experience in the field and different roles she has held, and as a Health Director. Ginny plans to retire in March and will stepping down from her role as Secretary-Treasurer for the FNHDA Board of Directors. Ginny’s dedication, kind leadership, and beautiful way of bringing resolution to the group have been a real treasure to FNHDA and the Board.

Virginia Peters is an Elder whose parents were William and Nancy Phillips from Chehalis, BC. Her immediate family consists of 3 daughters, 2 sons, 11 grandchildren, 6 foster grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. She has a large extended family (definitely over 1,500). Her family is very close-knit and is strongly linked with the extended family.

Coming from a strong matriarchal system, Ginny’s professional life began with several years of volunteering. She began Community Services in 1960. The Community Services she was involved with at Chehalis included Religion (Church) Committee, Longhouse, Youth Group, Youth Native Dance Group, School Board, Band Councilor (4 terms), Chief (1 term), and Social Development Portfolio (Sto:lo Tribal Council). Her professional experience started in 1972 and included Secretary/ Bookkeeper, Manager of Health, Social Development and Family Services, Coordinating  Health Transfer Plans, Coordinating  Special Projects and Accounting.

Being a family and community oriented person, Ginny continues to dedicate much time and effort to assist in the community development and healing. She firmly believes that culture and spirituality is the key to healing and rebuilding the strength of our families and communities.

Fraser

Janice George

Director of Health & Family Services, Sts’ailes First Nation

Janice Colleen George, Nauness, has served as the Health Director for Sts’ailes Health Department since 2017 and was elected to the FNHDA Board of Directors in November of the same year. Paternally, Janice is from Sts’ailes; maternally, she is from Squamish Nation. Her husband is from Tsleil-Waututh Nation, and together they have seven children and eight grandchildren.

As a leader, Janice is known for her deep knowledge of Sts’ailes culture and spirituality, and emphasizes the inclusion of cultural practices in her daily work. As a Health Director, she also actively promotes Lateral Kindness as a solution to lateral violence.

Janice brings to the Board a strong professional background, including five years of managerial experience and eight years of supervisory experience. In addition to her work as Sts’ailes’ Health Director, Janice was formerly the Executive Assistant to Sts’ailes’ Chief, and also held positions as Sts’ailes’ Human Resources/Employment Counsellor as well as the Band Manager for Kwayquetlum First Nation, among other roles.

She holds a Psychology Associate of Arts Degree General Studies Diploma from Douglas College and an Office Technology & Administration Certificate – Finance Option from Capilano University. She is currently completing her Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator Diploma.

Terrie Davidson

Health Director, Boothroyd Band

Bio forthcoming

Kimberley Laing

Health Director, Sumas First Nation

Bio forthcoming

Interior

Frances Alec

Health Manager, Xaxli’p First Nation

Bio forthcoming.

Jacki McPherson

Health Director, Osoyoos Indian Band

Jacki McPherson is a proud member of the Okanagan Nation with over 25 years of experience in Aboriginal health. Mrs. McPherson currently serves as Manager of Health Services for Osoyoos Indian Band, a position she has held and enjoyed for three years.

Jacki brings a wealth of community-based experience to her role as Interior representative on the First Nations Health Directors Association. Beginning with home-making, Mrs. McPherson has held almost every position imaginable in First Nations Health. In her recent past Jacki has focused on management of contribution agreements and contracts, teaching, facilitating and program design.

Mrs. McPherson looks forward to further development of the First Nations Health Directors Association. As one of the Associations founding members, she sees the Association’s grassroots connection to the communities as critical to building a credible and sustainable First Nations health governance structure. Further, Jacki is excited by the opportunity bring community voice to bear on future program development. Mrs. McPherson is grateful to the community and administration of Osoyoos Indian Band for their flexibility in supporting her work at the provincial level.

Happily married for 24 years, Jacki has 3 children. In her spare time, Jacki enjoys reading, spending time with her family and playing the occasional game of bingo.

Shelley Lampreau

Health Director, Simpcw Health Centre

Bio and picture forthcoming

Northern

Louella Nome

Health Manager, Lheidli T’enneh Band

Bio forthcoming

Beverley Clifton Percival

Health Director, Moricetown Band

Bio forthcoming

Vacant

Vancouver Coastal

Rosemary Stager

Health Director, Southern Stl’atl’imx Health Society

Bio forthcoming.

Keith Marshall

Director, Community Health Programs, Hailika’as Heiltsuk Health Centre (Vice-President, FNHDA Board)

Keith is an experienced professional with over 30 years of experience working with federal, provincial and private organizations in managerial and senior administrative positions with these organizations. Keith possesses a Bachelors of Education, Bachelors and Masters of Social Work and a Master’s in Public Administration from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Currently Keith is the Director of Community Health Programs for the Hailika’as Heiltsuk Health Centre in Bella Bella BC. Keith began his career with the Department of Health & Social Services-New Brunswick-Senior Social Worker specializing in First Nations Child Welfare. It was during this tenure Keith developed the protocol for the placement of Aboriginal Children into foster care. It was through this protocol that First Nations’ agencies determined the priorities for Aboriginal foster homes in the community. Keith also worked with several other First Nations governments including Burnt Church and Red Bank First Nations in New Brunswick, Membertou and Millbrook First Nations in Nova Scotia and Katlodeeche First Nation in Hay River Northwest Territories. From 1999 to 2002, Keith was a member of the National Parole Board. In 2003, Keith was the Director of Community Health and Allied Services for the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority in Hay River NT.

Keith looks forward to serving with the FNHDA representing the Central Coast.

Coreen Paul

Health Director, Kwakiutl District Council Health Office

Bio forthcoming

Vancouver Island

Kim Roberts

Health Director, Kwakiutl District Council Health Office

Bio forthcoming

Charles Nelson

Health Administrator, Snuneymuxw First Nation

Charles Nelson is from Nuxalk Nation (Bella Coola, BC) but lives on Snaw Naw As (Lantzville, BC) territory. He works for Snuneymuxw First Nation (Nanaimo, BC) as a Health Administrator. Charles has been a Health Director now for 8 years. Of these 8 years, Charles has worked for Nuxalk Nation for 6 years and 2 years with Snuneymuxw. Charles has a certificate in Management Skills for Supervisors and a certificate in Computerized Accounting Procedures.

Prior to moving to Snuneymuxw, Charles was the Health & Wellness Director for Nuxalk Nation. Nuxalk Nation has a population of approximately 2000 with about 1000 of those members living on reserve. The services provided by the Nuxalk Health & Wellness centre include Health Programs, Wellness Programs, Early Childhood Development Programs and Justice Programs. The programs and services at Nuxalk Nation are similar to what Snuneymuxw receives.

While working in Bella Coola, Charles became involved with the First Nations Interim Health Governance Committee which eventually transitioned into the role of the First Nations Health Council. At this committee, Charles had a chance to become involved in the beginning stages of change for the First Nations Health Council. The role of becoming a provincial body for First Nation peoples’ health was both exciting and challenging. Charles thinks it is good to see the First Nations Health Authority now in place.

He loves being in a helping role and working with strong skilled people with the same enthusiasm. But he also really likes the opportunity that this position provides in working with the community in defining their needs for Health, Wellness & Justice.

Charles believes we are at a good place with our First Nations Health Directors Association. We’ve done so much since the last AGM and covering so much ground with the new Health Directors curriculum. This is all due to having a great team of Health Directors in BC and the best technical team that the First Nations Health Authority provides.

Vanessa Charlong

Health Director, Hupacasath First Nation

Vanessa Charlong is an Administrative Officer/Health Director and is a Nuu-chah-nulth representative for the Vancouver Island Region. Vanessa is a member of the Hupacasath First Nation in Port Alberni, B.C. She has been a Health Director for fourteen years for her nation.

Vanessa’s work involves taking care of Education, Reception and Membership and a number of other items. She presents around the Kitchen table training, coordinates monthly lunch and learns, and helps with formulating crisis response protocols for the community. Her relevant training includes ATKT – HIV/STI training, TB- DOT training, Help, Healing and Safe Talk training and Brief Action Plan interviewing.

Dealing with community members and the bonds/relationships that are formed and making people happier and healthier are what Vanessa loves about her job as a Health Director. She maintains her health by eating healthy, laughing lots and spending time with her family.

Getting out in nature or going for long drives, traditional dancing, and spending time with her kids are what she likes to do in her personal time. Vanessa loves to spend her time with her Grandmother Nessie Watts, Mother, Sandra Vissia, one sister, and her two brothers. She also loves being silly and having fun with her kids.

Vanessa practices the Mental Wellness campaign objectives – Honoring the land, Powering Down, and Weaving Support Networks – by getting outside and spending time near the water and trees; hiding her IPad under the couch cushions across the room; and, getting lots of support from family, work, friends and community.

One of her favorite best initiatives is the around the Kitchen Table training which will eventually become monthly Womens’ dinners. She also enjoys the monthly lunch and learns and rebranding our Health Programs. She practices lateral kindness by complimenting people on ‘the little things’.

Vannessa is honoured to be a part of the Board and would like to thank the Nuu-chah-nulth Health Directors for their faith and support of her in this position.