Governing Council

The Governing Council is a decision-making body, with responsibilities for developing policies related to network membership, funding, capacity bridging/strengthening programs, and partnerships. The governance model is non-hierarchical and takes into account knowledge and experience from across domains/directions of health and wellness (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) and upholds Indigenous values of egalitarian decision-making. Each council member has taken a pledge to be accountable to the Indigenous peoples of BC.

Governing Council Terms of Reference

Elder/Knowledge Holder:

Roberta Price – Coast Salish, Snuneymuxw and Cowichan, Nations

Roberta is the mother of 4 children and grandmother to 8 beloved grandchildren. She has worked for many years as an Elder for the Richmond, Delta & Burnaby School Districts where she has facilitated cultural teaching circles in lower mainland schools for 33 years and is also frequently called to support adult learners at the UBC Learning Exchange in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Roberta is a founding Board Member at Kílala Lelum Health Centre where she provides traditional, cultural and ceremonial support to families living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and mentors a primary care team in providing culturally-safe & decolonizing care. She also works with the Aboriginal Wellness Program at Vancouver Coastal Health where she is the Elder-in-Residence and works with the Aboriginal Patient Navigators Program to support patients in many Vancouver Coastal Health hospitals and health care centres. She also provides traditional and healing services for the Elder Visiting Program at BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital and at St. Paul’s Hospital.

Roberta has worked with the UBC School of Nursing as an Adviser/Research Partner and Elder for over 10-years providing Indigenous leadership and support on research projects about women’s intimate partner violence, mental health and equity. She currently is a Co-Principal Investigator on a large CIHR funded study to improve care for Indigenous People in Emergency Units. She is the Elder for Critical Research in Health and Health Care Inequities (CRiHHI) School of Nursing, University of British Columbia and also sits as an Elder on the National Indigenous Council on Diabetes.

She is inspired to provide guidance and leadership on several community, equity-based and culturally-safe research projects and is now an adjunct clinical professor in the UBC Department of Family Medicine.

Meet Elder Roberta: click here

Elder/Knowledge Holder:

Barb Hulme – Métis

Barbara Hulme is honoured as a founding member of the Métis Nation Greater Victoria. “Barb”, as she is affectionately known, is a mentor, a knowledge keeper and now, a trusted elder in the Métis community. Through teaching and mentorship at the University of Victoria Barb supports Métis students at the First People’s House. Her mentorship is part of a much wider, more diverse effort, on Barb’s part, to improve the Métis community. She has also volunteered in her local Métis office as an administrator, historian, citizenship coordinator and genealogy advisor for more than 13 years.

Meet Old One Barb: click here


Elder/Knowledge Holder:

Gerry Oleman – St’at’imc Nation from Tsal’alh

Gerry Oleman is a member of the St’at’imc Nation from Tsal’alh (Shalalth B.C.) and has been involved as a change agent for First Nations communities and agencies since 1976. His experiences include providing counseling for individuals, families, and groups, and providing leadership politically and administratively to his community and Nation. Gerry came to the realization that all First Nations in Canada have the same suffering and challenges; all challenges are man-made therefore they can be healed and fixed using our traditions and laws that worked for us for thousands of years. Over the past 34 years, Gerry has facilitated over 645 workshops across Canada and in the United States.


Partners and Students:

Evan Adams – Tla’amin First Nation

First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) Deputy Chief Medical Officer

Janene Erickson – Nak’ Azdli Whut’en First Nation

First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)

Stephen Thomson – Métis

Director, Health Governance, Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC)

Stephen Thomson is a proud Métis Citizen, tracing his heritage to the Pope family and scrip from Medicine Hat in 1901. Stephen graduated from SFU with a Masters of Public Health, and has developed a passion for furthering a distinctions-based approach to Indigenous health research and a desire to further Métis-specific research and awareness across BC and Canada. Stephen has joined Métis Nation BC as the Director of Health Governance, following previous roles within MNBC and the Fraser Health Authority. He is eager to join the BC NEIHR and to give back to his community and the First Nations, Métis and Inuit of BC by promoting safe and effective research priorities and protocols built with Indigenous people, for Indigenous people.

Leslie Varley – Killer Whale house of the Nisga’a Nation

Executive Director, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC)

As is the Executive Director of BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, she and her team support the 25 member centers providing front line services to Indigenous people. Previously Leslie held the Indigenous health portfolio at Provincial Health Services Authority where she led the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training, a facilitated, online decolonizing anti-racism training program offered to the health, social and justice sectors in three Canadian provinces. Leslie’s community work has focused on ending violence against women and girls. As an Indigenous advocate she has had roles in both provincial and federal governments, and within and for Indigenous community. A member of the Killer Whale house of the Nisga’a Nation, Leslie holds the name T’en De-entkwill Allugigat, meaning “One who leads Indigenous people”. She has a Master’s in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and resides in beautiful Lekwungen territory in Victoria, BC.

Meet Leslie: click here

Jonathan Boron – Haudenosaunee (Cayuga) from Six Nations of the Grand River

Simon Fraser University

Jonathan is our Indigenous student representative and currently acts as the co-chair of the Governing Council. He is a Ph.D. student at Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management. His research explores the barriers that exist within Western land and resource management institutions, which continue to perpetuate a colonial power imbalance while oppressing Indigenous participation in resource development decision-making. His research aims to advance the principles of self-determination and self-government through community-based decision-making that values consent in negotiation and agreement-making. Jonathan is of Haudenosaunee (Cayuga) and European heritage from Six Nations of the Grand River and his research is driven by a passion for community planning. He’s always looking for an excuse to go for coffee and to socialize, and is always looking to make new friends so don’t be shy and reach out!


Meet Jonathan: click here

Jasmine Feather Dionne – Métis and nehiyaw from nistawoyou (Fort McMurray, AB)

University of Victoria
Jasmine Dionne is Métis and nehiyaw from nistawoyou (Fort McMurray, AB). They come from and have relations with the Dionne, Tremblay, Mackenzie, and Cardinal families. Jasmine’s doctoral research is premised on strategizing solutions to gender-based violence in their home territorial region of sakaw wayiniwak (Boreal Forest- Métis Region 1 in Northeastern Alberta). The objective of their research is to look at and understand how the diplomatic practices of the Cree, Dene, and Métis in this region emphasize networks and politics of care, protection, and kinship and apply these to the issue of gender-based violence. Jasmine looks forward to bringing a gendered approach to Indigenous health and wellness.