FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(ASHCROFT) Three distinguished First Nations leaders have joined the New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS) board of directors. The three new directors from communities along the Gold Rush/Spirit Trails corridor took their places on the board at the Society’s quarterly meeting in Ashcroft on October 25.
“I am honoured to be joined on the New Pathways to Gold board by three more First Nations representatives with such diverse and important backgrounds, to guide our work to enhance the tourism products and services along the Gold Rush/Spirit Trails,” said Cheryl Chapman, NPTGS First Nations Co-chair.
Joining the NPTGS Board are:
Chief Don Harris (T’seku) is the elected and hereditary Chief of the Xa’xtsa Nation (also known as the Douglas First Nation). Prior to being elected Chief in 2008, he served seven years on Council. He is currently a member of the St’at’imc Chiefs Council Executive, Lower St’at’imc Tribal Council Executive, TTQ Economic Development Corporation Executive and the In-SHUCK-ch Resource Management Director.
Roy Christopher has extensive experience as a business professional, administrator and leader. He has a long and distinguished record of serving the Canim Lake Band, the Cariboo Tribal Council and other First Nations organizations. He served as Chief of the Canim Lake Band from 1974-1993 and again from 2001-2005. Prior to that he was the first Band employee and started as the Secretary-Treasurer. He became Band Manager in 1993. He’s currently the Economic Development Officer for the Canim Lake Band and the negotiator for the Education Jurisdiction process.
Irvine Johnson was born in Esk’et (west of Williams Lake) and raised by his grandparents, who he credits for his fluency in Secwepemc. A residential school survivor, he graduated from Prince George College in 1965. Johnson was first elected Chief of Alkali Lake in 1971. He’s worked actively in First Nations politics with the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. He has been involved on numerous councils, including the Esk’et Treaty Department, and is currently employed as Treaty Negotiator for the Esk’etemc. Johnson is a storyteller and a historian for anything Secwepemc.
“We welcome Roy, Irvine and Chief Harris to the board,” said NPTGS Co-chair Terry Raymond. “The composition of our board of directors demonstrates the Society’s commitment to First Nations reconciliation.”
The NPTGS board of directors is composed of 50-50 Aboriginal/Non-Aboriginal Directors and one designated Multicultural Director. The other Directors on the board are Brent Rutherford (Secretary), Byron Spinks, Chris O’Connor, Elisabeth Duckworth, Lily Chow, Ron Ignace and Ron Paull.