Knowledge Keepers

Cara Basil » Cara's Bio

Cara’s Bio

Cara Basil

Cara Basil is a member of the Secwépemc Nation and grew up in Bonaparte where she served her community as an elected councillor from the age of 22. With a passion to drive change for First Nations, Cara has extensive experience in community planning, education and health. Cara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Aboriginal Studies from Thompson Rivers University and is a Master of Arts candidate at UBC Okanagan where her research is focused on enhancing health care and specifically palliative care in First Nations communities.

Racelle Kooy » Racelle's Bio

Racelle’s Bio

Racelle Kooy

Racelle Kooy, also known by the ancestral name Laloya, is a member of Samahquam First Nation with strong family ties to Stswecem’c Xgat’tem. Laloya means “seagull” in her grandmother’s language (referred to by a number of different names including the “Lil’wat language”). She was bestowed with this name at the age of 18 as her Elders knew that she was destined to be a traveler and they wanted to ensure that she would have a name that would anchor her to the land of her Ancestors.

Since receiving her name “Laloya”, she has taken flight to the four corners of the world- developing a deep appreciation for the diversity of humankind and the infinite forms of beauty found in the natural world.

Deeply rooted in her St’atl’imc and Secwepemc cultures and practices, Racelle celebrates a lifetime of opportunities connecting with Indigenous people through gatherings, ceremonies, and meeting in North America and beyond.

Adept at working locally and across Canada as a bilingual co-chair, lead facilitator and community engagement specialist, Racelle steps into the hard places of needed dialogue. She served as the bilingual co-chair for the Assembly of First Nations, and as lead facilitator for a number of federal ministers, including the Minister of Health as well as the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. The first project she managed after graduating with a business degree in tourism from l’Université du Québec à Montreal, was for the Fairmont Hotels in Quebec City. She successfully engaged with all levels of government, private business, religious orders and the local First Nation- all very indicative of the nature of the work she would continue to excel at for the past 20 years. She has brought a unique voice to regional, national and global platforms like the Cannes International Film Festival and the inaugural live broadcast launch of Aboriginal People’s Television Network.

In a festival or workshop setting, Racelle is passionate about helping others find their voice and encouraging them to occupy the space of their calling in the world. She loves to connect with people through stories, teaching, hand drumming and singing, as well as the magic that can transpire through tapping into the creative side through artwork. She finds great joy in instigating a round of belly laughs and “aha” moments of exchanges with others.

Sunny LeBourdais » Sunny's Bio

Sunny’s Bio

Sunny LeBourdais

Sunny LeBourdais is a Pelltíq’t te Secwépemc Nation member and the Director of Operations for the Qwelmínte-Secwepemc, a collective united through QS-G2G Letter of Commitment including seven signatories from three historic divisions of the Secwépemc Nation. Sunny was the Director Governance at the Secwepemc Nation Building Initiative and Project Coordinator for the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN). Sunny holds an MSc from Simon Fraser University and has managed and coordinated businesses and projects for the Okanagan, Ktunaxa and Secwepemc Nations. She was the project coordinator on the SSN’s Indigenous Impact Assessment Process for the proposed KGHM Ajax Mine near Kamloops, which was successfully completed in 2017.

Melpatkwa Matthew » Melpatkwa's Bio

Melpatkwa's Bio

Melpatkwa Matthew

Weytkp! My name is Melpatkwa Matthew and I am Secwépemc from Cstélen and Simpcw. I am a recent UBC-Vancouver graduate in the Master of Arts in the Geography program. My research specializes in Secwépemc water governance, Secwépemc community research methodologies, and Indigenous geographies. My thesis is titled ‘Secwépemc water governance: re-imagining water relationality.’ Currently, I work on multiple Indigenous-led research projects on education, language revitalization, water and food/land. When I am not working I enjoy travelling, reading, and visiting my nephews and nieces. My goal is to advance Secwépemc research and mobilization across Secwepemcul’ecw.

Dorothy Christian » Dorothy's Bio

Dorothy's Bio

Dorothy Christian

Dorothy Christian Cucw-la7 is a visual storyteller, scholar, writer and editor who is from Splatsin, one of the communities of the Secwepemc Nation. She honours her Syilx ancestry. Christian’s graduate studies focus on how cultural knowledge informs Indigenous film production practices. Her PhD dissertation Gathering Knowledge: Indigenous Methodologies of Land/Place-Based Visual Storytelling/ Filmmaking and Visual Sovereignty (2017) links land, story, language and cultural protocols. And her MA thesis A Cinema of Sovereignty”: Working in the Cultural Interface to Create a Model for Fourth World Film and Pre-production and Aesthetics (2010) created a theoretical framework for Indigenous film production practice.

Before graduate school, Dorothy segment produced, directed and wrote for the national broadcaster Vision TV where she accumulated over 100 professional production credits. She travelled throughout Turtle Island and into Mexico to carry Indigenous stories back to the Canadian screen culture. Other related areas where Dorothy has served: Board member and Chair of the Ontario Film Review Board (commercial distribution); Initial Organizer for “Beyond Survival: The Waking Dreamer Ends The Silence”, an interdisciplinary gathering of international Indigenous artists; Executive Director, Film Festival Director and Office Manager of Indigenous Media Arts Group (non-profit).

Cucw-la7 continues to be involved in the Indigenous Screen Culture in Canada. Dorothy is a Board Member of the Indigenous Screen Office that is located on the lands of the Dish With One Spoon Treaty (Toronto, Ontario). She curated programs for the 2018 and 2019 ImagineNative Film Festivals that reflected “Voices from the Western Regions of Turtle Island” and honoured the work of Hopi filmmaker Victor Masayesva, Jr. by programming a retrospective of his work.

Publications include: “Talking In/Talking Out”: Indigenous Knowledge, Filmmaking, and the (De)colonizing Poetics of Visual Sovereignty – A Conversation With Dr. Dorothy Christian” in Special Issue: The (De)colonial Pedagogical Possibilities of Film and Film Festivals”. Guest edited by Sonia Medel and Andre’ Elias Mazawi. Postcolonial Directions in Education, Vol. 8, Issue 2, 2019.; “Indigenous Visual storywork for Indigenous Film Aesthetics” in Decolonizing Research: Indigenous Storywork as Methodology (2019), J. Archibald, J. Lee-Morgan & J. DeSantolo (editors); Co-editor of Downstream: Reimagining Water (2017); co-authored Chapter “Unmapping Watershed Mind” in Thinking With Water (2013); Chapter “Reconciling With the People and the Land” in Cultivating Canada: Reconciliation Through the Lens of Cultural Diversity (2011); Co-authored chapter “History of a Friendship” in Alliances: Re/Envisioning Indigenous and non-Indigenous Relationships (2010).

Dorothy is currently the Associate Director, Indigenous Initiatives at Simon Fraser University and resides on the unceded lands of her Coast Salish cousins, on what is geo-politically known as Vancouver, BC, Canada. She serves on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory at SFU. In 2020/2021 academic year, Christian is facilitating webinars through the Centre for Educational Excellence that focus on “The Many Facets of Decolonizing and Indigenizing the Academy”.

Josh Gottfriedson » Josh's Bio

Josh's Bio

Joshua August Gottfriedson, MBA
Economic Development Officer for Stk’emlupsemc Enterprises Inc.

A Kamloops young man that has found accomplishments in sport, the arts, academic, and professional realms. He holds an ACE Personal Training Certificate, Dramatic Art’s Program from the Vancouver Academy of Dramatic Arts Graduate, Thompson Rivers University Alumni, and Simon Fraser University Master of Business Administration Graduate.

Raised in his home territory of Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc, he was fortunate to learn traditional practices throughout his life and holds this education in a high regard that is comparable to the academic achievements he has garnered.

He has held positions in the regional, provincial and national stages. He was elected to the Assembly of First Nations from age 18 to 30. He was: the Co-Chair of the National Youth Council, Male Youth Representative for the BCAFN, Board of Director for KAYA and the FNYCBCA.

Shane Gottfriedson

Irv David » Irv's Bio

Irv's Bio

Irv David Nicole David

Irv is a member of the Nuu Chah Nulth Nation (west coast of Vancouver Island) of the Tla O Qui Aht First Nations near Tofino, BC. Irv was raised with his art and culture by his parents with his grandmother playing a big role in his life. He joined the RCMP in 1990 serving all over BC (Hazelton, Nanaimo, Alert Bay, Smithers, back to Hazelton and ending in Kamloops) and retired in 2015.

Irv received Division recognition in Youth, Drug Awareness, Gang Awareness and Recruiting during his career having also trained five new recruits. He continues his work today as an Indigenous Community Liaison Officer for Corrections Canada in Prince George assisting Indigenous offenders on parole. Irv and his wife Nicole also received training in Restorative Justice in recent years. They have three daughters and a granddaughter.

Nicole is from the Gitxsan Nation from the Gitanmaax Band located near Hazelton, BC. She raised their three daughters as a stay-at-home mother and after they left the nest she received training in Restorative Justice, Healing Circles and Advanced Restorative Justice along with Respectful Relationships.

Christine Tronson-Thompson » Christine's Bio

Dorothy Christian Cucw-la7 is a visual storyteller, scholar, writer and editor who is from Splatsin, one of the communities of the Secwepemc Nation. She honours her Syilx ancestry. Christian’s graduate studies focus on how cultural knowledge informs Indigenous film production practices. Her PhD dissertation Gathering Knowledge: Indigenous Methodologies of Land/Place-Based Visual Storytelling/ Filmmaking and Visual Sovereignty (2017) links land, story, language and cultural protocols. And her MA thesis A Cinema of Sovereignty”: Working in the Cultural Interface to Create a Model for Fourth World Film and Pre-production and Aesthetics (2010) created a theoretical framework for Indigenous film production practice.

Before graduate school, Dorothy segment produced, directed and wrote for the national broadcaster Vision TV where she accumulated over 100 professional production credits. She travelled throughout Turtle Island and into Mexico to carry Indigenous stories back to the Canadian screen culture. Other related areas where Dorothy has served: Board member and Chair of the Ontario Film Review Board (commercial distribution); Initial Organizer for “Beyond Survival: The Waking Dreamer Ends The Silence”, an interdisciplinary gathering of international Indigenous artists; Executive Director, Film Festival Director and Office Manager of Indigenous Media Arts Group (non-profit).

Cucw-la7 continues to be involved in the Indigenous Screen Culture in Canada. Dorothy is a Board Member of the Indigenous Screen Office that is located on the lands of the Dish With One Spoon Treaty (Toronto, Ontario). She curated programs for the 2018 and 2019 ImagineNative Film Festivals that reflected “Voices from the Western Regions of Turtle Island” and honoured the work of Hopi filmmaker Victor Masayesva, Jr. by programming a retrospective of his work.

Publications include: “Talking In/Talking Out”: Indigenous Knowledge, Filmmaking, and the (De)colonizing Poetics of Visual Sovereignty – A Conversation With Dr. Dorothy Christian” in Special Issue: The (De)colonial Pedagogical Possibilities of Film and Film Festivals”. Guest edited by Sonia Medel and Andre’ Elias Mazawi. Postcolonial Directions in Education, Vol. 8, Issue 2, 2019.; “Indigenous Visual storywork for Indigenous Film Aesthetics” in Decolonizing Research: Indigenous Storywork as Methodology (2019), J. Archibald, J. Lee-Morgan & J. DeSantolo (editors); Co-editor of Downstream: Reimagining Water (2017); co-authored Chapter “Unmapping Watershed Mind” in Thinking With Water (2013); Chapter “Reconciling With the People and the Land” in Cultivating Canada: Reconciliation Through the Lens of Cultural Diversity (2011); Co-authored chapter “History of a Friendship” in Alliances: Re/Envisioning Indigenous and non-Indigenous Relationships (2010).

Dorothy is currently the Associate Director, Indigenous Initiatives at Simon Fraser University and resides on the unceded lands of her Coast Salish cousins, on what is geo-politically known as Vancouver, BC, Canada. She serves on the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Advisory at SFU. In 2020/2021 academic year, Christian is facilitating webinars through the Centre for Educational Excellence that focus on “The Many Facets of Decolonizing and Indigenizing the Academy”.

Carl Archie » Carl's Bio

Carl's Bio

On December 19, 2020, the Canim Lake Band held elections for three Councillors which saw Carl Archie elected. Archie, 31, represents a new generation of Indigenous leaders across Canada. “I put forward a platform of reviving our identity as Secwepemc people and of Reconciliation,” said Archie, “I’m thrilled our community agreed with this vision.”

The Canim Lake Band, with a registered population of 608, had 187 electors participate in the election. The First Nation hosts elections according to a custom election code. Approximately half of the Council is elected every two years. The Councillors serve 4 year terms. The terms for Councillors are staggered to ensure continuity in governance.

Although Archie is new to this Council, he is not new to politics or First Nation issues. Carl has worked globally and nationally advancing Indigenous issues. In July of 2020, he made recommendations to the Governments of Canada and New Zealand on increasing Indigenous trade between the two countries. In 2018, he guided the Secwepemc Nation to obtaining a seat at the table in the Columbia River Treaty talks between the United States and Canada.

In Canada, Carl has served as an elected member of the Board for Thompson Rivers University and the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers. He has advised First Nations from coast to coast on Business and Economic Development.

“Tsq’escen’ has a legend about a young man who travelled the world and came home to help his community,” Archie said, “I was inspired by this and other Secwepemc legends. I was also inspired by my Indigenous friends across Canada who are also young professionals and working to revive their languages and cultures.”

Archie also credits his family and the Canim Lake Band for investing so much into him. The Canim Lake Band paid for his Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics, for example. A fluent Secwepemctsin speaker, Archie adds, “They also provided me with a lifetime of opportunities, from 4-H to Hockey. I came home to pay it forward.”

A Treaty negotiator for the Canim Lake Band, part of Carl’s platform is to host a Secwepemctsin naming ceremony for Band members and advance reconciliation in the region by reaching out to local organizations such as the District of 100 Mile House to work together.

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