Councillor Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government
Representative for the Tsilhqot’in – Interior Region Nation Executive with FNHA
Loretta Williams is a founding member and Chair of First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining (FNWARM) and is an elected leader of the Xeni Gwet’in, which is situated in a pristine area in the Interior of British Columbia. Xeni Gwet’in is one of six Tsilhqot’in communities. They are the River People and they take their responsibility to protect the water very seriously.
Loretta’s community has been threatened by proposed mining. The Tsilhqot’in have been through two Canadian Environmental Assessments for a proposed open pit gold and copper mine project within the heart of their caretaker area. The projects were rejected twice by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
Loretta is very proud of her community’s efforts in asserting jurisdiction of their territory over the years. It is because of this they find themselves where they are today: the first Aboriginal community in Canada to have Declared Title to a portion of their territory.
Loretta is a mother and was born and raised in her home community, where she also raised her children to know the land and traditional Tsilhqot’in way of life.
Jacinda Mack knows better than most how devastating mining disasters can be. Her indigenous community of Xat’sull, located near Williams Lake, British Columbia was severely impacted by Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley Mine tailings dam disaster in 2014.
As a mother, water protector and Indigenous woman, Mount Polley was by no means the beginning of Jacinda’s concerns. For years she has spoken out about threats posed by badly regulated mining activity in B.C. Through organizations like First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining Jacinda has become a thought leader on water protection and mining reform throughout the province and beyond.
Jacinda is from the Secwepemc and Nuxalk Indigenous Peoples. Raised on the land and in her indigenous communities, she has worked with First Nations communities on the central coast and northwest of B.C. as a community organizer, researcher, natural resources manager and self government coordinator on First Nations territory-related issues. Jacinda’s advocacy and story-telling is featured in two recent award-winning documentaries – X-Boundary and Uprivers. She holds a Master of Arts degree from York University’s Communication & Culture Program, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria. Photo credit, Chris Clark
Carrie is a Haida & Tlingit Indian and her Haida name is Ts’ Taat which translates to Raven, Double-fin Killerwhale from the Brown Bear House.
Carrie grew up living a traditional way of life and passing on knowledge of their traditional foods and way of life to her children and other community members.
Carrie is the former Vice President and Tribal Council member for the Ketchikan Indian community in South East Alaska. She is an Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp #14 member and a Tlingit & Haida Ketchikan Delegate.
Carrie is a strong advocate for traditional rights and for protecting fish, the streams, and the environment. She knows that without clean water, the traditional way of living and livelihoods are at great risk.
“Protecting Culture, Community, and our Tribal Way of Life in Southeast Alaska/British Columbia Transboundary Region.”
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