Minister's Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women (MACAW) Members

MACAW is comprised of up to 10 respected Aboriginal women from across British Columbia. It has a Chair, a Vice-Chair and eight members. One position is designated for an Elder Representative and another for a Youth Representative. 

Members are appointed by the Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation based on criteria of diversity, experience and regional representation.

Name

 

Position

Term

Chastity Davis

Tla’amin Nation

Chair

2012 – Present

Barbara Ward-Burkitt

Fort McKay First Nation

Vice-Chair

2014 – Present

Paulette Flamond

Métis

Member

2011 – Present

Dr. Lorna Williams

Lil’wat

Member

2014 – Present

Coreen Child

Kwakiutl First Nation

Member

2016 – Present

Karen Joseph

Kwakwaka’wakw

Member

2016 – Present

Linda Thomas

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc

Member

2016 – Present

Meet the Council Members

Chastity A. Davis (Chair)

Chastity Davis is the principal and lead consultant with Chastity Davis Consulting. Previously, she was a key account manager with BC Hydro and prior to that, a project manager with Refinery Leadership. Active in the community, Ms. Davis is a director on the board of the Minerva Foundation, as well as serves as a council member for the Combining Our Strength Initiative. In the past, Ms. Davis was the vice president of the Aboriginal Women's Leadership Association of B.C. and is a frequent speaker at events, including the Women's World Conference, National Women's Retreat, Healing Our Spirit Worldwide, and B.C. Institute of Technology's (BCIT) Aboriginal Alumni. Ms. Davis holds her diploma in marketing management and professional sales from BCIT, her bachelor of arts in professional communications from Royal Roads University, and will be completing her master of arts in intercultural and international communication in the spring of 2015 from Royal Roads University.

Barbara M. Ward-Burkitt (Vice Chair)

Barbara Ward-Burkitt is a member of the Fort McKay First Nation and is currently the executive director of the Prince George Native Friendship Centre. She has been actively connected in many capacities to the Friendship Centre movement for 43 years. In the past she was a faculty mentor in field programs at Simon Fraser University and a native child care worker for the Quesnel School District. Active in her community, Ms. Ward-Burkitt is vice president of the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres and president of Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association. She completed her First Nations design and technology course from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and her masters of education degree from Simon Fraser University. Ms. Ward-Burkitt also holds her provincial instructor’s diploma from the Vancouver Community College and her native adult instructor’s diploma from the B.C. Ministry of Education, Skills and Training. Ms. Ward-Burkitt was invested into the Order of British Columbia in 2010

Paulette Flamond

Paulette Flamond is a strong and proud Metis woman who grew up in Battleford, Saskatchewan before finding her way to the Peace Region 22 years ago and settling in Charlie Lake, BC.  The property just outside of Fort St John in Northeast BC is her personal haven where she spends her limited spare time organic gardening and weaving her traditional cultural beliefs into a healthy and productive lifestyle.

Paulette’s post-secondary training includes a certificate in Native Communications from Grant MacEwan College, an Aboriginal Management Certification- UBC Sauder School of Business, she was awarded with an Honorary Associate Arts Degree from Northern Lights College in 2013.  She is a graduate of two Life Coaching programs and a licensed Heal Your Life Instructor under the philosophy of Louise Hay.

Paulette is a hands on local business owner who has created a specialty store, Scoop Clothing that caters to women in the region. 

In addition, as an engaged and knowledgeable member of her community and the surrounding region, Paulette has long been an advocate for entrepreneurial and capacity development for non-status, Metis, Inuit and Aboriginal people.  She is the Executive Director of the Northeast Aboriginal Business Centre for the past 14 years and has always worked with her clients to build skills and find solutions through challenging and diversified economic times and opportunities.  Through her leadership the Centre has maintained its relevancy and again shown her understanding for changing times through creative solution based thinking. She currently serves on the Canada Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO) as the Northern BC Rep as well on the Aboriginal Business Service Network as a Board Member. In the past Paulette has served for the Provincial Government on the Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Native Economic Development Advisory Board.

Paulette has been honored with many awards for her advocacy work including the Northern British Columbia Business and Technology Mentor Award, Aurora Award of Distinction for Aboriginal Woman of the Year from Community Futures and the Economic Developer of the Year Award from CANDO.

In 2011 Paulette was fortunate to be appointed by provincial Minister of MARR Mary Polak to the Minister’s Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women for the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and continues to be a strong voice for women both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.

With a strong sense of justice, Paulette has always been led by her empathy for people around her and driven to support women and families by developing capacity, building relationships and connecting people. 

All of the work Paulette does in her personal and professional capacity is ingrained with the theme of unity. For those that know her and trust in Paulette’s leadership she is a strong personal and professional mentor, spiritual advisor and loyal and supportive colleague.

Lorna Williams

Lorna Williams

Lorna Williams is the current chair of the First Peoples’ Cultural Council. She is a member of the Lil’wat First Nation of Mount Currie. Until her retirement in 2013, she was the Canada research chair in indigenous knowledge and learning, an associate professor in indigenous education, curriculum and instruction and linguistics, and former program director of Aboriginal education at the University of Victoria. Before joining the University of Victoria, Ms. Williams worked at the Ministry of Education as director of the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Branch. Prior to this appointment, she worked as a First Nations education specialist with the Vancouver School Board. Ms. Williams received her doctorate in education at the University of Tennessee. She has co-directed a series of videos called First Nations: The Circle Unbroken and has written children’s books, teachers’ guides and developed Lil’wat language curriculum to teach people to read and write the Lil’wat language. Ms. Williams was invested into the Order of British Columbia in 1993 in recognition for her work in education.

Linda Thomas

Linda Thomas

Linda Thomas, BSW, LLB, of Cree – Norwegian ancestry, is a member of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (formerly Kamloops Band) through marriage and has called the TteS community home for over 30 years. Linda, who practices in the area of child protection and family law in Kamloops, Merritt and Lillooet, is known to be a passionate advocate for her clients. She has been a lawyer for 14 years and has worked for First Nations government, non-profit organizations and has been a student and faculty member in the indigenous leadership, governance, and management program at the Banff Centre. Her past experiences practicing in criminal and prison law and involvement in social justice issues since a young adult, led her to establish the Cknúcwentn First Nations Court in Kamloops; a provincial sentencing court for aboriginal people. It is one of four such courts operating in the provincial court system within B.C. Linda is the chair of the Aboriginal Justice Council; a multi-agency committee that she established to serve as an advisory to the First Nations court. Linda is also a board member of the BC Courthouse Libraries and member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) of British Columbia Criminal Law section, Women’s Lawyers Forum, and Aboriginal Lawyers Forum and the Kamloops Child Protection lawyers group and a law student mentor. In 2014, Linda was awarded with the CBA BC Aboriginal Lawyer’s Forum Special Contribution Award which recognized not only her leadership and commitment in establishing the First Nations court in Kamloops but also her motivation to improve relationships between aboriginal people and the legal system. Linda is the proud recipient of the 2015 YMCA Peace Award which recognized her work in establishing the First Nations court in Kamloops.

Karen Joseph

Karen Joseph

Karen Joseph is co-founder and chief executive officer of Reconciliation Canada. She is a proud member of the Kwakwaka’wakw People. Karen brings more than 18 years of experience of inspiring diverse partners to collaborate and towards achieving effective, positive change. Karen's desire to affect meaningful systemic change and contribute to her community led to a career in health. She spent several years working with Vancouver Coastal Health and as an independent healthcare advisor, where she developed programs to improve healthcare outcomes for Indigenous communities. Her work focused on community engagement and education towards removing systemic barriers to healthcare access. Karen founded Reconciliation Canada in 2012 to uphold a dream held by her father to witness thousands of people walking together for renewed relationships. In September 2013, the Walk for Reconciliation brought 70,000 people to the streets of downtown Vancouver to display a commitment to transforming relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. Karen grew up Campbell River, British Columbia, where she was active in music, sport and community activities. As the eldest daughter of Chief Robert Joseph, Karen can speak first-hand to the impacts of inter-generational trauma and the current realities of the residential school legacy. In the true legacy of Kwakwaka’wakw traditions and culture, Karen holds a lifelong commitment to family and community

Coreen Child

Coreen Child

Coreen Child carries the ancestral Kwak’wala name ‘Yakawilas, the place where property is given’. She is from the Kwakiutl (Kwagiulth) First Nation and lives with her husband and three daughters in their home community of Tsaxis, near Port Hardy, B.C. on northern Vancouver Island. Yakawilas is a descendant of many high ranking Kwakiutl chiefs and their families and can trace her lineage back 14 generations to the origin places of her ancestors. She carries a diploma in indigenous child and youth care, a diploma in language revitalization as well as a bachelor of education degree with a specialization in Kwak’wala language learning. She has recently completed her third consecutive term in service to her nation, most recently as chief councillor. Coreen continues to advocate and serve on many boards and committees that include the First Nations Technology Council of BC - board of directors, the Union Of B.C. Indian Chiefs - All Chiefs Task Force on Children and Families and the First Nations Education Council for School District 85, Vancouver Island North along with having an opportunity to be a BCAFN women's council representative.  Coreen has worked for Camosun College as an instructional assistant to employment readiness preparation programs, University of Victoria as an Aboriginal service plan coordinator, Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre as a roots practitioner and for Kwakiutl Nation as a cultural researcher. Coreen is renowned for her many gifts of traditional dancing, singing, teaching and she continues to play an active role as a cultural leader and educator amongst the Kwakwaka’wakw communities.

Contact MACAW

To connect with MACAW or to request a meeting, please contact:

Sarah Robinson

Secretariat to the Minister’s Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women

sarah.robinson@gov.bc.ca

Share Button