Dr. Gwendolyn Point
Dr. Gwen Point holds a BEd from UBC, an MEd from the University of Portland, a Doctorate in Education from SFU, and an honorary doctorate from UVic. Her connections to our University stretch back decades. She’s been a student, a member of the Board of Governors, a faculty member, and an Aboriginal Curriculum Coordinator, to name just a few of her roles. Dr. Point has also held a number of provincial government and regional posts supporting education, child and family services, and First Nations communities. She is a respected Stó:lõ leader, mentor, and cultural advisor who has contributed her cultural knowledge and experience to numerous books, conferences, workshops, and communities, and earned many accolades and awards. Her ceremonial experience as BC’s Chatelaine for five years will serve her well in this role.
Dr. Gwen Point has been developing and delivering courses at UFV in the School of Social Work and Human Services since 2005 (and was a sessional instructor at UCFV from 2002–04). She also served as UCFV’s Aboriginal Curriculum Coordinator in 2001. She has been the coordinator and an instructor in the Early Childhood Education program at the First Nation Training and Development Centre in Prince Rupert, and, in her position as a faculty associate in the Faculty of Education at SFU, coordinated the supervision of student teachers, developed and delivered programs and served as liaison with public school administrators and sponsor teachers. As Manager in the Stó:lō Nation Education Department she was responsible for K-12, postsecondary, and First Nations language and culture programs. She has also worked as an elementary school teacher in Chehalis and as a native support teacher for School District 33.
Dr. Point has extensive government and community experience. From 2007–12, as spouse of the Lieutenant Governor, she served as BC’s Chatelaine. This role demanded her participation in numerous and diverse public engagements, social as well as ceremonial. She served as official host of visiting members of the Royal Family, heads of state and other dignitaries, as patron of organizations such as the BC Council of the Girl Guides of Canada and First Peoples House, and as an Officer of the Order of St. John.
She served in the Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, Aboriginal Services Branch, as the regional coordinator for the Fraser Valley, 1997–99, and for the Northeast and Northwest Regions, 1999–2000. She currently serves on the Board of the First Nation Education Steering Committee (formerly vice-president). She has also served as independent chair of the Fraser Valley Aboriginal Interim Board of the Ministry of Children and Families, and numerous other community and educational committees, councils and societies, frequently as chair. She is currently Chair for the Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services.
She is a well-respected and well-recognized Stó:lō leader, mentor, and cultural advisor. She has contributed her deep cultural knowledge and experience to numerous books, conferences, workshops and communities, often as an invited keynote contributor.
Dr. Point has received numerous prestigious awards. In 2012, the University of Victoria awarded her an honorary Doctorate in Education. UFV (then UCFV) awarded her the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award in 2003. She has also received the Ambassador Award from Aboriginal Tourism BC, and was recognized as Honorary Witness by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. She has received a number of community awards for her contributions to Stó:lō language and cultural education, including recognition by the Stó:lō Nation, the Seattle Art Museum and others. In 2006, the Chilliwack School District set up two bursaries in her honour.
In 2018 Louisa Housty-Jones, a member and Councillor for the Heiltsuk Nation, was elected by the BC Chief’s in Assembly as BCAFN’s Women’s Representative. Louisa plays a key role in supporting BCAFN’s mandate with regard to women and in pursuing new avenues of involvement. She also represents BC on the AFN’s Council of Women.
Louisa continues to be extensively involved in supporting women and families within her community. Her goal is to build wellness so that women are honoured and empowered in a sustained way. Some initiatives include facilitating the creation of a Haíɫzaqv women’s declaration, organizing her community to participate in the National Inquiry, teaching of cultural practices, and working directly with people and non-profits to meet a range of needs. She is raising daughters and a granddaughter who know their amazing worth, and a son and grandson who honour and respect women and matriarchs.
My name is Morgan Behn. I am the daughter of Sally Behn and Kevin Tsakoza, and the granddaughter of George Behn and the late Mary Behn and Rose Tsakoza. I’m a life long band member of the Fort Nelson First Nation. I have resided and was raised in the Fort Nelson First Nation community my entire life. I am a mother to Sophie Behn-Greyeyes. We love spending time with our families in all communities, attending traditional and cultural events such as hand games tournaments, gatherings and going on the trapline.
I was elected to the Fort Nelson First Nation Council term from August 2018-August 2020. After completing my term, I was hired as the Land Code Coordinator in September 2020. As the Land Code Coordinator, I am responsible for delivering all information and materials. I work with First Nation Land Management Resource Centre and Canada to draft the Individual Agreement and Land Code.
My hope as a member of the Fort Nelson First Nation and employee is to help move the Fort Nelson First Nation forward. Working towards developing ways to bring opportunities such as Economic Development, Housing and Land Management. The Land Code will allow members to create laws to manage Fort Nelson First Nations Reserve Lands.
I will forever work towards being a strong Dene women and teach my daughter the values of our people and to be a strong, healthy and self-reliant Dene women.
Racelle Kooy is a member of Samahquam First Nation (St’atl’imc) and has strong family ties to Stswecem’c Xgat’tem (Secwepemc). Deeply rooted in her ancestral culture and practices, she celebrates her life through connecting with Indigenous people through gatherings and ceremonies in North America and beyond.
With a Bachelors in Business Administration in tourism and a decade in the Indigenous tourism industry, Racelle excels at bringing to light the richness of authentic experiences and diversity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures in a way that resonates with visitors and guests. She led domestic and international market research as part of her duties with Indigenous Tourism BC and Indigenous Tourism Canada, helping to put British Columbia’s and Canada’s Indigenous tourism at the forefront worldwide.
Racelle dedicates her professional talents to amplifying the voices and respectful representation of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit People to regional, national and global platforms. This includes coordinating APTN’s inaugural 3-hour live broadcast. In addition, Racelle works to build and hold safe places for needed and difficult dialogue to facilitate respectful engagement. Since 1999, she has been collaborating with the Assembly of First Nations, including her role as the bilingual co-chair at the AFN Assemblies, and has served past and current National Chiefs.
Currently, Racelle is the communications lead for Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc’s (TteS) Le Estcwicwe̓y̓ (how TteS chooses to refer to the missing children of Kamloops Indian Residential School). She is honoured to assist the TteS leadership and community in sharing the monumental and heart-wrenching news to the world. Canadian Press acknowledged Le Estcwicwe̓y̓ as the 2021 story of the year and the Le Estcwicwe̓y̓ were recognized as #1 on MacLean’s 2022 Power List which also included TteS Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir at #6.
A strong advocate for women in leadership she offers her communications services pro bono to BIPOC women seeking leadership positions. An accomplished public speaker she reflected on the importance for Indigenous People to “occupy their space” in her presentation at RavenSpeak entitled in Making Peace with Politics. Another project of the heart is her feature on “Food” in the Canadian Geographic’s Indigenous People Atlas of Canada. Racelle is thrilled to be living in her ancestral homelands, Secwepemcúlecw, with her wily poodle Sníne and some friendly horse neigh-bours.
Orene Askew, aka DJ O Show
Orene Askew, aka DJ O Show, brings energy and expertise to every event she DJ’s and hosts. She brings professionalism and passion and remains true to her love for hip hop and R&B, incorporating beats to ensure you never want to leave the dance floor! With an outgoing personality and friendly demeanor, O Show is one of the easiest DJs to work with.
From Vancouver to Toronto, Las Vegas to Texas, DJ O Show keeps the dance floor packed, working with clients to put together unique packages and customized playlists for weddings, birthdays, holiday parties, corporate events, restaurant and club openings, charity fundraisers, youth conferences, and pride events in her city!
Coming from a diverse background, O Show is driven by her passion. She is Afro-Indigenous and a proud member of the Squamish Nation. Feeling as though she stood out in a unique way, she embraced both her cultural backgrounds and incorporates the teachings she has learned into everything she does.
DJ O Show has experience teaching with an inspired approach. She is an inspirational speaker, having traveled across the country to bring ambition and drive to all generations, and is a former member of Squamish Nation Council.
O Show has DJ’d the red carpet for Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week and was voted the official DJ for YES in Ottawa since 2012 and the official DJ for Gathering Our Voices for five years. She has hosted/MC’d/Played at numerous events, including Bowling for Big Brother’s Classic, Babes on Babes, Hershe and working for radio stations like Vancouver’s Virgin 94.5 and Washington’s Movin’ 92.5.
DJ O Show is the recipient of a 2015 BC Indigenous Business Award, a 2018 Stand Out Award from the Vancouver Pride Society, and a 2021 Alumni of Excellence Award from Capilano University.
Paula Wesley is Stqó:ye from Semá:th on the Stó;lō territory and Ts’msyen (Tsimshian territory). She resides in Terrace, B.C. As an Indigneous Deaf person, Paula has familiarity with working as a Community leader and participation. She enjoys being with other people and considers herself as a team player. Currently, she is working with the IBPOC Deaf community. She is a proud mother to a 14-year-old son. She still is active with her Elders in her community and learning everyday about protocols, storytellers, history, language, songs, dance and art.
Paula would like to listen, gather information and share with Indigenous Deaf and non-Indigenous Deaf communities to educate and share what she learns and use the tools to help growth with ongoing knowledge.
Jazmine Smith is a Vancouver-based filmmaker, entrepreneur, and model who grew up on Flying Dust First Nation, a Cree reserve located in North-Western Saskatchewan. She has a passion for beauty and style and is currently finishing up classes in education in the field of Computer technology, Coding, Web development, and GIS/GPS Mapping.
Jazmine is driven by Indigenous queer stories that inspire and motivate others and dismantle stereotypes about the queer community. She is the founder and owner of a beauty studio called Transcendence Beauty, which is intended towards helping transgender women, crossdressers, and drag queens.
Jazmine’s latest film “I Am Me” (2018) played in many film festivals around the world and won Best Documentary at the 300 Seconds Short Film Festival 2020 (Toronto) as well as the Audience Award at Skoden Film Festival 2020 (Vancouver). “I Am Me” received a mention in Vogue Magazine for the ImagineNATIVE Film Festival 2019 and aired across Canada on APTN and CBC through Every Child Matters, a program for residential school reconciliation and healing. She participates in Q&As about Indigenous queer cinema and short films to break the misconceptions regarding two-spirited culture.
The support and love from her family and friends is something Jazmine values in her life and art.