Denise is Coast Salish from Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island. She is an advocate for social justice and has spent her career seeking out opportunities to play a role in the advancement of Indigenous sovereignty and social change. For the past ten years Denise has worked under the mandate of First Nations communities to address specific capacity building efforts in education and technology. She has worked to gain experience at the federal, provincial and local levels and has enjoyed using a genuine approach to collaboration and partnership development to build strong networks across organizations.
The role of Executive Director for the First Nations Technology Council has been incredibly inspiring and motivating. Denise has greatly appreciated the opportunity to develop and implement a social enterprise business model for the Technology Council and the opportunity to connect with First Nations communities across the province to discuss digital technologies. Denise believes strongly in the power of digital technologies designed and controlled by First Nations and believes in the transformative change it supports in building strong, healthy and thriving communities.
Denise volunteers locally on the downtown eastside with the Urban Native Youth Association as a member of the Board of Directors and as the President of the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Center Society.
Lauren joined the First Nations Technology Council in June 2013. As the Communications and Engagement Manager, Lauren leads the development and implementation of the communications strategy, maintains the digital and online presence including web and social media and creates content across various channels such as newsletters, print materials, proposals and reports. Lauren works with staff to ensure consistency in messaging, style and tone and supports proposal and report writing. In addition, she works to seamlessly integrate the Technology Council’s CRM with key organization activities and platforms to ensure consistency and streamlining of information and full utilization of data.
Lauren received a Masters of Indigenous Governance degree from the University of Victoria. Her studies focused on the role of a settler ally in the Indigenous rights movement. Through this program, she had the opportunity to work with Cheam First Nation to complete her Community Governance Project focusing on imposed, abstract political identities, and traditional governance revitalization.
Lauren is honoured to be a part of the First Nations Technology Council as an ally and to actively participate in the Technology Council’s work to support Indigenous self-determination through digital technology solutions.
Joy is Wet’suwet’en and from Moricetown, BC. Joy began working with the First Nations Technology Council in September 2016. Joy works as the Executive Assistant at the council, supporting Executive Director Denise Williams with overall operations, administrative management, staff support, proposal editing, report editing, and communications. Joy is also working with website development services and updating social media.
Joy received her Masters of Science in International Business from the University of Hertfordshire in England. While studying in England she was able to interact with people from all over the world and has gained more insight in how to engage in business internationally. Joy has worked in all different types of industries where she has gained experience in accounting and administrative roles. She is very excited to be working directly with communities and looks forward to learning and growing with the First Nations Technology Council.
Alyssa joined the Technology Council in October 2016. In her role as the Curriculum Development Coordinator, Alyssa is responsible for the research and development of detailed course units, lesson plans and assessments. She identifies tools that effectively support the achievement of student learning outcomes, and is tasked with developing instructional materials and coordinating learning resources. Alyssa conducts curriculum and distance education-related research, and assists in the review, evaluation, and improvement of curriculum under the guidance of the Advisory Committee.
Alyssa received dual Masters Degrees in Library Studies and Archival Studies from the University of British Columbia. As a graduate of the First Nations Curriculum Concentration specialization, Alyssa has had the opportunity to engage with contemporary pedagogy and professional practice in relation to Indigenous knowledge systems and information protocols. Alyssa has gained experience in a variety of educational and cultural organizations, including the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, and Tsawwassen First Nation.
Alyssa is honoured to be a part of the passionate and dedicated team at the Technology Council as an ally and advocate for digital literacy and Indigenous information governance.
Hanna Waswa is Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) from Treaty 9 territory in Ontario. A member of Eabametoong First Nation, Hanna began working with the First Nations Technology Council in November 2016. As part of the Communications and Engagement team, she utilizes her skills in content creation, digital design, and visual and written editing to promote the Technology Council and engage with the broader community.
Hanna graduated from Trinity Western University with a BA in English and Communication in 2014 before returning to Ontario to assist in community engagement efforts in her hometown. From this experience, Hanna is passionate about the potential of Indigenous people to participate in meaningful and innovative ways in the digital age, and is excited to work with the Technology Council to help facilitate the development of that potential.