We are a diverse, Indigenous-led team committed to the founding mandates and vision of the Technology Council:
We are a diverse, Indigenous-led team committed to the founding mandates and vision of the Technology Council:
At the intersection of Indigenous sovereignty, technological advancement and a rapidly expanding technology and innovation economy, in demand of new ideas and new skills, Denise has the privilege of working with Indigenous peoples, governments, academics, technology futurists and social changemakers to map the ecosystem that will result in fair and equitable access to the tools and education required for success in the digital age. Denise leads a theory of change that will not only ensure Indigenous peoples are competitive in BC’s technology and innovation sector, but leading and growing local digital economies.
With a passion for contributing and volunteering in initiatives and organizations that influence real change and the advancement of truth and reconciliation, Denise proudly serves as the President of the Urban Native Youth Association, advisor on innovation to the Governor General of Canada, Status of Women Canada’s Indigenous Women’s Circle, on the board of the First Mile Connectivity Consortium, Vancouver Economic Commission and on the Simon Fraser University Board of Governors as Alumni-in-Order, where she earned her masters degree in business administration in 2015.
Back in his second stint with the First Nations Technology Council, Gary is tasked with designing the Indigenous Digital Strategy, a strategic framework for all Indigenous peoples in B.C. to benefit from a comprehensive and collaborative approach to achieving equitable, affordable and sustainable access to digital and connected technologies. In his most recent employment, Gary managed a program that delivered Labour Market programming and was a member of a project team that brought fibre optic connectivity owned and controlled by his home Nisga'a Nation.
With a background in marketing and business, Gary's career in technology has spanned many jobs including GIS technician, GIS Manager, IT Manager, Manager of Information systems, Director of technical services, Labour Market Program Manager, and Project team member- fibre optics. Gary is of Nisga’a / Gitxsan ancestry, is married with three adult children and four grandchildren and is happily married to his better half, Maggie.
As Director of Operations, Maggie is tasked with Managing the day to day activities of the Technology Council; in the area of Program & Project Management, Organizational Operations & Development, Human Resource Management, Financial Management oversight and establishing a sound system of procedures to contribute to optimal Organizational Performance; including the design and delivery of Community and Sector Engagement and Funder Reporting.
Maggie is from the Nisga’a Nation, she belongs to the House of Ksim Xsaan. Her Indigenous name is Ant’aam Lax Gaa’askw Gaak “Raven looking over the rest of them”. She has three adult children, four grandchildren with Gary. Maggie has a depth and breadth of management experience in Operations, Project management, and Human Resources.
Maggie Is currently enrolled to continue her Masters Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University in December 2018. Maggie’s previous training and experiences are in the areas of Labour Relations, Strategic Management, Board Governance, Human Resource Management, and Organizational Development and Design. Maggie Is honoured to be a part of the First Nations Technology Council’s team to participate in the growth and development of a fast-paced and evolving organization.
As the A/Director of Skills Development, Lauren is tasked with planning, implementing and managing all aspects of the Technology Council’s skills development and capacity building programs. Lauren brings her years of experience at the Council to the launch of our cornerstone training program Foundations and Futures in Innovation and Technology. In the coming year, she will be connecting with communities, Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ISETS) holders, government agencies and partners across the province to further develop and strengthen the Indigenous technology ecosystem by ensuring the successful delivery of training to over 1000 participants by 2021.
Lauren received a Master's degree in Indigenous Governance from the University of Victoria, where her studies focused on the role of a settler ally in the Indigenous rights movement. Through this program, she completed a Community Governance Project with Cheam First Nation focusing on imposed, abstract political identities and traditional governance revitalization. Outside of her work at the Council, Lauren continues to engage in critical discourse on ongoing settler colonialism and Canadian’s responsibility in reconciliation.
Lauren is honoured to be a part of the First Nations Technology Council as an aspiring ally and to participate in the Technology Council’s work to support Indigenous self-determination through digital technology solutions.
In her current role as the Manager of Research and Development, Alyssa is responsible for formulating, directing and coordinating market and research-based initiatives across the organization. In consultation with the Technology Council’s management team, she gathers relevant data and information sources, conducts market research and analysis, and identifies key opportunities and barriers to inform internal projects and strategies. Alyssa also conducts curriculum and distance education-related research, assisting in the review, evaluation, and improvement of curriculum under the guidance of an 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.
As the Office Manager of a fast-paced growing organization, Whitney is responsible for ensuring that all office and staff needs are met on a daily basis, in order for operations to be functionally supported. Whitney is the first point of contact for people calling in or visiting the office. She displays a genuine warmth when managing guests and team member inquiries. Her responsibilities include greeting guests, prioritizing support inquiries, and juggling multiple projects. She works with all departments to ensure smooth office operations, assists in company programs and events, and optimizes key operational processes to ensure a high level of integrity when handling data and confidential information.
Whitney is a member of the Squamish Nation, with matrilineal ties to Lilwat Nation, who is also part Irish, Italian, and Hawaiian. She is married to a member of the Kluane First Nation, has one daughter and three dogs. She enjoys spending time learning new things, being outdoors, and sharing her knowledge in Coast Salish Weaving of wool and cedar, beading, sewing, and food preservation.
Whitney completed her certificate in Business Fundamentals from Capilano University in 2012. She brings with her 10 years of Administrative Services and Management knowledge, 8 years of working alongside or within First Nations organizations, 16 years of Customer Service Experience, and 15 years of leadership and instructional cultural experience.
Fabian is Cree/Saulteaux from Cowessess First Nation -Treaty Four- located in Saskatchewan. He currently resides in Prince George, BC with the traditional territory of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation. Fabian received his Bachelors of Commerce - Marketing from University of Northern BC (UNBC) and a Graduate Certificate - Online Learning and Teaching from Thompson Rivers University (TRU).
As Programs Coordinator, Jasmin is supporting the planning and implementation of the Technology Council’s initiatives, including Foundations and Futures in Innovation and Technology and the Labour Market Project.
Jasmin was born in Vancouver and raised by a Chinese mother and European father. She received her undergraduate degree in International Development Studies at McGill University and spent the summer months working on early literacy support programs with James Bay Cree communities. Jasmin went on to complete the Masters in Development Practice program at the University of Winnipeg, where she focused her research on reorienting discourses surrounding the “digital divide” towards strength-based approaches that position Indigenous peoples as creators and influencers of technology. Jasmin is particularly interested in Indigenous participation in new media development (such as virtual reality, video games, and apps) and the potential of these platforms for increasing representation of Indigenous stories, worldviews, and visions of the future.
Jasmin hopes to bring all the learning and experiences that she has been fortunate enough to gain with her to this new role at the First Nations Technology Council.
As an Indigenous academic from the Cree Nation, with Master’s research in revisiting successful relationship building between Indigenous peoples and settlers, Shawna’s passion in developing systems, programs, curriculum, and teaching that is Culturally Safe is evident.
Presently she uses her cultural safety skill set to inform the development of the Technology Council's online and in-person curriculum development along with the expansion of the student administration, and support mapping. With research analysis positions in Indigenous education and thirty years in curriculum development /teaching she develops curriculum that braids together Indigenized content alongside Indigenous methodologies and Indigenous pedagogies to fully engage, and enrich the experience of Indigenous students.
Before coming to FNTC Shawna was at Vancouver Coastal Health as the Aboriginal Health Lead for Indigenous Cultural Safety. Prior employment experience in academia includes the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the University of the Fraser Valley. For fun Shawna loves to train in jiu-jitsu, canoe, create graphic recordings and make art.
Kim is Inuit from her mother’s side and Scottish from her Father’s. She’s a lifelong Northerner from Yellowknife NWT who relocated to Vancouver BC in 2018. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Vancouver Island University and is currently enrolled with the Project Management Institute to gain PMP certification.
Before joining the FNTC, Kim worked with the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Health within the Project Management Services Division assisting with various information system deployment projects throughout the Territory. Her interests with connecting remote communities to technology lead her to join the FNTC under the role of Skills Coordinator where she is assisting with the planning and deployment of the Foundations and Futures in Innovation and Technology program.
Trevor Jang is a storyteller who blends an Indigenous worldview with the tools of journalism and technology to support First Nations empowerment. His role at the Technology Council includes leading the development and implementation of a communications and social media strategy, working across programs to create relevant content that engages the Technology Council’s many audiences on multiple platforms.
Trevor is an award-winning writer and journalist whose work on Indigenous issues has been published with the CBC, Walrus Magazine, BC Business Magazine, National Observer, Discourse and others. He has a mixed-race background of Wet’suwet’en Nation, Chinese and European ancestry. In 2012 Trevor graduated with a Diploma of Technology in Broadcast Media and Communications from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Adele Maskwa Iskwew Arseneau is a B.C. Cree/ Metis artist and graphic designer, currently assisting at the First Nations Technology Council in bringing digital sovereignty to Indigenous people by coordinating the First Nations in B.C. Knowledge Network. A graduate of BCIT’s Geomatic Engineering program, she utilized her education in a career with the Ministry of Highways building better roads within the Province of BC.
Now recovering from a stroke, Adele has utilized her art practice not only to support her healing and rehab but also to express indigenous issues in a way that brings beauty and humour into the conversation. In addition to her work with the Technology Council, Adele also works with youth on large-scale art projects in the City of Vancouver.
Christa Ovenell works in Program Development at the First Nations Technology Council. She holds a Master’s degree from UBC in Higher Education and specializes in innovative educational partnerships, with a focus on driving positive change and strengthening relationships between cross-sectoral organizations. When she isn’t busy building out transformational educational programs, she can be found cooking seasonal treats for friends, family, and loved ones.
Lloyd Taghavi is an MBA, CPA and CMA, with 25+ year of experience in accounting and financial management, including 11 years working for First Nations organizations as a CFO. He moved from U.S. to Canada in 2006. He is married with one child.