The individuals on our steering committee are a vital resource in helping us identify the best course of action to achieve our mission. This committee helps accelerate positive change and achieve greater impact as IndigenEYEZ continues to grow. They are all leaders in their own specialized fields, and share our vision of a world in which all Indigenous youth are supported to becoming the leaders of tomorrow.
Pauline Terbasket is a proud Syilx woman, member of the Syilx Okanagan Nation, and Executive Director of the Okanagan Nation Alliance. When she first headed up the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA), the organization had a handful of employees. Now, after 20 years of innovation and management growth, she oversees an annual budget of 12M.
Pauline is passionate about Nation building and Indigenous revitalization and has served on many volunteer boards, including a term as Chair of the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation. A strong advocate for tackling the issues impeding the prosperity and wellness of Indigenous people, her work has addressed the full spectrum from children, youth, families, and elders to language, culture, health governance, and traditional foods.
She loves to share the story of how the Syilx Nation spearheaded the return of the Okanagan sockeye salmon from the brink of extinction. Two of her current passions are speaking up for Indigenous food sovereignty around the world and championing the BC‐ based IndigenEYEZ empowerment program.
Tsilhqot’in Health Manager Connie was born and raised in the Chilcotin by Roy and Gwen Mulvahill, who reside in the very small remote community of Chezacut. Connie attended Alexis Creek Elementary School , boarded in Williams Lake for High School and she furthered her education first through Caribou College and then later through UNBC and TRU in Business. Outside of work, Connie enjoys spending time at home on her ranch, enjoying to spend the majority of her time outdoors. In the summer months Connie loves gardening, running and biking and through the winter cross country skiing. Connie has been working at TNG since 2010 and was hired to help develop the Health Program at the Nation level.
Joan Gignac hails from the Sagamok Anishnawbek, Ojibway Nation in Northern Ontario and has been living in BC since 1990. Joan works as the Executive Director of the Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia. She is an Early Childhood Educator and has worked in a wide variety of child care settings. In the past, Joan was the Child Care Manager for Nutsumaat Lelum: the Stz’uminus First Nation Child Care Centre.
Gwyn is a social entrepreneur who has decades’ experience launching, delivering, and funding creative initiatives that prepare young people to succeed in school, work, and life. After starting her career in international development, Gwyn discovered a deep passion for the social impact of the arts which has become the focus of her work ever since. In addition to her role as steering committee member, Gwyn serves on the advisory board of Ashoka Changemaker Schools and is the Executive Director of our mentor organization, Partners For Youth Empowerment.
She holds a B.A. in Political Science (Hons) from McGill University and a Master’s of International Affairs from Columbia University in New York. Gwyn is originally from Canada and lived many years in Colombia and the UK before moving with her family to Barcelona, Spain. In her spare time Gwyn loves photography, cooking, music, and spending time by the sea.
Teresa Marshall combines the power of creative media and community-led action to connect local stories with national and international movements for positive change. She has many years of experience as a journalist, award winning filmmaker, and campaign and communications strategist for human rights and environmental issues. Teresa grew up and resides today in beautiful unceded Syilx territory in the interior heart of British Columbia.
Jeska Slater is a Nehiyah iskwew (Cree woman) whose Mother’s side of the family is from Ochekwi Sipi (Fisher River Cree Nation) in Manitoba. Looking to combine her passion for painting, connection to cultural teachings and supporting Indigenous communities she has developed a unique set of workshops with her company Young Artist Warriors (YAW). YAW’s mandate is to actively honour Indigenous knowledge and protocol while fostering positive identity development through contemporary art-making. This work aims to show the intrinsic links between cultural-esteem and self-esteem.
Young Artist Warriors (YAW) has been working with youth, in small communities, through Indigenous Education programs, and non-profit organizations since 2008. YAW’s mandate is to honour traditional knowledge, value systems and protocols while fostering positive identity development through the arts. YAW’s workshops empower participants to create contemporary art pieces aimed at elevating both cultural esteem and personal self-esteem and to show that the two are intrinsically linked. For more information on Young Artist Warriors please visit https://www.youngartistwarriors.com/