Staff

Chief Commissioners

The Treaty Commission's impartiality is reflected in its composition and the way it makes decisions. Commissioners do not represent the Principals that appoint them, but instead act independently. Decisions require the support of one appointee of each of the Principals.

The Chief Commissioner is appointed to a three-year term by agreement of the Principals. The First Nations Summit elects two Commissioners and the federal and provincial governments appoint one each. In the absence of a Chief Commissioner, the four remaining Commissioners unanimously agree to appoint one of them to act as Chief Commissioner.

Click the Chief Commissioner’s image to read their bio.

Commissioners

The Treaty Commission's impartiality is reflected in its composition and the way it makes decisions. Commissioners do not represent the Principals that appoint them, but instead act independently. Decisions require the support of one appointee of each of the Principals.

The First Nations Summit elects two Commissioners and the federal and provincial governments appoint one each. The four part-time Commissioners serve two-year terms. The Chief Commissioner is appointed to a three-year term by agreement of thePrincipals. In the absence of a Chief Commissioner, the four remaining Commissioners unanimously agree to appoint one of them to act as Chief Commissioner.

Click the Commissioner’s image to read their bio.

Staff

Treaty Commission staff come from a wide range of backgrounds and specialize in a number of areas. Click on the photos below to learn more about our team.

Dan Gill
Director of Funding

Dan joined the Treaty Commission in 2002. He is the Director of Negotiation Funding and manages the negotiation support funding that enables First Nations to participate in the BC treaty negotiations process. He monitors compliance with the funding agreements, including annual financial reporting. Dan has an undergraduate economics degree and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of British Columbia. As a commercial lender with Toronto Dominion bank, he worked in Vancouver, Victoria, and Toronto. Dan has also worked as controller and band manager for Nl'aka'pamux and Secwepemc First Nations in the southern interior of BC.

Sashia Leung
Associate Director of Process

Sashia joined the Treaty Commission in September 2012. She is Associate Director and supports with the management of the Process and Communications departments, facilitates treaty negotiations, manages and organizes forums and special projects including: First Nations governance initiatives, ratification processes, communications, community engagement, and capacity-development. She assists with complex facilitations, such as nation-to-nation engagement on First Nations overlap and shared territory discussions. Sashia works at the international level at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Rights (UNPFII) and the Expert Mechanism on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), supporting the Expert Members and the Treaty Commission on matters related to the promotion and protecting of Indigenous rights and title, and implemention of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Sashia has over 15 years experience working with Indigenous communities in BC and is proud to be both Wet'suwet'en and Chinese from Wiset (Moricetown), BC.

She holds a BA in political science with a concentration on First Nations studies from the University of British Columbia. Sashia is a Banff Forum member since 2018, and member of the Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference in 2017. She has served on a variety of boards and committees, and currently serves on the Executive of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.

Mark Smith
General Counsel & Director of Process

Mark is General Counsel and Director of Process, he joined the Treaty Commission in 2001. Mark provides legal, political, and strategic policy advice on the protection and recognition of Aboriginal title and rights. Mark leads complex facilitations on treaty negotiations, and intergovernmental initiatives to improve the processes to achieve reconciliation amongst governments and Indigenous Nations. He is dedicated to Indigenous rights recognition, governance-building and inter-nation dispute resolution processes. Mark has been a key contributor to the Treaty Commission’s international work reinforcing the importance of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigneous Peoples to negotiations between state and Indigenous Nations.

A graduate from the University of Alberta Law School, Mark was called to Alberta Bar, and is currently a member of the Law Society in British Columbia. Mark has focused his career on Aboriginal law and First Nations issues. Mark previously was a sole-practitioner, and has practiced Aboriginal and environmental law with the firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He is completing a Master of Laws at the University of British Columbia focusing on First Nations legal issues. 

Tenisha Williams
Administration

Tenisha is the Office Coordinator and joined the BC Treaty Commission in 2011. Prior to her employment at the Treaty Commission she worked for the Public Service Commission of Nova Scotia, Capital District Health Authority and ExxonMobil Canada in administration, human resources, and special projects. In 2007 Tenisha graduated from Eastern College with an advanced human resources management diploma excelling in compensation, benefits management and employee relations. In 2010 she became a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) joining the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations.

Staff
Nancy Wong
Funding

Nancy Wong joined the Treaty Commission in July 2003 as the Funding Analyst. In her role she supports the Treaty Commission with executing and monitoring compliance of First Nations Negotiations Support funding agreements. 

Previously she held positions in private, and municipal government sectors and retail. Nancy is a member of the Certified General Accountants. 

Chief Commissioner Celeste Haldane
Celeste Haldane
Chief Commissioner

Celeste Haldane was reappointed Chief Commissioner in May 2020, she was first appointed in April 2017. Prior to this she served as an elected Commissioner for three two-year terms commencing in 2011. 

Celeste is a practising lawyer and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2019. She holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Constitutional Law from Osgoode Hall Law School (York University), and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and Bachelor of Arts from UBC. In 2015, she began her doctorate in Anthropology and Law at UBC.  

The Provincial Government appointed Celeste to the Legal Services Society (Legal Aid) where she served as Chair. She recently completed 6 years on the UBC Board of Governors and continues to serve on the UBC Indigenous Engagement Committee as the past Chair. Celeste is a Director of the Brain Canada Foundation and the Musqueam Capital Corporation.  She is an active member of both the Canadian Bar Association and the Indigenous Bar Association. She is an alumni of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.

Celeste is a member of the Sparrow family from Musqueam and is Tsimshian through Metlakatla. She is the proud mother of three and grandmother of two.

Commissioner Clifford White
Clifford White
Commissioner

Clifford White (Nees Ma’Outa) was elected by the First Nations Summit for a two-year term beginning in March 2019. He is a hereditary leader and former elected Chief of the Gitxaala Nation. 

Clifford is a facilitator and trainer with Nawaabm Enterprise and is an elder in the First Nations Court in New Westminster, where he has been involved for more than 12 years. He is chair of the First Nations Advisory Committee of BC, Executive Chair for the NorthernNations Cooperative, President of the Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society, a Board member for the New Relationship Trust, and works with BC’s Aboriginal Family Healing Court project. He continues to work with the Province’s Industry Training Authority, Private Industries, Union and Non-Union trades on Indigenous workforce developments. His passion is for commercially sustainable environmental management and developments on the North Coast.

Clifford studied Business and Commerce at the University of British Columbia. He is married to Lynn, has three children, four grandchildren and a rez dog.

Commissioner Angela Wesley
Angela Wesley
Commissioner

Angela Wesley was appointed by the Government of British Columbia to a two-year term beginning December 2018. She is a citizen of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations (Nuu-chah-nulth), one of five First Nations implementing the Maa-nulth Treaty on the west coast of Vancouver Island. 

Since 1992, through her consulting company Wes-Can Advisory Services, Angela has worked extensively with First Nations throughout BC, providing advisory and facilitation services in the areas of strategic planning, community development, communications, community engagement, and governance capacity building. 

Angela has remained actively involved in the implementation of Huu-ay-aht’s treaty and self-governance, and has served as Speaker (Legislative Chairperson) for the Huu-ay-aht First Nations Legislature and Annual People’s Assemblies and serving as the Board Chair/President for the Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses since 2012. 

She serves on the Board of Directors of the Toquaht First Nation Holdings Board, the New Relationship Trust, and the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC and previously served as Executive Member and Chair of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and on the Board of Directors of the Royal British Columbia Museum. 

Angela resides in her husband Gerald’s traditional territory of Kitsumkalum in Terrace and enjoys the company and teachings of her grandson every weekend.

Francis Frank
Commissioner

Francis Frank was first elected by the First Nations Summit in 2015 and began serving his third two-year term in March 2019. He is from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and is a trained social worker with a BSW from the University of Victoria. 

Prior to joining the Treaty Commission, Francis served his community in a variety of roles, including as Chief for fourteen years, negotiator for ten years, and band manager for six years. He has extensive experience in negotiations and was directly involved in the negotiation of the first interim measures agreement, as well as the first incremental treaty agreement in British Columbia, successfully securing land and finances for his nation. 

Francis lives in Port Alberni and is married with five children, three foster children, and four grandchildren.

Lakshmi Lochan
Process

Lakshmi joined the Treaty Commission in September 2016. In her role as Process Advisor she facilitates treaty negotiations and assists with public education and information initiatives in support of BCTC’s mandate. She has supported youth and community engagement. Lakshmi has worked as a program and research analyst for Canadian Heritage, and with immigrants and refugees with REACH Community Health Centre.  She completed her BA at Simon Fraser University in anthropology and sociology, and is currently completing her Masters of Public Policy at SFU. 

Angel Grenkie
Administration

Angel joined the Treaty Commission in May 2016. She is the welcoming face at the Treaty Commission, supporting the organization in her role as Receptionist. Prior to working at the Treaty Commission, she worked in the hospitality industry as an assistant manager. Angel is a member of the Wet'suwet'en Nation in northern BC. 

Stephanie Gustin
Process

Stephanie joined the Treaty Commission in November 2018 as Process Analyst. In her role she researches matters related to the treaty negotiations process, facilitates treaty negotiations, supports special projects, and assists with public education and information initiatives. Stephanie has worked as a research assistant for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence. She holds an MA in Dispute Resolution from the University of Victoria. Her thesis explored the use of mobile online dispute resolution tools and virtual mediation systems in government offices, and their impacts on relational aspects of dispute resolution. Her research has been published in the International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution.

Staff
Lindy Provost
Funding

Lindy Provost joined the Treaty Commission in April 2019 as the Funding Assistant. In her role she provide support to the Funding Analyst and Director of Funding for all execution and monitoring of the First Nation Negotiations Support funding agreements. Previously she worked in public service at the provincial and federal levels and has experience in the agricultural sector with overseas exportation.

Lindy is a member of the Piikani Nation in Southern Alberta which is part of the Blackfoot Confederacy and a proud mother of two. She holds a general studies diploma with sociology as the main focus of studies.

Carmen Watson
Process

Carmen joined the team as a Process Advisor in June 2019. She has a BA (Hons.) in History and International Relations from UBC, focusing on questions of Indigenous sovereignty and international decolonization. Her senior thesis explored the relationship between Indigenous women, children and the nation. Some past research projects of hers include: the emergence of Chinese-Canadian identities during the British Columbia Goldrush, Indigenous nationhood against the backdrop of the Quebecois separatist movement, and standards of international diplomacy in nation-to-nation relationships between federal and Indigenous governments. She has lived in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and the Northwest Territories, but now calls Vancouver home.

Communications
Communications

Please send communications inquiries to communications@bctreaty.ca

 

Liseanne Forand
Commissioner

Liseanne Forand was appointed by the Government of Canada as interim-Commissioner in May 2020. She is a retired public servant with 30 years’ experience in intergovernmental affairs, policy, natural resource management and international relations.

She began her public service career at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 1985, where she assumed progressively senior roles culminating as Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy between 2001 and 2003.  In 2003 she was appointed ADM, Northern Affairs at the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. In that capacity, Liseanne provided leadership in natural resource management and contaminated site remediation, northern science and devolution to territorial governments.  In later years, Liseanne served as Associate Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, as Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Chief Operating Officer for Service Canada, and as the first President of Shared Services Canada.  She retired from the public service in 2015.

Since 2017, she has served as Vice Chairperson of the Board of Polar Knowledge Canada, which works in partnership with northern communities to advance Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic, strengthen Canadian leadership in polar science and technology, and promote the development and distribution of knowledge of circumpolar regions.

Liseanne graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree English from Concordia University. Liseanne and her husband Jonathan live in North Saanich.

Address

700-1111 Melville Street
Vancouver BC
V6E 3V6
604 482 9200

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