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Organizational Structure

The Great Bear Initiative Society operates under the direction of a Board that approves the annual work plan for the office and gives final approval to all policies and procedures. The Board of Directors consists of a representative from each of the participating First Nations - Wuikinuxv Nation, Heiltsuk Nation, Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation, Gitga’at First Nation,  Metlakatla First Nation, Nuxalk Nation, Old Massett Village Council, Skidegate Band Council, and Council of the Haida Nation.

The Great Bear Initiative board meets quarterly to review progress and provide direction on future activities. In addition, the Executive Committee of the Board meets more frequently to review administrative issues and monitor project work.

The Coastal First Nations office in Vancouver supports the goals of the board by providing strategic planning support, communications, assisting in the development of economic strategies, and supporting capacity building for communities.

As well the office provides strategic regional planning, negotiation and administrative support to Coastal First Nations on environmental and socio-economic issues. The strategic plan is approved by the Board. The Board Chair provides direction for office activities and staff, following the strategic plan approved by the Board of Directors.

Board of Directors:

Peter Lantin - President, Council of the Haida Nation

Arnold Clifton -Chief Councillor, Gitga'at

Marilyn Slett - Chief Councillor, Heiltsuk Tribal Council

Doug Neasloss - Chief Councillor, Kitasoo Band Council

Harold Leighton - Chief Councillor, Metlakatla Governing Council

Wally Webber- Chief Councillor, Nuxalk Nation

Ronald Williams - Councillor, Old Massett Village Council

Billy Yovanovich - Chief Councillor, Skidegate Band Council

Rose Hackett - Chief Councillor, Wuikinuxv Nation


Executive Committee:

Marilyn Slett - President

Rose Hackett - Vice-President                                        

Bruce Reece - Secretary

Ronald Williams - Treasurer



Kelly Russ, Board Chair

kruss (at) coastalfirstnations.ca

Garry Wouters, Policy Consultant
gwouters (at) coastalfirstnations.ca

Bess Brown, Communications Coordinator
bbrown (at) coastalfirstnations.ca

Crystal Dixon, Executive Assistant

Officeadmin (at )coastalfirstnations.ca

David Oxley, Admin/IT Coordinator

doxley (at) coastalfirstnations.ca

Johanna Helbig, Projects Coordinator
jhelbig (at) coastalfirstnations.ca