Gwen is a citizen of the Ktunaxa Nations and has worked for her Nation for the past twenty-seven years, primarily within the Social Sector, serving as both Director of Education and Director of Health. Gwen has extensive experience in relationship building and has both developed and instructed First Nations Studies courses at the College of the Rockies.
She worked with the College of the Rockies to establish the Nation Rebuilding: Planning for Indigenous Governance program. It is a distance education program designed to help First Nations build capacity to undertake for themselves, the planning and development required to successfully transition to self-government.
In her current role as Director of Corporate Services and Governance Transition, Gwen is responsible for guiding the Ktunaxa Nation’s transition to self-governance, based on their traditional values and principles.
Gwen’s formal training is in Business Administration development and she operates her own small business, as a community planner, facilitator/trainer, artist and curriculum developer.
Chief Charlene Belleau
As a proud member of the Okanagan Indian Band, I have spent my adult life committed to the betterment of my community. During the six terms I have spent as a band councillor of the OKIB, I have maintained a focus on ideas and initiatives meant to benefit the membership. As a strong supporter of Round Lake Treatment Centre, I have spent five terms as a member of the board of directors. Our board has worked hard to increase the local and national profile of RLTC because we recognize that “Culture is Treatment,” and the best way for First Nations people to become healthy again is to take a holistic approach utilizing traditional practices and modern techniques. I bring this same strategy to the table as OKIB Council Chair of the Health and Social Development Committee.
I recognize that education is the only way for people to better their lives and as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Education Committee for School District 22 and a member of School District 23, I advocate for more inclusive education policies that recognize not only First Nations` interests but also First Nations` challenges with the current education model.
As a First Nations person, I feel that my connection to the land is vital to my understanding of my people and myself and I`m proud to be a member of the Lands Committee. I look forward to engaging my community via the Okanagan Indian Band Land Use Plan, which will serve as a “living document” to future generations.
I belong to a blended family with four wonderful children and three loving grandchildren.