Board of Directors

Click the links below to learn more about BCMF staff and contractors.


keith-bcmf-bioKeith Henry, President

Mr. Keith Henry is a Métis person that was born in Thompson, Manitoba and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Mr. Henry achieved a B.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1995.

Mr. Henry began his career in 1995 with teaching positions and has become well known for his strategic administrative and negotiations skills. Since 1998 Mr. Henry has led numerous provincial, federal and industry negotiations on a variety of issues. He has been directly responsible for financial administration of a number of Aboriginal non-profits and has a proven track record of success.

Mr. Henry started his own consulting company in October 2008 and is the President and CEO of KCD Consulting Incorporated that specializes in human resource development, economic development, project delivery, strategic planning, negotiations, and leadership development. Today Mr. Henry has worked or continues to work with several clients including the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada, Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia, Treaty 8 Tribal Association, Prophet River First Nations, Halfway River First Nations, Alexis Creek Indian Band, Kelly Lake Métis Settlement Society, Tl’azt’en Nation, Lake Babine Nation, Trondek Hwichen, plus several others.

Mr. Henry has become an international Aboriginal cultural tourism leader receiving Aboriginal/Indigenous recognition as the former CEO for Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC). In April 2014 the inaugural World Indigenous Tourism Alliance award recognized the work of AtBC and Mr. Henry’s leadership. Mr. Henry has been spearheading the growth of authentic Aboriginal tourism in Canada as he worked to redevelop the national Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada as elected chair when this organization incorporated in April 2015. In October 2015 Mr. Henry took the full time role as the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada’s CEO. In Canada Mr. Henry continues to be recognized across the country as one of the leaders in Aboriginal tourism and has led many new initiatives such as the development of national standards on market readiness and authenticity, cruise industry opportunities and the national Aboriginal tourism research project on the economic value of Aboriginal cultural tourism. Mr. Henry was instrumental in the development of the national Aboriginal tourism strategy The Path Forward 2016-2021 which will focus on increasing Aboriginal market readiness, increasing jobs, and increasing revenues. Over the course of the last number of years Mr. Henry has been invited to numerous international locations to support Aboriginal tourism strategies.

Mr. Henry volunteers time in the Aboriginal community and maintains several board positions including the former President of the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business, current chair of the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada, current Chair for the Native Education College, former member of the Minister’s Council on Tourism, member of the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Aboriginal Opportunities Committee, member of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, International Marketing Committee Destination Canada member, and current President of the BC Métis Federation.

K.Henry@BCMetis.com

R-Therrien

Rene Therrien, Vice President

I was born in Manitoba and left at an early age to seek employment. I met and married my wife in Terrace where we made our home and raised three children. I started in the wood industry doing odd jobs and in 1977 I went into business for myself for approximately 25 years as a self employed logging contractor.

After retirement I got involved with the Métis at the community level. In 2000 I was elected as the Regional Director for MNBC and thereafter was re-elected to serve for three terms. I am also a director for the Greater Terrace Seniors’ Advisory Committee.

My hobby is playing the fiddle at various functions and promoting Métis culture wherever I go. I’m honoured to be one of the directors of the BC Métis Federation. As a proud Métis I’m committed to help move our nation foreword for the next generation.

R.Therrien@BCMetis.com

Joe-DesjarlaisJoe Desjarlais, Secretary

My name is Joe Desjarlais and I live in North Vancouver with my wife and children. I am a qualified educator who is involved in indigenous education issues. I have done graduate level work in history at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. Over the years, I have worked as a school teacher, a consultant and a tradesman.

I am a proud Métis with a large extended family in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. My Métis ancestors were hunters, guides and scouts along the Northwest trails before Canada was a nation. A long time Métis citizen, I have participated in the founding of the BC Métis Federation, a paradigm shifting provincial political organization that currently plays an important role in reshaping the political, social and economic landscape in western Canada for Metis people and other Canadians. I currently hold the executive position as Secretary of the BC Metis Federation.

I am the author of a seminar called Métis Connect, an educational curriculum for Canadians on their journey to becoming intentional with Métis people. My goal is to connect very different people and communities together in creative ways, fueled by better ideas, rooted in the past, yet deeply reflective of present-day people and place. I conduct talks and seminars in university settings as well as other community forums, and have written articles for various popular and academic publications.

I am committed to the shared public good of Métis people and communities. Our policies need an infusion of creative and principled ideas to move toward a shared future, for Métis, First Nations, and for all Canadians. I look forward to serving Metis people and communities to this end.

J.Desjarlais@BCMetis.com

B-FisherBetty Fisher, Treasurer

Tansi! My name is Betty Fisher and I am seeking the position of Treasurer for the BC Métis Federation. I was born in Watrous, Saskatchewan to Métis parents Jules Belhumeur (St Lazare, Manitoba) and Verna Hayden (Ste. Marthe, Saskatchewan). My family tree includes names such as; Houle, Hogue, Desjarlais, Tourond, Plante and Fleury to name a few. I was raised in a small Saskatchewan community named Young with my parents and three younger siblings.

I have been residing in British Columbia and working with the Métis since 2000, mainly in the capacity of finances. Prior to 2000 I worked for the Métis in Saskatchewan for 11 years, all of which was in finance. In addition to working specifically with Métis I have also been employed with the Regina Friendship Centre and the Saskatchewan Association of Friendship Centres. A greater part of my working life has been dedicated to working with the Métis in a non-profit environment. The majority of my work experience has been in the field of accounting and I am very familiar with all aspects of the accounting cycle.

My education includes an accounting certificate from Wascanna Institute of Applied Arts & Science and several courses in Business Administration at the University of Saskatchewan. Other certificates include; Computerized Accounting, Accounting for Small Business, Basic Income Tax, Public Service Commission Accounting, Micro Computers and Motivation Interviewing.

I have served as a board member for Regina Native Women, the Saskatoon Friendship Inn, and the Saskatchewan Council for Aboriginal Women’s Economic Development. I also held a Notary Public designation with the province of Saskatchewan. I am an active volunteer for the Cancer Society, as well as, the Heart and Stroke foundation.

My hobbies include; beading, crocheting, knitting, sewing, quilting, reading, and baking. As a wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother I enjoy being around my close and extended family.

It would give me great pleasure to serve you as the Treasurer for the BC Métis Federation and I thank you for your support. Maarsii!

B.Fisher@BCMetis.com

JJ-LavalleeEarl Belcourt, Director

I started my Métis politics in 1992 with the MNBC. Then I helped found the MPCBC in 1996. In my naivety I believed that the new Leaders would do the “Right” things, but they didn’t and still don’t.
I came back after all this time because, once again, I believe.
I believe that the most important thing that I can do is to be myself as a Métis person, with the enthusiasm of a Leader that believes we will succeed.
I have been in the Mechanical/Piping industry for nearly 50 years and still enjoy the trade. I have Interprovincial certificates as a Steamfitter/Pipefitter and Plumber. I also have certificates in Natural/Propane gas installations and instrumentation. I have 13 tickets in all not including the courses that different companies require me to take on different jobs.
I look forward to working with the BCMF and “all” the Métis in BC and Canada.

E.Belcourt@shaw.ca

1kenfisherKen Fisher, Director

Métis Involvement: First chosen as President of Louis Riel Métis Association in 1984 and held that position till 1993.

Have been involved with organizing Métis in Greater Vancouver. Have incorporated or worked with Métis local societies such as the LRMA, Vancouver Métis Ass’n founding member (1995 VMA), then on to North Fraser Métis as chair of Regional Métis Management Steering Committee. Also United Heritage Métis as Mgr/Councilor till 2002. Founding President (NMHA) Nova Métis Heritage Inc with office in Surrey from 2003 to the present time. Now have 2000+ registered members. Founding Board member BC Métis Federation.

Producer and host of the “Métis Matters” radio show on CFRO 100.5 FM for more than 20 years. 4 years as Elder on MVUAS Steering Committee. Recently appointed to the City of Surrey’s “Diversity Committee” by Mayor Dianne Watts. Have attended several meetings to date.

Awards: Received the MNBC “Order of the Sash” in 2006 for meritorious service to the Métis in BC. Recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 as a Navy Veteran and Community Volunteer.

Born in Lebret, Saskatchewan – Schooled in Lebret, Regina & Yorkton.

Qualified as a licensed TV Tech and Appliance Repairman. Via Western Radio/Electronic TV School Saskatoon. Opened business and later sold out to a partner & moved on to Toronto & London.

Photography courses via Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary. Otherwise self taught and worked with Hogan’s Studio in Calgary before moving to Surrey to open my studio.

Have lived in London, Toronto & Calgary. Self employed business man. Worked as a Pro Photographer and operated Fisher Photo Studio in Surrey for years.

Held Media press credentials as a sports and news photographer for many years in Calgary, Surrey and Metro Vancouver with BC Lions and Vancouver Canucks of NHL.

K.Fisher@BCMetis.com

Headshot- Baillie RedfernBaillie Redfern, Director

Tawnshi, Dishinikawshon Baillie Redfern, New Westminster niwiken. I am campaigning for an “At Large” position and very interested in becoming apart of the B.C.M.F. political team. Specifically I want to be apart of developing a position that focuses on the physical and spiritual health of our Métis community.

In 2011 I moved to the lower mainland from the Northern Great Lakes region of Ontario to pursue my Masters of Science at The University of British Columbia (U.B.C.). In addition to the spiritual and healing properties of plants, they represent a great source of novel leads for product development which is why I choose to investigate these chemical sources. I completed my M.Sc. in the spring of 2014. I am currently a medical student at U.B.C. with a career interest in Aboriginal health and rural emergency medicine. I am a registered member of Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada.

Since moving to Vancouver I have been fortunate enough to find a strong Aboriginal community so far away from home. I am a member of the First Nations Snowboarding Team. In this position I am an athlete, mentor and leader. I am registered with Snowboard Canada and compete on the High Performance Team (HPT).

I actively participate in public speaking competitions run seminars focused on health, education and science to the Aboriginal and non-native community. Some of the organizations I have worked with include TRU Aboriginal Health Science Camp, Aboriginal eMentoring, FIREtalks, Aboriginal PreMed, The Minerva Foundation and Science 101. In 2013 I represented Métis Nation at the Gathering of Nations for the Miss Indian World competition. This pageant is judged on traditional knowledge, public speaking, traditional dancing and a private interview. I was awarded “Best Public Speaker” and I placed third runner-up overall. The annual event was an excellent opportunity to connect with other Indigenous communities from around the world.

As a physician in training, I want to be dependable resource and a health advocate for our Métis People. I have previously volunteered to run the beadwork portion of B.C.M.F. cultural workshop series. I would like to continue to be a part of cultural programs, in addition to planning health activism programs that inspire our Métis members to live healthy, active lives and to become leaders within our communities.

Best of luck to all my candidates who have applied for these board positions, its fantastic to see this level of interest, commitment, and leadership to make our community grow. Pishshapmishko.

B.Redfern@BCMetis.com

JJ-LavalleeJJ Lavallee, Director

My name is JJ Lavallee and I am a very proud Métis, born and raised on the Prairies. I have been promoting Métis culture for the last 11 years across this wonderful country by playing the “Métis Style” fiddle. I have met wonderful people along the way, many of whom greatly influenced me throughout the years. When I came to BC, I knew no one, and Maxine Lavallee contacted me and the Federation has worked with me often and given me a chance to do what I do best. I absolutely love the dynamics and work ethic of the BCMF and I know I would fit in just great with the board. I strongly believe that I can learn so much from joining the board and my youth will serve as an advantage to help attract younger Métis and be a role model to our youth. Meegwitch, JJ Lavallee

J.Lavallee@BCMetis.com

cindy-wilgosh-photoCindy Wilgosh

Tanshi Dishinihkashon Cindy Wilgosh, (Hello my name is Cindy Wilgosh). I have lived in Clearwater for 37 years; I was born in Prince Albert Sask. moved to BC at a young age and been here ever since. I am a mother and a very proud grandma.

I am honored to become a director for the BC Metis Federation. I am looking forward to working with the board and the Metis community throughout BC to promote the importance of the Metis Culture and awareness of all Metis people.

In the position of Executive Director for the North Thompson Aboriginal Cultural Centre Society, and the Aboriginal Coordinator for Aboriginal Engagement Success By 6 in the North Thompson Valley I have encouraged the Board of Directors of these agencies to understand and participate in the ongoing activities so that these generous individuals will also understand the necessity of engaging all generations for the future of the children’s health and cultural wellbeing.

As an active community member I have volunteered with many organizations and service groups over the years, and was honored to receive the BC Community Achievement Award last year, but my heart is with the children, making sure all Aboriginal Children grow to be proud of their Culture, First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and to seek out their ancestry.

In my role as the Aboriginal Engagement Coordinator for Aboriginal Engagement Success By 6.  My area is from Blue River to McClure, and through the Cultural Centre we continue to work within these areas, and beyond, to create Cultural awareness.

Together with volunteers from the Cultural Centre and AESB6 we conduct Connection Circles where we connect families and children to traditional stories, crafts, singing, jigging and drumming.

We host a variety of events, workshops, teachings, and pot lucks where Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people, are always invited and welcomed to participate.

I am looking forward to working with BCMF and our community partners, members and volunteers to create awareness for our Metis Culture and promote the importance of knowledge sharing.

Yours In Community Spirit

Cindy Wilgosh