Get to Know your Candidates

Interested in learning more about the 2014 Board candidates?

Mr. Keith Henry
Mr. Gregory LeBlanc
Mr. Tim St. Denis
Mr. Lyle C-Letendre
Ms. Marlene Swears
Dr. Deborah Canada
Ms. Betty Fisher
Ms. Marie Ashton
Ms. Jeannie Cardinal
Ms. Christine Hammond
Ms. Donna Lynn Geary
Mr. JJ Lavallee
Mr. Ron Paradis
Mr. Joe Desjarlais
Mr. Patrick Pocha
Mr. Ken Fisher
Mr. Daryl Piper
Mr. Rene Therrien
Mrs. Maxine Lavallee
Ms. Baillie Redfern

*Please note that we only have biographies that are sent in by each candidate.*

Keith Henry – President (Acclaimed)

Keith-HenryMr. 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 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, plus several others.

Mr. Henry has become an international Aboriginal cultural tourism leader receiving Aboriginal/Indigenous recognition as the CEO for Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC). In April 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 British Columbia and over the course of the last number of years Mr. Henry has been invited to numerous international locations to support Aboriginal tourism strategies. Most recently Mr. Henry supported a new $4.6 million investment by the state of Western Australia. In Canada Mr. Henry continues to be recognized across the country and has led many new initiatives such as the development of national standards on market readiness and authenticity, assesses cruise industry opportunities and leading a national Aboriginal tourism research project on assessing the economic value of Aboriginal cultural tourism.

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 Marketing Circle, current Chair for the Native Education College, current member of the Minister’s Council on Tourism, current member of the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Aboriginal Opportunities Committee, member of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, and current President of the BC Métis Federation.

Mr. Gregory LeBlanc – Member at Large (Candidate)

G-LeBlanc-photoMy name is Gregory LeBlanc. I was born in Vancouver from a Métis mother and adopted as an infant to a French-Canadian father and Croatian immigrant mother. I was fortunate to find my Métis roots through finding my birth mother, Lorraine Marks (nee Garneau) in my mid-thirties, and became an active member of the Garneau family, Nova Métis Heritage Society, and the BCMF.

I’ve lived in several places in Western Canada – Golden, Edmonton, Canmore, but have always had my roots in the Lower Mainland. Professionally employed as a management accountant for over 20 years, I completed my Diploma of Financial Management in 1990, a Bachelor of Technology in Accounting from BCIT in 2010, and recently completed the Certified Management Accountants Strategic Leadership Program in July, 2014, which will lead to a CPA, CMA designation in September, 2014.

My hobbies include motorcycling around the country, both U.S. and Canada, playing guitar in church choir’s occasionally, community theatre acting (more auditioning than acting however), and continually learning and challenging myself into new endeavours to enjoy the journey, rather than the destination.

 Tim St. Denis D.C – Treasurer (Incumbent)

Tim-St-DenisIt was an honour to have been asked to serve on The Board of Directors of the BC Métis Federation in 2011. I resigned from my volunteer position as Chair of the newly formed MNBC Research Ethics Committee in 2011 when I moved to join the newly formed BCMF. In the 2012 BCMF election it was an honour to have been acclaimed as Treasurer.

During my two year tenure I have fulfilled my responsibilities of office as well as representing the BCMF at all levels of governments, industries and within the Métis communities throughout BC. I have promoted and advocated Métis rights through Métis Coffee Talk, Métis Matters Co-op Radio and Métis Connect with all proceeds returned back to the BCMF. My proud Métis roots come from Lebret, Saskatchewan and St. Francis Xavier, Manitoba.

Professionally I have been a practicing Chiropractic Doctor for the past 36 years. I currently practice in Ladner, BC in a multidiscipline health clinic. I have served as a Director on both the BC Chiropractic Association and the BC College of Chiropractic. I have also served on all Executive levels of the Canadian Chiropractic Association including Treasurer, Vice President, President and Chairman of the Board. I have spent many years to promote my profession and will continue to use the same skillset and determination to promote my heritage as a proud Métis. I have vast experience dealing with governments and industries and I have been able to use my experience when called upon by the BCMF and will continue to do so.

I am proud to have been part of this dynamic, progressive and transparent organization. I humbly ask for your support on Saturday September 27th to re-elect me for Treasurer.

Lyle C-Letendre – Member at Large (Incumbent)

Lyle-CLetendreMy name is Lyle C-Letendre from the land based Métis settlement of Kelly Lake where we trapped in the area since early 1800 hundreds. We traveled from the East with the explorers Selkirk David Thompson Alexander Mackenzie.

I am the President of the Kelly Lake Métis Settlement and have been for over 22 yrs. We still live the Métis lifestyle such as speaking and understanding the language, hunting, trapping, gathering we make traditional moose hides and utilize the whole moose.

I am honoured to seek another term on the BC Métis Federation board where I can see our people moving forward as recognized contributing Métis people of the province of BC and Canada.

Together we have done so much with the BC Métis Federation and I see a strong future that continues to support and address our needs.

I thank people in advance for support for me on September 27th. I know I have a lot more to give in our struggles.

Marlene Swears – Member at Large (Candidate)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was born in Robin, Manitoba 57 years ago. We move to BC when I was seventeen and by the time I was 25 I became involved with the Métis movement in BC . I was one of many who founded our Métis Local in Williams Lake and must say that over the years the actions of the movement changed my paths. Staying focus on the Métis people and their trials and tribulations was always challenge as leadership and goals sometimes drifted from the people.  I was born and raised Métis and it is always astounded me as to why such a mixture of fine people were always pushed, pulled and intimidated into feeling less than their worth.  I’ve always been interested in the our culture and stature. It is our heritage that makes me feel at home no matter where I have been. The lessons of the hard enduring work our ancestors are entrenched in me to do a good job and it is this drive that inspires me to run for the provincial board of the BC Métis Federation. I believe that there needs to be support and diligence for our people and this organization  delivers that promise since its formation. I would be honoured to work for you  and will do my utmost best in seeing things through. My interest is seeing that our identity and being continue to thrive in this day and age.

Dr. Deborah Canada – Member at Large (Candidate)

Deb-CanadaDr. Deborah Canada, (Deb) a Cree-Métis, was born in Saskatchewan and raised in the North-End of Winnipeg. Deb and her family moved to British Columbia approximately 23 years ago but go back home to Manitoba often. She is the proud daughter of Earl and Ethel Canada, mother of Aaron Canada; grandmother to Avery and Aason Canada and wife of Marcel Cardinal.

Deb’s wish to serve as a board member for the BC Métis Federation comes from the desire to advocate for equality, recognition and self-determination for all Métis people. She is experienced in policy, procedures and government processes and is an activist for her people. Deb is proud to be Métis and continues to fight for cultural rights. She appreciates the sharing of knowledge from the Métis community and has learned many things while working with Métis Elders, Leaders, and Community Members.

Over the years Deb served on several local, regional, and provincial boards one of which was as President of the Métis Commission for Children and Families BC (3 years) and then as the Commission’s CEO for an additional six years. Assessing the lack of resources for Métis children and families in Kamloops Deb founded (July 2009) While Buffalo Aboriginal and Métis Health Society in Kamloops. Deb served as President and then Executive Director for the society for many years using her strong advocacy skills to ensure the inclusion of Métis children, families, and communities.

Deb has practiced as a social worker, college educator, and contributing member of the Métis community for many years. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from the University of Manitoba, a Masters Degree in Education and Aboriginal Leadership from Simon Fraser University and a Doctoral Degree from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Canada’s research dissertation (The Strength of the Sash: the Métis Peoples Model of Child Welfare) is a critique of the BC Child Welfare System. It gives an understanding of the impact of Residential Schools and the Child Welfare has on Métis peoples. Deb enlisted only Métis Elders, social workers and community leaders/members to conduct the search with; intentionally knowing that only Métis people can share the experience of being Métis.

“I have been formally and informally educated learning many things throughout my life; however, the most useful and important learning I’ve experienced is from my own people.” – D. Canada, 2013

Betty Fisher – Treasurer (Candidate)

Betty's photo 2014Tansi! 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!

Marie Ashton – Member at Large (Candidate)

Marie-AshtonI am thrilled of having an opportunity to continue to serve the Métis people of BC. In my move to BC (20 years ago) I made a commitment to serve and contribute to my Métis heritage through joining the local chapter, serving on the Métis specific boards and eventually being employed with Métis service providers. The time spent in the office of the local Métis Chapter gave me much more insight to the political affiliations within the province and the passion of our Métis people those who desired the knowledge of knowing who they are where their roots began.

Through my demonstrated commitment and contribution of serving my Métis heritage I had been approached by the then Executive Director of Interior Métis Child & Family Services to sit on their Board of Directors. I was honoured and excited to be able gain knowledge and experience with an agency whose mandate was to serve our Métis children and families. I also believed in the importance and value of ones desire to assist our community so for me it was an important contribution.

As a direct result of this opportunity of being on the board of directors, I was elected to be the President of the Board of Directors for the Métis Society for children and families which further stimulated my Métis passion, integrity and commitment to serve our Métis families and children. During my terms of serving as President of the Board there were identified issues which required action to rectify and establish the credibility of the agency. I am proud to see the agency known as Interior Métis Child and Family Services, which is now known as Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Child and Family Services in Kamloops. I am pleased to announce that the necessary changes that I have promoted have resulted in Lii Michif Otipemisiwak in moving forward with acquiring positive leadership, a new location, promoting culture and Métis specific services as they move closer towards delegation.

To further my Métis contributions in community I have:

  • Continued to serve through a position with White Buffalo Aboriginal and Métis Health Society
  • Métis Elders advisory panel/Métis Commission for Children and Families of BC (to provide guidance on projects under taken by the MCCF)

My Métis History:

My family tree stems back to Manitoba my great grandfather Roger Goulet and my grandfather also name Roger(Joe) making his way out to Alberta and eventually married my grandmother Adeline Lamouch (Gladue). My grandparents settled in the Peace River area and raised 10 children.

I am proud to say that few of my family members are Sylvia Johnson (Goulet) President of Region 6 Métis Nation of Alberta and George and Terry Goulet Historical Consultants for BC Métis Federation Cultural and Walter Andreeff whose commitment, strong dedication and involvement with the Northern Métis Nation of Alberta.

Giving of your unpaid time is not new to me. I have committed many years to volunteering for different organizations and each one I had a passion for the outcome and purpose. I hope that the past and present experiences will enable me to carry on in giving to the Métis people of BC.

Regards, Marie Ashton

Jeanie Cardinal – Member at Large (Candidate)

Jeanie Cardinal (1)Today’s Aboriginal and Métis organizations benefit most from strong and confident leadership to meet ever-changing business developments and goals. I am certain my experience and skills can and will contribute to this level of performance and to the values of the BC Métis Federation; I invite you to consider my qualifications:

  • Over 15 years in non-profit society services
  • Over 16 years in working with Our Aboriginal and Métis People
  • Recognized for Excellence in Leadership by colleagues and community members

I am of Métis ancestry and am dedicated to the advancement and promotion of Métis Culture and Values which add to the nature of my commitment to serve the BC Métis Federation.  I have the skills and expertise to contribute to building and enhancing organizational goals, leadership and as important the passion, stamina and the commitment of the Métis heart to follow through on all and any goals set before me around issues of Our Métis people.

I have demonstrated excellence in leadership through my integrity and actions enabling me to bear trouble calmly, to disdain meanness and pettiness, and to display a noble generosity in promoting positive change in the face of adversity and challenges.

In my community I am recognized by my values through my professional and personal congruency of character, the common value being trust and respect that is earned and maintained in my walk in the world as a proud Métis woman. I will be supporting BCMF in my contribution of skills, expertise and most important the following personal and professional values which align with the BCMF`s demonstrated practice.  I have taken action as a Métis individual to initiate a petition to call for transparency and accountability on the issues BCMF has lead around the MNBC Hellax audit (link to petition here).

I have successfully serviced my community by always focusing on the highest and best interests of our Aboriginal and Métis people and desire to broaden my contribution and service to benefit our Métis people and BC Métis Federation. My beliefs and values which have resulted in trusted leadership and successes are consist in having clear vision to engage others in trust, integrity in my communications and actions, dedication to all things initiated and followed through until completion while giving what is needed to achieve the vision, setting the framework for success and following through to completion. My Leadership style demonstrates openness through listening to new ideas, creativity through thinking differently, equality, fairness and justice, and acting with assertiveness without aggression when faced with difficult conversations, while respecting others‘ views, and applying humor to relieve tension and engage with others when appropriate.

It would be a great honor to bring my gifts, character and my trusted reputation to be of service for advancement and growth of the BC Métis Federation

Executive Profile:

  • Aboriginal Representative on local, regional and provincial committees
  • Establishing and completion of Internal and External Structural Changes for Society`s
  • Improved revenue and service growth through successful proposal writing
  • Exceptional Networking, Collaboration  and Communication Skills
  • Public Speaking and Group Facilitation Skilled and Experienced
  • Community Development: Framework Development for Change
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Program and Organizational Development

I have the skills to determine and improve organizational proficiencies. Effective use or data and information collection to improve processes, accountability and rectify injustices in practice and business for positive change, strong service delivery management, negotiations of contracts, conflict resolution processes while maintaining a positive relationship with funders, board of directors and community partners.

I am dependable, straightforward and have a real desire to become a strong contribution to British Columbia Métis Federation. In seeking the Members at Large seat with the BCMF, I have been provided letters of support from my respected community partners and staff members who support my submission for a position with BCMF and reflects my communities interest in seeing my skills and attributes being in excellent standing to contribute in a meaningful and purposeful way with BC Métis Federation.

Thank you for taking the time to review my submission. I look forward to seeing my Métis Community at the BC Métis Federation Annual General Meeting on September 27th, 2014. Sincerely, Jeanie Cardinal

Christine Hammond – Member at Large (Candidate)

Christine-HammondsI am an Educator and Family Support Worker for Aboriginal and Métis families involved in child protection in the Thompson Nicola Regional District of British Columbia. I strongly value education and as such have devoted myself to continuous learning. I received a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Anthropology & Sociology from the University of the Fraser Valley in 2001, a Bachelor of Education from Thompson Rivers University in 2004, a post-graduate diploma in British Imperial History from Sheffield Hallam University in 2006 and my Masters of Arts in Educational Studies from Athabasca University in 2012. I have been teaching for the past decade primarily to Aboriginal children, youth and adults through various projects and educational programs.

I am running for a member at large position with the BC Métis Federation to further the advancement of the BCMF movement. What I bring to the table is my passion for establishing cultural connections. When I learned about my Métis heritage, as an educator I recognized that we need educational reforms that include the acknowledgement of Métis heritage in the school system and culturally relevant material available for Métis children and youth. If given the chance to become a member at large, I would like to continue to assist families in working to make Métis cultural connections.

In an effort to assist children in care to make connections with their Métis heritage, I compiled a resource called “Proud to be….Métis!,” a 171 page booklet, celebrating traditional Métis values and culture to those involved in the child welfare system while working at the Métis Commission for Children and Families of BC in 2012-2013. I also put together a Métis cultural booklist for children and youth to help families locate culturally relevant reading materials for their children.

Both of these resources are now widely used by social workers throughout B.C. I have a passion for our Métis culture. To ground myself firmly in our heritage, I have learned many skills from the elders including beading, moccasin and glove making, sewing, medicine picking and cooking. I look forward to bringing my can-do attitude and devotion furthering Métis rights to the board.

Donna Lynn Geary – Member at Large (Candidate)

gearyI was born and raised in the gold mining town of Red Lake, Ontario northeast of Winnipeg, Mb.  My father, Wm Allen Geary, and my Métis mother, Francine Mathieson, built a fly in fishing and hunting camp in the late 50’s.  It was an incredible feat! Working there over many years taught me the value of hard work.  It also taught me the value of team work.  We were at a fly in lake with no access to town services. You needed to be incredibly resourceful to meet Life’s many challenges. We lived off the land and learned to harvest what Mother Earth gave us. When the lakes froze, Mom and Dad were back in town and we spent the winter together in ‘town’.  But our happiest times were always when we were all together on the lake living a simple and honest life.

My Dad believed in hard work, never mind too much education.  But I did get a college degree in Business Administration in 1980. And much ‘on the job’ education [Dad was right] as office manager, and eventually Operations Manager at Red Lake Airways, the commercial float plane operation which my Dad started to service his fly in business.  After my Dad’s passing, I became owner and continued to run the air service for many years.  I also ended up owning and operating a fly in fishing camp in Manitoba. The knowledge I gained was astounding.

In 2001, I made the big decision to move to Vancouver Island.  Initially I acquired a Real Estate Certificate through UBC and worked as a licensed realtor in C.R., then relocated to Victoria to work for as Jr Appraiser with BC Assessment.

Looking to be involved with the Métis community right away, I volunteered with the Local North Island Métis Association in Campbell River, also serving in various positions with the Regional Employment and Training Committee, and the Provincial MNBC Métis Women’s Secretariat.   My on the job education continued as I served as Executive Director at the Métis Commission for Children and Families for a short term in 2006. I gained a valuable understanding of Aboriginal Family & Children’s issues and legislation in BC.

In 2007 I joined Service Canada as a Payment Service Officer for the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the Common Experience Payment. This job was invaluable in the experience I gained working in a mainstream position to assist Aboriginal people across Canada. I learned how difficult it is to access Government services in remote and isolated communities. Listening to the Victim’s stories changed my life forever and further strengthened my commitment to advocate for Aboriginal peoples and women and families in particular.

I’ve been with the LPC Aboriginal People’s Commission since 2006 and thoroughly enjoy being able to influence mainstream government policy from an Aboriginal perspective. My current goal is to empower more Aboriginal people, and in particular women, to get involved in mainstream politics, to be a part of the change and exercise the right to vote. I stand for democracy, integrity, hard work, cultural diversity, honesty, justice and the equal treatment of all individuals. The Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women inquiry is an issue close to my heart. I consider myself an activist, particularly for Aboriginal families and for initiatives aimed at protecting Mother Earth.

I’ve been a supporter of BC Métis Federation since it started, and regardless of the outcome, I will continue to support this democratic honest organization, and the values it represents. It would be my pleasure to serve as Director at large for Vancouver Island.

JJ Lavallee – Member at Large (Candidate)


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

Ron Paradis – Member at Large (Candidate)

Ron-ParadisMy name is Ron Paradis. I was born in Vancouver, most of my childhood was either on Vancouver Island or the Lower Mainland. I had worked in the forest industry for 28 years before retiring. I was on the safety committee and 5th vice president of local 1357 (New Westminster). I am a foster parent and have been for over 10 years and work with children that have special needs. I recently become a contact person for Métis children and youth that are entering the adoption process. My hobbies include riding my Harley Davidson, fishing (if I ever catch one) and enjoy working with horses.

I am currently the President of the Vancouver Métis Citizens Society. I did one term as interim President and now elected President. We have an excellent board and moving forward for the better of the Métis people in a positive manner. I have enjoyed this position, and look forward to working with the Metis for years to come. I will give you nothing but, honesty, integrity, and you will find that I always speak from my heart for the better of our people for our culture. I searched for over 3 years to find “who I was and where I came from”, to have my fathers’ mother tell me I was Métis. Today, I am a very proud Métis man and look forward to working for our people with the BC Métis Federation if elected. Good luck to all candidates.

Joe Desjarlais – Secretary (Acclaimed)

joe-desjarlais-headshotMy 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 Métis 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 Métis people and communities to this end.

Patrick Pocha – Member at Large (Incumbent)

Patrick-PochaPatrick was born in Duck Lake Saskatchewan on January 10th, 1942. He was raised in Prince Albert Saskatchewan and attended School at St. Pauls, St. Marks & St. Mary’s High. He became involved with the Métis in Prince George and has volunteered for Métis causes since 1990. He has served on many boards in Prince George and continues to do so, including: The Urban Aboriginal Working Group (UAWG), the Prince George Urban Aboriginal Strategy (PGUAS), Prince George Métis Housing (PGMH) and has volunteered with St Vincent du Paul serving dinners since 1987 for the Homeless.

Patrick was a founding Member of the Prince George Aids Society in 1990 and had the privilege of working with the famed Sophie Thomas, when she was the healing advisor for the very sick. Sophie was a great inspiration helping others through their painful journey. The group also received the guidance and help of Mary Johns who would join in with smudges and prayer.

Patrick was a founding Member of the Prince George Métis Community Association from which he developed the badly needed After Hours Drop In Centre in 2008. This project was Patrick’s way of giving back through serving the Homeless and Street Involved People, a place where he too had once been. His tireless efforts resulted in the Center being funded by the UAWG & CPAH and the City of Prince George.

Patrick Pocha continues to demonstrate significant dedication to his community and the City of Prince George, including the “Hands across the Country” initiative that gathered clothing donations for the After Hours Drop-in Centre, and brought awareness nationally of the problem facing those society has forgotten. Patrick’s generous nature, huge heart and willingness to do whatever it takes was recognized when he was named as one of 50 finalists in the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s “Champions of Change”.

Patrick then went on to be nominated for and won “Volunteer of the Year” hosted by the City of Prince George in 2011. Most recently Patrick became one of the founding Members of the Northern Interior Métis Cultural Society in July of 2012.

Ken Fisher – Member at Large (Candidate)

Ken-FisherMétis 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.

Daryl Piper – Vice President (Incumbent)

Daryl-PiperI am a founding member of the British Columbia Métis Federation and am presently, the Vice President of the BC Métis Federation since the formation in 2011. Prior to this, I was the spokesperson for the Coalition of Concerned Métis Citizens since 2009.

I am a regular host on Métis Coffee Talk our livestream show and continue to contribute to Métis Matters radio show, I am also a director of the Vancouver Métis Citizens Society. I participate in cultural events such as Eurofest, Fusion Festival, Métis Jamboree Mccleese Lake, Skeena River Métis Cultural Society Music Festival and continue to participate in BCMF community functions.

I am currently working on behalf of BCMF with industry and government pursuing economic development in the best interest of our Métis people. I was engaged in Senate hearings in June 2012. I was involved in talks with Doug Eyford the Special Assistant to Prime Minister Stephen Harper dealing with West Coast Energy infrastructure. This meeting led to meetings with the National Energy Board.

I was instrumental in the implementation BC Métis Federation Business Registry. On behalf of BCMF, I am currently in discussions with Seaspan regarding Métis business procurement, job procurement and investment in our communities. I have met with TransCanada, Kinder Morgan and Enbridge for Métis consultation in job and business procurement and investment in Métis communities. I have also been involved in talks with Bryn Gray the Federal Government Policy Analyst.

Currently, I am working on joint ventures with industry and BCMF for Economic Development and our continued sustainability. I am familiar with the issues that face our Métis People and feel confident that I can develop partnerships with governments and industry to ensure growth for our organization and the Métis Communities.

Rene Therrien – Vice President (Candidate)

René Therrien IMG_1474 copyI 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.

Maxine Lavallee – Member at Large (Incumbent)

MaxineLavalleeMy name is Maxine McKay Lavallee and I currently reside in Langley, BC. I am a Métis citizen, who grew up in the small town of Chitek Lake, SK. I moved to the Lower Mainland in October of 1967.

Growing up, we were materially poor but wealthy beyond imagination – in family, culture, music, dance and history. My father had passionate “jigging feet” that were never still. On Saturday nights we listened to JJ Simons at the Old Red Barn on CKBI radio, out of Prince Albert. My niece and I were the evening’s dancing entertainment for our families – such fond memories.

I was fortunate to travel the world before I retired from Canadian Airlines (formerly Pacific Western Airlines), where I held various positions for 19 years. As a child, I watched planes pass overhead, never dreaming that one day I would be travelling those same skies. I have been a wife to Phillip Lavallee for 51 years; mother to Brian, Daryl and Allan; a Grandmother and a Great-Grandmother.

As an active Métis citizen, Waceya Métis Society member, Elder and one of the “Silver Tip Swingers,” I embrace my heritage. As a “Silver Tip Swinger” I have had the opportunity to dance and entertain at many venues, including the Fusion Festival in Surrey and Klahowya Village in Stanley Park. It is inspirational to enjoy and share our heritage.

Baillie Redfern – Member at Large (Candidate)

Headshot- Baillie RedfernTawnshi, 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.

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