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Our Staff & Board
March 9, 2010 - 3:59pm Jaimesanchez
* Shuswap Nation Tribal Council
Left to Right: Chief Roland Willson, Dave Porter, Chief Nelson Leon and Arnie Bellis
Dave Porter, Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Porter is a member of the Kaska Nation whose traditional territory covers a large part of north-eastern British Columbia and south-eastern Yukon. His career includes journalism, politics, communications and extensive public service on behalf of aboriginal organizations as well as public governments in the Yukon, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.
Mr. Porter spent the first seven years of his life on a trapline near Good Hope Lake, B.C. His education included Lower Post Indian Residential School, F.H. Collins Secondary School in Whitehorse, Confederation College in Thunder Bay and Pre-Law at the University of British Columbia.
Mr. Porter was founding Chairman of Northern Native Broadcasting, Yukon and was elected as Vice-Chair of the Council for Yukon Indians through two terms (1978-1982), holding several portfolios including Land Claims, Housing and Economic Development.
In 1982, Mr. Porter was elected to the Yukon Legislature and upon re-election in 1985 he served as Deputy Premier. He has also served as Minister of Renewable Resources, Tourism, Heritage and Culture, and Minister Responsible for Constitutional Devolution.
After leaving the Legislature, Mr. Porter was named Executive Director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission, then Deputy Minister of Culture and Communications for the Government of the Northwest Territories.
In the 1990’s Mr. Porter served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs for the British Columbia government. He later led the Fur Industry European Lobby on behalf of the Governments of Canada and the United States.
Mr. Porter was also the first Oil and Gas Commissioner in British Columbia, where he strived to build an open environment that would bring various interests in the province to a common table.
In 2002, Mr. Porter was elected Chair of the Kaska Dena Council, with a special commitment to preserve Kaska culture and create greater opportunity for Kaska youth.
Mr. Porter was elected to the three member political executive of the First Nations Summit, the Summit Task Group, in June 2004. The Task Group is authorized by the Summit to carry out specifically mandated tasks on issues related to treaty negotiations in British Columbia. The First Nations Summit, which is comprised of a majority of First Nations and Tribal Councils in BC, provides a forum for First Nations in British Columbia to address issues related to Treaty negotiations as well as other issues of common concern.
Board of Directors
The Executive members of the First Nations Energy and Mining Council (FNEMC) is appointed by the Executive of the BC Regional Office of the Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Summit and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.
The current Board of Directors include:
Arnie Bellis is a member of the Strastas (Eagle) Clan and is the former two-term elected Haida Vice President. The following are a few of his notable accomplishments:
Political involvement in: the Haida Reconciliation Agreement with British Columbia 2009; Past Chairman – Haida Power Authority; Numerous fisheries issues; Haida land use planning processes.
Mr Bellis is also a volunteer basketball coach for the Haida First Nation, and is on the Board for a legal aid society.
Chief Roland Willson
Roland Willson is the Chief of the West Moberly Lake First Nations located in North-Eastern BC, in the heart of the economic boom of BC. For the past 10 years he has been engaged at every level of negotiations from the protection of Federal Treaty Rights under Treaty # 8 to Impact Benefit Agreements for his community which consists of 3 other Nations of North East BC, Prophet River First Nation and the Doig River First Nations all are Beaver Nations, (Dunne-za). Prior to becoming Chief, Roland owned and operated a midsized logging/forestry business for 13 years in and around the Prince George and district area, graduating from High school he and his brother started up GC Willson and Sons Contracting. In his role as Chief over the last10 years he currently sits on many boards around the Province including the Northeast Native Advancing Society- NENAS, Northeast Aboriginal Economic Development Centre - NABC, A short stint on the Regional Native Economic Development Advisory Board - NADAB. As well as several committees, BC FN Specific Claims Committee - BCFNSCC, BC FN Gaming Revenue-Sharing Steering committee- BCFNGRSC, Northeast Energy and Mining Advisory Committee- NEEMAC and has just recently accepted a position represent the BC AFN on the BC FN Energy Council and most recently sits as a Co-Chair on the Northeast Regional Managers Committee. In the Treaty-8 Territory of BC the First Nations are face with massive resource development challenges from Forestry, Oil and Gas, Mining, large scale hydro electric facilities, pipelines, Wind-farms, while struggling to keep the balance between development, economic and business opportunities, the protection of the Treaty rights and self preservation.
Chief Nelson Leon
Chief Nelson Leon was first elected as Chief for the Adams Lake Indian Band in March of 2006. He is responsible for the Natural Resources, Justice and Aboriginal Human Resources Development Agreement (AHRDA) portfolios. He is also involved in economic development, forestry, fisheries, water and general band management working towards creating both economic and employment opportunities for community members. Chief Leon participates in various negotiations for the Band in the areas of Education, Municipal Service and block funding agreements. He is a strong advocate for aboriginal business and governance development.
Currently Chief Leon serves on the following committees on behalf of the Adams Lake community:
* Shuswap Nation Tribal Council
* First Nations Energy and Mining Council
* Secwepemc Fisheries Commission
* BC Assembly of First Nations Board of Directors
* Interior Tribes Fisheries Treaty
* All Nation Trust
* Adams Lake Economic Development Corporation