Douglas S. White III, Q.C.
Douglas S. White III, Q.C.
Douglas S. White III, Q.C., is the chair of the BC First Nations Justice Council.
Douglas is a practicing lawyer and in addition to serving as First Nations Justice Council chair, he is co-chair of BC’s Provincial Advisory Committee for Indigenous and Specialized Courts and Related Initiatives.
His Coast Salish name is Kwulasultun, his Nuu-chah-nulth name is Tliishin and he is a member, former Chief, and current councillor and negotiator of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo, BC. After completing his B.A. in First Nations Studies (with distinction) from Malaspina University-College (now Vancouver Island University), he graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria and was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 2008. He has been granted distinguished alumni awards from both Vancouver Island University and the University of Victoria, has been a director of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada and an associate lawyer at Mandell Pinder.
Douglas was also elected to lead the First Nations Summit as a member of the FNS Task Group. In that role, he was also a member of the BC First Nations Leadership Council working on common issues with BC First Nations and advocated on their behalf with the governments of British Columbia, Canada and internationally at the United Nations. He is the former director of the Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation at Vancouver Island University and, today, along with his role as the BCFNJC chair, he also practices as a lawyer and negotiator across the country for First Nations governments.
Rosalie C.N. Yazzie, barrister and solicitor, Nesika Law
Rosalie Yazzie is Syilx from the Okanagan Indian Band with ancestral ties to the Secwepemc Nation. She is the vice-chair of the BC First Nations Justice Council and a 12-year member of the Bar Association. Rosalie holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University.
Ms. Yazzie owns and operates Nesika Law Corporation which specializes in Aboriginal law, title and rights and Nation rebuilding. She is a passionate champion for Nation building approaches based in traditional governance values, customs and First Nations legal traditions. Her firm supports First Nations clients to achieve their governance and institutional development goals through sound policy, strategic engagement and communication.
Ms. Yazzie applies a unique lens to her practice, earned through decades of professional experience in First Nations political advocacy, human rights and social development issues including – child welfare, health and education.
Ms. Yazzie currently serves general counsel to the Chiefs Executive Council of the Syilx Okanagan Nation and is a member of the Law Society of B.C.’s Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee.
Annita McPhee is Tahltan with ancestral ties to the Tlingit Nation. She is the former three-term president of the Tahltan Central Council (TCC) and holds a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria. Annita recently obtained a diploma in Human Rights and International Advocacy Skills with the United Nations Indigenous Women’s Global Leadership School in New York at Columbia University.
A passionate advocate for her Nation, Annita was instrumental in negotiating more than $2 billion worth of agreements on behalf of the Tahltan Nation for BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line and AltaGas’ run of river projects
Annita has been an active advisor and director on several provincial and national boards including the Legal Services Society, Vancouver Board of Trade’s Aboriginal Affairs Committee, BC Hydro’s Strategic Aboriginal Engagement Committee and the Minister of Aboriginal Relations Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women.
Today, Annita is the owner of Annita McPhee Strategies which provides facilitation, conference moderation, negotiations, communications and other professional services to First Nations, government and industry clients. She has developed and delivered curriculum on multiple topics including lateral violence in Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal engagement, business development, native youth and leadership training.
Boyd Peters, director, Sts’ailes’ Rights and Title Department
Boyd (“Xoyet thet”) was born and raised in Sts’ailes and has been elected to Council for more than 20 years. He is responsible for looking after Sts’ailes’ Xa’xa Temexw—an expression that conveys the spiritual, physical, and cultural connections that the Sts’ailes people have with the land, water, and resources in their territory.
After Boyd carried out the 1998 community consultation for the Elbow Lake Aboriginal-focused facility in partnership with Correctional Service Canada (CSC), he was hired as the transition coordinator, became executive assistant to the Chief in 2002 and is now the Aboriginal Rights & Title director. Boyd has also been an active member of the Kwìkwèxwelhp Citizens Advisory Committee and was appointed chairperson in 2006.
Boyd is quoted in the document Kwìkwèxwelhp and Sts’ailes, A Historical Journey in Healing Aboriginal Offenders that “a common understanding of our people is that our strength is derived from our culture and spirituality. We are a prosperous First Nation that has developed many innovative made-in-Sts’ailes programs and services and are glad to provide these culturally appropriate services for the Kwikw’te’alex (Elbow Lake Brothers). We recognize that our brothers are vastly over-represented in the prison system and believe that our people have the capacity to help offenders in their healing path. We are open to sharing our cultural and traditional forms of healing for the reintegration of offenders into their home communities. The safety and well-being of all our communities benefit. It is a mutually-beneficial relationship that has gained national and international recognition.”
Kory, BSc., LL.B, is Musgamagw Tsawataineuk and Laich-Kwil-Tach. Both nations are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. She is a mom and a member of the We Wai Kai Nation. She is currently the Executive Director of Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships at BCIT.
Kory is a member of the BC Law Society and she practiced criminal defense and family law. She has 20 years experience in post-secondary education. She has taught a wide variety of courses at various post-secondary institutions and they range from law, racism, Aboriginal and Canadian studies, community development and good governance.
Her passion and research focuses on and is inspired by ensuring success for Aboriginal learners and other multi-barrier learners. She has a deep commitment to education, both within the institutions and in the community, and she has dedicated her working life to ensuring that Aboriginal learners and other marginalized learners succeed.
Kory has been, and is, an active member on several boards including the Genome BC, Downie Wenjack Fund, Heart & Stroke Foundation, Laurier Institute, Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific, Museum of Vancouver, National Indigenous Education Committee of CICan, New Relationship Trust Education Foundation, Living Oceans Society, and Eagles of Tomorrow.