Meet the Forum Leadership
The First Nations Forum leadership is comprised of a First Nations Co-Chair and Alternate Co-Chair who are selected by the members and work collaboratively with the Province’s co-chair and alternate chair.
Current Co- Chairs
Hunter Lampreau is a member of the Secwepemc nation, Simpcw on his father’s side and Neskonlith on his mother’s side. Hunter is currently going to Thompson Rivers University working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Geography & Environmental Studies and is set to graduate in Winter 2020. From his mother’s side, his kye7e or grandmother Mary Thomas Sr. gave him his traditional name of Peyecw7, meaning provider for his own. Growing up, Hunter spent time on the traditional territories of both sides of his family, and the ecologically diverse ancestral territory of these communities has given him the ability to connect to a vast landscape that has seen various impacts to wildlife & their habitat.
Connecting to these territories as an avid hunter, fisher, forager, and geology nerd has nurtured Hunter’s passion to conserve either untouched, or heavily impacted ancestral lands and their inhabitants and has led him to an interest in environmental policy. Hunter currently works as the Wildlife Strategic Coordinator for Qwelminte Secwepemc.
Alongside this, he has been participating in the BC-FN Wildlife Forum since its initiation. This combined exposure has helped Hunter to rapidly build experience while Walking on Two Legs to best respect and work with both the western world & Indigenous world in wildlife conservation work.
Rep’rep’sken (Morris Prosser) is Tsal’alhmec. He grew up half his life in Tsal’alh and the other half in Stό:lō Territory in the Fraser Valley. Dedicated to his Community and Nation, Morris serves as Secretary on the Board of Tsalalh Development Corporation, as Tsal’alh Trustee for the St’at’imc PC Trust, on a St’át’imc Nation business working group, and also served on the Board of St’at’imc Eco Resources. Morris’ experience is in Economic development, First Nations’ Title & Rights, and Policy. From a young age, it has been instilled in Morris to honour the words of his Ancestors in the 1911 Declaration of the Lillooet Tribe. Morris currently works for the for the Ministry of Water, Land, and Resource Stewardship as a Wildlife Policy Analyst, and is the Provincial co-chair for the First Nations – BC Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Forum. Morris’ career has revolved around the weaving of Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge and decision making systems.
Cailyn’s career as a senior wildlife biologist, resource manager, and liaison began with a Certificate in Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Environmental Management from the University of Toronto. She later got her Bachelor of General Studies with Arts and Science Designation from Athabasca University with an Honours Thesis in Environmental Science and continued studying by obtaining a Master’s in Environmental Practice from Royal Roads University in Victoria.
Currently Cailyn is working within the syilx Okanagan Territory as a Natural Resources Operations Biologist for the Okanagan Nation Alliance. She has been partnering with the Provincial and Federal government to develop projects and initiatives that support strategic approaches for implementation of UNDRIP and DRIPA as it relates to natural resource management in syilx Okanagan Territory. She also oversees the development and implementation of programs and projects, as well as the policies, and legislative or regulatory initiatives that have bearing on natural resource management. Her role also involves liaising with syilx Okanagan leadership on strategic natural resource management objectives.
Prior to her role with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, she worked as a Senior Ecologist & GIS Specialist with the Lands and Natural Resource Department of the Penticton Indian Band.
Kate Hewitt is the Natural Resources Manager at the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council (NSTC), representing the Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ), meaning ‘the Shuswap people of the north.’ Located in Williams Lake, Kate works in collaboration with the four affiliated NStQ First Nations; Tsq’escen’, Stswecem’c/Xgat’tem, Xats’ull/Cmetem’, T’exelc (Canim Lake Indian Band, Canoe/Dog Creek Indian Band, Soda Creek Indian Band and the Williams Lake First Nation), as part of the larger Shuswap Nation, to promote stronger participation in the management of natural resources within the Secwepemcul’ecw.
Kate was nominated for the 2020 B.C. Premier’s Award for Participation as Co-Chair of the First Nations – B.C. Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Forum. Originally from Ontario, Kate is an Environmental Technologist with a focus on wildlife management and ecological restoration.
Ron was the Chair of the Maa-nulth Wildlife Council from 2011 to 2021 and is currently the Natural Resources Advisor to the First Nations of the Maa-nulth Treaty Society. He is a member of the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che: k’tles7et’h First Nations (KCFNs) on the West Coast of Vancouver Island and a long-time advocate of supporting the priority of exercising Section 35 harvesting rights and eating traditional foods. Ron believes strongly that these rights come along with the responsibility to ‘take care’ of wildlife and wildlife habitat.
As Chair of the KCFNs Treaty implementation team Ron works collaboratively to develop, recommend and review KCFNs legislation. He advocates for a strong collaborative approach to moving forward, including the ‘roundtable’ approach to looking after wildlife, wildlife habitat and people.
It was a privilege for Ron, a practicing Professional Forester in the Province of B.C., to be selected to act as Co-Chair of the Wildlife Forum until early 2020. Ron enjoyed the opportunity and the challenges and proud of the accomplishments of the Forum while he was co-chair with Kate Hewitt.
Lisa Helmer (2020-2022)
Lisa Helmer leads the Collaborative Stewardship Framework for the Province of BC, and is a past Co-Chair of the First Nations- BC Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Forum. Lisa joined the BC Team in 2006 as Head of Biological and Evaluation Services with the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF). Her time at HCTF provided an opportunity to understand the complex nature of fish & wildlife management in BC. Lisa was Director of Strategic Initiatives with FLNRO Skeena Region 2016-2019, where she led the Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI). Lisa has been working in collaboration with Indigenous Communities since her first summer field job as a Fish & Wildlife Technician under Forest Renewal BC in 1995, conducting watershed assessments with Lil’Wat Nation.
Lisa ran her private consulting company out of Pemberton BC through the 2000’s, working with Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO), local/regional governments in the Sea to Sky Region, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the BC Wildlife Federation, the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, and the BC Conservation Corps in the Skeena. She continues to look for new and innovative ways to empower local people to be powerful stewards of local resources. She is a fifth-generation potato farmer from the Pemberton Valley, holds a BSc. (Fish & Wildlife Management) from UNBC, has two kids (Maggie 12, Angus 10) who love to roam the outdoors and play music, and a timber framing, windsurfing husband.
Haleigh is Dãkelh Dené and a member of Ulkatcho First Nations in Anahim Lake, BC but was born in Salmon Arm, BC and has been a humble guest in Secwepemcú’lecw most of her life. She is working towards her BSc in Natural Resource Conservation at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry and is looking to major in Science and Management to eventually earn her Registered Professional Biologist. Despite her education currently being centred around forest ecology, plant biology and silvics, Haleigh wants to learn about how other countries’ Indigenous peoples are working to conserve and manage their natural resources, specifically wildlife. This summer she will be participating in a global seminar in and around Kruger National Park titled Communities, Wildlife and Conservation in Post-Apartheid South Africa to do just that.
Haleigh has been working with the Forum since May 2022 as a wildlife intern with Qwelmínte Secwépemc participating in the Wildlife and Habitat Policy Working Group and more recently, aiding in some of the preliminary steps of developing the Regional Wildlife Advisory Committee in the Thompson region. The development of Regional Wildlife Advisory Committees (RWACs) is part of Action 2 of the Together for Wildlife strategy and aims to provide a space for a variety of perspectives to come together to improve wildlife stewardship.
My name is Gavin Newall. I am a civil engineering student with a passion for the environment. I was born and raised as a visitor on Syilx territory in Kelowna BC. I have metis heritage on my mothers side, and am currently enrolled in the Indigneous Youth Internship Program, working for the ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship. As part of the Together for Wildlife team I have been working with the Forum since September 2022.
I hope to one day become an environmental engineer and work on projects related to ecosystem restoration. I have a passion for all of the outdoor spaces that I have been so privileged to explore and want to try as hard as possible to protect them. When not working I can be found trekking barefoot into whatever wilderness has most recently caught my eye.