Salmon Symposium Speakers and Guests

Kukpi7 (Chief) OLIVER ARNOUSELittle Shuswap Lake Indian Band, Secwepemc Nation
Welcome to Secwepemcúlecw (Shuswap Nation) and Prayer.
DION ARNOUSELittle Shuswap Lake Indian Band
Dioin is the founding CEO of 2 Badgers Consulting Inc. and a successful First Nations business entrepreneur. Prior to creating 2 Badgers Consulting, he spent the majority of 22 years in the Federal government building proactive working relationship and implementing proactive community initiatives in First Nations Communities. Dion prides himself on having a broad range of experience in the field of First Nation’s/Industry relationship-building from the front-line to the corporate level.
DAWN MORRISONNeskonlith Indian Band, Secwepemc Nation
Dawn is of Secwepemc ancestry and is the Founder/Chair of the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. Since 1983 Dawn has worked and studied horticulture, ethno-botany, adult education, and restoration of natural systems in formal institutions as well as through her own personal healing and learning journey. Following the years she spent in adult education, Dawn has been dedicating her time and energy to land based healing and learning which led her to her life’s work of realizing herself more fully as a spiritually aligned leader in the Indigenous food sovereignty movement. Dawn has consistently organized and held the space over the last 11 years for decolonizing food systems discourse in community, regional and international networks and has become internationally recognized as a published author. Dawn’s work on the Decolonizing Research and Relationships appreciates and inquires into a critical consciousness that shines a light on the cross cultural interface where Indigenous Food Sovereignty meets the movement to a more sustainable land and food system as a whole.
KENTHEN THOMASNeskonlith Indian Band, Secwepemc Nation
As a First Nations performer, Kenthen captivates audiences with his fascinating retellings of legends of the Secwepemc, his family land for more than 10,000 years. This is where his late grandmother, respected and even legendary Secwepemc elder, the late Dr. Mary Thomas, taught him the traditional art of storytelling. Storytelling for the Shuswap people brought entertainment to the families during long winter nights. It was also a way to keep the history alive, tell important lessons, and share amusing anecdotes about all the creatures found on this land.
DR. BRIAN RIDDELLPresident & CEO, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Vancouver, BC. 1974 BSc. University of Guelph, 1979 PhD. Zoology, McGill University
Prior to joining the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Brian worked for 30 years in research and management positions in Science Branch, Department of Fisheries and Oceans; where he coauthored Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon (2005), and provided science advice to the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Since joining the Pacific Salmon Foundation (2009), he established the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project and the research network necessary to undertake this international project. Brian has dedicated this career to the conservation and management of Pacific salmon in Canada and the North Pacific.
DR. COURTNEY MASONAssociate Professor Canada Research Chair in Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities (SSHRC) Thompson Rivers University
Courtney Mason is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities at Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia. His work examines how Indigenous communities negotiate pressing health and education issues in the context of enduring colonial legacies. His collaborative research identifies the barriers to and facilitators of local subsistence practices and supports community-driven initiatives that enhance regional food security and tourism development while protecting local ecosystems.
DR. JOHN REYNOLDSProfessor and Tom Buell BC Leadership Chair, Simon Fraser University
Dr. John Reynolds is a professor at Simon Fraser University, where he studies ecology and conservation of wild salmon. He has held numerous scientific advisory roles, including the Cohen Commission on Fraser River sockeye salmon, the Skeena Independent Science Review, and the BC Pacific Salmon Forum. He has published 5 books and nearly 200 scientific papers on ecology and conservation. He has been awarded the medal of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles, the SFU President’s Medal for Science Communication, and the Vancouver Aquarium’s Newman Award for Excellence in Research.
Sunny LeBourdais is Pelltíq’t te Secwepemc Nation member and the Director of Operations for the Secwepemc Qwelminte group. She also serves as the Director of Governance for the Secwepemc Nation Building Initiative. Sunny holds an M.Sc from Simon Fraser University in river ecology examining impacts of fish introduction on rivers in SouthWestern BC and has managed and co-ordinated businesses and projects for the Okanagan, Ktunaxa and Secwepemc Nations in both the Columbia and Fraser river watersheds. She was the coordinator of the inaugural Columbia Salmon Festival and coordinated the SSN’s novel examination of impacts on fish and the water world regarding the proposed KGHM Ajax Project near Kamloops, BC.
UNINTERRUPTED would not have been made without the support of the Little Shuswap Indian Band on whose land we filmed a great deal of our production, and the continued advice and boots-on-the-ground expertise from the Adams River Salmon Society.  During the four years of filming, myself and my crew learned a lot about this magnificent river, its fish and its people.  UNINTERRUPTED premiered in 2017 on the Cambie Street bridge in Vancouver, playing five nights a week, for three months and to over 30,000 people.  During our last month of screenings we were acutely aware of the migration of salmon swimming in our waters, heading up the Fraser in their last push to return home to spawn in the Adams River.  This story of migration unites us all.  I look forward to sharing UNINTERRUPTED’s story and learning more….
HERB HAMMONDSilva Forest Foundation
Herb Hammond is a Registered Professional Forester and forest ecologist with 30 years of experience in research, industry, teaching and consulting. Together with his wife Susan, he founded the Silva Forest Foundation, a charitable society dedicated to research and education in ecosystem-based conservation planning. Herb has worked cooperatively with Indigenous Nations and rural communities to develop more than 20 ecosystem-based plans across Canada, and in Russia, the United States, and Indonesia.
MIKE SIMPSONFraser Basin Council
Mike Simpson facilitates multi-stakeholder initiatives addressing complex environmental and natural resource management issues involving all orders of government (local/municipal, provincial, Aboriginal, federal), the private sector and civil society. Experienced in dealing with various issues including forestry, interface fire, agriculture, mining, trails, recreation, watersheds, water quality, wildlife, Aboriginal title and rights, economic development, fisheries, invasive species, air quality, sustainable development, flood and debris flow. He also provides governance and strategic planning support to small organizations and collaborative initiatives.
CARMEN MASSEYThe Adams River Salmon Society
Carmen is currently a Masters of Science, Environmental Science candidate at Thompson Rivers University. She owns Reach Marketing, a tourism consulting business, and has worked extensively in the Shuswap region with various community partners and stakeholders. Carmen has a deep passion for salmon conservation and community sustainability.
DR. HANNAH WITTMANAssociate Professor Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability University of British Columbia
Dr. Hannah Wittman’s research examines the ways that the rights to produce and consume food are contested and transformed through struggles for agrarian reform, food sovereignty, and agrarian citizenship. Her projects include community-based research on farmland access, transition to organic agriculture, and seed sovereignty in British Columbia, agroecological transition and the role of institutional procurement in the transition to food sovereignty in Ecuador and Brazil, and the role that urban agriculture and farm-to-school nutrition initiatives play in food literacy education.
T'selcéwtqen Clleq'mel'ten
T'selcéwtqen Clleq'mel'tenChief Atahm School
In 1987, a small group of parents from the surrounding bands, Adams Lake Band, Neskonlith and Little Shuswap, worked together to start a Secwepemc immersion program for children from birth to five years old. This language nest was the first to start up in the province of B.C. and was inspired by the Maori Te Kohanga Reo initiative. The Secwepemc Ka Language Nest led to the development of Chief Atahm School in 1991.
“We have a vision of a Secwepemc-speaking community living in balance with nature”