Elder’s Program Engagement Project
Reimagining Our Future Together

Building our Elder’s Program for our Elders by our Elders

Throughout 2022, the Squamish Nation Elder’s Program with support from Ts’ixwts’ixwnítway (Member Services), will be actively connecting with Squamish Nation Elders, youth, and community – living within and outside of the community – to hear what you want for the future of your Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh síiyuxwa7 (Squamish Nation Elders) Program. Based on your input we will create a meaningful and inclusive Elder’s Program, for present and future generations, that is rooted in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh values and culture.

Contact the Project Planning Team 

Email: eldersproject@squamish.net 

Phone: 604-987-4646 

Why is the project needed? The existing Elder’s Program (in both the Squamish Valley and North Vancouver) has been identified as a priority area for improvement.​ Elders do not feel connected to their Elder’s Program for a number of reasons. The project will address these concerns by designing an Elder’s Program that is inclusive, well structured, safe, and grounded in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh values, culture and language.

Who is leading it? The project was initiated by the Elder’s Program and Ts’ixwts’ixwnítway (Member Services), with close support from Yúustway (Health & Wellness). Several other departments are also providing assistance.

Xwi7ski! (Let’s Go!): Elders Project Action Team (EPAT) guides and leads the project. It includes seven Elders, three Youth, and one Cultural Advisor. ​The Project Planning Team of Nation staff and consulting support provide project coordination, planning & research design, and technical support. The Steering Committee provides oversight and includes Directors and Managers from sponsoring and supporting departments. ​

Who is funding it? Yúustway (Health & Wellness) is generously supporting this project with funding from the First Nations Health Authority. Additional funding is provided by the First Nations Public Services Secretariat.

Get Involved

The Project Planning Team will be at the following events to present information about the project, answer questions, and ask for your ideas. Please join us!

Feedback can also be provided via in-person or online small focus group of Elders and/or Youth. If you prefer to provide feedback in a one-on-one conversation, this can be arranged as well. An honourarium will be offered. Please call 604-987-4646 or email eldersproject@squamish.net to sign up for any of these options.  

Ideas from Elders and the wider community on how to improve the Squamish Nation Elder’s Program for this and future generations can be submitted any time online via IdeaShare.

November 9, 2022
November 5, 2022
November 2, 2022
September 22, 2022
September 20, 2022
September 11, 2022
August 10, 2022
Friday, July 29, 2022
Wednesday​, July 27, 2022
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Sunday, June 26, 2022
Saturday, June 4, 2022
Elders Luncheon
10:00 am – 2:00 pm​
Totem Hall Elder's Lounge
Department Open House
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm​
Cowichan Community Centre, Duncan
More details
Elders Luncheon
10:00 am – 2:00 pm​
North Vancouver Elder's Centre
Department Open House
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm​
Totem Hall
More details
Department Open House
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm​
Chief Joe Mathias Centre
More details
Tem chay ilhen Salmon Run Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm​
Chief Joe Mathias Centre parking lot
"We Walk Together" Elder’s Project Ceremony and Engagement
11:00 am – 3:00 pm​
Totem Hall
"We Walk Together" Elder’s Project Ceremony and Engagement
11:00 am – 3:00 pm​
Chief Joe Mathias Centre​
Elder's Lunch
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Totem Hall
Amalgamation Day
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Xwmélch’tstn Field
More details
Elder's Lunch
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
North Vancouver Elder's Centre
Tem kw’skw’as Summertime Festival
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Chief Joe Mathias Centre parking lot
More details
Tem Ḵw’ey̓ús Community Fair
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Totem Hall
More details

October 2022 

Thank you to those who provided input in our second round of surveys. Everyone who completed the Youth or Elder survey was entered into the prize draw. The winners, as announced in this video, are Theresa Baker, Samantha Bathurst, Cherokee Feather Bent, Linda George, Vanessa Gay Baker, Lyle Reginald, Dubs, and Paul A. McBeth.

July 2022

Project Newsletter #1

February 2022

Thank you to those who completed our first survey. A summary of your valuable responses can be found here. The winners of the prize draw, as announced in this video, are Frank Nahanee, Lawrence McKenney, Denise Bob, Caroline Joseph, and Percy Guerrero.

Meet the Team

Below you will find the names and bios of the three teams guiding the important work of this project: Xwi7ski! (Let’s Go!): Elders Project Action Team (EPAT), the Project Planning Team, and the Steering Committee. Click on a name to view that person’s photo. 

The Project Planning Team can be reached at eldersproject@squamish.net or 604-987-4646.

The Xwi7ski! (Let’s Go!): Elders Project Action Team (EPAT) guides and leads the project. It includes seven Elders, three Youth, and one Cultural Advisor. ​

Gladys "Flo" Williams, Sulseelsamat - Elder Representative

Flo was born and raised in Nanaimo and is currently living on the Capilano Reserve.

Mary Jane Natrall, Lats-mat - Elder Representative

Mary Jane was born, and lives in, the Squamish Valley.

Byron Joseph, Tselkwilem - Elder Representative

Byron was raised in Eslhá7an (Ustlawn), he spent time on the Capilano Reserve, and later moved to Burrard on səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation lands.

Donna Billy, Sisolia - Elder Representative

Donna was born in Skajit Valley in the United States and was raised in Stawamus.

Wendy Lockhart Lundberg - Elder Representative

Wendy was raised in the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Aggie Andrews, Sesaxwalia - Cultural Advisor

Aggie was raised in the upper Squamish Valley Village of Kowtain.

Kevin Rivers, Tl'akwasiKan - Junior Elder Representative

Kevin grew up in North Vancouver near Mission, and currently lives on the Capilano Reserve.

Barry Cordocedo - Elder Representative

Barry lives on the Capilano Reserve.

MJ Jacobs, Ketaxtenaat - Youth Representative

MJ grew up, and currently lives on the Capilano Reserve.

Mason Gamley - Youth Representative

Mason grew up on the Capilano Reserve and is currently living there today.

Dominique Nahanee, Tsawaysia - Youth Representative

Dominique grew up on the Seymore Reserve for a short time before moving to Sta7mus.

The Project Planning Team of Nation staff and consulting support provide project coordination, planning & research design, and technical support.

Ruby Carrico - Manager of Planning, Ta na wa Shéway I7x̱w ta Úxwumixw (Planning & Capital Projects)

Ruby Carrico was born and raised on the unceded and shared territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Nations in what is now known as Vancouver. She comes to her role as Planner with Ta na wa Shéway I7x̱w ta Úxwumixw (Planning & Capital Projects) from the non-profit sector where she worked in housing, facilitation, and community engagement. She has a B.Sc. in Natural Resources Conservation and a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning with a specialization in Indigenous Community Planning, both obtained from UBC. Ruby has been with the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw since February 2022 is excited and honoured to be working on the Squamish Nation Generational Plan and other planning projects.

Mackenzie Gomez - Project Coordinator, Elder's Program Engagement Project

Mackenzie is of Musqueam (Sparrow Family) and Squamish decent (Nahanee Family) with Italian and Hawaiian ancestry. Her professional experiences include Finance, Administration and Risk Management, more recently transitioning into Yúustway’s Community Health & Wellness Department as the Elder’s Program Engagement Project Coordinator. Mackenzie assists our wonderful team with project planning and coordination, organizing programs, projects and activities to ensure quality service delivery.

Justine Jordan - Project Assistant, Elder's Program Engagement Project

Justine is the former Elders Program Coordinator for the Squamish Valley Elders. She worked with the elders for over 5 years and was honoured to receive the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh nickname Cheshá7talut, which means ‘one who is motherly’. She lives up to that name as she is dedicated to advocating for, worrying about, and supporting the Elders in a caring manner. She is grateful for the valuable opportunity to spend her time learning and witnessing the knowledge, skills, and experiences of the Squamish Valley Elders.

Justine went to McMaster University to study her passion of Gerontology and has worked in various multi-level care facilities for older adults in recreation services. She lived on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw ancestral lands for 10 years. Currently, she is living back home where she grew up in Southwestern Ontario on Treaty 29 territory of the Anishinaabe people. She is fortunate to be able to still be a part of the Elders Engagement Project from afar.

Kate Kittredge - Project Manager, Elder's Program Engagement Project

Kate grew up in a rural community on southern Vancouver Island as a settler on the traditional territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples and is now gratefully living and working in the unceded ancestral territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, xʷməθkwəy̓əm, and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ/Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Kate is a mother to a busy little boy and loves being active in nature with him, her husband, family, and friends.

Since January 2018 Kate has been working with Squamish Nation’s Yúustway (Health & Wellness) department in administration and project management. She specializes in Indigenous community planning, health administration, and project management. She has worked for over 15 years with First Nations, regional governments, health authorities, non-profits, and community groups in the areas of health administration and planning, comprehensive community planning, mental health and substance use research, organizational development, and food sovereignty/food security. Further afield, Kate has worked in education, planning and community-based research in India, Nepal, and the UK. Her educational background is in Indigenous community planning, anthropology, and project management. Kate considers it a real honour to work with the Squamish Nation and is thrilled to support the Elder’s Program Engagement Project.

Lucie Neliba - Team Leader, Elder's Centre (North/West Vancouver)

Lucie Neliba has been the Elder’s Centre Team Leader in North/West Vancouver for over 2 years. She has a background in Health Sciences, Gerontology and Project Management. Working closely with Justine Jordan, she endeavors to make the Elder’s Program more inclusive and equitable for all Elders, regardless of their location. After much feedback from Elders, they have launched this project and connected with a team of skilled professionals to help put Elder’s feedback into action. Lucie says, “following a year of planning, I am proud the Elder’s Program Engagement Project is launching as this is just the start of good things to come.” Lucie works alongside Sandra Jacobs (Elder’s Coordinator) and Evangeline Nahanee (Elder’s Receptionist) at the Elder’s Centre under Member Services. Together, they support all Elders, on- and off-reserve, outside of Squamish Valley.

Shawn Thwaites – Team Leader, Elder's Program (Squamish Valley)

Shawn Thwaites is new to the Squamish Valley team. She started in August as the Elder’s Team Leader and is learning from the Elders each day. She considers it a great honour to be part of this team and is very excited on what the future holds.

Shawn is originally from Saskatchewan. Her younger years were spent working as an adventure guide in both New Zealand and Australia; this is where she met her husband and convinced him to follow her back to Canada. She has a background working in recreation with young adults and seniors in care facilities and this has always been her passion.

Jeff Cook and Paula Hay - Technical Leads, Beringia Community Planning Inc.

Jeff Cook is the Principal of Beringia Community Planning Inc. Jeff is a planning facilitator, consultation and engagement specialist, and educator with over 25 years of award-winning community-based planning and development experience working with Indigenous communities across Canada.

Paula Hay was born and raised on Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh territory. She has been a Community Planner at Beringia since 2017. She supports a variety of community-led planning, training, and engagement processes with Indigenous communities, including Land Use Planning, Health Planning, and Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP).

Jeff and Paula bring diverse skills and planning experience to our community. They will be working alongside SN's Project Team and staff to provide technical leadership, research and process support. This includes maintaining regular contact with the Project Team and providing input on the community engagement design, data and results analysis, and communications. They will also provide program and tool development as well as report writing support.

Jeff and Paula look forward to connecting with Elders and community members and presenting to staff and/ or Squamish Nation Council when needed. Our Planning Team is excited to have their support as our community decides their vision for the Elder's Program.

Thank you to past members of the Project Planning Team.

Lesley Campbell - Manager of Planning, Ta na wa Shéway I7x̱w ta Úxwumixw (Planning & Capital Projects)

We appreciate all your support and planning experience you contributed for the Elders Engagement Project and the linkages you made to help honour and respect the Elders' knowledge for the ‘Our Úxwumixw 2050: Sḵwx̱wú7mesh’s Generational Plan’ (formerly the Comprehensive Community Plan or CCP).

The Steering Committee provides oversight and includes Directors and Managers from sponsoring and supporting departments. ​

Christine Baker, TlatlaKwot - General Manager, Ayás Mén̓men (Child & Family Services), Ta na wa Ch’awát ta Sx̱wéx̱wel (Squamish Valley Operations)

Christine (TlatlaKwot) is a Member of Squamish Nation (Baker family) and has K’wakwaka’wakw blood through Cook/Coon/Bee Families. Christine has worked for the Squamish Nation for over 30-35 years, from receptionist, to Housing Administrator, to Project Coordinator, to Employment Manager and now as Squamish Valley Manager, with Yúustway (Health & Wellness) / Ayás Mén̓men (Child & Family Services).

Christine (TlatlaKwot) has been actively involved with her community, from Parent Advisory to Football/Lacrosse manager/driver for her children to Community Involvement as a Squamish Trustee to Squamish Election Commission Member and presently involved with Hiyam Housing Society, Squamish Housing Committee and a Squamish Public Library Trustee, which keeps her busy and involved. As Manager at this position, she has been helping her community with Ayas Lam Family Program to Community Events with our elders and she is grateful to be involved in the Elder’s Program Engagement Project to hear and see what the ‘new’ Elder’s Programming would look like, with all input from our elders.

Glenda Gibbon - Director, Yúustway (Health & Wellness)

Glenda is originally from the Wet’suwet’en Nation, born in Burns Lake, B.C. She is a descendant of the Brown family. Her mother is Elizabeth Brown and her late father is Glen Kerr. She has worked in Indigenous Health for 16 years working in several Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island as well as working in remote communities in coastal B.C. Glenda has also worked in various roles for InterTribal Health and the University of Victoria and holds a degree in First Nations Studies and an Executive MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership.

Glenda is passionate about supporting Indigenous communities in their health and wellness journeys and has been honoured to serve as Director of Health & Wellness for Squamish Nation since January 2020. Glenda is proud to support the Elder’s Program Engagement Project, and is grateful to live, learn, work, and play on the traditional unceded territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation.

Josie Harry, Kw’x’aliya - Manager, Administrative Services, Ta na wa Ch’awát ta Sx̱wéx̱wel (Squamish Valley Operations)

Tiná chen tl’a Kowtain uxwemixw – I come from Kowtain village. Josie’s husband/high school sweetheart is from Swan River First Nations and they have two adult children (son 26 & daughter 18). Her parents are James and Linda Harry. She enjoys spending time with her family, walking her puppy “Georgia”, and crafting projects. Kw’x’aliya has been working for the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw for the past 12 years. Her role is Manager of Administrative Services & the Elder's Program in the Squamish Valley. Her numerous teams are Totem Hall Administrative staff, Membership Services Officer, Finance, and the SV Elders Team.

Samaya Jardey - Director, Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh (Language & Cultural Affairs)

Photo and bio coming soon.

Jordan Ann Joseph, Sxwelhchaliya - Associate Director, Ts’ixwts’ixwnítway (Member Services)

Jordan Ann is a Squamish Nation Member and the daughter of the Late Julie (nee: Newman) and Jerry Baker, and her Grandparents are the late Harry and Florence Newman and Joe and Ann Baker. Jordan Ann with her husband Lance Joseph Jr. have a son, Owen Joseph.

Having started with the Squamish Nation in 2010, Jordan Ann has excelled at managing a variety of administrative functions with a high standard and keen eye for organizational workflow, information management, and coordination of services and initiatives. Her connection to community and family have brought an empathetic perspective to the decisions and creative thinking required to be successful in ensuring continued positive impact for the Squamish Nation. Her education background is based in Business Leadership and Administration and is currently working on her Executive Masters of Business Administration with SFU. Jordan is enthusiastic to support the work of the project.

Bob Sokol - Director, Ta na wa Shéway I7x̱w ta Úxwumixw (Planning & Capital Projects)

Bob Sokol is a planner with 30 years of experience working with communities to achieve their desired futures. His work with the Squamish Nation is focused on engaging with Squamish Nation Members to chart a course for a sustainable and vibrant future for the Nation encompassing land use, culture, language, health, housing and the environment. Bob was appointed as Director of Planning & Capital Projects for Squamish Nation in January 2020. Bob will provide planning guidance to the Elder's Project and will support linkages with other planning work such as SN’s Generational Plan.

Thank you to past members of the Steering Committee.

Monica Jacobs – Former Director, Ts’ixwts’ixwnítway (Member Services)

We appreciate all your support and knowledge you contributed for the Elders Engagement Project. Your advocacy for this project, guidance, cultural expertise and knowledge of the Elder's program was invaluable in getting this project off the ground and running. We raise our hands up to you.