Our Support Team
Chief John Powell
Mamalilikulla First Nation
Chief John Smith
Chief William Glendale
Da'naxda'xw Awaetlala First Nation
Councillor Tony Roberts
Wei Wai Kum First Nation
Chief Ronnie Chickite
We Wai Kai Nation
Chief Ken Price
K'ómoks First Nation
Merv, a member of the Dzawad a'enuxw First Nation, has been working with the Nanwakolas member First Nations in various capacities since 1996, and has served as the Nanwakolas Council Executive Director since February 2007.
Merv is a 1994 graduate of the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria and was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1995.
Susan began working with Nanwakolas member nations with KDC Health in 1996. She has been with Nanwakolas since March 2008. Susan has an Associate Degree in Commerce, a Business Management Diploma and is a Certified Accounting Technician. She has been a resident of Campbell River for the past 24 years
Marine Planning Coordinator
John Bones (MSc, McMaster University) has more than 30 years experience in land and coastal management, planning and environmental assessment with the public and private sectors in British Columbia and Alberta.
He has directed BC government programs on coastal planning and policy, environmental emergencies, and land administration, and coordinated strategic planning programs in BC's North and Vancouver Island coast. He negotiated the MOU between Canada and BC on Ocean Strategy Implementation, designed BC's original coastal planning program, and has been intimately involved in strategic plans prepared for Vancouver Island, the Central Coast and the Haida Gwaii Land Use Agreement. John was an Assistant Deputy Minister, Integrated Land Management Bureau from 2006 to 2008 before leaving government to start his own consulting service. He has extensive experience in meeting facilitation, report writing, and reaching agreement on complex land and resource issues.
Marine Planner/GIS Analyst
Barb brings over 20 years of experience working in natural resource fields for both private and public sectors. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Earth and Ocean Sciences from UVic and an advanced diploma in GIS from BCIT.
After her time as an exploration geologist in Canada's High Arctic, she worked for over 15 years as a Geographic Information Systems Analyst in various industries. Barb joined the Nanwakolas team after two years with the Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast as Technical Planner for the NVI Sub-region. Her work with Nanwakolas involves engagement with provincial and federal governments on marine planning initiatives and GIS and data management.
Scott has been working with the Nanwakolas member First Nations since 1996 beginning with the Kwakiutl District Council where he worked briefly on the Vancouver Island CORE planning process and then onto the Central Coast Land and Coastal Resource Management Planning process.
He moved to Nova Scotia for four years and completed a Master's degree in Recreation Management from Acadia University in 2005. His thesis was on the Role of Ecotourism in Aboriginal Community Development and he worked with a Mi'kmaq community in Prince Edward Island in this regard. Scott returned to North Vancouver Island to work with the Nanwakolas member First Nations in 2005. Scott's work with Nanwakolas has involved land use planning, conservancy management plans, ecosystem-based management, detailed strategic plans and, presently, developing marine use plans for each of the member First Nations.
Regional Forestry Advisor
Jordan has worked for over 20 years in various aspects of forestry, including as a researcher, manager, and woodlot operator. Through these diverse experiences, Jordan obtained the unique combination of a PhD in resource management from Simon Fraser University, certification as a faller with the BC Forest Safety Council, and accreditation as a Forester in Training with the ABCFP. As a forestry and research advisor with the Nanwakolas Council since 2016, Jordan supports projects that bring together both technical and strategic dimensions. This work typically involves helping the member Nations better understand the status and trends of important forest resources in their territories and using this information to develop management approaches that align with the interests and perspectives of their communities. Jordan grew up and lives on Quadra Island with his wife and two children.
In addition to his work with the Nanwakolas Council, Jordan is pursuing a PhD through Simon Fraser University that focuses on spatial planning and landscape ecology. Jordan grew up on Quadra Island and currently lives there with his wife and two children.
Heidi Kalmakoff is the Training Coordinator with the Land & Marine Resource Management team working with member First Nations, Guardians, and Nanwakolas staff to understand the land and marine resource initiatives to help inform the implementation of the Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network Guardian training plan.
Heidi holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from UBC and is a Registered Professional Forester. Before joining Nanwakolas in 2019 she worked for more than 20 years in the coastal forest industry and is a knowledgeable forestry engineer, resource management planner, and environmental auditor. She was intimately involved in the collaborative negotiations finalizing the Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) commitments resulting in the Great Bear Rainforest Land Use Order and implementation policies. She volunteered 8 years with the Campbell River Search and Rescue as a searcher, team leader, and trainer, and has lived in Campbell River since 1997.
Johnny was born in Campbell River and is a member of the We Wai Kai First Nation. He received a Fisheries Resource Technicians Diploma from Malispina College and holds many other diplomas in GIS.
Johnny started his resource-based career working in fisheries sector in 1997 and then as a GIS AnalystWildlife Resource Planner for a First Nations treaty organization in 1999. Johnny joined Nanwakolas in 2007.
Diana is a GIS analyst working to support the member nations with their diverse range of projects. She has over 25 years experience working in the resource sector before joining Nanwakolas in 2018. Diana received an advanced diploma in GIS/Cartography from the College of Geographic Sciences in Nova Scotia before switching to the west coast. She has lived in a few communities along the east coast of Vancouver Island, now calling Campbell River home.
Referrals Office Manager
Art was born in Campbell River and is a member of the We Wai Kai First Nation. He received a Natural Resource Technology Diploma and Forestry Certificate from Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in 2003.
Art began his resource-based career in 1998 working as a Forest Engineer in the coastal forest industry and then as a Forestry Coordinator for a First Nation treaty organization in 2003. Art joined Nanwakolas in 2007 as Referrals Officer, later becoming the Referrals Office Manager in 2008.
Referrals Office Assistant
Katie was born and raised on Haida Gwaii and is a member of the Haida Nation. She moved to Campbell River in 2011 to further pursue her education.
Katie subsequently graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Criminology. Katie joined Nanwakolas in 2016 as an Administrative Assistant, later becoming the Referrals Office Assistant in 2017.
Casey is a member of the We Wai Kai First Nation.
His Maternal grandfather was Hereditary Chief Way Key- Bill Dick Sr. Before Joining Nanwakolas in 20201, he worked in Fisheries with Atlegay (which also represents 4 of the Nations involved with Nanwakolas), as a reception/data entry clerk. In his spare time he enjoys coaching and watching baseball. His family holds and annual baseball tournament for his late grandfather Bill to raise funds for cancer.
Ashley was born in Campbell River and is a member of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation.
Ashley joined Nanwakolas in 2022 as a Referrals Officer. Ashley lived on the lower mainland for 8 years, during that time she furthered her college education and work experience. Ashley is delighted to be living back in her community. Ashley displays passion in the work she does at Nanwakolas, and she is motivated to be a part of building greater opportunity for our future generations.
Rick is a member of the K'ómoks First Nation. His grandparents were Margaret Frank (Wilson) from T'sakis (Fort Rupert) and Chief Andy Frank from K'ómoks.
Rick brings a well-rounded blend of education and experience to Nanwakolas. His educational background involves both land & resource management and GIS training. Rick has eight years experience in First Nations politics and nine years working for a First Nation treaty organization. Rick has been working Nanwakolas since 2008.
Erica Roberts is a member of the We Wai Kai Nation and has strong family connections to the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, her grandparents were Ethel (Wilson) and James Dawson. She is a proud mother of two children, Fisher and Arie, and wife to loving supporting husband, Chief Chris Roberts.
Erica's work background is from the tourism and hospitality industry where she worked in an administrative front of house capacity and foodservice management roles. When not at work Erica enjoys travelling, the outdoors and spending time with family. Erica is excited to be a part of the team at Nanwakolas and having the opportunity to work for and support multiple First Nation administrations.