What We Do

The Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative promotes community self-sufficiency and sustainable economic development on BC’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii.

Our communities are working together to build a strong, conservation-based economy that recognizes our Title and Rights, and protects our culture and ecosystems.

We support:

  • planning for marine and land resources in the Great Bear region
  • increased local control and management of forestry and fisheries
  • sustainable development through ecosystem-based management
  • capacity building in our communities
  • partnerships with government, industry, environmental groups and others

Governance

The Great Bear Initiative Society operates under the direction of a Board of Directors that approves an annual strategic plan for the organization. It has one representative from each of the nine member Nations.

The GBI Board of Directors meets at least three times a year to review progress and provide direction on activities. The Executive Committee meets regularly to review administrative issues and monitor project work.

The Vancouver office has a core staff of seven people who support the Board with:

  • strategic project planning support
  • communications
  • assistance in developing economic strategies
  • support for community capacity-building
  • financial management

Board of Directors:

Jason Alsop – President, Council of the Haida Nation

Arnold Clifton – Chief, Gitga’at 

Marilyn Slett – Chief Councillor, Heiltsuk Tribal Council

Roxanne Robinson – Chief Councillor, Kitasoo Band Council

Harold Leighton – Chief Councillor, Metlakatla Governing Council 

Wally Webber – Chief Councillor, Nuxalk Nation

Donald (Duffy) Edgars Chief Councillor, Old Massett Village Council 

Billy YovanovichChief Councillor, Skidegate Band Council 

Frank Johnson – Wuikinuxv Nation

Marilyn Slett
Marilyn Slett
Chief Councillor, Heiltsuk Tribal Council
President, Coastal First Nations

Executive Committee:

Marilyn SlettPresident

Trevor RussVice-President

Bruce ReeceSecretary

Jessie HoustyTreasurer

Staff

Paul Kariya - Senior Policy Advisor

coastalfirstnations.ca@pkariya

Gary Wilson - Planning & Special Projects Coordinator 

coastalfirstnations.ca@gwilson

Bessie Brown - Communications Manager

coastalfirstnations.ca@bbrown

Johanna Helbig - Projects Administrator

coastalfirstnations.ca@jhelbig

Crystal Dixon - Office Manager

coastalfirstnations.ca@officeadmin

David Oxley - Admin/IT Officer

coastalfirstnations.ca@doxley

Project Managers

Steve DiggonMarine Planning Coordinator
coastalfirstnations.ca@sdiggon

Judy Carlick-PearsonProject Manager, Great Bear Rainforest Essential Oil LP
judycarlick@gmail.com