Indigenous Advisory and Advocacy Committee (IAAC)

Karen Aird

Karen is a member of Saulteau First Nations in Treaty 8 Territory of BC and is currently the Heritage Manager for First Peoples Cultural Council (FPCC) in BC and a founder/President of the national Indigenous Heritage Circle (the Circle). Karen has worked as an archaeologist then in cultural heritage management for the past 23 years on many projects that convey a strong sense of place in Indigenous landscapes, encompassing the stories, legal traditions and the intangible and tangible elements into Indigenous heritage. Some of the projects that Karen has worked on include acting an expert witness for Indigenous Nations during the Site C Dam environmental assessment; project coordinator for the Secwepemc cultural heritage study; project lead for the Tse’K’wa National historic site; co-author of the FPCC Policy Paper on Recognizing and Including Indigenous Cultural Heritage and a Living Heritage paper with UNESCO Canada and FPCC; assisting with the coordination of three national engagements on Indigenous heritage with Parks Canada; leading a project to decolonize heritage and implement UNDRIP with the Heritage Branch of BC and FPCC; and much more.

Jisgana, Nika Collison

Jisgang comes from the Haida Nation and is the director of the Haida Heritage Centre. She is a founding member of the Haida Repatriation Society, bringing home more than 500 Haida ancestral remains and belongings. She is co-editor of That Which Makes Us H aida and co-author of Raven Travelling. She is a curator, museum collaborator and Haida scholar. She is also a traditional singer and drummer. Nika is a Royal BC Museum board member and has been an IAAC member since 2017.


Andy Everson

Andy Everson is from the K’ómoks and Kwakwaka’wakw Nations. Influenced heavily by his grandmother, he has always been driven to uphold the traditions of his ancestors. A member of dance groups since he was a teenager, Andy is active in both performancebased and traditional ceremonial work. Interest in his culture has also led Andy to complete a master’s degree in anthropology. His thesis focused on notions and expressions of contemporary K’ómoks identity. For over twenty years, Andy has worked as a professional Northwest Coast artist. His artwork can be found on clothing and limited edition prints through his partner Erin’s retail presence, Totem Design House. Andy joined IAAC in 2020.

Dianne Hinkley

Dianne Hinkley is the land research director for the Cowichan Tribes. She is knowledgeable and passionate about protecting Indigenous archaeological sites and ancestral remains, and about the various laws affecting Indigenous sites. She spoke about this at the Royal BC Museum repatriation symposium in 2017. A University of Victoria alumna, she has partnered with the UVic Anthropology department to create a digital archive of the Ye’yumuts site and give students practical experience in the heritage field. The Royal BC Museum archaeology team enjoys collaborating with Dianne and her team. Dianne joined IAAC in 2020.

Chief Ron Ignace

Chief Ron Ignace is from the Secwépemc Nation. He has been the elected chief for more than 26 years. With a PhD in anthropology from Simon Fraser University, he has been an SFU advisor and adjunct professor. His knowledge and advocacy of Indigenous languages has influenced his leadership with the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs’ Committee on Aboriginal Languages and as the chair of the Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures. He co-wrote the best seller Secwépemc People, Land and Laws. He has been a member of IAAC since 2017.

Tewannee Joseph

Tewanee Joseph is from the Squamish and Māori Nations. He is the CEO of Tewanee Group, focused on delivering meaningful partnerships, communications strategies and planning. He has First Nations government, communications and land management experience. He was a part of the 2010 Four Host First Nations Secretariat for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. He is also the president of the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business and has been a Royal BC Museum board member. He has been an IAAC member since 2017.

Chief Ron Sam

Chief Ron Sam belongs to the Songhees Nation. He is the elected chief of the Songhees Nation and is committed to protecting and exerting Songhees jurisdiction and rights, working together with the City of Victoria, the Township of Esquimalt, the Royal BC Museum and many others. He is a member of Indigenous Tourism BC and is leading the development of the Songhees Centre in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. He has been a member of IAAC since 2017.

Barbara Todd Hager

Barbara Todd Hager is from the Métis Nation of Red River, Fort Pitt and St. Paul des Métis Settlements. She is a writer, producer and director. Barb is the author of Honour Song and On Her Way: The Life and Music of Shania Twain. In 1999, she launched Aarrow Productions, which has grown into one of Canada’s leading Indigenous-owned media companies. She has produced, written and directed more than 150 TV episodes and documentaries, including 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus. Barbara worked at the Royal BC Museum for five years as the Indigenous liaison and has helped repatriate more than 200 ancestral remains. Barbara joined IAAC in 2020.

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