Gwen is a citizen of the Ktunaxa Nation and has worked for the Ktunaxa Nation Council for the past thirty-seven years, holding a variety of senior management functions, at times overseeing departments of Education, Health, Corporate Services, Traditional Knowledge and Language and for the past two decades, functioning as the part of the team that is leading the Ktunaxa Nation back to self-government.
Gwen is currently championing the BC First Nations’ Data Governance Initiative (bcfndgi.com); a tripartite government initiative (federal, provincial and First Nations governments) with a key objective being that federal, provincial and First Nations governments, have timely access to quality data to plan, manage and account for investments and outcomes associated with First Nations well-being. As a member of the First Nations Health Council, Gwen is part of the team that negotiated the transfer of Health Canada’s BC Region First Nations and Inuit Health Branch to First Nations control, and she represents BC First Nations’ interests nationally in Data Governance, as a member of the First Nations Information Governance Centre Board.
Gwen is also assisting Indigenous Services Canada in the implementation of their Indigenous Community Development National Strategy; a co-developed approach to manage the shift from program-based funding and reporting relationships, to community-driven investments and reporting that is aligned with Community-driven, Nation-based development plans. Gwen is advising Governance Planning Pilots involving over 170 First Nation and Inuit communities from all across the country.
Gwen has extensive experience in relationship building and has developed and instructed First Nation Studies courses at the elementary, secondary and college levels and continues to function as a public educator. Her formal education is in Business Administration and she has operated her own small business, as a community planner, facilitator/trainer, artist and curriculum developer. Gwen’s most enjoyable pastime as of late is being at the river or elsewhere on the land, with her 12-year-old granddaughter and just spending time with her family.