Board of Directors

Dr. Jim Morin

President and Chair

Dr. Jim Morin joined the Board in 2017 and was elected President and Chair on September 2018. He is Metis with Ojibway ancestry and has been involved with Indigenous education starting with the Institute of Indigenous Government in 1998 and later with Langara College. More recently with BCIT, he delivered the Aboriginal Minerals Training Program in communities across BC and Yukon and Indigenous-related courses at BCIT from 2005 to 2017.

Dr. Lisa Monchalin

Vice Chair

Dr. Lisa joined the Board in December 2015 and remains Vice Chair since September 2018. She is Algonquin, Métis, Huron, and Scottish descent. Proud of her Indigenous heritage, and driven by personal and family experiences, she is determined to reduce the amount of crime that affects Indigenous peoples through education. Lisa is the author of “The Colonial Problem: An Indigenous Perspective on Crime and Injustice in Canada”. She teaches in the Department of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2004 and her Master’s degree in 2006, both in Criminology. In 2012, she graduated with her Doctorate in Criminology from the University of Ottawa.

Carlos Calao

Treasurer

Carlos is an instructor and past Chair of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). He spent over 20 years in various management roles with two large Canadian Financial Institutions, where he delivered financial results while adhering to high corporate social responsibility standards. At KPU, he loves inspiring others to embrace the notion of life-long learning; not as a “flavour of the month”, but rather as a means of conducting one’s life in a way that adds value to themselves, clients, and companies.

Gary George

Secretary

Gary hails from the Bulkley Valley in the Telkwa/Smithers/Houston/Burns Lake region of North-central British Columbia. He holds a BA degree from University of Northern BC (UNBC) in Prince George, Professional Development Program Certificate (POP) and Master’s in Education (Med) from Simon Fraser University. Gary believes that he was raised in one of the “nicest places in the world”, and often tells people in the Lower Mainland that “if you haven’t seen Northern BC, you haven’t seen BC.”

Dr. Julia Murphy

Director

Dr. Julia is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey. Before that she was at the University of Calgary. She has worked in Maya communities in Mexico over the last 30 years and written about women’s issues and community development challenges.

Pat Nisbet

Director

Pat joined the Board in 2018. She is Metis and grew up in Leoville, Saskatchewan. Early on she was quite active socially ranging from music to church activities and running a Coffee House downtown. She is on the Vancouver Metis Board and for the last two decades has volunteered with “Out of the Cold” food program in the Downtown East Side. Other groups include the Metro Vancouver Alliance and the Vancouver Civic Theatres.

Dr. Helene Irving

Director

Dr. Helene is retired from her career as a Director with the Public Service Commission of Canada, during which she has visited and worked in many northern Indigenous communities in Canada. She celebrates her Huron ancestry by learning and studying Indigenous languages. Currently, she is a Doctoral candidate doing research within the Leadership in Indigenous Languages Revitalization in the Education Program at SFU.

Michael Hwang

Director

Michael Hwang brings wide-ranging experience in leadership positions and boards that are focused on community development and intercultural understanding

Michael was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to Canada in 1972.  Michael worked as a youth care worker at SHARE Family & Community Services Society and Vancouver General Hospital Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment Unit.  He went on to complete his law degree from UBC in 1989 and was called to the B.C. Bar in 1990.  After articling with one of the “Big Four” law firms in BC and practicing with a prominent business law firm in downtown Vancouver, Michael opened his own firm in order to provide more accessible and affordable legal services and education to the public. During his 30 years of law practice, Michael served on many community development boards and businesses including serving as the chairperson of a local credit union and the CEO of a performing arts theatre.

In most of his endeavours, Michael promotes reconciliation with the indigenous people of Canada as the most important and urgent issue facing Canada.  He became a motorcyclist and organized Salmon Run motorcycle rallies for 3 years, featuring indigenous artists like Mike Dangeli (who created its logo) and Murray Porter.  He took over the management of Columbia theatre in downtown New Westminster, which he believes to be the ground zero of colonialism in BC, and re-named the main hall to be the Qayqayt Stage with the consent and blessing of Chief Rhonda Larabee.

He used the stage to acknowledge the traditional and unceded rights of the indigenous people, and to promote understanding of Canada’s historical and legal relationship with indigenous people. When Michael was appointed to chair the Small Business Task Force by the BC Government in 2018, he requested that regional town hall meetings be held at First Nations facilities whenever possible and invited indigenous business owners and leaders to share their unique challenges which resulted in a separate chapter of recommendations to the Government of BC.

Michael currently serves as a member of the BC Small Business Roundtable, as a director of the New Vista Society in Burnaby and was invited to join The Spirit of Children Society Board in 2020.”