STAFF

 

 
 

Vanessa West
Chief of Staff

Victoria Austin
Executive Assistant

 
 

Maureen Buchan
Senior Policy Advisor

Bio

An Anishinaabe from Bearskin Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario, Maureen has over 15 years of experience working for First Nations Political Organizations. She has a Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance from the University of Victoria as well as an Advanced Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from the University of Manitoba. Maureen was formerly an Associate Faculty Member at the University of Victoria and has worked as a Policy Analyst and Specific Claims researcher for the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC). Other experience includes research work for various organizations including the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, and Musqueum Nation. As co-founder of Sparrow-Grant Consulting, Maureen has provided policy, political, and strategic advice for a number of BC First Nations. A proud mother of two, Maureen currently resides on Musqueam Territory.

Jaime Sanchez
Special Advisor to the Regional Chief

Bio

Jaime has spent over 10 years working with First Nations in BC focused on building capacity, policy and strategic advice, natural resource management and negotiations with the Crown and industry. Some of his accomplishments include establishing a centralized mapping office, providing certified aboriginal land use planning training, co-designed and delivered a First Nations Referrals Officer Program, as well as assisting with multi-million-dollar negotiations for energy projects and reconciliation agreements.

 

Jaime has also co-facilitated the creation of the BC First Nations Forestry Action Plan, and the BC First Nations Mineral Exploration and Mining Action Plan; more recently he has been working with First Nations in northern BC in negotiations related to reconciliation, and natural gas pipeline developments. He has worked for, among others, the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council, BC First Nations Technology Council, BC Aboriginal Mine and Training Association, Nadleh Whut’en First Nation and Musqueam Indian Band.  Jaime is a Registered Professional Planner (RPP), and Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP), having graduated from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in 2005 with a degree in Environmental Planning, with a focus on First Nations Community Planning.

 

As a first-generation Canadian living with his two sons in Snuneymuxw territory (Nanaimo), Jaime is passionate and dedicated to being part the reconciliation needed in Canada. His own family was displaced due to the military dictatorship in Chile in the 1970s, which has informed his drive and passion for seeking solutions to conflicts and restitution of historic wrongs.

 
 

Melanie Lyons
Finance Manager

Derek Hansom
Economic Development Policy Analyst

 
 

Annette Schroeter, MA
Communications Officer

Patricia Rojas
Regional Climate Change Coordinator

Bio

Patricia is the BCAFN’s Regional Climate Change Coordinator. She has worked for over 15 years with indigenous peoples focusing on the protection of collective rights, social and environmental justice, and self-determination.

Her experience providing technical and strategic support to indigenous communities includes: policy analysis and political advocacy related to mining, climate change and environmental issues; engagement with mining companies and governments; and, reform to Peru’s water protection and governance laws. Other experience includes measuring carbon footprints, teaching and curriculum development.

She received a Master’s Degree in Sustainability, with a speciality in Policy Analysis, from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain); and a Master’s Degree in Social Management from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, and a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Cajamarca.

Patricia is a first-generation Canadian from Peru, and her extensive work experience has been primarily in Latin America and Europe. She is passionate about climate and social justice for indigenous peoples and believes that these are intrinsically linked. She is excited to work for BC’s First Nations because she believes that indigenous peoples’ values, knowledge and systems of governance are essential to address climate change.

 
 

Samantha Seymour
Administrative Support Worker

Bio

Samantha Seymour has just started as the Administrative Support Worker at the BCAFN. She is a proud member of the Lheidli T’enneh Band and recently finished a position as a Community Engagement Intern for the Lheidli T’enneh Treaty team. Samantha attended school at Kelly Road Secondary and graduated in 2015. Her goal is to acquire more knowledge in administrative duties and further develop a work ethic that will benefit herself and her community.

Sarah Froese
Policy Analyst

Bio

Coming Soon