Board of Directors
Kathryn Teneese, ChairChief Negotiator, Ktunaxa Nation
Kathryn Teneese is a citizen of the Ktunaxa Nation and has represented her community as chief negotiator in treaty talks for the Ktunaxa Nation since 1996. Ms. Teneese has held senior-level positions with the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association, Pacific Planning Symposium Secretariat, the Centre for Indian Training and Research, the First Nations Congress and the First Nations Summit.
Michael BonshorPrincipal, Visions First Nations Financial Services
Michael Bonshor, C.M.A., is a member of the Tsawataineuk First Nation of Kingcome Inlet, BC. As Principal owner of Visions First Nations Financial Services, he has been working with First Nations to develop their capacity in governance, financial management, economic development, and land and resource management in various capacities since 1998. Michael is currently the Chair of the Province of BC’s Native Economic Development Advisory Board (NEDAB).
George Saddleman (XweeTa?)
George Saddleman (XweeTa?) is a member of the Sylix Nation with ties to the St’ilmux (Lillooet), Nl’kap’mux (Thompson) and Shuswap Nations. He has served as elected Chief/Council member for more than 35 years. During that time, he served as Chairperson of the Nicola Valley Tribal Council and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. He has been appointed to numerous Aboriginal boards and committees, working on policy in areas such as employment, economic development, health, environment, governance, fisheries, social development, child/family, and Aboriginal Title and Rights. George has participated within the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, First Nations Summit, and the Assembly of First Nations. He is an advocate on the behalf of his people, particularly with respect to Aboriginal governance issues. George enjoys being a Master of Ceremonies and Rodeo Announcing from time to time. He can be described as a student of his peoples’ ancestral beliefs, values and instructions.
Terry KuzmaManager, Carrier Lumber Ltd.
Mr. Kuzma, RPF is the Woodlands Manager of Carrier Lumber Ltd. and Director of Carrier Forest Products Ltd. Working with Carrier group of companies, Mr. Kuzma has been involved with numerous First Nations forestry related ventures including partnering on land management issues and negotiations. Previously, Mr. Kuzma was the Director and Past President of West Chilcotin Forest Products Ltd., and a Director with Cheslatta Forest Products Ltd., Interex Forest Products Ltd., and Carrier Janvier Forest Products Ltd. Mr. Kuzma was a former board member and Vice Chair of the British Columbia Forestry Association, Northern Interior. A graduate of the University of Alberta, Mr. Kuzma has his Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry.
Judith Sayers (Kekinusuqs)
Dr. Judith Sayers is a member of the Hupacasath First Nation, where she served as Chief from 1995 until 2009. Judith is the Chair of Eagle Rock Materials, Co-Chair of the Island Corridor Foundation and the Public Advisory Panel of the Canadian Electricity Association. She sits on the Boards of Tourism BC, NRT, the Pacific Salmon Foundation and previously served for two years on the Political Executive of the First Nations Summit. Judith holds degrees in business and law and an Honourary Doctor of Laws from Queen’s University. She practiced law extensively in Alberta and BC, working to promote and protect First Nations rights and title. Judith has received the Bora Laskin Fellowship on Human Rights, the Alberni Chamber of Commerce Woman of Distinction award (twice), a Silver Canadian Environmental Award for Climate Change and been honoured by Atira Women’s Resource Society as an Inspirational Woman. She was a finalist for the Buffet Award for Indigenous Leadership. In February 2009, Judith was admitted to the Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. Judith is a proud mother of two.
Hugh Braker is a member of the Tseshaht First Nation, Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council (NTC). A lawyer, Hugh provides adjudication services and consulting to a variety of Aboriginal clients. Hugh’s interest in the justice system started when he was a child – at a time when Aboriginal people didn’t have the right to vote. He excelled in law school, moving directly into the thick of it as Director of Self-Government with the Assembly of First Nations. He was the first male Nuu Chah Nulth lawyer in the country and the first BC First Nations lawyer to be made a Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.). Hugh worked as staff lawyer for the NTC for almost 10 years litigating and negotiating fishing and hunting rights and Aboriginal child welfare. He opened his own practice in 1989 and has volunteered as president of the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC for 20 years.
Catherine Panter recently retired after a 25 year career in the BC public service, most recently as a Chief Negotiator for the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. In the past Catherine worked in the areas of community and regional development and in the field of education. Her future plans include a focus on involvment in areas of personal and professional interest such as community development and environmental sustainability. The appointment as a Director of the New Relationship Trust provides an opportunity to meet some of these interests by working with those who seek to increase capacity in First Nation communities. Catherine is also working with her husband, children and grandchildren to develop a small rural holding into a sustainable family venture.