Joan Brett is a member of Nak’azdli Whut’en who is an Indigenous Patient Navigator for British Columbia Emergency Health Services in Northern British Columbia. Joan acknowledges the traditional Dakelh territory of the Lheidli T’enneh where she works, lives and plays. Joan has earned an undergraduate degree in History and a graduate degree in Education. As a Program Coordinator for the past 25 years Joan has worked directly with Indigenous communities throughout Northern British Columbia whether it is through education, health or the BC court system. Joan is the first generation in her family who did not attend a residential school or day school or Indian hospital. Joan is honoured to share knowledge and willing to improve situations.
Dan Ferguson is an Environmental Health Officer with the First Nations Health Authority. Environmental Health addresses all the physical, chemical and biological factors external to a person, and all related factors impacting behaviors. Dan holds a Certificate in Public Health Inspection (Canada) and a Certificate in Emergency Management. He has 34 years’ experience in Environmental Public Health and 24 years’ experience dealing with environmental emergencies. Dan developed an Emergency Management program for an Environmental Public Health program of a Regional Health Authority and also has experience supporting hospitals and long term care facilities with emergency planning and training. Dan is married and has three adult children. In his free time he enjoys curling, golfing and soaking up the warm Kamloops sun.
Kellyann Meloche is a Mohawk from the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory located just south of Montreal. She began her career in Emergency Management with the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake in 1993. The same year she also began her volunteer service with the Canadian Red Cross in the Emergency Services division. After joining the Kahnawake Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service, she also became a FireFighter and Emergency Medical Technician, Hazardous Materials Technician, Confined Space Technician, and High Angle Rescue team member. After serving 18 years with the fire service she decided to start a Search and Rescue Team which now has 16 members. Kellyann spent a year working for Amerind Risks in Albuquerque, NM providing risk and emergency management services to Tribes throughout 11 central and western states in the US. Now in Kahnawake, she continues to work for her community, with the Cree Nation and strives to assist any brother or sister community requesting help. In April of 2018, she received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada.
Anthony Moore comes from the Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw, located in the Northwest Coast of BC. He graduated from the Emergency Management Certificate Program in 2016. Anthony has been employed by Nisga’a Lisims Government since 2013 and is currently the Emergency Response Services Manager. There he provides direction of emergency management and business continuity, as well as providing strategic guidance and continuity in corporate knowledge to ensure legal compliance of the Emergency Program Act, and Health and Safety Legislation for the Nisga’a Nation. He also manages a 20-person Nisga’a Wildland Fire Unit crew, contracted with BC Wildfire Service from 2019. Anthony spearheaded training and development of the Nisga’a Nation joining a new initiative from the Canadian Coast Guard known as “Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary” in April 2020. This is a First Nations led program for seven coastal nations along BC’s coast.
Anthony also serves on the Board of Directors in various capacities locally, provincially and nationally, they are as follows:
- President for First Nations Emergency Services Society (FNESS) since 2018 to present
- Vice President for Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada (AFAC) since 2019 to present
- Secretary Treasurer for Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary since 2020 to present
- Vice-Chair of Nisga’a Valley Health Authority from 2018 to 2020
- BC Association of Emergency Managers since 2017 to 2020
- BC Tripartite Emergency Management Working Group since 2018 to present
- Vice President of Gitwinksihlkw Volunteer Firefighters society since 2014 to present
- Band Master for Gitwinksihlkw Salvation Army Mission Board since 2016 to present
- Director for Majagaleehl Nisga’a Concert Band – Board of Directors since 2013 to present
- Director for Gitwinksihlkw Four Crest Dancers since 2016 – present
He has been a part of the Gitwinksihlkw Fire Department since 1998 as the current Captain for the Department and has received training from the Justice Institute of BC in Exterior Attack Operations and Vehicle Extrication. Furthermore, Anthony is a Licensed Emergency Medical Responder and is the lead Medic for the Nisga’a Emergency Medical Transport that services the Nisga’a Villages of Gitwinksihlkw and Gitlaxt’aamiks.
Working diligently with other members of his department, they have worked to develop a strong junior firefighter training program since 2013 and an annual summer Future Hero’s boot camp since 2014, instilling the traditions and mindset of a firefighter into the youth of Nisga’a Nation and its four communities. As well as serving in his fire department, Anthony also serves in many other non-profit organizations in areas of Cultural dancing as the Director for the Gitwinksihlkw Four Crest Dancers and the Principal Cornet Player for Gitwinksihlkw Salvation Army Brass Band and Majagaleehl Nisga’a Concert Band. He also is the Bandmaster for the Gitwinksihlkw Salvation Army Junior Brass Band and Faculty Director at the Salvation Army’s Camp Mountainview Performing Arts Summer Camp since 2014 to the present.
Casey Neathway is the Interior Regional Manager of Environmental Public Health Services for FNHA. A certified public health inspector, Casey has held leadership roles in environmental health, Community Care Licensing, and First Nations community programming, and is the President-Elect of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors. Casey is passionate about working as a partner with First Nations communities to identify and mitigate environmental health concerns, and to improve health outcomes for indigenous populations, across all four pillars of emergency management.
Jason Wigton grew up in southern Alberta and moved to Northern Alberta in 1992. Jason comes with 20 years of Fire Rescue experience starting his role in the fire service in 2001 and over 10 years experience in disaster management as a Director of Emergency Management. Jason has recently taken on the new position of Director, Technical & Emergency Services for the Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council which serves the member Nations of Whitefish Lake First Nation, Woodland Cree First Nation, Lubicon Lake Band, Peerless Trout First Nation and Loon River First Nation. His new role allows him to support the 5-member Nations in Emergency Management and First Response and is a first for Tribal Councils in the region. Jason has been involved in some of the major disasters that have affected Northern Alberta since 2010, including: The Slave Lake fires – where he led the evacuation of Loon River First Nation and supported the evacuation of the Red Earth Creek community and the MacMillan Complex fire where his role placed him as Incident Commander for the Trout Lake site and led the two evacuations of the Trout Lake community. Jason has a passion for his role in serving the communities and brings an extensive knowledge of rural Northern Alberta disaster situations and has learned the best practices for serving in an emergency situation through hands-on experience.
Derek Yang is currently the Director of Community Services and Chief Officer, Public Safety Department for Tla’amin Nation. Derek has over a decade’s experience in law enforcement and public safety, both as a frontline officer and senior manager. Derek has worked with Nations in British Columbia and the Yukon, assisting them in developing their own law enforcement and community safety initiatives. With a Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies from Royal Roads University, Derek left the federal public service to pursue opportunities within Indigenous governments. Derek is currently completing his Master of Arts in Justice Studies from Royal Roads University, focusing on Indigenous Community Safety and Law Enforcement. Recently, Derek appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs as the representative for Tla’amin Nation and gave evidence to the struggles law enforcement initiatives experienced in Indigenous communities. In addition to his work at Tla’amin Nation, Derek is also a sessional faculty at the Justice Institute of British Columbia and the Native Education College.