Indigenous Advisory Committee

The BC Museums Association is proud to receive guidance and support from the BCMA Indigenous Advisory Committee.

Indigenous Culture & Heritage Tools & Resources

Established in 2017, the BCMA’s Indigenous Advisory Committee exists to acknowledge injustices between museums and Indigenous communities and to actively work together to build stronger relationships and partnerships and to decolonize museological practices.

The BCMA Indigenous Advisory Committee is comprised of leaders from BC’s First Nations and from museums that have shown excellence and innovation in working with Indigenous communities. The Committee meets quarterly.

The Indigenous Advisory Committee is a stand-alone committee with a role to champion the Rod Naknakim Declaration. The Committee also provides guidance and insight BCMA Council and staff. Of particular importance is the Committee’s role in identifying and building relationships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders to facilitate reconciliation opportunities.

Indigenous Advisory Committee Members:

Jordan Coble (c̓ris)

Councillor, Westbank First Nation 

Indigenous Advisory Committee Chair

istm̓tímaʔ tuwi Katherine Louie iʔ skʷists naʔł inkikʷaʔ tuwi Paul Coble. intatúpaʔ tuwi lala (Martina San Pierre) naʔł tuwi Gaston Louie tl̓ n̓kmplqs. naʔł isʕawsəs tuwi um̓tiw̓s, tuwi n̓kʷalaʔ, naʔł tuwi pl̓kmúlaʔxʷ.

Jordan is married to Chelsea Coble and is the proud father of Keyara, Hadley and Nyelle. He was one of the original attendees of what was then, the Westbank Indian Band school, now Sensisyusten, attended high school at MBSS and earned is degree from UBCO. Jordan also graduated from the 4 year adult immersion language program at the Syilx Language House while continuing to help grow the Sncewips Heritage Museum into the influential centre it has come to be recognized as today.

As Jordan believes in the power of collaboration and the spirit of working together, he sits on various boards including the BCMA, ICHAC, UBCO IEAB, and he can also remember what most of these acronyms stand for. 

Chepximiya Siyam’ Chief Janice George

Artist, Cultural Consultant, and Hereditary Chief of the Squamish Nation.

Chepximiya Siyam’ Chief Janice George graduated from Capilano University, North Vancouver BC, and the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM, USA. She feels her education at these schools helped her excel as a teacher, adding to her most important traditional teachings. She is a hereditary chief, trained museum curator and educator. George also co-organized the 1st Canada Northwest Coast Weavers Gathering, with other Squamish Nation Weavers.

George and her husband Skwetsimeltxw Willard ‘Buddy’ Joseph are from prominent Squamish families and have numerous ceremonial and cultural responsibilities in their community. Joseph is the former director of the Squamish Housing and Capital Projects and currently consults on capital projects for First Nations communities.

Sdaahl Ḵ’awaas Lucy Bell

Repatriation Specialist

A member of the Haida Nation, Sdaahl Ḵ’awaas Lucy Bell is a founding member of the Haida Heritage and Repatriation Society, where she has been at the forefront of the Nation’s repatriation program. She began her career in 1995 at the Royal BC Museum as part of the Aboriginal Cultural Stewardship Program and has since developed, delivered and managed an array of pioneering initiatives aimed at increasing awareness of First Nations culture. Since 2005, Lucy has coordinated the return of more than five hundred Haida ancestors from museums throughout North America and the United Kingdom.

Jonathon Forbes

Partnerships Manager, Animikii

A proud member of the Tsimshian people, Jonathon has over a decade of experience in client services, web design, stakeholder communications, and graphic design. As a Partnerships Manager, Jonathon leverages his past experience with Indigenous communities to provide the best possible services and coordination with the Animikii team. He works on Lekwungen territory in Victoria, BC.

Jodi Simkin

Director, All Nations Paddles Up

Jodi began her work in the heritage sector through an undergraduate co-op placement at the Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park. Since then she has devoted her professional life to issues of social justice as both an archeologist and a museum professional. A graduate of Secwepemc Cultural Education Society/Simon Fraser University, Jodi is a lifelong believer in the transformative power of museums and is a committed champion of repatriation work. In addition to her role with the British Columbia Museums Association, she is a member of the Association on American Indian Affairs Repatriation Working Group, the former chair of the Campbell River Creative Industries Council, and a dedicated volunteer in her local community of Quadra Island. Jodi is a past presenter at the Federation of International Human Rights Museums, the Canadian National 2019 SICC ē-micimināyakik Gathering, the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian Chicago, and was an opening panelist for Indigenous Perspectives on Repatriation, at Voicing Contested Histories: Creating Opportunities to Foster Diversity, Inclusion and Reconciliation. Jodi recently authored a reflection paper on the cooperative approaches to repatriation of ancestral remains and related material culture for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Ray Harris

Member of the Chemainus First Nation

Ray Harris is a member of the Chemanius First Nation on Vancouver Island. He has a broad range of cultural, political and on the ground experience in First Nations issues. He previously served for 15 years as the elected chief of the Chemainus First Nation which provided him a breadth of experience in finding solutions to issues effecting his community.

Joshua Seymour

Councillor, Lheidli t’enneh 

Joshua Seymour was born and raised in Lheidli t’enneh. As the father of a son, Joshua wants to leave a legacy of understanding Lheidli t’enneh’s history, as well remove many of the barriers he has faced learning of his people for future generations. Joshua’s goal in life is to ensure lheidli has her rightful spot in history. Joshua goal is to make Lheidli t’enneh’s culture is accessible and understood by all who reside within the Lheidli t’enneh territory.

Drew Blaney

Cultural Activities and Information Manager, Tla’amin Nation

Bio coming soon

Samaya Jardey

Director, Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓iyálh Language & Cultural Affairs, Squamish Nation

Bio coming soon

Sharon M. Fortney

Curator of Indigenous Collections and Engagement, Museum of Vancouver

Sharon Fortney has Klahoose ancestry from her mother, and German ancestry from her father. Growing up in Victoria, museums were a way for her to connect with cultural belongings and learn more about her Coast Salish heritage. Sharon’s grandmother was a survivor of the Kuper Island school, and this impacted knowledge transmission in their family. Sharon was beginning to learn about cedar root basketry when her grandmother passed away. Through her museum work, she has continued to learn from basket makers from other communities.


Sharon studied archaeology at the University of Calgary and has an MA and PhD in Anthropology from UBC. She has been working in museums since 1996, among them the Glenbow Museum, the UBC Museum of Anthropology and MOV – where she is currently the Curator of Indigenous Collections and Engagement and the chair of the Repatriation Committee.


Damara Jacobs-Petersen

Curator of Indigenous Programming, Museum of Anthropology

Bio coming soon

Jasmine Wilson

Assistant Archivist, Musqueam First Nation Archives and Research Department

Bio coming soon

Jasper Berehulke

Coordinator of Indigenous Programs and Community Engagement, Museum of Vancouver

Bio coming soon

Natalie Rollins

Public Programs Coordinator, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Bio coming soon