Wayne is a proud Ojibway from Wikwemikong in Ontario. A single father of two sons and one daughter, Wayne has dedicated his life and activities to the social and cultural development of youth. He is also a strong advocate of First Nation language as a tool for cultural memory and learning.
His current passions, which are shared with his children, include the Y We Dream Foundation and the Indian Joe and DahBroz brands. Dahbroz was recognized as Emerging Entrepreneurs at the World Indigenous Business Forum in Hawaii. Wayne has over 30 years experience as a successful entrepreneur and in senior management. He has spoken at many conferences and events on business development, entrepreneurship and community development.
Wayne has been involved in a variety of activities in the private sector. He was co-owner of a manufacturing plant which produced a line of sportswear and skiwear under the David S Reid brand, co-owner of the Manitoulin Trading Post; a full-service PetroCanada gas bar and convenience store, Two Rivers Technologies; a software development company, Two Rivers Computers, Indian Joe Design; a multi-media and animation company, and The Muskoka Group business incubation and franchise development group.
Wayne also successfully assisted four First Nation communities in the development of computer assembly businesses. He is also a former Band Economic Development Officer; National Facilitator Aboriginal Employment Services Network, where he was responsible for the first national online electronic job and resume bank.
Wayne has also served his community through volunteer work. This includes three terms as president of the Longlac Chamber of Commerce, coaching and mentoring with hockey and lacrosse associations in Ontario and British Columbia, instructor for a number of hockey programs for youth, and committee member to the Software Human Resource Council.
Nicole Johnny is the Office Manager for the Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly, she is from Merritt and her husband and five children are part of Lytton First Nation. Nicole brings administrative experience in Office Management, Human Resources, and Accounting. She assists in the development and implementation of organization policies and procedures; supports and oversees the administration of HR policies; programs and practices within the organization; she maintains accounts payable, receivables, monthly billing, payroll and quarterly financial reporting.
Nicole’s dedication to community development and engagement helps create positive change and impact within the eight CNA communities and related organizations. She especially enjoys engaging in high level team collaboration, demonstrating task reliability, communicating constructively and motivating and supporting team direction.
Her goal is to provide an innovative approach in engaging and expanding overall program development and direction. NicoIe cherishes the nłeʔképmx territory, and strives to create a strong and successful environment for her children and their children’s children.
Marcy is a member of the nłeʔkepmx community from the Lower Nicola Indian Band. Her parents are Lee McLeod (Aspen Grove) and the Late Phyllis Edwards (LNIB). Besides her Mom, Marcy recognizes her strongest influencers and role models in her life to be both of her Great Grandmothers, the Late Elizabeth Edwards (LNIB), and the Late Delores McLeod (Aspen Grove).
In 2007, Marcy started working for her community (LNIB) where she gained experience in both the Administration Department as well as the Finance Department, she worked for LNIB for 14 years. Marcy has recently re-joined the team at CNA as the Finance Clerk and is very grateful to have the opportunity to work with the team once again.
Marcy is also currently working on obtaining her Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager’s designation through AFOA Canada.
Apart from staying busy at work Marcy enjoys several hobbies which include reading, wire-wrapping crystals, crocheting, learning tarot, and creating junk journals, she is always looking for new and fun things to learn when it comes to being creative with art and crafts.
As the Finance Clerk, Marcy aims to expand on her knowledge and skills set while providing friendly and courteous services to the eight participating CNA Bands and the community in general.
Marcy looks forward to being a part of the CNA community again and getting to know her fellow co-workers and community members from the eight participating Bands.
húm̓eł cúkʷ kʷukʷscémxʷ
Community Engagement & Communication Lead
Robin is a member of the Nłeʔképmx Nation from the Lower Nicola Indian Band, she is a mother of two boys Carlos and Alexander. Her parents are Hyrum and Gail Peterson, and her great grandparents are John and Josephine Shuter.
Growing up in the community on a working ranch fostered a love of the land and culture. Throughout her youth she assisted her family on the farm tending to cattle through feeding, branding, herding, and auctioning as well as field irrigation. She also assisted her Grandmother with tanning hides.
This strong work ethic taught by her family has served to create someone who believes in doing a job well done from the onset. Over the past 16 years Robin has held many positions that have continued to expand her knowledge and skills. A big focus within the last five years specifically have been centered around communication. Robin helped streamline communication within the LNIB in order to achieve a higher level of awareness and connection to all the services the Band has to offer. Working for Teck HVC as an intern has helped form a more comprehensive understanding of impact within our territory.
Robin’s goals serving in the capacity of the Communications Coordinator is to streamline the circulation of prevalent and crucial information to keep our interested communities up to date. Robin appreciates community input in streamlining this process and welcomes any and all feedback.
Learn more about Communications &Strategic Engagement
Winddancer has just started her new chapter as our communications assistant. She brings her creativity and social media expertise to assist with expanding our reach. We are excited to see all she will accomplish, congrats Winddancer!
Winddancer is Nłeʔképmx, and a Coldwater Indian Band member. Her father Daniel is Nłeʔképmx, also a CWIB member. Her Mother Kimberley is Blackfoot and part of the Kainai Nation.
She graduated from Merritt Secondary School, from there she continued her education at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology where she studied Business administration, and graduated with her Certification of Innovation and Technology.
Winddancer has a passion for culture, art, and the environment. She was raised on Coldwater Reserve, where she learned about her Nłeʔképmx culture, and spent some time in Alberta with her grandmother familiarizing herself with Blackfoot culture. Winddancer grew up surrounded by artists, which greatly influenced her passion for art. She is a skilled beadwork artist and spends a lot of her free time creating and exploring indigenous art.
Community Engagement Liason
Bree Woodward is a nłeʔképmx woman, born and raised in the Nicola Valley.
She is a member of Coldwater but lived off reserve in Merritt. She is grateful for her cherished yeyeʔ, Marty Aspinall and mother, Alana Aspinall.
Bree worked at a local grocer for the beginning of her adult life, this provided her experience with the local community and respect for diversity. She is thankful for this new experience, working closely with her nation and culture will provide a feeling of fulfillment and joy.
During the warm months, Bree enjoys spending as much time in nature as possible. When it is cold, she would rather spend time with friends and family.
Bree looks forward for the adventures awaiting her at the Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly. She is eager to serve all the members of the eight participating bands with honor and respect.
Employment & Training Coordinator
Hen̓łeʔ – Weyt-kp
Madelynn Albert is Secwépemc/ Nłeʔképmx woman and a member of the Cook’s Ferry Indian Band. She has the honor of being the single parent to a daughter with a strong heart, fierce mind, and a brave spirit, Aiyanna Albert is also a proud member of Cook’s Ferry Indian Band.
Her parents are the late Joe Thomas and Annette Albert. Her paternal grandparents are the late Shirley Ann (Thomas) Joseph and the late Charles Christopher Aloysius Joseph Sr. from Shuswap band. Her maternal grandparents are Cookie Jules (Delorse George) and Ross Albert. She is blessed to have additional maternal grandparents who have impacted her life in many unforgettable ways: Marie Anderson who inspires her to keep learning and speak her languages. And the late Mary Ann John who she carries in her heart, who has taught many life lessons that survived through generations, which has helped her daily and kept her grounded.
She spent her early years living and traveling around the Shuswap territory. Participating in family gatherings, learning to harvest from the land, traveling to powwows and Stick games. In 2004 she was able to move into the Nłeʔképmx territory and graduate from Ashcroft secondary. Spence’s Bridge is home and is where she has been learning and growing with the other half of her heritage.
Her goal is to be the best example for her daughter, in showing her how to walk in two worlds. With Aiyanna as motivation, they learn both languages, practice traditional teachings on the land, and try their best to keep learning every day; so that they may ensure their culture stays alive. She has been a stay-at-home-mom, a single mother with three jobs, a mother as well as a student. Now she has the privilege to say that she has graduated from NVIT with a certificate in Office Administration. She looks forward to being able to provide her support for the Nłeʔképmx territory and our eight participating CNA bands.
Madelynn welcomes anyone with any employment and training needs to come in and say hello.
Employment & Training Administration
He̓n̓łeʔ nskʷe̓stkt he Ryleigh Campbell tuł k̓emus kn nce̓weʔ c̓e he nsqa̓c̓ze Kʷu̓piʔ K̓emus Mike Campbell, c̓e he nski̓xzeʔ Bobbi McKay ƛ̓q̓əmci̓n
Hello, my name is Ryleigh Campbell, my community is Boothroyd, my father is Chief of Boothroyd Mike Campbell and my mother Bobbi McKay from Lytton.
I come from the Nlaka’pamux Nation between the Fraser Valley and the Interior Thompson, growing up on reserve in Boothroyd – Kahmoose/K̓emus, spending a lot of my youth in Lytton when I began my connection with my Nlaka’pamux roots and identity. I worked at the Nz̓enme̓n Child and Family Daycare in Lytton for about 5 years learning the language, watching the future generation of Nlaka’pamux learn our language, practice culture, and embrace their identity in their own ways. I graduated from Ashcroft Secondary, with plans to complete my Early Childhood Education Certificate, I have made some changes which lead me to finding a new passion of Career Development in Employment and Training.
Providing support for neighboring communities to access the training, supports and services they need to overcome the challenges of employment, and assisting those achieve their personal goals. It has been such an incredible journey, and am excited to join Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly in the Employment & Training department again to provide supports and benefits to the communities.
I am currently enrolled with NVIT for the nłekepmxcin Fluent Language program to connect more with my nłekeʔmx identity, to teach the future generations and keep the language alive. A new resident to the Nicola Valley, excited to connect with our ancestorial roots and support the Nlaka’pamux Nation and home communities.
Territorial Stewardship Manager
Tamlyn is passionate about the confluence of western science and indigenous knowledge and how they can be utilized to build understanding between industry and Indigenous Nations throughout the mining lifecycle. This passion is rooted both in her Nłeʔképmx heritage and technical background as she holds a B.Sc. in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria (2015).
Tamlyn has worked with both industry and Indigenous Nations to develop tools and processes to bridge the two ways of knowing to support developing meaningful relationships though environmental management, regulatory engagement, environmental assessment, and impact benefit agreement implementation.
In her role as Territorial Stewardship Manager she will focus on continual improvement of the department’s operations as well as developing strategic, technical tools and processes to support the eight Participating Bands in ensuring Nłeʔképmx jurisdiction, knowledge and rights are integrated throughout the life of mine and into closure.
Territorial Stewardship Technical Lead
Aliyah is a proud Shackan Band member and grew up on reserve before moving to Kelowna to attend the University of British Columbia. She graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Following graduation, Aliyah moved to Australia where she worked and traveled for 14 months.
Being a member of the Shackan Band and Nłeʔképmx Nation presents Aliyah with invaluable opportunities to return her skills to the communities, allowing her to blend science-based education with traditional nłeʔkepmx knowledge.
Aliyah welcomes and values any knowledge, stories or input that members of the eight communities wish to share.
Learn more about Territorial Stewardship
Erica spent most of her childhood in Merritt and now lives in Kamloops. She attended school at the University of Ottawa and graduated in 2022 with a BSc. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry in the French Immersion stream.
Erica has always had a strong passion for conservation and the environment. She spends most of her free time outdoors and with nature. Erica loves animals and currently has two dogs and a cat. She values indigenous teachings and knowledge and hopes to enrich her understanding of indigenous culture.
As a new technical coordinator with the CNA, Erica is excited to use her science background to support the eight participating bands in reconciliation and protection of the land.
Community Engagement Specialist
Michelle is the first person you see when you first enter Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly, as our receptionist. Michelle grew up in Maple Ridge then spent a few years traveling around BC to places like Smithers, Midway, Mission. She then moved to Merritt 18 years ago with her youngest daughter Alisha. Michelle fell in love with the community when she was a little girl and always said that she would move here and get a rich understanding of the local culture. She met and fell in love with her husband, Ernie Ponting 10 years ago. He and his family are part of the Siska First Nation. Her family now owns a small acreage between Merritt and Logan Lake where they run a few highland cows.
Since moving to Merritt she has been a strong part of the community and involves herself in many different capacities. She loves helping on the ranch with calving, feeding, and moving cattle out on range. Michelle also likes to dedicate her time to helping the local food bank and has been spotted placing worry worms around the area and Logan Lake.
Michelle has expanded her knowledge and skills over the years in many different positions. She loves the outdoors and exploring the area. You can see what she has been up to on her Facebook blog Nicola Valley Adventures where she is always sharing her experiences. Photography, fishing, hunting, camping are just a few of her many passions.
Becoming a part of the CNA to help members throughout the nation she feels is a great honor. Michelle hopes to be able to serve all it’s members with pride and respect.
Community Engagement Specialist
Taylor was born and raised in the beautiful Nicola Valley. She is a member of the Coldwater Indian Band. She lived off reserve in Merritt. She is grateful for her mom Christina Nicholls, Two brothers Cameron and Graycin Nicholls and her younger sister Sienna Reimer.
Taylor has started a new chapter in her life as a Community Engagement Specialist. She is very excited to work with everyone in the participating bands. Taylor hopes she can help serve everyone with great pride and respect. Taylor is excited for all the new adventures with Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly.
Taylor loves to surround herself around her family and friends as much as possible. She loves to play many different sports throughout the year. In the warm summers she loves to go camping and be outside as much as possible. When it is cooler outside, she likes to be inside staying warm.
NLX Guardians Program Coordinator
Ariel is a strong and proud Nłeʔképmx woman from the Siska Indian Band. She resides on the Coldwater Indian Band Reserve with her husband, Dustin Voght, and sons, Daxton and Cayden. Her parents are Crystal and Les Swayze; maternal grandparents are Violet Austin and the late Smith Austin; and her paternal grandparents were Gail Wray and George Swayze Sr.
Ariel graduated from the University of the Fraser Valley with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Geography, in 2014.
She brings boots-on-the-ground experience from being an Environmental Technician with K’en T’em (KMC) for contracted work at Highland Valley Copper (HVC) since June 2014 (July 2016 with KMC). Her experience in the field includes surface water sampling, groundwater sampling, aquatics monitoring, lake monitoring, and various field data collection as requested. More recently, Ariel was the Cultural Heritage Supervisor for KMC, where she coordinated field staff from STC, ECRMS and KMC for the Cultural Heritage work being done at HVC.
Ariel is ready to share her passion for protecting the land, for her children, grandchildren and all future generations. A late elder told her she was a tmíxʷ səsekʷule, and she is committed to being the Earth Angel he saw in her.
nłeʔkepmxcín Program Developer
Lena is from the Cooks Ferry Band, her grandparents were Frank Walkem and Gertie Toodlican, her parents are Carol Walkem and Monty Nicholson. She attended fine art schools in northern Ontario and Santa Fe, New Mexico studying photography and print-making.
In 2005 Lena attended the FNESC Maori Language Tour and the World Indigenous People’s Conference on Education in New Zealand. Lena has a strong interest in nłeʔképmx culture and language preservation.
She has worked with Cooks Ferry Band as a Cultural Assistant, and assisted with the Unity Gathering in 2011. She has also worked with Tmixʷ Research and Esh-kn-am on research projects and archaeology field work. Lena was a tour guide and landscape assistant at Tuckkwiowhum Village for Boston Bar Band. She is an aspiring language learner and her task is adding graphics and photos to the CNA Language Program, as well as assisting with recording language speakers and building lesson plans.
Learn more about our Language Programs
Texis is nłeʔképmx from Cook’s Ferry. His late grandparents were Elizabeth Lytton and Bert Walkem. His mother is Marilyn Lytton.
Texis Grew up on- and off-reserve being influenced by traditional knowledge transference and Western paradigms. Texis received an M.Ed (2021) from UBC, an MFA (2016) from USask, and a BA (2013) from TRU. It should be noted that he received an honourable mention in his yéyeʔ lessons. Indigenous storytelling, storywork, and writing are interests of his. As you may have guessed, education has played a large role in his life, and after graduating, Texis taught at TRU and NVIT. Texis is very excited to bring both sides of his education to grow in his role at Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly. A word to the wise: we should all strive to achieve an honourable mention in our yéyeʔ lessons.
heńłeʔ nskʷest kʷislexpetxʷ tuł coldwater kn, he nskíxzeʔ wikpel’ks, he nkz̓e cusinek.
Hello, my name is Virginia Aspinall, I am from Coldwater, my mother is Alana Aspinall, my grandmother is Martha Aspinall.
I am an nłeʔképmx woman, I was born in Vancouver but raised in the Nicola Valley. I grew up off reserve but have been blessed with my yeyeʔ’s teachings throughout my childhood. After graduating Merritt Secondary I’ve spent the last decade gaining various work experience, making new connections to my community and volunteering in several different programs. I started with the Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly in September of 2021 in the Employment and Training Department where I exercised my love of helping and connecting with people. I helped facilitate training programs and had a chance to have one-on-one’s with our members. This January I made the switch to Programs Coordinator and I am so excited to get started and bring health, wellness and spirituality together in our communities. I look forward to making new connections and learning alongside my peers and community members what it is to be Nlaka’pamux.
My two daughters born to me are both nłeképmx, my spouse and son are both proudly Metis, together we are a healthy balanced family of five. We love to explore the outdoors, gathering firewood, harvesting medicines, and being out on the land.
My goal within the programs department is to bring a sense of inclusiveness and curiosity to our traditions. I look forward to incorporating our nlaka’pamux traditions into the modern world. I hope to connect our historical knowledge from our elders and incorporate the practices of our traditions and culture in a sustainable way with spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health in mind.
k'en T'em Accounts Manager
Iona lives in the Nicola Valley and after 30 years and raising her two grown children here she considers it home. Iona supports the community by volunteering when she can. She enjoys horses, riding, camping, hiking, and sewing.
Iona has many years of advertising and marketing experience and is excited to be joining the K’en T’em Management team. She will be working closely with the K’en T’em Board of Directors to find partnership opportunities. She will identify the best programs to support all partnerships with the emphasis on building and supporting connections between Nlaka’pamux communities and non-Nlaka’pamux businesses.
If you would like to know more about K’en T’em please reach out to Iona and she will be happy to answer any of your questions.