Karen Ogen-Toews is the CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance.
Karen brings an extensive amount of experience to her role as CEO, having served as Chief of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation for six years. As such, she is very familiar with the needs of aboriginal communities throughout our province and seeks to increase economic opportunities for First Nations through providing information and education regarding responsible resource development.
Karen’s academic background is in social work. She achieved her Master’s degree from the University of Northern British Columbia in 2007, and graduated from the Indigenous Governance Certificate Program from the University of Victoria in 2010. These academic programs have given her a unique perspective to pursue development opportunities that benefit communities not only for economic purposes, but also for long term social development.
Karen believes in informing First Nations about the realities of the resource sector, educating them on the options available, as well as the extensive environmental protection and process in place surrounding these projects. While Karen recognizes that not all projects will be appropriate for all nations, she hopes to help inspire more First Nations to consider and engage in discussions with industry and government around the possibility of resource opportunities.
Karen also serves as a member of the following boards: the Aboriginal Business Investment Council (ABIC), the Premier’s First Nations Advisory Committee, Resource Works and the Northern First Nations Education & Training Sub Committee.
Joanna Prince is the executive assistant of the First Nations LNG Alliance.
Joanna is a member of the Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation of the Fort St. James region, and has worked with Indigenous groups and people since 1994 in a variety of roles.
She came to the Alliance from a busy office-management position with the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council. And before that she held a similar post with the First Nations Forestry Council.
Her background also includes working with the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and the tribal chief. Among other things, she coordinated and managed teams (including volunteers) for the 29th Annual BC Elders Gathering in Prince George. It brought 2,000 Aboriginal elders to that city for three days.
Joanna has also been an intake worker for family support, an Indigenous group-home support worker, and an Aboriginal child-in-care liaison. She brought with her to the Alliance a wealth of knowledge and experience related to Indigenous social issues.
Look for her at the First Nations LNG Alliance office, or out hiking, snow-shoeing, snowboarding, camping, mountain biking and travelling the globe.