Karen Ogen-Toews is the CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance.
She was a founding member of the Alliance, and brings extensive experience to her role as CEO, having served as elected chief of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation for six years.
She now sits on the nation’s elected council, holding the Natural Resource/Energy and Economic Development portfolios.
She is familiar with the needs of Indigenous communities throughout B.C., 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 processes 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 entities: Premier’s First Nations Advisory Committee, the Energy Roadmap Advisory Team for the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum for the province of BC, the Yinka Dene Economic Development Limited Partnership board (the economic arm of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation). She is also a member of the advisory council of the Resource Works Society.
And in 2016 she was selected by BC Business magazine as one B.C.’s 35 most influential women, notably “disruptive women who are not only leaders among men but are shaking up the status quo — women using their positions to effect change.”