Snuneymuxw chief to join Georgia Strait Alliance board

NANAIMO – Chief Douglas White III will provide insight into relationship between SFN and Salish Sea.

Snuneymuxw Chief Douglas White III will be joining the advisory council of the Georgia Strait Alliance, announced the board of directors Wednesday.

Melinda Skeels, GSA’s board president, said White’s addition will provide insight into the role the Salish Sea plays for First Nations.

“As we strive to protect and restore the Strait of Georgia, GSA seeks to engage with the First Nations whose territory is affected by those efforts,” said Skeels in a press release. “Snuneymuxw territory lies at the heart of the Salish Sea and we are pleased with the opportunity to be guided in our work by Chief White’s passion, perspective and insights.”

White was elected Chief of Snuneymuxw First Nation in December 2009. He holds a bachelor’s degree in First Nation studies from Vancouver Island University and juris doctor from the University of Victoria.

He also sits on several boards and committees, including the Snuneymuxw First Nation Economic Development Corporation and UVic’s School of Public Administration advisory board. White was elected to the political executive of the First Nations Summit in June 2010.

“I am honoured to serve on the advisory council of the GSA,” said White. “It is a leading organization working to protect the Salish Sea, and I hope to work with it to deepen the collaboration between First Nations and organizations committed to our common challenge of protecting the wellbeing of our planet.”

GSA’s advisory council currently includes former B.C. minister of the environment John Cashore, Royal Society Fellow Larry Dill, Hereditary Chief of the Gwa wa enuk First Nation Chief Bobby Joseph, former Environment Canada scientist Bob Elner, emeritus professor Don McQueen and Lunapads co-founder Suzanne Siemens.

Formed in 1990, GSA is a citizens’ group working to protect and restore the marine environment and promote the sustainability of Georgia Strait, its adjoining waters and communities.