Board of Directors

Cliff Fregin  


Cliff Fregin was born and raised in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and is Haida from Old Massett, Haida Gwaii, B.C. For past 25+ years Cliff has been extensively involved in Aboriginal community economic & business development throughout Canada. Thru 1995-2002, Cliff had been employed as the Executive Director of the Gwaii Trust – a partnership between the Haida Nation and the settlers on Haida Gwaii. Gwaii Trust manages a perpetual trust fund initially capitalized at $38 million in 1994; market value in early 2003 was $62 million with approximately $20 million dispersed to socioeconomic projects on Haida Gwaii. In December 2002, Cliff was hired by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association (NACCA) as the Chief Operating Officer, responsible for finance and programs in Ottawa, ON. NACCA is an association of Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs); these 55 AFIs provide high risk small business development financing and services to Aboriginal entrepreneurs throughout Canada. Since October 2006, Cliff Fregin leads the New Relationship Trust (NRT) as Chief Executive Officer. NRT is a Trust fund which is charged with building capacity for British Columbia First Nations by supporting First Nation governance, economic development, education, language revitalization, and youth & Elders initiatives. Originally capitalized at $100M; as of March, 2015, NRT has disbursed over $55 million with a market value of the fund of $92M. In November 2015, Cliff accepted the role of Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Haida Enterprise Corporation (HaiCo).

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Robert Williams  


Robert Williams is the Essential Skills Instructor & WESTT Program Manager at TRICORP in Prince Rupert. He received his Joint Bachelor of Arts degree (honors) in Political Science and English from the University of Northern BC (UNBC) in 2005 and his Master's degree from UNBC in 2009, where he also taught English and First Nations Studies.
A proud member of the Haida Nation, he returned to his home community of Skidegate in 2008, at the age of 24, to serve on the Skidegate Band Council at a time when that organization was on the verge of entering into Third Party Management. Working collaboratively with his colleagues and the community, the team emerged from remedial status in 2010 - just two and a half years later. Robert served his community for a total of eight years, six of which were spent as the Deputy Chief Councillor.
In 2013, Robert collaborated with Dr. Atholl Sutherland-Brown, former President of the Geological Association of Canada, on the latter's publication Searching for the Origins of Haida Gwaii: Adventures While Mapping the Geology of the Islands, 1958-62.
In addition to teaching, Robert does occasional manuscript editing for ECW Press out of Toronto.
In his spare time, Robert enjoys reading a variety of books ranging from poetry to philosophy. He remains an avid follower of Haida Nation and Canadian politics.

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Paul Wates is a senior financial executive with extensive experience in both financial and general management areas with demonstrated ability to improve and integrate financial and administrative functions at all levels within an organization. Paul is a Certified General Accountant and has been employed with Arrow Transportation Systems and Seaspan International in the CFO, Vice President and Corporate Secretary positions and as financial consultant to a variety of clients including HaiCo. A graduate of SFU, Banff School of Advanced Management and Harvard Business School, Paul has also been active in the community. He is past Chair of the Arthritis Society of BC and Yukon,  former board member of the Vancouver  General Hospital and currently is the  Board Chair of Douglas College having served on that Board since 1998.

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April Churchill (Xiihliikingang, Gawa Git’ans Gitanee) was born on April 1, 1951. April served as a Old Massett Village Council Representative, an interim CHN Administrator, years as the Administrative Assistant supporting the Haida Nation political bodies, and three years as the Vice President of the Haida Nation. She has served as a Cultural Education Director, as the Ketchikan Museum Program Coordinator, as a Haida Language assistant in the classroom, as well as in retail management. She is a Haida weaver and teacher.

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Candace Dennis  


Candace Dennis grew up and attended school in North Vancouver. She has received her Post Secondary education from Capilano College and Simon Fraser University. Candace has completed the Institute of Canadian Bankers Professional Banking Program attaining the Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (F.I.C.B) degree. Candace recently graduated in October 2016 from Simon Fraser University, earning a MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership. Candace began her career in 1979 with RBC Royal Bank and her experience has included work in the Retail Branch network in Personal & Business Banking, Head Office, where she held the Position of Manager Public Affairs for Royal Banks BC District and Manager Market Development, BC District. In 1998, Candace focused her career as Senior Commercial Account Manager Specializing in Aboriginal Banking working with Aboriginal Governments, Communities, and Economic Development Corporations. In 2012 Candace accepted the position with BMO Bank of Montreal as Director Aboriginal Banking, British Columbia and Yukon. Candace’s community involvement has included participation in a number of Not for Profit organizations at the Executive Board level and was the Vice Chair of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce for 5 years. Candace also was a Director on the Sts’ailes Development Corporation as a Board member (Chehalis First Nations).

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Keith Moore  


Keith Moore is a Registered Professional Forester and an independent forestry consultant operating his own business based in Queen Charlotte. Since arriving on Haida Gwaii in the late 1970’s, Keith has been involved in many of the events involving forests, resources and people on the islands. He was involved in the Community Land Use Planning Forum, and served as a Technical Advisor in the government to government negotiations and facilitated analysis of timber supply impacts. In 2015 he worked on contract as the coordinator for the development of a comprehensive Forestry Strategy for Haida Gwaii. In 2016, he provided advice about the possible establishment of a large “community forest” on the islands. He has worked closely with the Haida Nation for many years and is vitally interested in community stability and health. His forestry consulting business has also taken him to a dozen other countries around the world where he has led or worked on forest management and forest certification projects. He is actively involved in the Forest Stewardship Council in Canada and internationally. Keith has worked for many years as a seasonal guide for visitors to Gwaii Haanas and has an interest in tourism and educational opportunities offered by the forests, waters and communities of Haida Gwaii. Keith lives in Queen Charlotte with his wife, Helen, and has two grown sons who have also chosen to return to the islands to live.

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Shane grew up in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island and is a member of the Skidegate band. He has a BSc from UBC in Wood Products Processing and has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing and sales in the BC forest industry. Shane is currently the General Manager of Specialty Lumber Sales & Marketing for Interfor, North Americas 4th largest forest products company and the 2nd largest forestry company operating on the BC coast. He is also the chairman of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association which is the voice of the cedar industry in bringing together manufactures, distributors, retailers and end users in promoting the use and value growth of western red cedar lumber products. In 2011, Shane graduated from the UBC Sauder School of Business with an MBA in Strategic Management with a special focus on sustainability. He lives in Deep Cove, North Vancouver with his wife Patty and their two sons.

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Othgaljad, Patricia Moore is from the Kwii Unglis Yaghujaanas clan from Gaaw (Old Massett). She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, a Bachelors degree in Commerce, and grad certificates in Project Management and Community Economic Development. Patricia is an Entrepreneur and currently works in the areas of Construction, Culinary Arts, Tourism, Entrepreneurship and Cultural Management. Born and raised on the North West Coast, Patricia has called Haida Gwaii Home for the past 20 years and currently lives in Gaaw with her husband Gheetsanagus and their two sons Kiijuuthlaas, and Qwaasas.

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