Staff

TREATIES AND AGREEMENTS

Chief Commissioners

The Treaty Commission's impartiality is reflected in its composition and the way it makes decisions. Commissioners do not represent the Principals that appoint them, but instead act independently. Decisions require the support of one appointee of each of the Principals.

The Chief Commissioner is appointed to a three-year term by agreement of the Principals. The First Nations Summit elects two Commissioners and the federal and provincial governments appoint one each. In the absence of a Chief Commissioner, the four remaining Commissioners unanimously agree to appoint one of them to act as Chief Commissioner.

Click the Chief Commissioner’s image to read their bio.

Commissioners

The Treaty Commission's impartiality is reflected in its composition and the way it makes decisions. Commissioners do not represent the Principals that appoint them, but instead act independently. Decisions require the support of one appointee of each of the Principals.

The First Nations Summit elects two Commissioners and the federal and provincial governments appoint one each. The four part-time Commissioners serve two-year terms. The Chief Commissioner is appointed to a three-year term by agreement of the Principals. In the absence of a Chief Commissioner, the four remaining Commissioners unanimously agree to appoint one of them to act as Chief Commissioner.

Click the Commissioner’s image to read their bio.

Staff

Treaty Commission staff come from a wide range of backgrounds and specialize in a number of areas. Click on the photos below to learn more about our team.

Tenisha Williams
Administration

Tenisha is the Office Manager and joined the Treaty Commission in 2011. In her role, she manages the office operations, implementing policies and procedures, and oversees organizational efficiencies and manages relationships with vendors and service providers. Tenihsa also advises on human resources management and employee relations. 

Previously she worked for the Public Service Commission of Nova Scotia, Capital District Health Authority and ExxonMobil Canada in administration, human resources, and special projects.

Tenisha graduated from Eastern College with an advanced human resources management diploma excelling in compensation, benefits management, and employee relations. She is a member of the Chartered Professional in Human Resources Canada.

Chief Commissioner Celeste Haldane
Celeste Haldane
Chief Commissioner

Celeste Haldane is serving her second term as Chief Commissioner and was first appointed in April 2017. She is Musqueam (Coast Salish) and Metlakatla (Tsimshian) from the Sparrow and Haldane families, and has European ancestry.

Celeste is a practising lawyer and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2019. Drawing from over 25 years of experience, her specializations are in Indigenous law and corporate governance, and she previously practiced criminal defense and civil litigation. She is an active member of both the Indigenous Bar Association and the Canadian Bar Association, and currently serves on the CBA Indigenous Advisory Group. She holds a Master of Laws in Constitutional Law from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. Celeste is currently pursuing her doctorate in Anthropology and Law from the University of British Columbia, where she earned a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology).

Celeste also serves on governance boards and is currently a Director of the Brain Canada Foundation and Legal Aid BC. Previously, she served on the Hamber Foundation, UBC Board of Governors, the Musqueam Capital Corporation, and the Indigenous Bar Association, and is an alumna of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. Celeste lives with her husband, Conrad, on Vancouver Island, and is the proud mother of three and grandmother of two.

Commissioner Clifford White
Clifford White
Commissioner

Clifford White (Nees Ma’Outa) is a First Nations Summit elected Commissioner. He is serving his second term as Commissioner and was first elected by the First Nations Summit Chiefs in Assembly in March 2019. He is from Gitxaała Nation, is a hereditary leader and former elected Chief Councillor.

He studied business and commerce at the University of British Columbia and is a facilitator and trainer with Nawaabm Enterprise. Clifford is an Elder of the New Westminster First Nations Court for more than 12 years and was involved with the BC Aboriginal Family Healing Court project.

Clifford also serves on various boards, including Chair of the First Nations Advisory Committee of BC, Board Chairman of the Northern Nations Cooperative, and Director with the Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society, the New Relationship Trust Foundation, and the First Nations LNG Alliance. He is passionate about commercially sustainable environmental management and continues to work with the Industry Training Authority, private industries, union and non-union trades on Indigenous workforce developments.

Clifford is a proud husband to Lynn, father to three children, grandfather to four, and has two rez dogs.

Commissioner Angela Wesley
Angela Wesley
Commissioner

Angela Wesley is the Government of British Columbia appointed Commissioner. She is serving a two-year term and was first appointed in December 2018. She is a citizen of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations (Nuu-chah-nulth), one of five First Nations implementing the Maa-nulth Treaty on the west coast of Vancouver Island. 

She has remained active in her Nation’s self-governance journey, having been involved throughout all stages of negotiations, ratification, and now implementation. Angela has served as Speaker for the Huu-ay-aht First Nations Legislature and Annual People’s Assemblies, Board Chair/President for the Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses, and is the representative on the Maa-nulth tripartite treaty implementation committee. She also serves on numerous boards, including the Board of Directors of the Toquaht First Nation Holdings Board, the New Relationship Trust, and the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC. 

For over the past 30 years, through her consulting company Wes-Can Advisory Services, Angela has worked with First Nations providing advisory and facilitation services in areas of strategic planning, community development and engagement, communications, and governance capacity building. She is also actively involved in international discussions on Indigenous governance and leadership.

Angela resides in her husband Gerald’s traditional territory of Kitsumkalum in Terrace and enjoys the company and teachings of her grandson.

Francis Frank
Commissioner

Francis Frank is a First Nations Summit elected Commissioner. He is serving his fourth term and was first elected by the First Nations Summit Chiefs in Assembly in 2015 . Francis is from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and is an elected Councillor. 

Prior to joining the Treaty Commission, he has served his community in leadership roles, including Chief Councillor for fourteen years, negotiator for over ten years, and band administrator for six years. Francis has extensive negotiation experience in Indigenous title and rights, including fisheries, and is currently the T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries lead negotiator. He is also an experienced social worker and earned his Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria.

Francis lives in Port Alberni with his wife, Janice, and is a proud father of five children, three foster children, and grandfather of four grandchildren.

Angel Grenkie
Administration

Angel is the welcoming face in the office, Receptionst, and joined the Treaty Commission in May 2016. She supports the admistration functions of the organization and has supported special projects and coordination of operations. Previously she worked in hospitality as an assistant manager. Angel is a member of the Wet'suwet'en Nation. 

Stephanie Gustin
Process

Stephanie is the Senior Research Analyst and ATIP Lead. She joined the Treaty Commission in November 2018, and researches matters related to the treaty negotiations and rights recognition, facilitates negotiations, supports special projects, and assists with public education and information initiatives. Stephanie also maintains and coordinates the information and data management, including access to information and privacy (ATIP) and archival requests.

Stephanie has worked as a research assistant for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence. She holds an MA in Dispute Resolution from the University of Victoria. Her thesis explored the use of mobile online dispute resolution tools and virtual mediation systems in government offices, and their impacts on relational aspects of dispute resolution. Her research has been published in the International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution.

Staff
Lindy Provost
Funding

Lindy Provost joined the Treaty Commission in April 2019.  In her role, Funding Assistant, she provide support to the Funding Analyst and Director of Funding for all execution and monitoring of the First Nation Negotiations Support funding agreements. Previously she worked in public service at the provincial and federal levels and has experience in the agricultural sector with overseas exportation.

Lindy is a member of the Piikani Nation in Southern Alberta which is part of the Blackfoot Confederacy and a proud mother of two. She holds a general studies diploma with sociology as the main focus of studies.

Carmen Watson
Communications

Carmen supports public information and education in her role as Communications Advisor. She joined the Treaty Commission in June 2019, supporting the facilitation of negotiations as Process Advisor. Carmen continues to supports communications and process iniatives, including forums and gatherings focusing on key topics of Indigenous rights recognition. 

She has a BA (Hons.) in History and International Relations, and is pursuing her MA in History at UBC, with an emphasis on Indigenous women's roles in defining the 20th century concepts of sovereignty. Some past research projects of hers include: the emergence of Chinese-Canadian identities during the BC gold rush era, Indigenous nationhood against the backdrop of the Quebecois separatist movement, and the relationship between Indigenous women, children, and the nation.

Carmen has co-hosted a podcast, and currently serves on the board of directors for a local theatre company, while also supporting bilingual diversity, equality and inclusion efforts. She has lived in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and the Northwest Territories, and now calls Vancouver home.

Staff
Savannah Minoose
Communications

Savannah is a Communications Advisor and joined the Treaty Commission in October 2022. As an advisor, she supports the Treaty Commission’s communication mandate of educating the public and providing information about treaty negotiations, First-Nations, Indigenous rights and self-governance.

Savannah’s professional and academic career has been committed to amplifying Indigenous knowledge and serving Indigenous communities using digital media and data-driven strategy. She has a background in journalism, digital marketing, and communications.

Savannah is Cree and Metis, raised in Kikino Metis Settlement and Cold Lake First Nation in Treaty 6 Territory, and now resides in Vancouver, BC.

Liseanne Forand
Commissioner

Liseanne Forand is the Government of Canada appointed Commissioner. She is serving her first term as Commissioner and was initially appointed interim Commissioner in May 2020. She is a retired public servant with over 30 years’ experience in intergovernmental affairs, policy, natural resource management and international relations.

She began in public service with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in 1985. Throughout her career she progressively assumed senior roles, serving as Assistant Deputy Minister (DM) in both the DFO and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. Liseanne was also Senior Associate DM of Human Resources and Skills Development, Chief Operating Officer for Service Canada, and served in the Privy Council Office as Assistant Secretary to Cabinet, Social Development Policy. She was also the first President of Shared Services Canada and retired from public service in 2015.

Liseanne also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English (Honors) from Concordia University. She is currently Vice Chairperson of the Board of Polar Knowledge Canada, and previously served as Chair of the CHEO Foundation and on the Institute on Governance Board.

Liseanne and her husband, Jonathan, live in North Saanich, and she is a proud step-mother and grandmother.

Staff
Danni Olusanya
Process

Danni is a Process Analyst and joined the Treaty Commission in November 2021. I her role, she supports the facilitation of negotiations, and also researches matters related to the treaty negotiation, Indigneous rights recognition, and supports the Parties making progress in negotiations.

She holds a BA in History with a minor in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Justice from the University of British Columbia. She served as Co-President of the UBC Black Student Union and as Culture Editor for The Ubyssey, she was the first Black woman on the editorial board in the newspaper's 103-year history. Danni currently serves on the board of the Canadian Youth Journalism Project.

Staff
Carmen Lee
Funding

Carmen is a Funding Analyst and joined the Treaty Commission in November 2021. In her role, she supports the funding mandate of the Treaty Commission to support First Nations' participation in negotiations. Carmen supports First Nations with executing and monitoring compliance of Negotiation Support Funding Agreements.

She has over 20 years of experience in accounting and is a designated Chartered Professional Accountant. Carmen holds two undergraduate degrees, Business Administration from Simon Fraser University, and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of British Columbia.

Staff
Dean Seskin
Process

Dean is a Process Analyst and joined the Treaty Commission in April 2022. In his role, he supports the facilitation of negotiations and researches matters related to the treaty negotiations, Indigenos rights recognition, and supports the Parties making progress in negotiations.

He holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Economics from the University of Victoria. Dean is a recipient of the Vancouver Police Board’s Award for Merit for his actions to quell violence during the 2011 Stanley Cup Riot. Dean was also a volunteer member of the Juan De Fuca Ground Search and Rescue Team.

Sashia Leung
Director of Communications and International Relations

Sashia is the Director of Communications and International Relations and joined the Treaty Commission in September 2012. In her role, she manages the public information and education mandate of the Treaty Commission and leads the international work to support the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Previously she worked in the Process department and tsupported the facilitating negotiations, managing forums and special projects including: First Nations governance initiatives, ratification processes, community engagement, and capacity-development. She has over 15 years’ experience working with Indigenous communities in BC and is proud to be of mix heritage, Wet'suwet'en and Chinese from the community of Wiset, in northern interior BC. Sashia works at the international level, including supporting Expert Members as well as advocating for the promotion and protecting of Indigenous rights and title through participation at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Rights and the Expert Mechanism on Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

She holds a BA in political science with a focus on First Nations studies from the University of British Columbia. Sashia is a Banff Forum member, and alumna of the Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference. She has served on a variety of boards and committees, and currently serves as Chair of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology Board of Governors.

Staff
Vincent Leung
Funding

Vincent is a Funding Analyst and joined the Treaty Commission in March 2022. In his role, he supports the funding mandate of the Treaty Commission, liaises with First Nations, and monitors compliance and executes First Nations Negotiations Support Funding Agreements. 

He has over 18 years of experience in accounting and is a Certified General Accountant. Vincent also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Business Administration from the University of British Columbia.

Mark Smith
General Counsel and Director of Process

Mark is General Counsel and Director of Process, and joined the Treaty Commission in 2001. Mark provides legal, political, and strategic policy advice on the protection and recognition of Aboriginal title and rights. Mark leads complex facilitations on treaty negotiations, and intergovernmental initiatives to improve the processes to achieve reconciliation amongst governments and Indigenous Nations. He is dedicated to Indigenous rights recognition, governance-building and inter-nation dispute resolution processes. Mark has been a key contributor to the Treaty Commission’s international work reinforcing the importance of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigneous Peoples to negotiations between state and Indigenous Nations.

A graduate from the University of Alberta Law School, Mark was called to Alberta Bar, and is currently a member of the Law Society in British Columbia. Mark has focused his career on Aboriginal law and First Nations issues. Mark previously was a sole-practitioner, and has practiced Aboriginal and environmental law with the firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He is completing a Master of Laws at the University of British Columbia focusing on First Nations legal issues. 

Address

700-1111 Melville Street
Vancouver BC
V6E 3V6
604 482 9200

Sign Up for BCTC News