Speakers 

Carrie Terbasket is a member of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band of the Okanagan Nation located in the Southern Interior of British Columbia; an area containing some of the most threatened ecosystems and species in Canada.  Carrie is an active spokeswoman for the preservation of the natural world.  She believes that women have a strong connection to the land and the water and as such should be at the forefront of land based discussions and decision making.  

She is Chair and co-founder of the South Okanagan-Similkameen Syilx Environmental Committee (SOSSEC), a group of committed individuals who strive for meaningful First Nations participation in the conservation arena throughout the Okanagan Nation and beyond.  Carrie is committed to Naqsm’ist, an Okanagan word for “Many Becoming One”, by creating functional relationships that facilitate effective processes for environmental conservation.  

Carrie has a strong belief and value system deeply rooted in the protection of our Mother Earth and her work reflects that. She believes that weaving the Traditional Way of Life into environmental policy and programming initiatives will ensure the survival of All Our Relations for tomorrow and always. Carrie is also the proud mother of Madison, Liam, and Abigail.

Elaine Alec is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt and niece from the Penticton Indian Band. Elaine is deeply committed to enhancing health and wellness in aboriginal communities and developing close relationships with individuals so that they can take ownership of their health. 

She has a strong background in program delivery, believes in meaningful engagement and understand the factors that affect aboriginal health. She understands the strength-based approach to holistic health and healing and the sensitive history of Aboriginal people that has contributed to their detriment and believe the promotion of healthy living increases the amount of healthy Aboriginal individuals we have in our communities.

She has experience creating community engagement strategies, conference planning and coordination and community, youth and elder engagement. Elaine studied English and Philosophy at Idaho State University and has worked at Province of BC Ministry of Health, Penticton Indian Band Comprehensive Community Planning project, she currently owns her own consulting company and co-owns and manages K.A.S.P. Entertainment.

She believes her life purpose is to gather and share the knowledge of her ancestors to promote healing for the mind, body and spirit. Using the stories of her ancestors to create a healthier space for all relations. 

Suzanne Johnson is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt and niece. Suzanne holds a BSc from the University of British Columbia, she is a Registered Dietitian from the Penticton Indian Band. She has been working in First Nations health for over 15 years in the areas of health promotion (nutrition and physical activity) as well as diabetes education. Now, a mother to a toddler, she is venuring into the areas of early childhood health and healthy school promotion working both with First Nations Inuit Health and three band affiliated schools in the South Okanagan. Suzanne enjoys keeping well by gardening and gathering her own foods, hiking and being out on the land with her family and friends as often as things like work schedules allow and encouraging and supporting others to live healthier lives. Suzanne is also a board member of The Aboriginal Physical Activity and Cultural Circle.  

Laurie Wilson holds a Law Degree and is an Okanagan woman, married with 5 children and many grandchildren. She is a family law advocate working within the 7 member bands of the Okanagan Nation in the Interior of B.C. She has served on the Penticton Indian Band Council and held the portfolio of social development. She sit on the Okanagan National Alliance Wellness Committee and participate in the development of an Okanagan Child Welfare Agency. She is trained in Family Group Conferencing.