Garry Merkel serves as Executive Director of the Housing & Infrastructure Council, working with a team of chiefs and technical advisors to transform First Nations housing and infrastructure delivery in British Columbia. He is responsible for overseeing the administrative setup, organization management, board management, governance planning and engagement outreach.
Garry brings extensive experience in First Nations housing and infrastructure governance, policy development, treaty negotiation and self-governance, as well as community, business and education development and lands resource management. He has managed local, provincial, national and international projects for government, industry, aboriginal organizations, schools and communities and contributed to the creation of corporations, education institutions, associations, governance structures, foundations.
He has been involved in housing and housing policy issues for almost 20 years. As founding Chair of the Aboriginal Housing Committee – British Columbia (AHC-BC), Garry was instrumental in creating and implementing a joint BC First Nations-Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)-Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) On-Reserve Housing Strategy, working to improve housing and infrastructure governance and management, program delivery coordination, and increase First Nations control.
Garry continues to work with the Ktunaxa Nation Council as Lead Treaty Negotiator and has served as CEO of the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation and Chair of the Columbia Basin Trust. He holds a Bachelor of Science-Forestry from the University of Alberta, an Honorary Degree of Arts from the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and is a registered Professional Forester. Garry is a member of the Tahltan Nation in northwest BC.