Lead Negotiator & Senior Advisor to the FNHIC-BC
Garry Merkel is a member of the Tahltan Nation in northwest BC (Tahltan name - nadi' denezā’). He served as founding Executive Director of the Housing & Infrastructure Council, responsible for overseeing the administrative setup, organization management, board management, governance planning and engagement outreach. Garry now serves as the Lead Negotiator and Senior Advisor for FNHIC leading negotiations towards an agreement that will transfer responsibilities and authorities for BC First Nations housing and infrastructure programing and services from the federal government to a BC First Nations controlled institution.
Mayor, Village of Hazelton and Housing and Infrastructure Advisor Gitksan Government Commission
Dennis Sterritt with his drive for problem solving and decision making, has nearly thirty years of experience in operations and project services in both Canada and the United Kingdom. He has lobbied for change in how housing and community-based asset management is implemented, bringing together regional context, culture, financial stewardship, full life-cycle planning and sound business and good governance practices.
Dr. Sylvia Olsen
Housing Historian, Advisor to the FNHIC-BC
Dr. Olsen is an adult educator and trainer, specializing in First Nations capacity development and has extensive knowledge of curriculum and training material development. She co-created and is currently teaching the First Nations Housing Managers’ Program at Vancouver Island University. Sylvia is also an experienced researcher: she completed her PhD in History in 2016. Her work focuses on government housing programs on-reserves and their impacts on First Nations in Canada from 1930 to the present.