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Call to Action # 31: Justice (25-42)

BC First Nations Justice Council Establishes Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council (EKKC), Welcomes Five Members

May 29, 2024

NationTalk: syilx Okanagan Homelands, Westbank BC: The BC First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC) warmly welcomes the members of the newly established Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council (EKKC). Honouring and recognizing the instrumental role that Elders and Knowledge Keepers play in sustaining restorative justice, harmony, and healing in their communities, the EKKC will ensure Elders and Knowledge Keepers are supporting the culturally appropriate implementation of the BC First Nations Justice Strategy every step of the way.

“Our Elders and Knowledge Keepers have always been pillars of First Nations communities, ensuring that justice is grounded in and administered according to teachings and customs that aim to heal and restore – not punish and incarcerate,” stated Kory Wilson, BCFNJC Chair. “Assembling the EKKC has been a priority of ours this year. With their vast and unique experience and expertise, each EKKC Member will help BCFNJC strengthen and advance restorative justice processes in the justice system.”

The EKKC was created in fulfilment of Strategy 21, which calls for the creation of an Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council to help establish and expand the roles of Elders and Knowledge Keepers in the justice system, as well as advance BCFNJC’s foundational justice work under the BC First Nations Justice Strategy. The EKKC will facilitate cultural competency and provide cultural guidance across BCFNJC’s 140-person operation. Led by Indigenous laws and protocols, BCFNJC’s staff will be better prepared to navigate the challenging work of justice transformation.

“With the EKKC’s guidance, BCFNJC will continue to reclaim space in the justice system for our traditional knowledge, legal traditions, and Indigenous methods of healing to take root once more,” continued Kory Wilson, BCFNJC Chair. “We thank the Law Foundation of BC for funding the EKKC and upholding Indigenous justice alongside us as committed accomplices. The Law Foundation has provided an extended capacity grant that allows BCFNJC to continue pursuing and fulfilling crucial objectives under the BC First Nations Justice Strategy, and we thank them for their generosity and dedication.”

A regionally representative body, the EKKC is currently comprised of five members:

  • Ta na’as, David Rattary (Tahltan Nation)
  • C’tasi:a Geraldine Manson (Snuneymuxw First Nation)
  • Legïïbu, Ann (Dolores) Bazil (Wet’suwet’en First Nation)
  • Swutth’tus, Calvin Swustus Sr(Cowichan Tribes)
  • Yaw Yawt all XaXa7 t/e Boonllp, Gloria Morgan (Splatsin té Secwépemc)

Moving forward, the EKKC will expand to a total of 15 members over the course of two years, ensuring that there is accurate local representation from the 200+ First Nations across the province that BCFNJC serves. These EKKC members will represent the Interior, Northern, Fraser, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island Regions and bring a strong understanding of their daily realities within their communities. Together, our EKKC Members will represent and celebrate the rich cultural, spiritual, and geographical diversity of Indigenous people across the province and hold up many identities and ways of living, including Two Spirit+ individuals and those who practice different traditional medicines.

There are currently seats open for EKKC representatives from the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Regions. Please contact our Elders Liaison, Krystle-Dawn Sallis ( for more information. The next round of nominations for Members of the Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council will open in early 2025.


“My name is Swutth’tus Calvin Swustus Sr and I am joining the Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council as a Cowichan Tribes citizen from the Village of Quamichan. Having served as an elected official for Cowichan Tribes for 26 years and in the RCMP for 22 years, I am passionate about serving my community and ensuring our people are truly looked after and protected by the justice system. I am a true believer in sacred medicines and healing in ceremonies, and I look forward to bringing my knowledge and cultural guidance to BCFNJC.”– Swutth’tus, Calvin Swustus Sr

“My name is Ta na’as, or David Rattray. My mother is Isadaya, or Evelyn Rattray. My grandmother is Grace Edzerza. We are ch’iyone (wolf) and Etzenlee. I am a Tahltan Elder who has spent much of my live in northwestern British Columbia. As an Elder who has devoted my life to giving back to my Tahltan community and healing the trauma in my Nation, I am excited to join the Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council and find ways to include Elders in the protection of our rights, lands, communities, and justice systems.“– Ta na’as, David Rattary

“I am C’tasi:a Geraldine Manson, a proud member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. I join the Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council as an Elder of the Snuneymuxw Elders’ Advisory Committee, an Elder-in-Resident at the Vancouver Island University, and a lifelong educator who is passionate about sharing my Nation’s history and traditional protocols. As a Residential School Survivor and a Sixty Scoop Survivor, I look forward to advancing trauma-informed, culturally-grounded approaches to important justice work at BCFNJC.”– C’tasi:a Geraldine Manson

“I am Ann (Dolores) Bazil and my hereditary name is Legïïbu (child of a wolf). I am from the Likhsilyu (Small Frog) Clan of Wet’suwet’en First Nation and I join the Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council as someone who hold a deep connection to my family, community, and the lands of my people. Community is at a center of our cultures and ways of life, and I look forward to helping Indigenous communities across BC thrive in my role at the EKKC.“ – Legïïbu, Ann (Dolores) Bazil

“I am Gloria Morgan, an Elder of the Splatsin First Nations community near Enderby, BC. My Secwepemctsin name is Yaw Yawt all XaXa7 t/e Boonllp, which means Strong and Smart Juniper. As a Residential School and Sixties Scoop survivor and having served as a Crown Prosecutor, a Circuit Counsel where I travelled with the court team to villages along the BC coast to represent Indigenous clients, and as a Federal Adjudicator with the Indian Residential Schools Independent Assessment Process, I know that justice and decision-making must be put back in the hands of our people. I am excited to support this and improve the lives of our people on the Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council.” – Yaw Yawt all XaXa7 t/e Boonllp, Gloria Morgan

About the BCFNJC

The BC First Nations Justice Council has been entrusted with the mandate to transform the justice system and create better outcomes for Indigenous people through implementation of the BC First Nations Justice Strategy.

The strategy, signed March 06, 2020, was jointly developed by the BC First Nations Justice Council, BC First Nations communities and the Province of British Columbia. It includes 43 actions along two paths which involve the reformation of the current system as well as the restoration of First Nations’ legal traditions and structures.

Media Contact:
BC First Nations Justice Council
Natalie Martin (she/her)
Director of Communications
Direct: 778-795-0582