Bldg. #10-7201 Vedder Road
Chilliwack, BC V2R 4G5
Toll free: 1-800-565-6004
“We respectfully acknowledge that the SRRMC is on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe, a Tribe of Stó:lō-Coast Salish, Halq'eméylem speaking Peoples.”
David Schaepe, Ph.D. - Director / Senior Archaeologist
Dr. David Schaepe is the Director & Senior Archaeologist of the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre at Stó:lō Nation. He has worked for over 15 years as a community-based researcher addressing issues of aboriginal rights and title, heritage management policy and practice, repatriation, land use planning, archaeological research, and education and outreach. He earned his PhD in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia in 2009. In addition to working at Stó:lō Nation, he is an adjunct professor in Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management, and an instructor of Indigenous Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. His research interests are multi-disciplinary in nature and include household archaeology, oral history, Stó:lō-Coast Salish settlement patterning and community organization, cultural landscape management, and issues of aboriginal rights and title. Dr. Schaepe has over 25 years of experience in archaeology/anthropology, and cultural heritage research and resource management.
Naxaxalhts’i, Albert (Sonny) McHalsie - Cultural Advisor/Historian and Honorary Doctorate of Law, University of Victoria.
Dr. Naxaxalhts’i is the Cultural Advisor/Historian of the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre. Naxaxalhts’i has worked for the Stó:lō as a researcher in cultural heritage and aboriginal rights and title issues since 1985. He currently acts as the cultural advisor on the Treaty Negotiation Team for the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association. He was a co-author of the book I Am Stó:lō: Katherine Explores Her Heritage (1997) – focusing on his family and his daughter. He contributed to and served on the editorial board of the award winning publication A Stó:lō Coast Salish Historical Atlas (2001). He was also the author of We Have To Take Care OF Everything That Belongs To Us in Bruce Miller’s Be of Good Mind (2007). He also wrote the foreword in Keith Thor Carlson’s The Power Of Place, The Problem Of Time (2010). His areas of expertise include Halq’eméylem Place Names, Fishing, and Stó:lō Oral History. He has also been featured in many television documentaries for the CBC, APTN and Omni. He is a member of the Shxw’ow’hamel First Nation, the proud father of two girls and six boys, and has six grandchildren. He continues to fish at his ancestral fishing ground at Aseláw in the Stó:lō Five Fishery in the lower Fraser River canyon.
Tracey Joe - Aylexwlemot - Managing Supervisor
Tracey is a member of Chi’yaqtel First Nation and her Xwelmexw name is Aylexwlemot. Tracey’s employment began in 1995 as a researcher to assist with the three SRRMC publications that would be produced over the next five years: You Are Asked To Witness, A Stó:lō Coast Salish Historical Atlas, and I Am Stó:lō. Tracey has been a coordinator for the People of the River conferences since 1997. She has also coordinated two trans-border (BC and Washington State) environment conferences and the 2008 BC Archaeology Forum. Tracey has assisted in other projects, including the Yale Air Quality Study, The Lynching of Louie Sam film, treaty orientation sessions, Transformer Narratives project, and field schools, just to name a few.
Currently, Tracey provides operational and administrative support to the SRRMC department. Her primary responsibility is to liaise with the Stó:lō Service Agency Finance and Administrative staff to ensure their policies and procedures are adhered to for routine transactions such as financial accounting and bi-weekly Payroll, monitoring of funding and service contracts, telecommunications, supply requests and office equipment monitoring, information technology software and hardware requests, and human resources and personnel-related needs.
Tara Green – Executive Administration Assistant
Lana Baptiste – Administrative Assistant
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Colin Green – GIS Manager and Analyst
Colin Green is the GIS Analyst for SRRMC. Colin has a Mining Engineering Technology diploma from BCIT and had worked in industry for over 20 years. He is a member of Duncan’s First Nation, in northern Alberta, and has been living in the lower mainland for 12 years. Colin manages the GIS group at SRRMC, which provides mapping and database support for the other teams.
Lisa Davidson, B.A. – GIS Specialist
Lisa has been working for Stó:lō Service Agency since 2004. She has worked in various departments (Finance and Administration, Stó:lō Lands, etc.) and joined the SRRMC team in April 2009. She provides GIS services for the People of the River Referrals Office, SRRMC, and other department projects as requested.
Deanna Rach, B.A – GIS Technician
Deanna joined the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre as a GIS Technician in 2018. She received a BA in Natural Resource Management with Geographic Information Systems as a minor from the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, BC. Deanna provides GIS services to various projects for the SRRMC and the People of the River Referrals Office.
Heritage Stewardship and Archaeology
Cara Brendzy, B.A., B.App.GIS, B.Tech.ForensicInvestigation, RPCA – Heritage Stewardship & Archaeology Manager
Cara is the Heritage Stewardship and Archaeology Manager and has been working with the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre since 2007. Cara administers the Stó:lō Heritage Investigation permitting system. She received her B.A. in archaeology from SFU in 2002, her Bachelor of GIS from SAIT Polytechnic in 2005, and her B.Tech in Forensic Investigation from BCIT in 2018.
Lisa Dojack, B.A., M.A. - Project Archaeologist/GPR Specialist
Lisa has been working with the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre since 2012 as an archaeologist, and has been involved in excavations in partnership with the SRRMC since 2008. She received a MA in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology from UBC in 2012 and a BA in archaeology from SFU in 2009. Lisa works alongside Stó:lō communities on a wide variety of projects and is trained in the use of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). Lisa enjoys the physical challenge of archaeological fieldwork, and has extensive knowledge of the territory, not only from her decade of experience as an archaeologist but also as a result of her passion for getting out on the landscape. Lisa’s coworkers value her caring nature, dedication to Stó:lō heritage, and willingness to share her knowledge and experience.
Janna Bucsis, B.A. - Archaeologist
Janna Bucsis has been working the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre since 2019 as a member of the cultural heritage stewardship team. Janna received her BA in archaeology from SFU in 2016, and worked as an archaeologist throughout BC before joining the Stó:lō heritage team. Currently, Janna works on an array of projects that include conducting fieldwork, research, report writing, artifact analysis, data collection, and using ArcMap to create maps and analyze GIS data.
Shannon Enns, B.A. - Archaeologist
Shannon has been working as an archaeologist with the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Center since August 2019. Prior to this she worked for the SRRMC for two consecutive summers as a student researcher (2007 & 2008). Shannon is from the Secwepemc Nation, a member of Adams Lake Indian Band; and grew up in Chilliwack. Her fascination with archaeology began at the age of 9, when an archaeologist, who was excavating a pit house near the fish camp that Shannon and her family were participating in, showed her the stratigraphy of the pit house floor. After that she was hooked. She completed her B.A. in Archaeology and a certificate in Cultural Resource Management at Simon Fraser University in 2011 and is a Southern Interior Field Director and Permit Holder.
Language, Archives, Cultural Education and Tours
Amber D. Kostuchenko, B.A., M.A. – Manager, Library/Archives, Cultural Education and Tours
Amber is a XwelÍtem (Halq’eméylem for non-Indigenous) Canadian of Frisian and Ukrainian roots. Her education includes degrees in archaeology (BA, Simon Fraser University) and history (MA, University of Saskatchewan), as well as certificates in public history and paralegal studies. Prior to joining the SRRMC in 2016, she had the good fortune to have several opportunities to research and work with Stó:lō individuals and communities, participating in three archaeological and ethnohistorical field schools. Amber also spent 16 years working for the Canadian Federal Government, including 14 years coordinating research into Indian Residential Schools, which culminated in the opportunity to work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the transfer of over 1 million documents related to the operations of the schools, which are now housed at the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. Amber is pleased to bring her research skills, diverse knowledge sets, and program management experience to the SRRMC to support the Library/Archives, and Cultural Education and Tours programs.
Strang Burton – Linguist
Jared Deck – Materials Developer
Stó:lō Library and Archives
Stephen Shurgold, B.A., M.I., M.M.S.t – Librarian/Archivist
Stephen holds a degree in history (B.A.) in addition to his Masters of Information and Masters of Museum Studies. A transplant from back east, Stephen is glad to be in S’ólh Téméxw.
Lisa Davidson, B.A. – Genealogist
Lisa has been working for Stó:lō Service Agency since 2004. She has worked in various departments (Finance and Administration, Stó:lō Lands, etc.) and joined the SRRMC team in April 2009. Lisa provides genealogical research for Stó:lō descendants, SSA/SRRMC departments, and for special projects as requested. Please see the Genealogy portion of the website for more information.
Cultural Education and Tours
June Point – Cultural Education Coordinator
Terrington Prest – Cultural Education Assistant
Bon Graham - Stó:lō Tourism & Cultural Experience Coordinator
Bon is of Stó:lō and Snunéymuxw descent and has lived in the territory all her life. She is a visual artist (b.wyse Halq’eméylem art) and award winning professional designer with UFV certification in Graphic Design & Communications. Bon’s passion for Indigenous Tourism development has spanned over many years, working closely with the community, tourism and affiliated business leaders. Stó:lō Tourism currently offers guided narrated Coqualeetza Grounds tours and self-guided educational kiosks as well as cultural road and river tours, upriver to Yale, downriver through Mission area as well as Chilliwack Lake region. Bon also coordinates the annual Cultural Experience Series events including book launches, archaeological presentations, weaving and hands-on participation events for the whole family. Email tour inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Brady, B.A., MRM, Ph.D – Land Stewardship Manager
Karen joined the SRRMC in 2011 as the Land Use Planner and moved into the role of Land Stewardship Manager in 2019. Karen holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Nice (2003) and a B.A. in Mathematics from Trinity College Dublin (1998). During her postdoctoral career, Karen worked in the field of coral reef mapping and monitoring. Working alongside ecologists, conservationists, marine park managers, and community groups, Karen developed a strong interest in the human dimension of natural resource stewardship. This interest continued to grow, prompting a career change when Karen moved to Canada to pursue a Master’s in Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University which she completed in 2014. Karen oversees the work of the Land Stewardship Unit and engages extensively with federal, provincial, and local government to ensure Stó:lō values are central to natural resource decision-making within S’ólh Téméxw.
Ray Douglas – S’ólh Téméxw Guardian
Ray joined the SRRMC as a S’ólh Téméxw Guardian in 2020. He has worked with the BC Wildfire Service, a branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, for 13 years and has been a BC Wildfire Unit Crew Leader from 2012 to 2020. His wildfire credentials consist of courses such as Task Force Leader and Incident Commander training. He is also a student of Indigenous Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley which will earn him a Certificate in Stó:lō Studies. While pursuing Indigenous Studies he has completed all four Halq'eméylem Language courses that are required to earn an Intermediate Proficiency Certificate. Additionally, Ray has experience working with the SRRMC Heritage Stewardship & Archaeology Unit, BC Parks, and the Chawathil Land Code Committee. He is a member of Cheam First Nation and has direct lineage to the Tait and Pelhólhxw (Pilalt) Tribes, of Stó:lō Territory, from his mother and father. He participates in his cultural practices often because he knows this is important work to keep strong for current and future generations. Finally, Ray is an advocate for Indigenous rights and considers himself a Steward of S’ólh Téméxw not only on the job but off duty as well.
Kierstin Dolata, B.A., M.A. – Researcher / Project Coordinator
Kierstin joined the SRRMC as a researcher 2019, providing support for a number of different projects. She has since joined the Collaborative Stewardship Forum as a Project Coordinator for projects related to cultural heritage protection. Kierstin received her B.A. in Art History from the University of British Columbia (2009) and an M.A. in Archaeology from the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas) at Nova University in Lisbon (2014), where she specialized in Cognitive Archaeology. With the support of her advisor, Kierstin completed a Coastal Field Archaeology course at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (2015) on Vancouver Island, in Huu-ay-aht territory. The opportunity offered new perspectives on archaeology, and would eventually lead her back to BC in 2017.
Jillian Spies, B.Sc, M.Sc – Project Coordinator
Jillian joined the SRRMC as a Project Coordinator for the Collaborative Stewardship Forum in 2019. She was born in New York, and moved to Vancouver, BC in 2015. Jillian holds a BSc in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont (2013) and an MSc from the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia (UBC) (2017). Formerly, Jillian worked at The American Chestnut Foundation, working to restore the American chestnut tree to its natural habitat; Bandelier National Monument as a Fire Ecologist; and as a Project Manager and Researcher in the UBC Forest Resources and Environmental Services Hub. As a Project Coordinator for the Collaborative Stewardship Forum, Jillian assists in the coordination of several projects within the Forum, such as the S’ólh Téméxw Guardians, Forestry Operational Guidelines for the S’ólh Téméxw Use Plan, and Managing Natural Values project.
People of the River Referrals Office
For more information about the PRRO, please visit https://thestsa.ca/stsa-operations/prro/
Matt McGinity, B.A., Adv.GIS Dip. – Manager, People of the River Referrals Office
Matt was the first of his family to be born in Canada, his parents both being born to New Zealand settler families. Graduating from UBC with a Major in Anthropology, he worked as a field archaeologist across BC before returning to school at BCIT for an Advance Diploma in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Following his graduation from that program, he was hired at the SRRMC in 2012 just as PRRO’s referral management web portal, StoloConnect.com and The People of the River Referrals Office (PRRO) were about to launch.
Sandy McDonald - PRRO Referrals Administrator
Sandy is a proudly connected to Leq’á:mel First Nation. She started with the SRRMC in Sept 2013 as an Archaeology researcher, and later joined the PRRO as the Referrals Administrator, which can be contacted at Referrals@peopleoftheriver.com.
Tannis Tommy – Communications Coordinator
Mike Goold, Dip. NRM – Federal Engagement Liaison
Mike has lived in the Chilliwack area since 1991 and currently resides at Cultus Lake. Mike grew up in Houston, BC and is a proud member of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation on his mother’s side from the Laksilyu (Small Frog) clan. Mike is equally proud of his Celtic/Irish heritage on his father’s side as well. Mike is certified in Forestry Business Administration, in addition to a Diploma in Natural Resource Management. Previously, Mike enjoyed over twenty years as a forestry contract supervisor and technician in various sectors of the Natural Resource industry including over nine years with the Chilliwack Forest District.
Damodar Khadka, B. A., Geography; M.A., MNRES – Referrals Officer
Damodar has a background in natural resource management, land use planning, protected areas, conservation policy, and traditional ecological knowledge. In addition to working as a Referrals Officer, he is also the Lands and Natural Resource Officer at the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe that includes the communities of Aitchelitz First Nation, Shxwha:y Village, Skowkale First Nation, Soowhalie Indian Band, Squiala First Nation, Tzeachten First Nation, and Yakweakwioose First Nation.
Gina Peters, Referrals Officer
Gina was raised by her Grandparents in Seabird Island and spent her high school years in White Rock. After working in retail for a short time, Gina boarded a plane to Japan where she lived for two years teaching English and travelling throughout Asia. Since then, Gina has returned home and has planted firm roots by starting a beautiful family with two girls, Stephany and Candace. When not working, she can usually be found at the nearest lake on her paddle board or boat!
Barry Schmitz, Referrals Officer