Nuxalk Nation

Chief & Council Governance

Prior to colonization, Indigenous peoples governed themselves according to structures and processes unique to their respective cultures. The Chief and Council system of governance was imposed on First Nations in 1876 through the Indian Act; this was done to control and streamline the governance of local Indigenous populations.

European style elections were first introduced into the Act on June 22, 1869, and the intention of the Canadian government was to replace the traditional Indigenous systems with one that closely mirrored their own. Under the Indian Act individuals are elected by the community but are accountable to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

The Nuxalk Nation elected Chief and Council system does not reflect the ancestral governance system that existed in Nuxalkulmc for thousands of years before contact. For more information on the revival and implementation of ancestral governance in Nuxalk territory, please click here .

On June 28, 2019, the elected Chief and Council signed a Declaration of Understanding with Nuxalk Stataltmc (ancestral leadership) that outlines the path that the leadership intends to take moving forward and lays a foundation for future decision-making processes. This was a historic step in furthering ancestral governance in Nuxalk territory.

The elected Chief and Council of the Nuxalk Nation operates under the Indian Act, receiving the bulk of its funding for its members from Indigenous Services Canada, and holds elections every two years. The current elected Chief and Council was elected on May 26, 2021. The next election is slated for 2023.
Council
Rhonda Morton
Primary Portfolio: Administration and Finance
Secondary Portfolio: for Transition House & Elders
rhonda_alice@hotmail.com
James Mack
Primary Portfolio: Mining, Lands, and Forestry
Secondary Portfolio: for Education
jamesolliemack@gmail.com
Iris Siwallace
Primary Portfolio: Emergency Management & Communications
Secondary Portfolio: for Justice & Courts/Child Welfare
irislena09@gmail.com
Kirsten Tallio
Primary Portfolio: Culture Youth & Recreation
Secondary Portfolio: Economic Independence
Kirsten.nuxalk@gmail.com
Spuxta Nelson
Primary Portfolio: Transition House & Elders
Secondary Portfolio: Culture, Youth & Recreation
spuxtanelsoncouncil@nuxalknation.ca
Terry Webber
Primary Portfolio: Education
Secondary Portfolio: Administration & Finance
terryfwwebber@gmail.com
Crystal Tallio
Primary Portfolio: Economic Independence
Secondary Portfolio: Mining, Lands & Forestry
crystaltallio23@gmail.com
Marshall Hans Jr.
Primary Portfolio: Clean Energy/Climate Change
Secondary Portfolio: Public Works/Housing
marshhansjr@gmail.com
Blair Mack
Primary Portfolio: Fisheries & Ocean
Secondary Portfolio: Clean Energy/Climate Change
blairmack.nuxalk@gmail.com
Wilma Parr
Primary Portfolio: Public Works/Housing
Secondary Portfolio: Health & Wellness Department
wilmaparrcouncil@nuxalknation.ca
Jeromy Andy
Primary Portfolio: Health & Wellness Department
Secondary Portfolio: Fisheries & Oceans
jeromyandycouncil@nuxalknation.ca
Melinda Mack
Primary Portfolio: Justice & Courts/Child Welfare
Secondary Portfolio: Emergency Management
& Communications
melindamackcouncil@nuxalknation.ca

Ancestral Governance

We Nuxalkmc have had our own law since we descended from the eyelashes of the sun from the house of Alhkw’ntam. Our law includes our sliix, our stl’cw, and our sxayaxw. Put together, these summarize our roles and responsibilities as individuals and community members. Our ancestors used their teachings to create these laws and to build a complex, resilient, and effective society. They documented our knowledge system so that future generations would continue to learn and practise Nuxalk ways of being in the world.   

As Nuxalkmc, we are responsible for understanding our law as our ancestors intended. It is important that we continue to use our governance system as our ancestors used it and that we continue to use our law so that it can evolve as our society evolves. 

Nuxalk Ancestral Governance refers to the roles and responsibilities that uphold the Nuxalk Nation, and that tether Nuxalkmc to our territories. Nunuts’xlhuusnm is the term for the Nuxalk system of governance, which is understood through four sliix (treasures), the foundations or pillars of Nuxalk law. These pillars, and the governance role they play, are understood in the following way:  

  • Smayusta: What’s its origin, where does Nuxalk law originate from
  • Klhalhta: What’s its practice, where does Nuxalk law gather its strength from
  • Tcamatlhh: What’s its place, how is Nuxalk law validated and reinforced
  • Kw’alhtnta: How does this help our community, what does this mean for the Nuxalk Nation today? 

In addition to the sliix are the ceremonies, sxayaaxa (protocols), stl’cw (ethics), responsibilities, ksnmsta (land stewardship), relations, and ancestry that are the foundations of our governance system. Together, these create the system we understand as Nuxalk Ancestral Governance.  

Smaw Ti Slq'ilh
One Heart, One mind
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