President, H. Mitchell Stevens
H. Mitchell Stevens, Sim’oogit K-’aw’een, was elected President of the Nisg-a’a Nation on March 18, 2010.
Mitch has been serving the Nisga’a Nation for over 20 years as a member of the Lax-galts’ap Village and Nisga’a Lisims governments. Mitch helped to develop both the Declaration and Constitution of the Nisg-a’a Nation during the negotiations which led to the Nisga’a Final Agreement.
Before joining government Mitch worked in both the fishing and logging industries up and down the BC coast. Mitch was one of the first heli-loggers on BC’s north coast.
Mitch’s public service, in both official and volunteer roles, is guided by the principle that decisions and actions should always be in the interest of the Nisga’a Nation. His primary goal is to promote, support and bring to fruition the opportunities that past leaders have made possible.
Mitch is a member of the Lax-gibuu (wolf) tribe, Gitwilnaak’il from the House of Duuk. His Nisg-a’a name is Sim’oogit K-’aw’een. He lives in the Nisg-a’a Village of Lax-g-alts’ap with his wife Bonnie. They have 3 children and 4 grandchildren (soon to be 6).
Secretary-Treasurer, Corinne McKay
The Nisga’a Nation elected its first female Secretary Treasurer in the November 2012 election. Corinne is Ganada (Frog/Raven), of the House of Hay’maas. Her Nisga’a name is Bilaam Neekhl , meaning “Pearly Fin”. She is married to Alfred McKay of Laxgalts’ap and has two sons Will and Bertram, and daughter, Melissa and twin granddaughters.
She has a Business Administration Diploma; Bachelor of Commerce, major in Accounting; and a Masters Degree in Business Administration. She had the great opportunity to learn the Nisga’a Language and Nisga’a Culture as University Credit Courses by taking evening courses with late Dr. Bertram McKay and his wife Audrey.
Corinne worked in the fishing industry, leaving a position of General Manager to take a health contract with Nisga’a Valley Health . She has worked as a Bookkeeper, Administrator, Referendum Commissioner, Chief Electoral Officer, Vocational /Technical Director, Instructor, Human Resources Manager and Director of Programs.
She served as a member of Gitwinksihlkw Village Government and Wilp Si’ayuukhl Nisga’a for the 2004 – 2008 term. She readily acknowledges the tremendous efforts of those that made the Nisga’a Treaty a reality. The role of the Secretary-Treasurer is defined in the Nisga’a Financial Administration Act; she will ensure compliance with the legislation, and support the nation in efforts of progress forward.
Chairperson, Kevin McKay
Kevin McKay, W’ii Ajiksim Gibaygum Xsgaak, is the Executive Chairperson of Nisga’a Lisims Government, a position he has held since October 2004.
Kevin has been serving the Nisga’a Nation for close to three decades as a social worker, member of Laxgalts’ap Village Government and in a variety of national positions. He was the Laxgalts’ap representative to the Nisga’a Tribal Council in the late 80’s and was elected as Chair of the Nisga’a Tribal Council in 1990. Kevin was a member of the Nisga’a Tribal Council’s negotiating team serving as Chairman of the Economics/Finance Working Group. In 2000 Kevin was elected as the first speaker of Wilp Si’ayuuk-hl Nisga’a a position he held until 2004.
Kevin has a long standing interest in social and economic development and has held management positions and been a Board member of local, provincial and national organizations and institutions addressing those issues.
Kevin lives in the Nisga’a Village of Laxgalts’ap with his wife Andrea where he actively serves as a volunteer in a number of community service organizations. He is a member of the Lax-sgiik (Eagle) tribe, from the House of Luuya’as. His Nisga’a name is W’ii Ajiksim Gibaygum Xsgaak. They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.
Chairperson of the Council of Elders, Shirley Morven, Angaye'e
Born at Gitlaxt’aamiks, delivered by her paternal jiits, Emily Morven (Ganada from the house of Ksim Xsaan), and welcomed by her ye’e, Charles Morven, (Laxgibuu from the house of Duuk’) with the command, “Y’aga uxt! /Throw her in the river!” This was his way of deceiving the evil ones who, it was believed, perennially stood by to take away what was of great value, a brand new baby Nisga’a, especially a Ksim Nisga’a. Both her ye’e Charlie and jiits Emily were early converts into the Church of England denomination. Her ye’e was taken by JB McCullagh, a missionary, when he had not yet reached puberty.
Her other ye’e and jiits were (Paul McMillan) Jaalu, Laxsgiik entrepreneur, from the house of Guxw Maaw’, and Sarah, Laxgibuu, from the house of K’eexkw (her brother,Timothy Derrick, one of the original Land Committee members). This ye’e was one of the very last converts to the Christian religion. He married Sarah shortly after the last great smokehouse opening at Sii Aks. When her ye’e Jaalu held Bayt T’aa, as Angaye’e was first called, her mother Amelia told her he used to sing Nisga’a children’s songs to her. He died when Bayt T’aa was 15 months old.
Angayee spoke only Nisga’a until she was sent to St. Michael’s Indian Residential School at aged 10. She ended up at that institution because someone made a mistake in the spelling of a name. So a space was made for a female child instead of for the boy whose mother was terminally ill. She learned to read English when I was in Grade 7 and basically thinks in our gwaas algax.
St. Mike’s was not the only institution Shirley attended for her formal education. She is a graduate of Booth Memorial High School’s University Entrance Program. She received her B. Ed. in Special Education from UBC, her M. Ed. in Multi-Cultural Education from the University of Washington, Seattle, and the theory towards her doctoral degree in Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her sister, Dorothy, calls her “Half a Doctor” because she did not complete this program.
Public service, the principles and edicts that are the foundation of Nisga’a culture which she learned mainly her mother and from those mentioned above are what motivates Angaye’e. Hers is not a unique life. During her years growing up, and resuming her traditional learning once she left off with her formal education, is very similar to those of others in her generation.