Dr. Judith Sayers
Assistant Professor and Visiting National Chair in Aboriginal Economic Development (NCAED-Business and Law)
- aboriginal economic development
Effective May 1, 2012, Judith (Kekinusuqs) accepted a one-year appointment as the Visiting National Aboriginal Economic Development Chair. She also teaches in both the faculties of law and business.
Judith is internationally known for her work in economic development and serves as an adviser to First Nations and to corporations on First Nations issues.
Judith is the former chief of the Hupacasath First Nation and was elected chief in her community for 14 years. As the senior elected official of her First Nation, she focused on capacity building, sustainable development and restoring and rehabilitating Hupacasath territory. She was also the chief negotiator for Hupacasath for over 16 years. As chief negotiator, she pursued a just settlement of the rights and title of the Hupacasath within their territory.
Sayers' educational background includes a business degree, a law degree from the University of British Columbia, and a honorary Doctor of Laws from Queens University. She has an extensive background of practicing law for 18 years in both Alberta and BC, working in international forums, lobbying governments and other agencies for the promotion and protection of First Nations rights and title.
Sayers served on the political executive of the First Nation Summit for two years and was part of the Leadership Council of BC. The summit represents First Nations involved in the treaty process and the Leadership Council represents all the common issues of First Nations in British Columbia.
Sayers was admitted to the Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame in 2009 by the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business and awarded the Silver Medal in Climate Change from the Canadian Environmental Association in 2008. She has been the recipient of the Bora Laskin Fellowship on Human Rights, a Finalist in 2006 for the Buffet Award for Indigenous Leadership, and twice awarded the Woman of Distinction from the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Sayers currently serves as co-chair on the Island Corridor Foundation, a joint venture between regional districts and First Nations that own the rail line on Vancouver Island. She also serves on the public advisory panel of the Canadian Environmental Association and chair of Eagle Rock Materials Ltd, a developing construction aggregates company.
She has also served as president of Upnit Power Corporation, a green energy project, and chair of the Tsu-ma-uss Transformation Society, a tourism project in its developmental stages, and on the boards of Tourism BC and the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund.
Sayers is the proud mother of two children, Alana and Cole, and focuses her energies on ensuring a sustainable world not only for her own children but all future generations of First Nations children, so that they may continue to exercise their rights and have a just settlement of aboriginal title.
Honorary Doctor of Laws, Queen's University