“Indigenous Relations Inside and Outside the BC Public Service” - Panel Discussion

Please join us in person at First People's House or via Zoom 

September 26, 2023 4:30 - 6:00 pm PT 

A panel of four senior Indigenous public servants in the Government of the Province of British Columbia will provide reflections on their work in the BC Public Service. They will discuss the status of the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA), reconciliation in action and their experiences as Indigenous persons working in the BC Government. A key event for students, faculty and anyone interested in Indigenous relations.


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Panelist Bios:

Ann Marie Sam - ADM RTSD IRR

Ann Marie Sam
Assistant Deputy Minister,
Reconciliation Transformation and Strategies Division,
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

Ann Marie Sam was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation in June 2022. Ann Marie is from Nak’azdli Whut’en (Fort St James) and is a member of the Lhts’umusyoo (beaver clan).

Ann Marie joined the ministry from the senior management team at the Planning and Priorities Secretariat in the Premier’s Office, where she supported ministries and Cabinet on priority initiatives and mandate commitments. Prior to that, Ann Marie was Senior Ministerial Advisor to former MIRR Minister Scott Fraser between 2018 and 2021. With roots in community advocacy and leadership, Ann Marie has deep knowledge of the connection between land, protocol, and the history of Indigenous communities. She has provided support and services to Indigenous and northern communities throughout her career, including as an elected councillor and as a school trustee in Nechako Lake. As a councillor, Ann Marie guided negotiations on behalf of her community for major infrastructure projects. Ann Marie also has been active in many non-profits, including as a leading author of the Indigenous Communities and Industrial Camps Report which brought attention to the impacts of major projects on women and vulnerable populations and informed critical changes to the Environmental Assessment Act.

Ann Marie holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Northern British Columbia and has studied in the Master of Applied Science program at the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia.

Andrea Glen - Legal Counsel, JHR AG

Andrea Glen (she/they)
Legal Counsel, Justice, Health & Revenue Group,
Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Attorney General

Andrea Glen is a lawyer with the Legal Services Branch (LSB) of the BC Ministry of Attorney General. She has advised and represented a variety of ministries as both a solicitor and litigator since she was called to the bar in 2016.

Andrea has mixed heritage – they are Omushkego (Swampy Cree) and Scottish on their dad’s side, and Dutch on their mom’s side. They received a B.Ed. from the University of Alberta and worked as a teacher before entering law school at UBC as a mature student. Andrea believes that the BC public service needs more Indigenous people, especially in positions of leadership. She is passionate about creating and protecting safe spaces for Indigenous employees in government, including through her work as LSB’s Champion for Reconciliation and as a founding member of the Indigenous Employee Collective.

Andrea enjoys powerlifting, biking and swimming; they also moonlight as a D&D dungeon master.

Johnny Van Camp - Lawyer, CIVILIT AG

Johnny Van Camp (Mr. / he / him)
Lawyer, Ministry of Attorney General
Litigation Group, Legal Services Branch

Johnny is Indigenous. He derives his status through his mother, a residential school survivor and member of the Tłı̨chǫ First Nation. He was born and raised in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories.

He received his undergrad degree in Management (accounting major) from the University of Lethbridge before going to UVic Law. Johnny then articled with the Ministry of the Attorney General and became a civil litigator after his call in 2009. Johnny remains a civil litigator for the provincial government. He is on various diversity and inclusion committees. He is an advocate for promoting recruitment and retention of Indigenous peoples at all levels within the public service.

Johnny plays drums, reads, and enjoys travelling.

Priscilla Sabbas-Watts - ADM LTE IRR

Priscilla Sabbas-Watts
Assistant Deputy Minister,
Legislative Transformation and Engagement with the Declaration Act Secretariat

Assistant Deputy Minister, Legislative Transformation and Engagement with the Declaration Act Secretariat

Priscilla’s traditional name is c̓aʔaa [sah-ah], which comes from the word c̓aʔaas, meaning to strip cedar from the cedar tree. She is from the Hiškʷiiʔatḥ (Hesquiaht) on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Hiškʷiiʔatḥ is one of fourteen nations of the Nuučaan̓uƛ (Nuuchahnulth).

Priscilla is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Legislative Transformation and Engagement with the Declaration Act Secretariat. Within this role she plays a fundamental role supporting cross-government efforts to work in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous Peoples to align laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as per section 3 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. Priscilla has served as a public servant for the past 20 years holding positions both within her Nation and within the provincial public service. She has previously served both as an elected councillor for Hesquiaht, and Vice President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. Within the BC Public Service Priscilla has held roles in the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and the BC Public Service Agency. Most recently she was the Executive Director of the Equity Diversity and Inclusion Branch at the BC Public Service Agency.

Priscilla lives in c̓išaaʔatḥ (Tseshaht) and Hupačasath territory in the Alberni Valley with her husband and three children.

Jeremy Belyea - ED MCF

Jeremy Belyea
Executive Director and Advocate
Operations Branch in Ministry of Child and Family Development

Jeremy is from the House of Lily, First of his name, The Unbroken, Captain Awesome, Master of Counselling, Khal of the Ned’u’ten, (Ned-OO-Ten) Breaker of Colonial Systems, and Father of Corgi’s.

Raised by wolves like a modern-day Tarzan, Jeremy’s pack has roamed across the West Coast, from Southern BC to Beautiful Burns Lake, and beyond. A proud member of the Lake Babine Nation, Jeremy comes from the Raven clan, and sits as a guest of the Fireweed clan in Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan territory. He is a grateful guest, along with his family on Lekwungen Territory, and he is appreciative of the opportunity to reside on the beautiful lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nation’s.

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