STAFF

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Khelsilem

Programming Director

Khelsilem is the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-Kwa̱kwa̱ka'wakw (Na̱mg̱is' and Ḵwiḵwa̱sut̓inux̱w) programming director and founder of Kwi Awt Stelmexw. He grew up and lives in the city of Vancouver. His passion is creating opportunities for growth, renewal, and exploration as Indigenous peoples. He founded Kwi Awt Stelmexw to help accomplish that with his people.

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Tasha Nijjar

Managing Director

Tasha is passionate about exploring how creativity and social change overlap. She has worked with community and arts organizations using art, film, theatre and social media to amplify grassroots voices. Tasha has over a decade of experience working with community-focused not for profit organizations in leadership and Executive Director level positions. As a settler, of Punjabi descent, living on Coast Salish territory Tasha seeks to be in solidarity with Indigenous people living here. She is excited to bring her experience in arts, community engagement, administration, and fundraising to support Kwi Awt Stelmexw’s vision of strengthening Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language, arts and culture.

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Charlene George

Intern

S7atsáliya (Charlene George) is a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-Tsleil-Waututh artist and organizer who lives and works in Vancouver, BC. She spends much of her time making art, creating new ways to share her cultures languages and participates in a dance and singing troupe with both her nations. Charlene is a recent graduate from the very first Squamish Language Immersion certificate program from SFU. Charlene also loves to weave with wool and is currently learning to weave Chief’s/Nobility Robes with Janice George and Buddy Joseph.

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Carla Bergman

Project Development Manager

carla bergman is a documentary filmmaker, mom, writer and organizer. carla has worked in alternatives-to-education spaces and projects for over 15 years. She co-directed the film Common Notions: Handbook Not Required, co-edited the AK Press book Stay Solid: A Radical Handbook For Youth, and co-wrote the forthcoming book, Joyful Militancy. She is the co director of EMMA Talks, a speakers series by women. carla identifies as a settler living and working on Coast Salish territory.

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Swo-wo Billy

Squamish Language Outreach Assistant

Chenáwx̱tn Swo-wo Billy, identifies as a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Lil'wat person. He is a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language speaker and learner, a Leo Award winning actor and a father. Swo-wo has worked teaching and sharing his culture for 8 years and continues to do so. He looks forward to seeing what the future holds for his language and people.

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Salia Joseph

Events Coordinator

Coming soon!

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Nicki Benson

Education Initiative Manager

Nicki has been working in language education for over 10 years as a teacher, researcher, and consultant. She is the founder of Esperanza Education, an organization that promotes progressive approaches to language education, and has worked with international organizations on projects to support Indigenous language learning in several countries. Nicki speaks Spanish, studies hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, and practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu..

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Alex Burns

Squamish Language Outreach Worker

Alexandrea is a proud member of the Skwxwú7mesh Nation who strongly believes that knowing your traditional language gives you inner peace and pride in your heritage.  As the Squamish Language Outreach Worker, she will be inviting Skwxwú7mesh families to join the Language in the Homes project, and will support them in developing their language skills.  Learning the language connects us to our culture, allowing us to view the world in the way our ancestors did.  Alexandrea's strong Early Childhood Educational  background and passion for language revitalization ensures that learning will be fun and interactive.