Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson
Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson of the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) represents the 203 First Nations in BC at the provincial and national level. In June 2015, the Regional Chief was elected on a six-point platform that is community driven, made in British Columbia, and that takes a Nation approach. BCAFN staff, under Chief Gottfriedson’s leadership are working hard to implement this plan to create a better quality of life for BC First Nations. The six pillars of the Plan are: (1) Giving expression to Aboriginal Title, Rights, and Treaty Rights; (2) Ensuring Health, Wellness, and Good Governance; (3) Protecting and Promoting Language, Traditions, and Culture; (4) Promoting Life-long Learning; (5) Protection of Children, Youth, Elders, and Family; and (6) Safeguarding our Resources, Participating in the Economy. The underlying premise of this plan is to support and empower First Nations communities and citizens based on their distinct path forward.
Prior to his role as Regional Chief, Shane Gottfriedson served 4 terms, a total of 12 years, as Chief of the Tk’emlúps Indian Band situated in the traditional territory of the Secwe̓pemc people. Shane has also served as the Tribal Chief for the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council which concentrates on advancing Aboriginal rights and title by focusing on unity and shared territory.
Regional Chief Gottfriedson was instrumental in the recent decision by the Federal Court to certify a class action lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of First Nations students who attended day schools. He also serves on a number of boards and committees working to advance First Nations priorities.
Chief Gottfriedson strives to promote positive youth development through sports and has served on the 1993 Canada Summer Games Board of Directors, the 2006 BC Summer Games Board of Directors, the 2011 Western Canadian Games Board, and coached the Tk’emlúps Coyotes, a local youth hockey team, to the Western Canada Native Hockey Championships. In addition, Shane has served on the Chief's Governance Council, the Aboriginal Business Investment Council, Ch'nook Sauder School of Business Advisory Board, Minister Polak's Roundtable on Environment and the First Nations Gaming Commission.
Chief Gottfriedson’s work ethic has been reflected in his leadership where he has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to creating sustainable opportunities for the First Nations peoples. Chief Gottfriedson set forth an aggressive financial plan to eliminate the Tk’emlúps Indian Band debt and increase capital assets within his first term. Under his leadership the Tk’emlúps Indian Band became debt free almost a year ahead of schedule, owns and operates 10 corporations, and is operating year-to-year with an increasing surplus.
Chief Gottfriedson’s mission in life is to create a better quality of life for our people by supporting and empowering our leadership and communities through economic development. The responsibility of leadership is to create a better future for our next generation. Building partnerships through business and industry is essential to improve our communities’ quality of life. Chief Gottfriedson strongly believes that our Aboriginal Title and Rights need to be recognized not only by Federal and Provincial governments but also by industry. By advocating for the recognition of our rights and also advancing a strong platform of economic development, this innovative approach will seek to improve the quality of life and social fabric of our communities.
The father of 5, grandfather of one, he has spent his life serving his home community. In his new role, Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson is committed to creating a better quality of life for BC First Nations and has embarked upon this goal through a community-driven, Nation-based approach. In addition to his role as Regional Chief, Shane currently holds the Assembly of First Nations national portfolios on economic development, Justice, and Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.