Jim White, Founding NEC Board Member
Gertie Guerin Visionary Award
Jim White was born in Bella Bella and is a fluent speaker in Heiltsuk. In the humble beginnings of Native Education College, Jim was highly instrumental in getting it started back in 1967. He plays an active role in the education community by dedicating his time as an Elder at Simon Fraser University and is a member of the Heiltsuk Tribal Council. He is knowledgeable in local traditions and enjoys sharing his experiences with others. He hopes to become an inspiring mentor to students and encourages them to achieve success.
George Manuel Educational Excellence Award
Born and raised in the Lower Mainland, Shawn Bobb is a descendant of the Spuzzum Village in Nlaka’pamux territory. Shawn completed the Criminology Program at Native Education College in 1996 and by 2002, he graduated from University of British Columbia with his law degree. Today, he practices personal injury and family law at the Trial Advocacy Group in Surrey, BC. He is an advocate, litigator, and negotiator, and regularly appears in both the Provincial and Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Chief Joe Mathias Leadership Award
Steve Sxwithul’txw (Swee-thult) is from the Penelakut Tribe located in Chemainus, BC. Steve now resides in Victoria and is the proud father of three children. Steve received his Dogwood Certificate from Native Education College in 1987. Steve also participated in NEC’s police skills training in 1988 which marked the beginning of his career in law enforcement. Since then, he became a Police Officer in 1995 by forming a police service in his traditional territory on Vancouver Island. After 8 years of policing, Steve changed careers from law enforcement into media, working for CTV news, and eventually forming his own production company called Kwassen Productions Inc. Steve is a Leo Awardwinning host and producer of the documentary TV series “Warrior Games”. Today, Steve is now producing and hosting the APTN TV show “Tribal Police Files. Steve also is the Coordinator for the award winning Aboriginal Employment Program at Vancouver Island Health. His teams focus is to assist job seekers who want a career in health.
Wanda Bolton Community Service Award
Connie Larochelle is from the Beaver Clan of the Haisla Nation and graduated from the Business
Administration program at Native Education College in 1989. This led to a career including pipeline negotiations in northern Yukon, forestry manager in southeast BC and currently, as a Senior Operations Advisor with the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. Throughout her career, she always found time to supporting Aboriginal people in any way she can. Her passions lie in justice, education and currently, she tutors Aboriginal men in a regional correctional facility supporting them in their efforts to get their Dogwood Certificate.
Amanda McDermott, 2016 Academic Achievement
Raised by her grandparents, Amanda was born in Burnaby, BC and is of Cree and Métis descent. Amanda graduated
from the Family and Community Counseling Diploma program in July 2015 with a Grade Point Average of 4.27. Enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work Degree program at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology this fall, Amanda is pursuing her goal of earning a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling. She is also the first of her family to graduate from a postsecondary
institute and hopes to inspire other family members.