Khelsilem Tl’akwasikan

Spokesperson and Councillor in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Khelsilem Tl’akwasikan

Spokesperson and Councillor in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Back my campaign

Khelsilem is Squamish and Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw raised in North Vancouver, British Columbia. His lifelong work has been focused on governance, Indigenous languages, and dreams of progressive social change. He hopes to be one of Vancity’s first Indigenous board members.

Khelsilem was elected as a councillor for the local Squamish Nation Council based in North Vancouver in late 2017 for a four-year term. In this role, he has served on various committees, including: Governance, Finance & Audit, Human Resources, and Housing Authority Development. He has strived to create good governance practices that enhance transparency, accountability, and ethical governing standards to benefit the Nation’s members.

In 2016, Khelsilem built and founded the first adult immersion school for the endangered Squamish Language in partnership with Simon Fraser University (SFU). Since its establishment, nearly 42 students have enrolled in the program, and it continues to grow. Within two years, Khelsilem trained and taught students to take over day-to-day teaching and operations of the program.

Over the years, he has focused on climate justice, Indigenous rights, and has been a frequent media commentator and public speaker about defending our coast from oil spills.

If elected, Khelsilem would be a collaborative, convening, and thoughtful leader as a Board Director. He strives to recognize his privilege and the need to create and allow space for many voices to be included equitably, and actively seeks feedback.

Khelsilem is putting his name forward to be a Vancity Board Director because he sees a need for progressive and thoughtful leadership, especially around issues like reconciliation and climate action. Khelsilem steps into leadership roles when he feels he has both a values alignment and an opportunity to grow the organization. Vancity has been a leader in the province, country, and world as a progressive institution on ethical finance, climate action, and reconciliation and Khelsilem is eager to get involved in helping advance these issues and values.

Other appointments

● Squamish Nation Council

● Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre Board

  • Work
    • Squamish Nation