Keith Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer
Keith Atkinson is an aboriginal professional forester with primary experience in forest planning and operations which includes small business enterprise development. Currently focused on policy and program development that provides solutions to multiple First Nation communities in relation to forest sector impacts and opportunities.
Keith is passionate about the implementation of new forest management models that blend traditional First Nations knowledge and incorporates western science perspectives to deliver best management solutions.
Dr. Charlene Higgins, Senior Policy Advisor
Dr. Charlene Higgins has worked with BC First Nations Forestry Council since 2009, and has worked for over 20 years with BC Aboriginal communities and organizations on the recognition and incorporation of Aboriginal title, rights, and cultural values in the management and use of natural resources.
Charlene brings a wealth of expertise in provincial, national and international policies and practices related to the management and sustainable use of forest lands and resources. Her work includes research, policy analysis, advocacy for the use of First Nations traditional knowledge in the conservation of biological diversity, the development of shared decision-making models, as well as negotiation of tenure, business, revenue and benefit sharing agreements.
Dr. Higgins has a Masters and PhD in Ecology.
Šušuč’i Amelia (Amy) Robinson, Program Assistant, Event Planning
Šušuč’i (Amy) comes from the Nuuchahnulth (Ditidaht and Tseshaht) Nation on the West coast of Vancouver Island.
Her administration skills have led to a career in Forestry, prior to which she worked at the Educational Institute, FortisBC LNG Plant construction and with First Nations.
Currently, Amy’s focus is on logistics. She is the go-to person in the office and the point of contact for all FNFC event planning.
Leah Karpan, Executive Assistant
Leah is Ojibway and Cree from the Muscowpetung First Nation and grew up on the land outside of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Leah moved to Vancouver in 2009 making beautiful British Columbia her new home.
Leah holds a wealth of administrative expertise having supported Executive level staff for 5+ years and has worked with First Nations communities in a variety of capacity building roles, including forest fire supplies, housing, health and wellness, proposal writing, budgeting, funding, employment, and education. Leah recently completed her Master's in Business Administration (MBA), and is working toward community empowerment and capacity building.
Lisa Luscombe, Program Manager, Workforce & Industry Relations
Lisa is from the Quatsino First Nation (Kwakwaka'wakw) on Vancouver Island, Big Stone Cree Nation, and the Métis Nation of Northern Alberta. She brings over 20 years of work and volunteer experience in the empowerment of Indigenous communities, community development, and engagement. Lisa has created effective working relationships and partnerships with industry and organizations throughout British Columbia, and developed and cultivated strong and positive working relationships with Indigenous communities.
Her career path has included working with organizations, academic and training institutions, and government-funded programs including Inter-Tribal Health Authority, Quatsino First Nation, Kwakiutl District Council, Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre, Cariboo Friendship Society, Ktunaxa Nation Council, Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly, ASETS, BCATEAM, AESGT, Work BC Employment Services, BladeRunners, Metis Nation BC Employment and Training, Industry Training Authority, Skilled Trades Employment Program, Service Canada, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.