By the people. For the people.
The Gitxsan Development Corporation is unique, melding the traditional governance of the Gitxsan with the contemporary needs of business, yet remaining faithful to the principles of the Gitxsan Ayookw (laws). Every Gitxsan person, who is a member of a wilp (house group), has a stake in GDC.
GDC is governed by a working Board of Directors who make business decisions, taking into consideration the Gitxsan Ayook and the overarching cultural values of the Gitxsan people. The Lax Yip Society and Lipgyet Trust are the shareholders of GDC, on behalf of the Hereditary Chiefs. The Lipgyet Trust holds 100% of the voting rights through its appointed trustees. The cultural balance of the Lipgyet Trust board is maintained through a nomination process, whereby one representative from each of the four Gitxsan Clans is elected. A fifth member is then selected by the board to act as chairman.
DIRECTORS & OFFICERS
Rick has over 30 years experience in the forest products industry and has extensive experience at senior Management and Operational levels. He has held management and executive management positions in a broad range of industries including forest products, oil and gas, nuclear containment, high-tech and the wine industry. In addition, he has acted as principal in and/or consultant to numerous venture capital companies, bringing them from conception through to public listing. Rick is a graduate from the University of Waterloo with a BASc. in Chemical Engineering and has executive management certification from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Rick, his wife Melissa and three boys, Madison, Mackenzie and Bryce, enjoy sailing, cycling and all things soccer.
Jako has been involved in several successful startup ventures in the energy and tech sectors, both privately and publically. During his tenure in the renewable energy marketplace he successfully developed the Brandywine Creek run-of-river project located near Whistler, BC, and founded Run of River Power Inc, assembling one of the largest portfolios of renewable energy opportunities in British Columbia. Jako attended University in San Diego, California where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and International Commerce and played NCAA level hockey.
Mr. Krushnisky has extensive experience working with First Nation communities, currently Senior Vice President with the Gitxsan Development Corporation.
Wii Eelast is a member of the Lax Gibuu (Wolf) Clan and the house of Ghalx Hun. For 28 years, he was administrator of the Anspayaxw Education Society in Kispiox BC. “I am honoured to be Gitxsan. We were structured before contact, still and always will be an organized society that has ownership and authority over our lax yip. We believe in sustainability and will protect our water and all that sustains us so our unborn will benefit and always will. Given our values and beliefs and spirituality we must teach our children to share and care. We must educate our youth to enable us as Gitxsan to be part of the world economy, and through our traditional teachings of our values and spirituality establish a strong Gitxsan nation rooted in our lax yip; lax yip that will always be sustainable.”
Sadie Harris is Gitxsan born to a Gitxsan mom and Gitxsan dad. She was brought up traditionally and culturally by her parents, aunt, and grandmother. Formal education was just as important so she attended both the elementary and secondary schools in Hazelton B.C. Being from a matrilineal nation, she received the name xGwoimtxw in the 1990's upon the passing of her mom and is presently the head of her house/family.
Sadie married at a young age and had five children, but later in life went back to school and was successful. She earned a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Victoria and a Masters of Education from the University of British Columbia. She has held many different jobs and director’s seats throughout her working life. She is fluent in Gitxsanimx and can read and write the language as well. Sadie believes in self-sufficiency and hopes to see this come to being for the younger generation of the Gitxsan Nation.