May 25 – 28, 2017  |   Land, Water, People  |  Chilliwack, B.C.

BCHD Conference 2017 Chilliwack

Conference Guest Speakers


Gwen-Point-300x300Dr. Gwen Point holds a BEd from UBC, an MEd from the University of Portland, a Doctorate in Education from SFU, and an honorary doctorate from UVic. Her connections to our University stretch back decades. She’s been a student, a member of the Board of Governors, a faculty member, and an Aboriginal Curriculum Coordinator, to name just a few of her roles. Dr. Point has also held a number of provincial government and regional posts supporting education, child and family services, and First Nations communities. She is a respected Stó:lõ leader, mentor, and cultural advisor who has contributed her cultural knowledge and experience to numerous books, conferences, workshops, and communities, and earned many accolades and awards. Her ceremonial experience as BC’s Chatelaine for five years will serve her well in this role.

Gwen Point has been developing and delivering courses at UFV in the School of Social Work and Human Services since 2005 (and was a sessional instructor at UCFV from 2002–04).  She also served as UCFV’s Aboriginal Curriculum Coordinator in 2001. She has been the coordinator and an instructor in the Early Childhood Education program at the First Nation Training and Development Centre in Prince Rupert, and, in her position as a faculty associate in the Faculty of Education at SFU, coordinated the supervision of student teachers, developed and delivered programs and served as liaison with public school administrators and sponsor teachers. As Manager in the Stó:lō Nation Education Department she was responsible for K-12, postsecondary, and First Nations language and culture programs. She has also worked as an elementary school teacher in Chehalis and as a native support teacher for School District 33.


robin-andersonRobin Anderson is an Associate Professor of History at the University of the Fraser Valley, and has been teaching a range of history courses at UFV since the early 1990s, including the Applied History program that facilitates student local history projects. His research has been published in numerous journals on the social and cultural history of British Columbia, and recently has focused on the changing contours of sport and leisure practices in the urban context before and during the First World War and the growth of political cartooning in the early years of Vancouver. He is currently writing a book on the cartoons of Vancouver cartoonist J.B. Fitzmaurice.

jason-beckJason Beck has worked as the Curator and Facility Director of the BC Sports Hall of Fame in Vancouver for the past 10 years, leading the Hall’s re-emergence as one of the finest in North America. In that time he has also developed into one of BC’s leading sports historians, often sought out by national and local television, radio, and online media sources for interviews. His work has appeared in international sports historical and sports literature journals, as well as the Vancouver Sun, The Province, Vancouver Courier, and His British Columbia History article, “The Cinderella Crew” won the prestigious 2014 Anne and Philip Yandle Best Article Award. A lifelong competitive soccer player and avid runner, Jason lives with his wife Nicole in Langley. A labour of love for over a decade and now a BC best-seller, The Miracle Mile: Stories of the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, published by Caitlin Press in April 2016, is his first book.

sandra-shields david-campionDavid Campion and Sandra Shields are a husband and wife team motivated by a shared distrust of social mythologies. The photographer-writer couple create photo-text installations that appropriate popular literary forms as a means of disrupting dominant narratives. The mechanics and repercussions of colonization have been a recurring theme for the duo. Much of their recent work is grounded in the space and history of S’ólh Téméxw (the Fraser Valley)—the place they call home. Sandra comes to the subject of colonization as the great-granddaughter of early Alberta settlers. David approaches from the vantage of a recent British immigrant who grew up in southern Africa during the era that saw colonial governments fall. The couple’s work has always explored the creative possibilities of combining words and photographs. Their evolving collaboration has moved progressively away from its documentary roots towards a more conceptually-driven art practice.

stephanie-clintonStephanie Clinton is the Education and Engagement Coordinator at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. She holds a degree in anthropology, is a certified teacher and has been working in informal arts and culture education for the past 5 years



Marissa Despins is the Middle/Secondary Literacy Helping Teacher with the Chilliwack School District.  Marissa is passionate about literature and history, and has been teaching in the Chilliwack School District for 14 years.

TristanTristan Evans graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2010 with a B.A. in History and Political Science.  In 2015, Tristan earned his M.A. in Public History from California State University, Sacramento with an emphasis on Archives and Manuscripts.  He has worked for the California State Archives and the United Auburn Indian Community and currently is the Archivist for the Chilliwack Museum and Archives in Chilliwack, British Columbia.  


paul-fergusonPaul Ferguson’s interest in military and home front history was kindled as a youth living overseas and across Canada. He has worked for museums archives and has advised on research projects, exhibitions, publications and documentaries. His exploration of conflict sites has greatly influenced his research and methodologies. Whether standing alongside a Great War trench, atop a ridge in Gallipoli or marvelling upon the Grand Harbour, Malta, Paul uses these experiences to develop successful interpretations of this difficult past. Amongst these now quiet landscapes of chaos Paul sharpens his instincts as an observer of history in search of imagery and voice. Paul is the former Curator of the Chilliwack Museum and Archives and the current Associate Registrar with the Royal BC Museum.

300px-2015-02-matthew-francisMatthew Francis is Executive Director of the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. Matthew has been a leader in the culture sector in Western Canada for over a decade, serving as the Manager of the Government of Alberta’s Municipal Heritage Engagement Programs from 2005 to 2015. He has enjoyed working in museums, in community engagement, and in built heritage conservation. Matthew also serves on the Board of Directors of Heritage BC.


emily-lonieAfter completing her MA in Public History, Emily Lonie began her archival career at Library and Archives Canada before relocating to the Lower Mainland in 2013 where she established the City of Coquitlam Archives. As City Archivist, Emily provides archival services to elected officials, city staff, and the Coquitlam community.



don-luxtonDonald Luxton is the principal of a leading western Canadian heritage and cultural resource management firm, and a well-known consultant, advocate, educator and author who for more than three decades has worked on numerous projects throughout western Canada. His expertise, interest and accomplishments have been acknowledged through numerous awards, including the Heritage Canada Achievement Award in 2003 and a number of literary prizes including a BC Book Prize in 2004. In 2007, he was elected to the College of Fellows of the RAIC.

mark-mackenzieMark MacKenzie has been fascinated by sternwheelers since he was a child growing up in Prince George. After working in restoration and heritage site management for the SS Moyie National Historic Site and New Westminster’s Samson V Museum, Mark is still researching the history of navigation on the rivers of BC, but now works for Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tours aboard the sternwheeler Native and the catamaran Beta Star.


neil-petersNeil Peters, P.Eng. is a water resources engineer with his focus on flood management. Through his work with both the public and private sectors, he has participated in a wide range of projects including hydrological and hydraulic analyses, river engineering, flood hazard assessment, dike (levee) design and flood risk management. After 10 years of working on engineering consulting projects throughout BC and the Yukon, Neil joined the BC Public Service. Over the following 28 years he was responsible for implementation of provincial dike safety, river management, flood emergency planning and floodplain management programs. From 2002 to 2015 he was Head of the Provincial Flood Safety Program and Inspector of Dikes. He is currently a Senior Project Consultant with Northwest Hydraulic Consultants Ltd.

Adrienne-RempelAdrienne Rempel joined the Chilliwack Museum and Archives as Interim Curator in April 2017. Adriennel holds a Fine Arts degree from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and has actively participated at various galleries and institutions in the lower mainland, most recently as Curatorial Assistant at the Vancouver Art Gallery.



diane-rogersDiane Rogers is a genealogist, a local historian, and an educator with a lifelong passion for Canadian and women’s history. old photos, old newspapers, and cemeteries. Building on her experience in non-profits and in adult training, she teaches family history regularly and has authored genealogy guides and articles. She’s active on social media, blogs at “CanadaGenealogy, or, Jane’s Your Aunt”, and volunteers with the British Columbia Genealogical Society, the Vancouver Postcard Club, and the BC Historical Federation. She belongs to the Association of Professional Genealogists, the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, and the Genealogical Speakers Guild.

sharnjit-sandhraSharanjit Sandhra has been the Coordinator at the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley for eight years. She also curates exhibits at the Sikh Heritage Museum, located in the National Historic Site Gur Sikh Temple in Abbotsford, BC. Sharn completed her Master of Arts Degree in Asian Studies from UBC in 2008 and is currently in her third year of PhD studies in the Department of History at UBC. Sharn is interested in looking at the affective experience of early Sikh migration in 20th century British Columbia.

scott-scheffieldDr. R. Scott Sheffield is an Associate Professor of History at the University of the Fraser Valley.  He teaches courses in Canadian, military, Indigenous, foreign policy and transnational/comparative history.  His research interests include Indigenous peoples in the Second World War and his current project explores British Columbians’ responses to the Second World War.


brenda-smithBrenda L. Smith is a Maple Ridge writer and researcher, presently serving as Community Heritage Commission Chair and a founding member of the Maple Ridge Family History Group. She brings experience in research, organizational development, public speaking and theatre skills to teaching family history research methodology. She teaches research skills and history writing courses in the Cloverdale Genealogy Collection for Surrey Libraries. Brenda was the British Columbia Historical Federation’s Publications Committee Secretary from 2008 to 2013, she chaired the Education Committee from 2005 to 2012, and now serves on the BC Historical Federation Advocacy Committee.

mark-smithMark Smith, General Counsel & Director of Process, joined the BC Treaty Commission in 2001 and is responsible for both the process and public education and information mandates. He provides legal, political, and strategic policy advice on a wide-range of treaty-related and Aboriginal rights issues. Mark works directly with Indigenous Nations on Nation-led governance-related matters and facilitates overlapping and shared territory discussions. A graduate from the University of Alberta Law School, Mark was called to the Bar in Alberta and is a member of the Law Society in British Columbia. Previously Mark was a sole-practitioner, and practiced Aboriginal and environmental law with Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.

david-urbanDavid Urban is a planner with over 15 years of experience at the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD). Throughout his career he has been focused on regional matters that relate to vibrant and sustainable communities. As the FVRD Project Lead for the Experience the Fraser initiative, David is thrilled about the limitless connections that will be created to reconnect people in an outdoor recreational manner to the one of the most beautiful areas of the province. He is also an active outdoors person who enjoys photography, native flora and fauna identification, cycling, and skiing.

jane-wattK. Jane Watt, PhD, of Fenton Street Publishing House, works with academic, corporate, government, and non-profit clients to tell the stories of BC — from trail signs to academic reports to museum exhibits to kids’ books. She has been “Writer in Tent” at Fort Langley National Historic Site and Writer in Residence at Wallace Stegner House in Saskatchewan and has written regional histories, including High Water: Living with the Fraser Floods. She is currently working on projects with the City of Surrey and the Kwantlen Nation. She chairs the BCHF and is Book Review Editor of British Columbia History.

Erica-williamsErica Williams started a career as a science educator, specializing in the geosciences. Her career included coauthoring textbooks and teacher guides, extensive curriculum work and presentations on learning complexity at district, provincial and national conferences. She is involved with the BCHF as a proof reader and map maker for the quarterly journal. As the president of the Maple Ridge Historical Society she has developed and leads walking tours of downtown Maple Ridge and the oldest section of the Maple Ridge cemetery, one of the oldest continuously operating cemeteries in the Lower mainland. Erica has a BSc in Metallurgy, her teaching certification and PDP an MA in Contextualizing Learning.