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New members appointed to the minister’s advisory council

Reanna Erasmus, Knowledge Keeper

Erasmus joins the council from Port Alberni. She is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation with roots in the Hupacasath First Nation in Port Alberni.

Erasmus is an expert in early childhood education and received an honorary certificate in early childhood education from Aurora College in the Northwest Territories in 2012 after spending many years in the field. Erasmus’s commitment to children and education was commemorated when she was nominated for, and subsequently inducted into, the Government of Northwest Territories’ Education Hall of Fame for her significant contribution to early childhood program support and inclusive education. 

Erasmus has been involved with the Aboriginal Head Start Program for more than 20 years. She helped develop key policies and procedures to support the implementation of the Aboriginal Head Start Program for parents and First Nations organizations, eventually becoming a senior program manager. She continues to play an integral role in the Western Arctic Aboriginal Head Start Council, working collaboratively with seven communities in the territory to ensure programs are thoroughly evaluated and results are published to inform continued improvements.

Erasmus is also a longstanding member of the Ndilǫ Education Committee, having helped create a school in the community of Ndilǫ and a corresponding district education authority. 

Erasmus is an Elder on the Aboriginal Steering Committee for the University of British Columbia Human Early Learning Partnership, another example of her commitment to children’s success. She lends her extensive experience and knowledge to help improve developmental outcomes for children and youth across the province.

Jean Lloyd, Elder

Lloyd is an Elder, joining the council from her home in Christina Lake. She is the proud mother of two sons, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, with whom she shares her culture and knowledge.

For most of her life, Lloyd was unaware of her Indigenous roots. Her contributions as a respected Elder are representative of her commitment to learning, her culture and engaging in her community. In 2021, Métis Nation British Columbia awarded Lloyd with the Volunteer Recognition Award for her continued community engagement, noting her mobilization efforts during the pandemic.

As an Elder, Lloyd is honoured for her wealth of experience, wisdom and the deep compassion she shows for people. She is on several councils and committees where she works closely with children and on projects that support them. She has been active with the Boundary Métis Community Association for many years. She was consulted as an Elder for a University of British Columbia pilot project, assessing how the Aboriginal Head Start program makes a difference for children and their families.  

Lloyd is a self-published author of the children’s book Little Bird, which was inspired by many years of hiking in the Kootenays. The book characterizes Lloyd’s appreciation for the connectedness of all living things.

Georgina Thomas, Elder

Thomas joins the council from the Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation near Fort St. James, where she was a social development committee member and worked as a social development manager for several years.

Holding a social services worker diploma, Thomas has always been passionate about the protection and safety of children. She has worked to improve child welfare for many years in many different roles. She is a board member of Nezul Be Hunuyeh Child and Family Services, which is an organization that ensures children remain connected to their families and culture if removed from their communities. She lends her wisdom to the critical task of nurturing community ties so that children in care maintain a sacred bond with their families and culture.

As the Elder co-ordinator for the Adah’ Dene Cultural Healing Camp Society, Thomas supports healing opportunities for individuals through counselling, workshops and training.

Thomas is a mother of two, a grandmother of six and a great-grandmother of seven. She is a proud teacher of the Carrier language, supporting its revival in her community and beyond.