Meet th Team
Place Based Indigenous Leadership
The leadership, the content, and the process of the Initiative is committed to tangible transformation and not repeating the same mistakes of colonial institutions. The ways we organize and prioritize the work is by collaborating and acting in partnership with peoples and the land. This way of working is reflected in the structure and decision-making processes of the entire Initiative.
Aya Clappis is an afro-indigenous person of somali and nuu-chah-nulth descent who often daydreams of revolution, tender moments, liberation, and the shorelines from which they emerge. Aya lives, labours, and organizes in the homelands of lekwungen speaking peoples, specifically the W̱SÁNEĆ, songhees and esquimalt nations. As relative from neighbouring territories on these lands, Aya has strived to build relationships with coast salish community members in a respectful and caring way, with the intention of honoring our ancient responsibilities to the land and each other by way of sharing their traditional foods, services, activism, and art.
Kati is my borrowed name in english. George is the english name used to register my family at the Federal Indian Band of “T’sou-ke” and Jim is the english name used for registration at the “Tseycum” Band. It is important to recognize this history of english naming that seeks to replace our ancestral roles and experiences.
xʷ is xʷ čaa comes from my mother’s side (Qwat’sta’not, Charlene George), tied to my hereditary responsibility to TSUK lands, waters and all familial relations. This land is where I grew up and learned from. My paternal side of my family is from W̱SÍ¸KEM of W̱SÁNEĆ, which the u.s. border divides. My work across relationships and jobs all come back to my intimate connection to my homelands.