Joe Akerman, BA

From 2010-2016 Joe excelled in a leadership role with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) as Manager of Regional Engagement, where he worked with six Regional Coordinators for the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council of BC. Joe was instrumental in developing enabling partnerships and guiding the operational components of the organization from its infancy, establishing a range of successful programs, as well as providing oversight of financial, governance, and human resource matters. He brings a long history of community engagement, public speaking and group facilitation.

Recently Joe was a volunteer community Leader of the Protect Grace Islet Group on Salt Spring Island. His ability to initiate and sustain grassroots leadership, inclusivity and cultural connections has led to effective mobilization of support and media gaining support from the public, multiple levels of government and local First Nation communities.

Joe is proud of his mixed Cowichan, English, French, Irish and Scottish Heritage. He was recently honoured with his traditional (ancestral) name at Somena Bighouse (Quw’utsun) through the (late) Bennett George Family. He is currently leading an Indigenous Use Project Xwaaqw’um (Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island) to create space for Local Elders and Knowledge keepers to enhance culture, language and land based knowledge and opportunities.

Joe is happy to support project teams and discuss ideas with others in a variety of settings in an effort to enhance healthy communities - particularly when exploring what Indigenous Solidarity means today.