Chief of Skawahlook First Nation
Shxwetelemel-elhot, also known as Chief Maureen Chapman, was born in Clearwater, BC. She spent a number of years in Washington State where she graduated from high school, raised her family and, returned to BC in the early 1990’s. Her son, Jesse, and his family reside in southeastern Washington State.After returning to BC, Maureen continued her studies at the University of the Fraser Valley and also began her Council work for Skawahlook First Nation, a member community of the Sto:lo Nation, who are the People of the River. Maureen is the hereditary Chief of her Nation and was handed this responsibility in 1999. Skawahlook First Nation practices a matrilineal system and her successor is being mentored for the Chief’s position. Maureen participates as a member of the Sto:lo Nations Chief’s Council (SNCC), which is comprised of 11 First Nation communities and, 7 of the 11 communities are currently negotiating a treaty. She has been appointed by the SNCC to represent them, as their political voice, to the First Nations Health Council, as well as participating on a number of committees and boards for the SNCC. Additionally, she is the political Chair for the Aboriginal Children and Families Chiefs Coalition, which is comprised of 13 Chiefs as the Board members, who advocate for programs and services for children and families within their communities.Skawahlook First Nation is a member of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), the BC Assembly of First Nations (BC AFN) and, the First Nations Summit (FNS). For each of the respective organizations, committees and boards include: for the BC AFN – as a Director, political appointment to the Chiefs Committee on Health and Chiefs Committee on Claims; for the UBCIC – Specific Claims Working Group – Chair and, as the UBCIC Gaming Commissioner; and for the FNS – attends quarterly meetings related to treaty discussions.