Who we are

Dr. Evan Adams is of Tla’amin First Nation ancestry and is the Chief Medical Officer for the First Nations Health Authority.  Evan provides invaluable leadership representing the FNHA working closely with government partners on population and public health matters that affect First Nations and all British Columbians. Evan leads a team of FNHA physicians-health and wellness partners who focus on First Nations health and wellness with a population health approach. The aim is to create a unique health care model. He contributes to the transformation of health care and responds to the wellness directives provided by First Nations communities. 

Dr. Kelley Lee is the granddaughter of Chinese settlers raised in the Downtown Eastside and East Vancouver.  She is a Canada Research Chair at Simon Fraser University where she leads research, teaching and policy initiatives related to global tobacco control.  Her work over the past 20 years has focused on studying the worldwide activities of the tobacco industry, and its political and economic influences.  Kelley’s goal, in partnering with the First Nations Health Authority and co-leading this project, is to support community-driven and consultative tobacco control research that will improve health and wellness within Indigenous communities.

Tim Michel is the coordinator for the project and is a joint hire for the First Nations Health Authority and Simon Fraser University. Tim has been a lecturer for the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, and served ten years as the Aboriginal Coordinator for the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Land & Food Systems at the University of British Columbia. Prior to that, he worked with various education and Aboriginal organizations.  He has a deep interest in various Indigenous spiritual practices (Secwépemc, Cree and Lakota).

Jennifer Fang was born in China, grew up in Russia, and settled in Canada with her family as a teenager. She has a Master of Public Health from the University of Liverpool and a Bachelor of Sciences in Nutrition from the University of British Columbia. Part of the Global Tobacco Control Research Programme in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, her work primarily focuses on the Asian tobacco industries. Jennifer is PILAR's project administrator.

Juliet Fowler is of Chinese, European, and Métis descent and grew up in Vancouver. She is an undergraduate student studying for her Bachelor of Arts at Simon Fraser University, and is  assisting with research and administrative tasks for  PILAR.

Lorraine Naziel (Wilawhl) is a member of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.  She is the Consultant for Respecting Tobacco.  Her role involves development and delivery of culturally appropriate and relevant tobacco reduction programs, resources and services. Lorraine and the Respecting Tobacco regional team, collaborate and consults with BC First Nations communities, other First Nations Health Authority teams, and First Nations Health Authority partners to deliver Respecting Tobacco programs and initiatives to BC First Nations. The position includes relationship building with key partners around program development and implementation, and coordination for training and capacity building.  The emphasis on all work is to be holistic, socially and culturally appropriate.

Dr. John O’Neil was Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU from 2007-2017.  Previously he was Director of the Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research and Professor and Head of the Department of Community Health Sciences in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine.  John’s work has been primarily in Aboriginal health. He has written more than 120 papers and reports on a variety of Aboriginal health issues, including self-government and health systems development, cultural understandings of environmental health risks, and social determinants of health disparities.

Dr. Jeff Reading, a Mohawk from the Tyendinaga First Nation in Ontario, is the inaugural First Nations Health Authority Chair in Heart Health and Wellness at St. Paul’s Hospital supported by the BC Heart and Stroke Foundation, and a Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University.  In 2017, he launched the I-HEART Centre at Providence Health, St. Paul’s Hospital. Jeff holds a PhD in Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto (1994). He served as founding Scientific Director of the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2000-2008), and currently chairs the CIHR Indigenous Peer Review Committee. He serves on the Board of Directors for Genome British Columbia and National Heart and Stroke Foundation Science Council, the Indigenous Council and Women’s Heart Health Steering Committee. His broad interests include all aspects of First Nations heart health and well-being, community engaged research, tobacco control, health services and population health genomics

Dr. Julia Smith grew up in Squamish, BC. As a Research Associate in the Faculty of Health Sciences, at Simon Fraser University, Julia contributes to projects aimed at improving tobacco related policies. She has worked on health and community development projects in Canada, Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, and frequently lectures in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Department of Political Science at SFU. Julia is passionate about participatory community-based research and the politics of health.

Krista Stelkia, a member of the Syilx Nation from the Osoyoos Indian Band in the interior of British Columbia, is the Manager of Population Health and Wellness in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer at FNHA and PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.  Krista has expertise in Indigenous population health and is passionate about participatory based research that is community-driven and nation-based.

Sheryl Thompson is Cree Metis from Treaty 6 and was raised in East Vancouver. Sheryl is an emerging scholar who is passionate about improving First Nations, Metis, and Inuit health and educational outcomes.  Her research focuses on conducting culturally appropriate and community-informed Indigenous health research. Her goal is to contribute to informed Indigenous health policies which impact First Nation, Metis, and Inuit peoples.  Sheryl is passionate about Indigenizing research practices in academia.

Stevie Thompson is both Cree-Métis from the Michel First Nation and of mixed settler ancestry from Scotland, Norway, and Russia. They grew up on traditional, stolen, Katzie territory in ‘Pitt Meadows’ and now live on the traditional, stolen territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) Nations in ‘Burnaby’. Stevie is pursuing an Undergraduate degree in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies with minors in Health Science and Education at SFU, and is passionate about social justice work and public health promotion, particularly the promotion of health and wellness in Indigenous communities

Dr. Scott Venners is of Scottish settler ancestry and works as an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Simon Fraser University Faculty of Health Sciences.  In collaboration with the First Nations Health Authority, Scott is helping to train First Nations graduate students in population health research methods to support the health and wellness research priorities of First Nations communities in British Columbia.  His role in this project is to collect and analyse community-level survey data that helps communities to identify their tobacco control needs and priorities

Lisa Wilson Lisa Wilson is a Coast Salish woman who grew up in Tla'amin and also shares roots in Cowichan. She is studying orthography in Ayajuthem, the traditional language of Tla'amin, and is learning about traditional medicine use. She brings experience in a variety of fields including archaeology, administration, advocacy for students and Indigenous peoples, mentoring, as well as consultation and education about Indigenous history. Lisa has a diploma in Hospitality Management and has taken time off from completing her undergraduate degree (majoring in Anthropology and minoring in First Nations Studies) at Vancouver Island University. She has published in an archaeology magazine and journals, as well as national newspapers in Canada.