Carleen Thomas is the Special Projects Manager for the Treaty Lands & Resources Department, of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Ms. Thomas works on building relationships with communities, and various government entities encompassed within the homelands & waters of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN). In the recent past, she worked on the Sacred Trust Initiative for TWN’s opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.
In 2003, Ms. Thomas obtained her Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia, through the Native Indian Teacher Education Program. She went on to become a District Aboriginal Education Resource teacher for Burnaby School District, and then later, an Aboriginal Literacy/Numeracy Resource teacher for North Vancouver District #44.
Ms. Thomas then spent a number of years in TWN Education Department, as coordinator, teacher, and eventually, as the Manager of Education. This department includes education from pre-school to Post Secondary and employment training, the administration and planning for these areas, before secondment to work with the Sacred Trust Initiative.
Carleen Thomas achieved 16 years as an elected Council member for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, in which she held the portfolio of Community Development. This department is responsible for the health and education of TWN community members with obvious connections to housing and economic development. She spent one year on the Capilano Senate as an Indigenous representative, and 2 terms on Board of Governors.
Ms. Thomas currently sits on the Wild Bird Trust of BC Board of Directors, Burnaby School District’s Aboriginal Education Advisory. She recently was appointed Chancellor at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design. Carleen is most proud of being married to Dave Thomas Sr. for 36 years, until his untimely, but peaceful passing September 2019. She is also a proud mother of three, and grandmother of four granddaughters and one grandson.