Elders Programs & Initiatives

Elders share traditions, knowledge, cultures and values. We are proud to support programs and initiatives that celebrate our Elders and provide opportunities for them to share their knowledge and connect with others.

Connecting Elders and Youth 
The Elders Don’t Bite workshop provides a supportive space for youth to connect with Elders and exchange knowledge and ideas. The annual Gathering Our Voices: Indigenous Youth Leadership Training event is a wonderful reflection of the positive impact this engagement has on youth.

Elders Abuse Awareness and Prevention 
Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15)—
Find out what your local Friendship Centre is doing to raise awareness for Elder abuse and uplift the Elders in your community.

Elders Council Members

The BCAAFC Elders Council advises the BCAAFC Board of Directors and provides guidance and support within the Friendship Centre communities. The Elders Council also plays a key role in engaging youth at social and cultural events.

Marge White ‘Na-cha-uks’ | Founding Member
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society

Marge has volunteered her time and services to almost every Indigenous organization in the Vancouver area, many of which she was a founding member. Marge’s passion for improving the lives of Indigenous people has always guided her work. She has worked in many capacities throughout her life and is regarded by many as a dedicated advocate, trusted leader, and friend. Her social activism supports and empowers all those around her.

Basil ‘Buzz’ Morissette | Founding Member
Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society 

Buzz has contributed to the well-being of Indigenous people in BC for over 50 years; acting as founding member or serving on the board of directors of more than 15 organizations. Buzz is a role model for many young people who consider him a mentor and a trusted friend. He feels rewarded by his community service in knowing that his work is worthwhile if it makes a positive difference in the lives of even one individual.

Minnie Kenoras | Interior Region
Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society

Minnie Kenoras is passionate about connecting with culture through living off the land and helping others to do so. She shares her teachings through many community initiatives and works to increase knowledge of traditional practices and ways of life to uplift individuals and whole communities. Minnie looks forward to connecting with youth and Elders through the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society.

Stanley Namox | Northwest Region
Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society

Laura Fortin | Lower Mainland Region
Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association

Laura is of Saulteaux, Cree, and European French descent. She is an Elders Advisor on the FRAFCA Board. Throughout Laura’s life work she has been dedicated to helping people; working for a number of organizations in support of family services, child welfare, and restorative justice programs. She is honoured to be a part of the Friendship Centre Movement and uplift others through her work.

Wally Samuel | Vancouver Island Region
Port Alberni Friendship Centre

Wally Samuel is a member of the Ahousaht First Nation which is a part of the Nuu-chah-nulth community. Wally has been involved with the Friendship Centre Movement since 1965, as a volunteer, participant, employee and board member. Wally has over 30 years of work experience in community development and public service and he draws on his expertise in relationship building to make a positive difference within many communities and organizations.

The Importance of Friendship | Past Elders Council Members