About The Project | PROJECT TEAM
Below is a collection of community members and participants that made this project possible. Click on each photo thumbnail to learn more about each person.
Chief Gary Oker
Project Consultant, Former Chief (2002-2005)
Our job is to understand the gifts of our ancestors. The gifts they have left us and the stories and the songs. And we have to listen carefully. Dane-zaa people come from a long line of Dreamers. We are using this gift to build a foundation of our future.
Gary Oker, 2003.
Chief Oker was first elected Chief of the Doig River First Nation on Nov 21, 2001, and was re-elected on November 21, 2003 for another 2-year term.
During his two terms as Chief, Gary worked hard to put in place sound financial management, an elders care program, good working relationships with the oil and gas companies, the completion of the community complex, a long term trust for future generations and the development of cultural education materials. He has committed to continue fighting for the Treaty rights of the Doig River First Nation people, and to always put the people first.
Chief Oker comes from a long line of Dreamers who use prophecies and wisdom from elders to guide and direct leadership in decision-making. He continues to use songs and stories to build visions that strengthen the community.
He has traveled throughout North America and Europe to study and work as a film director/visual artist. His world acclaimed short film, Contact the People, has had international attention, and he is currently completing a short film story about the ancient Dane-zaa Dreaming tradition; They Dream About Everything. Chief Oker continues to use the symbolic messages of the past as a way to connect with the present and future, and he does this through leadership and the visual arts.
Oker finished his Masters of Arts in Leadership and Training at Royal Roads University in 2005. Since his first election as Chief in 2001, Chief Oker has led the community through structural administrative changes and the development of new governance policies. His vision is to ensure quality of life for all membership through economic independence and management of our own information and territorial lands. He has developed partnership agreements with multi-national oil and gas companies and has driven policy development and changes within sectors of government to ensure Aboriginal and Treaty rights are protected and addressed in all levels of government.