Dr. Sheila Blackstock assumes the role of Board Chair



After 10 years of dedicated service, Colleen Erickson has retired from her position as Board Chair for the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). Former Vice-Chair Dr. Sheila Blackstock was appointed to the role of Chair on April 1, 2024.

Erickson, a former two-term Chief of Saik'uz First Nation, was appointed to the FNHA Board in May 2014. Colleen became the Board Chair in May of 2018 and served as a tireless leader, guiding the organization through triumphs and challenges with grace and resilience.

Among her key accomplishments, Colleen played a vital role in advancing FNHA's efforts to drive health transformation for First Nations in BC through her contributions in fostering meaningful relationships with both provincial and federal governments. Under Colleen's stewardship, we saw the evolution of FNHA's policy suites that reflect FNHA's vision, mission, values and 7 Directives.

More recently, Colleen's leadership supported the negotiation and signing of FNHA's ten-year Successor Canada Funding Agreement. This agreement provides dedicated funding to advance FNHA's work at the community, regional and provincial level over the next 10 years.

Throughout her tenure, Colleen led with humility and an inherent ability to listen deeply to communities. She supported FNHA through some of the most challenging times, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the toxic drug crisis and the ongoing environmental health emergencies across the province. Her commitment to First Nations Health in BC has been unwavering and set the stage for FNHA to continue to deliver on our mandate to serve First Nations communities with excellence.

Colleen will continue in her leadership journey, assuming responsibilities closer to home. As Ut'soo (grandmother), she will continue to nurture her Dakelh / Carrier teachings with her grandchildren and family on the land.

“Colleen exemplifies authentic leadership and determination to ensure the well-being of our communities is at the forefront of every decision. Her leadership on the Board of Directors has resulted in significant and foundational contributions to support the successes of the FNHA and ultimately leading to improved health outcomes of communities. She truly embodies our First Nations holistic ways of knowing and being through her quiet, yet sage and decisive leadership qualities. We wish Colleen all the best as she pursues other leadership opportunities and continues to enjoy the tranquility of being on the land, in her territory with her family," said Dr. Sheila Blackstock, FNHA Board Chair.

Dr. Sheila Blackstock is Gitxsan, from Northern British Columbia. She serves as an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). Dr. Blackstock obtained her PhD from the University of Alberta, specializing in "Developing a Theoretical Model on Incivility," and holds a Master of Science in Nursing, and an advanced specialty in occ​upational health nursing. She has over 36 years of experience working as a nurse in varying nursing practice contexts (acute care, regional, rural, remote and Indigenous communities).

A founding member of Thompson Rivers University's (TRU) Indigenous Health Nursing Committee, Dr. Blackstock assumed the role of inaugural Chair, leading initiatives to integrate Indigenous knowledge systems into nursing education. Her tenure witnessed advocacy for the nurturing of personal, professional, and social responsibilities, fostering responsive and respectful relationships.

With a robust background in board governance, Dr. Blackstock served as the Interior Board representative on the FNHA Board of Directors from 2020 to 2023. Presently, she continues her commitment to the FNHA Board as a Director at Large and now as Board Chair.

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