The NRT team is committed to making every interaction with First Nation communities an exceptional one. We challenge each other to think innovatively and in alignment with Indigenous values to create meaningful and lasting impacts - one project at a time.
As the Chief Executive Officer, Walter manages the overall operations and administration of the New Relationship Trust. He brings 20+ years of broad experience, perspective, and capability to the position through education and past roles including as a Vice-President in a global investment bank, a CEO of a shared governance corporation focused on First Nation financial management and the Senior Administrator role in a First Nation community. Walter is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Chartered Accountant) and holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University – Beedie School of Business, a diploma in Financial Management from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and is currently pursuing and in the final stage of completing a diploma in Urban Land Economics – Real Estate Development through Sauder School of Business at University of British Columbia.
Director of Finance
Kim is the Financial Officer of New Relationship Trust and is responsible for overseeing all financial related activities. She joined the NRT team in 2010. Kim has over 25 years of experience in accounting and finance, and has held senior financial positions with not-for-profit and First Nations organizations. Her expertise lies in her ability to establish solid internal controls, and continually evaluate/modify the accounting systems to ensure efficiency and accountability. Kim is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a Certified General Accountant (CGA) in 1994.
Director of Operations
Marie Alaimo graduated from the University of Victoria in 2012 with a Major in Psychology. She joined the NRT team in 2018 and her roles have included overseeing the Direct Support Initiative, Scholarship Initiative, Young Entrepreneurship Symposium, NRTF Golf Tournament, and now is the Director of Operations. Before working at NRT, Marie worked for the BC Government, where she gained an array of skills working in various departments, including Corporate Planning, Communications, Research, and the Health and Finance Ministers’ Offices. She currently resides in Musqueam with her partner and two children and enjoys utilizing her skills and expertise to support building a strong future for First Nation’s people and communities in B.C.
Director of Business Development and Communications
Jessie is a member of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and of mixed European descent. She takes great pride in being a mother of two remarkable adult children and a grandmother to her new grandson. Having obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Educational Administration and Leadership has inspired her meaningful career, which is focused on empowering Indigenous presence, voice, and capacity. Most recently, Jessie served as the Director of Indigenous Relations at Simon Fraser University. Leaning on the wisdom gained from her lived experience, educational attainment, professional journey, and elder teachings, Jessie has developed a passion for nation-building. She joins NRT as the Director of Business Development and Communications and is committed to collaboration, inclusivity, strategic planning, and innovation.
Director of Programs
Lisa Paull, ancestral name Ts’eláselwet is the new Director of Programs & Services. Lisa is a mother to three amazing children and comes from a long line of Squamish Nation descendants, her late grandparents are Tilly Moody and Edwin Paull and Louie & Jessie Miranda; her late parents are Jolene Joseph-Paull, Louie Miranda John, and Darcy SR Joseph. Lisa’s professional background is connected to educational programs & services, personal development. Her focus is to support Indigenous capacity building through the delivery of impactful programming and services, which includes true collaboration with stakeholders and partners. With holistic experience in leadership, counselling, administration, and Indigenous capacity building, Lisa has sat on diverse advisory groups focused on Indigenizing programs and wrap-around supports. Lisa feels inspired to uphold BC First Nations in achieving its diverse goals and objectives. Her educational journey includes a Masters of Indigenous Education, Administration, and Leadership from the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Fraser Valley, with a specialization in Chemical Addictions and Counselling. In her spare time, you will catch her spending time with family, watching lacrosse, and attending ceremony.
Matt Cook Contois
Senior Associate – Programs Specialist / NRTF Partnership & Marketing
Matt Cook-Contois is a member of the Misipawistik Cree Nation which is located in Northern Manitoba. Matt has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree with a double major in Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Management from the Asper School of Business. Matt’s primary goal is to improve the lives and outcomes of Indigenous people everywhere to foster in an era of unprecedented health and happiness. He believes that education is an integral key to achieve this goal and dedicates his time to assisting others in reaching their dreams. Matt will continue to utilize his education and focus to identify new opportunities for Indigenous students, thereby contributing to the continued growth of the New Relationship Trust Foundation.
Senior Associate – Programs Specialist
Lana Plante is a proud Nisga’a citizen from Gitlaxt’aamiks and is from the Laxgibuu Tribe, Gitwilnaakil, and hails from the House of Duuk. Her heritage is also of Cree, French and Irish. Lana has a diploma from the Capilano College, Paralegal/Legal Assistant Program and has been with NRT since inception, serving as primary point of contact for and liaison between management, stakeholders, students, the general public and vendors. Lana took the role of Project Officer in 2006. Lana manages the BC First Nations Elders grant, Youth grant, Youth Language grant, K-12 Education grant, and the New Relationship Trust Foundation Certificate, Diploma, Associates Degree and Trades Bursaries. Lana loves working with all the First Nations/Organizations across BC and contributes her experience and proficiency by providing support and helping students on their education journey.
Senior Associate – Clean Energy Initiatives
Sarah Powell is a member of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation and currently resides in Prince George, BC. She graduated from the University of Victoria and has a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Geography and a minor in Indigenous Studies. Sarah joined the New Relationship Trust in 2020 through the Indigenous Youth Internship Program (IYIP) after her Ministry of Transportation placement. She now works at the Senior Associate level as a Program Specialist administering the BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative (BCICEI), and the Community Energy Diesel Reduction (CEDR) Program. Sarah’s goal through her work is to assist Nations on their journey to energy self-sovereignty and reduce community reliance on diesel. Previously, Sarah worked with NRT’s education initiatives and corporate services, and for the BC Wildfire Service as a dispatcher at the Cariboo Fire Centre.
Senior Associate – Clean Energy Initiative
Selina Beltran is from Tsleil-Waututh nation and graduated from the University of Victoria in 2019 with a major in Gender Studies. Selina works on the BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative (BCICEI) and the Community Energy Diesel Reduction (CEDR) programs with Sarah Powell. Selina is passionate about helping Indigenous and remote communities meet their energy goals. Selina is also on the board of directors for two small organizations, the Coastal Research, Education, and Advocacy Network (CREAN) and the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women Of Colour (SNIWWOC). CREAN is a non-profit organization dedicated to community-based research, education, and advocacy. SNIWWOC is a non-profit organization that focuses on reproductive justice and the empowerment of women in Victoria and Vancouver.
Corporate Services Officer
Jeffrey is a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ) residing in North Vancouver, British Columbia. He has experience in many roles working with and for Indigenous communities in BC and is ecstatic to take part in the pivotal areas New Relationship Trust (NRT) supports. In addition to general administrative tasks, Jeffrey provides active support across all initiatives to ensure smooth progress in the many projects running throughout NRT at any given time. As Jeffrey is a recent addition to the team, he is committed to upholding NRT’s core values of collaboration, inclusivity, strategic planning, and innovation through a uniquely Indigenous lens.
Senior Associate – Programs Analyst
Keri Fisher graduated from the University of Northern British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts (major in Political Science and minor in History), and from the University of Saskatchewan, School of Environment and Sustainability, with a Master’s of Sustainability, Energy Security. Prior to joining the NRT team, Keri worked as a Research Consultant on Indigenous research projects for almost 20 years, including (among other things) research on Indian Residential Schools, litigation, and Specific Claims. Keri is extremely excited to have the opportunity with NRT to help support and empower First Nations in their capacity and nation-building initiatives.
Associate – Programs Analyst
Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of the Fraser Valley and a Masters of Environment and Sustainability from Western University. He joined the New Relationship Trust in 2023 as an Associate Programs Analyst and brings a passion for building a sustainable and resilient future in the face of climate change. Ben enjoys hosting dinner parties, weightlifting, and board games.
Associate – Data Analyst
Jessi has a strong connection to British Columbia’s Northern region as she grew up on the traditional territory of the Stellate’n and Nadleh First Nation and still spends time visiting close friends and family in the area. She graduated with an undergraduate degree from Dalhousie University in K’jipuktuk (Halifax) double majoring in management and sustainability. During her time out East, she gained experience in the clean energy sector with a position with the Halifax Climate Investment, Innovation and Impact (HCi3) Fund co-writing a paper for opportunities for alternative green funding methods for clean energy projects. She now resides in St:olo First Nation territory and has enjoyed being close to family once again while also spending time in the outdoors with friends.