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Dzawada’enuxw First Nation
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Alex Nelson


Alex is a proud member of the Musgamagw- Dzawada'enuxw First Nation of Kingcome Village. He acquired his traditional name, Kasalas and a seat in the Gigalgam of the Haxwa'mis, from his Family's 2009 Potlatch. He currently resides in Victoria with his wife Nella, daughter Tasha and Grandsons Gigalis & Komanagila. He continues to be deeply entrenched in his tradition and culture.

Alex spent seven years in the infamous St. Michaels Indian Residential School in Alert Bay. He is a graduate of UVic. One of his greatest achievements was hosting the 1997 North American Indigenous Games in Victoria, and was the Chairperson of the NAIG Council 1995, Blaine Minnesota; 2002, Winnipeg; and 2008 NAIG, Cowichan. He was also co-founder and Executive Director of Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Association of BC for twenty years.

His election platform statement is as follows:

"Once again I am humbled to have another opportunity to serve our Tribe, and to apply all my Leadership skills, knowledge and experience! Our recent and devastating Flood, September 25, 2010 really called on such Leadership, and I am only grateful that everyone was safe! We learned so many life lessons from this flood as we continue our journey to full Recovery. Having experienced two terms as DFN Council, I have a deeper understanding as to my role as an ''Off Reserve" Council member, and have a deeper appreciation of politics in our beloved Village. I continue to respect the autonomy of Village activities and what goes on in the Village, while attending to specific interests regarding our Off-Reserve members (such as Land & Marine use, Education, Health and Housing).

Governance: There is a continued inherit desire to shift our Governance model to reflect our Ancestral ways, from Elected Leadership to Hereditary Leadership. I am determined to see this move in that direction, despite its' challenges. The challenge is to educate all our membership about who we are and how we were Governed by our Ancestors, while surviving in this modern world. Families need to understand how their families contributed to decision making. With out young research team, we can rebuild our Governance systems! This comes hand in hand with culture. I am delighted to hold the Governance Portfolio! 

Sports, Recreation and Physical Activities: I have a vast history in the field of sports, recreation and physical activities, and how this relates to health, leadership and tribal pride. The 2014 North American Indigenous Games will be hosted in Saskatchewan and will offer many opportunities for our Youth. I will assist to pave a way for our Youth involvement. I will continue to bring soccer games into our Village, while coaching and encouraging our Off-Reserve membership in the world of sports. In all this, I am addicted to soccer and coaching. I still enjoy playing, and look forward to another June Sports!! I am delighted to hold an alternate position for the Youth and Recreation Portfolio! 

Economic Development and Education: There is much concern about the reducing number of Villagers, as members continue to move away from the Village. Economic development and challenges in our Education policy would help counter this movement. Members need some economic opportunities to fulfill their dreams of returning home.

Communications: It is imperative that communication systems between our Homeland and those living Off Reserve be improved. We must do more than rely on Websites, emails and letters. We need to have semi-annual meetings between Council and those living in Urban centres such as Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Campbell River and Pt. Hardy. Therefore, I will be encouraging Council for a budget on such meetings to be established and active whereby Council and Village updates are provided, especially those issues that affect all members. 

Human Resources: I have witnessed the heavy work load in our Village and I continue to admire our Staff and Villagers for holding up our Villages! We know that we have many people with expertise within our Nations' membership and we must learn how to call on them to help up lift our Nation. Therefore, I will make every effort to encourage and remind Council and Senior Administration of such expertise. We need to share the work load and work together.

Finally, I continue to believe that Leadership is not just a title, but Action! I believe that we can take the best of this modern world, and mould it into our Traditional world, and visa versa. I strongly believe that when all our Membership and all Four Tribes work together, we are the strong and powerful Nation that we are. I promise to continue to exercise our voice and find solutions. Once again, I am humbled and honored to serve our People! 

Alex states, "I would like to give my knowledge and experience to the next generation, in pursuit of excellence!"
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