The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – British Columbia (CPAWS-BC) has hired Annita McPhee as executive director.
McPhee steps into the position as the first Indigenous person to lead a Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society chapter, and brings with her a wealth of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Social Work, served three terms as the President of the Tahltan Central Council, and is the recipient of numerous awards for her vision and leadership. McPhee was instrumental in the fight to save the Sacred Headwaters in Tahltan Territory, and was honoured with the The Leadership Award from Ecotrust for her work.
Earlier this year she cried foul when the NDP named Nathan Cullen as its candidate in the Bulkley Valley-Stikine riding, saying it went against the party’s policy of seeking diversity in its candidates as existing MLAs retire. The NDP went with Cullen.
“Annita’s expertise in strategic development holds the health of people, lands and waters at the heart,” said Catarina Moreno, CPAWS-BC Board President. “At this critical juncture for nature, Annita’s bold leadership and commitment to finding unique solutions for wilderness protection is an ideal fit to lead CPAWS-BC into a very bright future.”
Caring for lands and waters has always been McPhee’s priority.
“As a Tahltan woman, growing up on Tahltan and Stikine lands, I was always reminded that Indigenous Peoples in Canada have been stewarding lands since time immemorial. It’s always been our work,” said McPhee “This is an exciting opportunity to bring forward these teachings and strengthen collaboration between Indigenous Peoples, conservation groups and governments to secure clean air, water, and nutritious food now and forever.”
McPhee looks forward to sharing her stories and leadership vision in the weeks and months ahead.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of public land, the ocean, and freshwater, and ensuring parks and protected areas are managed to protect nature. Since 1963, CPAWS has played a leading role in protecting over half a million square kilometres. Its vision is to protect at least half of Canada’s public land and water in a framework of reconciliation – for the benefit of wildlife and people.