April Ingham – Executive Director
April became the Executive Director of PPP in 2009. Since then, she has overseen multi-year Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funded projects for civil society conflict transformation in Manokwari, West Papua. These included the development of women’s networks and cooperatives. April has also assisted in the development of communications strategies along the Sepik River Region of Papua New Guinea and helped produce and host four major Pacific conferences. April has also succeeded in creating public engagement programs that connect the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the South Pacific while opening space for all who care about Pacific concerns.
April is currently a Director of the Canada Council for International Development, an Advisor to the School of Technology and Education for Royal Roads University, and is active in a number of organizations including the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCICC) and Media-Net. She boasts an impressive career and record of service within the non-profit sector, most notably with the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation, public art galleries, the BC Arts Council, and the BC Museums Association. Throughout her career, April has successfully managed complex projects in a cross-cultural and multi-stakeholder context. Prior to joining PPP, she worked for three years as Production Manager for the nationally broadcast Indigenous arts and culture television show “The New Canoe”. She is also credited as part of the development team for the web-based Indigenous language archiving system First Voices.
Jaimie Sumner – Operations Coordinator
Jaimie is thrilled to join the team as Operations Coordinator. She grew up on a farm in the prairies and has been a grateful guest on beautiful Lekwungen territory for the past eight years. She is deeply inspired by these lands and waters, and her longtime passions are art, story, and community. She is eager to learn all she can about Indigenous experiences and history in the South and North Pacific and to be of service to these communities. Jaimie has always felt strongly about human rights, Indigenous rights, and community development. These interests led her to learning opportunities in places including Malawi, Washington State, Hartley Bay, and Squamish. Her B.A.Sc. focused on the question, “How can we use art to create socially and ecologically healthy communities?” Jaimie’s research and experience bolster her belief in the power of art to advance social change.
Jaimie has a history in management, event planning, and arts facilitation. She has been privileged to work in the non-profit field over the past 12 years and on arts projects in theatre, storytelling, writing, and visual arts. A few of her projects include facilitating a community story group, co-producing a play on the mental health system, and documenting arts projects for the Inter-Cultural Association. She has also volunteered with Girls Rock Camp and Together Against Poverty Society and managed a Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
Alan Thomas – Financial Officer
Alan has an MBA, a CPA accounting designation, and an undergraduate business degree. His past work in the public and private sector includes being the Business Planning Director for BC Emergency Health Services, Director of Finance for Vifor Pharmaceuticals (in both Canada and Switzerland), Regional Head of Finance for Aviva Insurance Company Western Canada, and Manager/Director, Planning and Analysis and Alderwoods Group. He currently acts as a Finance/Accounting Consultant.
His work philosophy has always been to “roll up his sleeves” to resolve issues, and to act as a business partner to the leadership team. He feels strongly that an accountant/finance officer needs to go beyond the typical statutory requirements of the role, and add value through the strategic planning process to ensure optimal use of both financial and human capital. He believes in the importance of team work and mutual respect throughout all levels of an organization.
Andy has two BAs (English Major, Psychology Minor; Sociology Major); over two decades later he is still trying to find some use for them. He first started volunteering with PPP in 2010. He acts as an archivist for Tok Blong Pasifik, maintaining inventories and scanning earlier issues. His outside interests include movies, comics, travel (including extensive explorations of northwest Washington and Oregon, the “Golden Horseshoe” area of Ontario and the general vicinity of Montreal) and photography (with over 3.4 million photos uploaded to Flickr). At some point he’d like to get novels published.
Peter Boldt – Program Coordinator
Peter grew up in Lekwungun territory since he was a child and feels blessed to call this beautiful coast his home. He is inspired by his travels and the people and friends he has met from developing countries. He fondly recalls his time as a field school student in 2013 when he had the opportunity to participate in local development initiatives through service learning in Uganda. This trip marked the beginning of his passion for advocacy, human rights and sustainable development.
Since then, Peter has been an elementary school teacher for two years abroad, and shortly thereafter completed his Masters in International Development Studies. His thesis focussed on Canadian mining operations in Mexico and their impacts on peripheral communities. Peter has also worked for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) which serves as the financial mechanism within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and as a research assistant for an assessment of Korean-Government Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programs in the Philippines and Myanmar.
Peter looks forward to forging long-lasting relationships with his colleagues and continue learning about Indigenous knowledge exchange, community resilience and South Pacific development issues.
Agnieszka (Aggie) is a Greek born, Polish immigrant who is grateful to have grown up on Kwikwetlem territory. She was first called to the Pacific where she spent a month in Hawaii training as a yoga teacher and hitchhiking around the island. As someone who is deeply guided by her intuition, this experience threw her off her original life plan to go to law school as she realized her passion lies in traditional healing practices, environmental protection and working directly with community. This led her to pursue a Master of Environment in Melbourne, Australia.
Through her masters, she focused on adaptation to climate change; looking into the underlying causes of vulnerabilities and the ongoing process of determining the most effective options for adapting to climate change; as well as the political ecology of development, examining western normative assumptions about gender and gender empowerment
Whilst in Australia she was fortunate to work with a humanitarian organization, researching the Bougainville referendum and Australia’s humanitarian role in the history and in the potential outcome. She was also involved with a local organization working on climate resilience in the Pacific, connecting with community, and knowledge sharing through panel discussions. After her studies she was given the opportunity to volunteer in Israel, learning about sustainable agricultural practices, and then in Greece working with youth and women asylum seekers. She is passionate about the localization of aid, and working directly with communities to elevate voices and is very excited to be joining PPP and furthering her understanding of Indigenous experiences, community, culture, and what it means to be an active ally across the Pacific.
Kiana is very excited to have an opportunity to rejoin PPP for the summer of 2020 after being part of the organization in 2017 through the student summer internship program. In 2017 she was a cultural liaison and media assistant who was able to provide support and play a role in the historic One Wave Gathering that year. Kiana is currently undergoing a BSc in Nursing at the University of Northern British Columbia. Kiana is half-Tongan and feels PPP gives her an opportunity to take part in initiatives that support the Indigenous people of the South Pacific and allows her to reconnect with her heritage. Through her role this year, she will be helping create a platform where individuals can share their stories of resilience while adhering to social distancing regulations.
Zachary Fenn – Development Coordinator
Zach is just wrapping up his fourth year at the University of Victoria, where he will obtain his BSc in Anthropology and English. This is Zach’s second summer as one of PPP’s summer staff, and he will be working as the Development Coordinator for events like the One Wave Gathering 2020, helping with grant proposals, and supporting fundraising initiatives. Zach is happy to be back working for PPP. He hopes to use his internship as a new way of understanding the complex histories and cultures of Pacific Island peoples and Indigenous peoples of Canada and to help address modern-day problems affecting people along the pacific, such as postcolonialism, tourism, migration, and environmental degradation. In the future.
Zach would like to obtain his master’s degree, continue learning to become a better ally to Indigenous people and keep working in the humanitarian sector. In his spare time, he enjoys surfing, skiing, skateboarding, and spending time with his girlfriend.
Tana Thomas – Arts and Culture Coordinator
Tana has just recently joined the team at PPP as Arts and Cultural Program Coordinator. She resides in the traditional territory of the Lekwungen people, as a Nuu-chah-nulth visitor. Tana is a strong advocate in the healing sector, helping Indigenous youth find artistic outlets to let their voices be heard.
Tana has been a voyager of the Pacific waters since she was 9 years old, traveling alongside fleets of canoes on Tribal Journeys on the Northwest Coast. Tana manifested a traditional dugout cedar canoe into reality as she completed her apprenticeship with Master Canoe carver, Joe Martin. She completed this project in 2018 with the help of funding through First Peoples Cultural Council and the Nature Conservancy Group of America.
Since then, Tana has courageously taken on the responsibilities of a skipper and leader within her community, in hopes of inspiring local youth in being proactive in defying social and gender norms. She aspires to continue advocating for the wellbeing of future generations.