Way’ my name is Bonnie Jacobsen. My immediate family has raised children, worked, lived, and played in the Similkameen Valley, from Princeton to Chopaka, for many years. My mother is Audrey Walthers and my maternal grandmother is the late Bertha Ellingsen. Growing up I spent many summers and vacations in Hedley, I have some of my best memories from those times and hold a great fondness for the beautiful Similkameen Valley.
I currently live in Vernon, BC and am the mother to two children. My professional background was embedded in business and finances for over 20 years as the owner of a very successful business. My experience has allowed me to expand my skills in many different areas including but not limited to, management, contract negotiations, organizational infrastructure, finance and budgeting, and event planning. I also have a passion for and experience in organizing large community events.
Trust and integrity are very important to me. I have lived my life with the belief that with hard work anything is possible! I believe the future belongs to our children, grandchildren, and generations beyond. We need to preserve and pass on the knowledge of our culture, history, and traditions and the children are the key to our success in doing that.
I am humbled and honoured to be the Chief of the Upper Similkameen Indian Band and cherish each day that I am able to be a part of the positive change that has and continues to come to our community. I still consider myself a new member of the USIB and thoroughly enjoy learning more about this amazing community, land, and people every single day.
Chief Bonnie Jacobsen
Phone: 250-292-8733 (Admin Office)
Michael (Mike) Duane Allison was born in 1960. He is a cowboy and protector of his traditional territory. His parents are Carrie and the late Slim Allison. He is married to Nancy Allison and they have two children, Jessi and Jay Allison. Mike attended school in Hedley and the school he attended is now the USIB Administration Office. Mike’s knowledge of the land came from growing up with many knowledge keepers and spending time hunting, fishing, harvesting, preparing medicines, and telling stories.
Mike’s career has taken him all over the land for many decades, some of which includes ranching, guiding, logging, wildlife, fisheries, archaeology, working with at risk species, and conducting water quality studies. Despite all of this Mike is very modest and will tell you he has a “good” working knowledge of his traditional territory.
His heart is happiest when he is on the land and passing along his teachings to his children and the youth in the community. It causes him great distress when he witnesses pollution on his lands whether it be over harvesting, poor land management, or contaminated water.
Mike’s passion for protecting and serving the lands comes through as both a Councillor and Senior Field Technician for USIB. He loves to incorporate traditional teachings into his work and will always do everything within his power to teach and preserve the beautiful Similkameen.
Councillor Mike Allison
Way’ Inca’isqwist In’uk , ChuChuwayha
Hello, my name Is Charles Allison. I am the middle son of three, from the late Councillor Charlene Allison and the late Michael Heinrich. My late grandmother Nora Allison’s parents were Chief Charles Allison (great grandfather) and Mary Allison (great grandmother). My family has lived in the Similkameen Valley for many years and our history goes back to when my 2nd great grandmother Nora Yakumtikum, ran a pack train over the Cascades in the nineteenth century.
As many in our community and surrounding valley know, I’ve grown up in the Similkameen learning and playing in the mountains, rivers, and creeks. I have been raised and lived in Hedley my entire life. I’ve worked many years for the band in different capacities including but not limited to, working with youth, forestry, mining, and agriculture. I have learned so much during these years and take pride in everything that I do.
I’m currently employed at Copper Mountain Mine with an apprenticeship and am working on getting my Heavy-Duty Mechanics Red Seal.
I was asked to be a representative for the B.C. Health & Safety, reclamation Mines Code Review Committee, for First Nations across B.C. for over a year now, representing and giving input as an Indigenous person and a boots on the ground worker in mining.
I have great pride for our people and community, it has been an honour to represent the Upper Similkameen as a council member since 2018. I have had a great deal of experience and knowledge of the band, its businesses and history. Throughout the years I have seen great change within our community and the Similkameen and I continue to see great things to come for our future generations.
I have a strong passion and respect to take care of tmixw and tmxʷulaxʷ. Our land, tradition, culture, and our smelqmix people. Helping our elders, our community, and our people as I was taught by our elders.
Seeing our waters, our lands, our tmxʷulaxʷ sick is heart breaking and its up to us as smelqmix people to help heal her. I believe we all need to work together as a people so we can all grow and stand as one for the Mighty Similkameen.
Councillor Charles Allison