The PRRO is a team of skilled professionals with experience in a wide range of fields including, forestry, archaeology, anthropology, First Nations’ Governance, environmental mitigation and remediation, geographic information systems (GIS), cultural heritage resource management, environmental resource management, and strategic planning.
Our staff experience covers the private and public sectors with several organizations like the provincial government, local government, consulting, and First Nations’ organizations.
Dr. David Schaepe is the Director & Senior Archaeologist of the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre at Stó:lō Nation. He has worked for over 15 years as a community-based researcher addressing issues of aboriginal rights and title, heritage management policy and practice, repatriation, land use planning, archaeological research, and education and outreach. He earned his PhD in Anthropology from the University of British Columbia in 2009. In addition to working at Stó:lō Nation, he is an adjunct professor in Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management, and an instructor of Indigenous Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. His research interests are multi-disciplinary in nature and include household archaeology, oral history, Stó:lō-Coast Salish settlement patterning and community organization, cultural landscape management, and issues of aboriginal rights and title. Dr. Schaepe has over 25 years of experience in archaeology/anthropology, and cultural heritage research and resource management.
Matt was the first of his family to be born in Canada, his parents both being born to New Zealand settler families. Graduating from UBC with a Major in Anthropology, he worked as a field archaeologist across BC before returning to school at BCIT for an Advance Diploma in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Following his graduation from that program, he was hired at the Sto:lo Research and Resource Management Centre (SRRMC) in 2012 just as StoloConnect.com and The People of the River Referrals Office (PRRO) were about to launch. He now manages PRRO.
Tannis is a member of Semá:th (Sumas First Nation.) Tannis grew up in Abbotsford and has a background in Lands and Resource Management, as well as Environmental Monitoring. Tannis has been with the PRRO since 2015; first as a Community Liaison and now as the Communications Coordinator.
Damodar has a background in natural resource management, land use planning, protected areas, conservation policy, and traditional ecological knowledge. In addition to working as a Referrals Officer, he is also the Lands and Natural Resource Officer at the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe that includes the communities of Aitchelitz First Nation, Shxwha:y Village, Skowkale First Nation, Soowhalie Indian Band, Squiala First Nation, Tzeachten First Nation, and Yakweakwioose First Nation.
Gina was raised by her Grandparents in Seabird Island and spent her high school years in White Rock. After working in retail for a short
time, Gina boarded a plane to Japan where she lived for two years teaching english and travelling throughout Asia. Since then, Gina has
returned home and has planted firm roots by starting a beautiful family with two girls, Stephany and Candace. When not working, she can usually be found at the nearest lake on her paddle board or boat!
Sandy is a proudly connected to Leq’á:mel First Nation. She started with the SRRMC in Sept 2013 as an Archaeology researcher, and later joined the PRRO as the Referrals Administrator, which can be contacted at [email protected].
Barry Schmitz was born and raised in Chilliwack, BC. He has two brothers and three sisters. His family line is linked to the Wet’suwet’en Territory as part of the Gil seyhu (Big Frog) Clan. He is a Certified Environmental Technician with a strong background in accounting and mechanics. Following his Environmental Technician training Barry was onboarded as a Referral Officer with the Sto:lo Research and Resource Management Centre (SRRMC) in 2012 as the People of the River Referrals Office (PRRO) was establishing itself.
Jacob joined PRRO as a Referral Officer in September 2021, and he comes to us with experience in referrals management gained up north working for Lheidli T’enneh First Nation Band. At PRRO, he is working with Cheam, Kwaw’Kwaw’Apilt, and Skwah. Jacob’s background is in Environmental Resource Management, and he has received a BSC in Environmental Science from Simon Fraser University.
Nathaniel Point is from Skowkale First Nation and has been practicing his culture for most of his life. He has just finished his degree in mathematics, and is excited to do work as a referral officer.
“My goal is to help break barriers and build relationships between both worlds. I think this job will help me see what kind of relationships there are and what can be improved on. At the end of the day we all share this land now, and we have to work together to make sure it lasts.”
Vanessa has joined the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre as the Communications Assistant for the People of the River Referrals Office and has a background that includes Fisheries and Emergency Planning within the S’ólh Téméxw. Vanessa is a community member of Máthkwi (Matsqui First Nation) and where she has called home for more than 20 years.
Jamie grew up in Britain and met his Canadian wife while studying for a master’s in environmental policy and planning in Denmark. He worked for nearly ten years as a regulator for the Environment Agency in England and has a background in water quality, solid waste, pollution prevention and enforcement. Upon moving to Canada in 2015 with his family, Jamie worked in local government within environmental services at the Fraser Valley Regional District, before joining The People of the River Referrals Office (PRRO) in the summer of 2022. As the Federal Referrals Officer, Jamie works to implement the Canadian Consultation Engagement Protocol between the STSA and the federal agencies of Canada.