Lydia Hwitsum is principal for Hwitsum Consulting and former chair of the First Nations Health Authority Board of Directors. She has more than 20 years of experience in leadership positions in Indigenous governance in British Columbia and throughout Canada.
A citizen of the Cowichan Nation, Hwitsum served as the elected chief of the Cowichan Tribes for eight years. She served as an elected member of the BC First Nations Summit Political Executive. She has been a member of the board of directors of the BC Assembly of First Nations and was the BC representative for the Assembly of First Nations National Women's Council.
Hwitsum has advocated for Indigenous and human rights locally, nationally and internationally. She has presented at the United Nations Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and at the Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She was a board member for the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development for five years and served on the board of the BC Land Title and Survey Authority. She has also previously served as Chair of the BC Capacity Initiative Council and Director on Tele’ethw Aboriginal Capital Corporation board.
She continues governance and development consulting work with the Cowichan Tribes and other First Nations in BC.
Hwitsum holds a Certificate of Administration of Aboriginal Governments and a Diploma in Public Sector Management from the University of Victoria, as well as dispute resolution training through the BC Justice Institute. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Victoria’s law school.