Khelsilem was elected as a councillor for the local Squamish Nation Council based in North Vancouver in late 2017 for a four-year term. In this role, he has served on various of its committees, including: Governance, Finance & Audit, Human Resources and Housing Authority Development. He has strived to create good governance practices that enhance transparency, accountability, and ethical governing standards to benefit the Nation’s members. In 2016, Khelsilem built and founded the first adult immersion school for the endangered Squamish Language in partnership with Simon Fraser University. Since its establishment, more than 40 students have enrolled in the program, and it continues to grow. Within two years, Khelsilem trained and taught students to take over day-to-day teaching and operations of the program. Over the years, he has focused on climate justice, Indigenous rights, and has been a frequent media commentator and public speaker about defending British Columbia’s coast from oil spills.
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