Chief and Council Profiles

Chief William "Chip" Seymour - Squtxulenuhw

chief.jpgAs elected Chief, William's main concern is to see Cowichan Tribes through it's deficit.

Throughout the 33 years he has worked with Cowichan Tribes, he has seen and heard of many issues that need to be addressed, and he is willing to help deal with them. 

As Chief, William will sit on all the committees.

He has been a coach since 1975.  Coaching for the three different age brackets in two sports, lacrosse and soccer.  He has retired from coaching the Cowichan Eagles Soccer team, but continues to support them.  He also participates in our Longhouse gatherings.

Francine Alphonse

falphonse.JPGFrancine sits on the following committees:  Youth and Recreation; Finance; Elder’s Tobacco Tax; Justice and Specific Claims Committee and the KDC Board of Director.

Francine completed her Business Administration Diploma, UVIC in 2005.

"I am truly honored to have a seat at Council and the Committee for the term of 2017-19. I also am culturally and community involved, can assist and bring Cowichan Tribes toward it’s goals."

Stephanie Atleo

stephanie.jpgStephanie sits on numerous committees including Education, Cowichan Tribes Treaty, Human Resources, Finance and Audit.

Stephanie began her education in First Nation Governance in the mid  1990's by attending a two year Associates of Arts Diploma program at the Institute of Indigenous Governance.  She graduated from UBC with a BA in First Nations Studies, minoring in History. Following this Stephanie worked for many years in the Cowichan Tribes Band Office.

It is Stephanie's future plan to return to school in pursuit of the Masters in Business Administration.  In addition to her interest in school, Stephanie's other interests include reading, playing fastball, and coaching youth soccer.

Albie Joe Charlie - Whulquletse

albie.jpgServed on Council since 1997.  Housing is a main priority to him, then Youth interception follows.  

Cowichan Band Housing Society, Khowutzun Gaming Corporation, Finance, Human Resources, Own Source Revenue, Policy, Education, Elder's S'ulhween, Health Advisory, Environment Resource, Fishing, Justice, Land Code, Land Investigation, Land Management, Specific Claims, Archaeological, Archaeological Reburial, Child & Family Services (L.S.), L.S. Adoptions, Cowichan Tribes Treaty, Duncan Chamber of Commerce, Island Corridor Foundation, Cowichan Bay Planning  are the committees that Albie is involved in.

Outside interests include fishing, attending and cooking for ceremonies at the Longhouse.  He enjoys the outdoors.  He also teaches Hul'q'umi'num' to community members.  Albie was once a Social Worker for Cowichan Tribes.

Jen Charlie


Cindy Daniels


Craig George - Qwulthimulet

craig.jpgCraig sits on the following committees: 0990409 BC Ltd, Finance, Own Source Revenue, Youth Recreation, Land Management, Property Taxation and Child & Family Services.

"I  would like to thank Cowichan Tribes membership for the confidence in electing me. Huy ch q'u.  I look forward to serving our community in this next term.  I am looking forward to moving our Tribe forward in a positive and healthy direction.  My outlook is to bring accountability and transparency to our membership.  Bring trust and honestly to our tribe.

We need to take care of our Elders, youth and families. We need to work together for a healthy community and workplace.

My interests are various sports; indoor soccer (Futsal), outdoor soccer, lacrosse, basketball and softball.  I love to spend time and travel with my wife and children.  I have volunteered coaching youth, men and ladies soccer for the past 12 years.  I enjoy attending longhouse and cultural activities."

Howard (Howie) George - Q'isulestse

howard.jpgHowie George sits on the following committees: Khowutzun Gaming Corporation (Alternate), Capital Assets Management, Human Resources, Own Source Revenue, Community Safety, Property Taxation, Child & Family Services and L.S. Adoptions.

Everyone matters have programs and services for our members, open communication, honesty, trust, respect and a stronger Cowichan.  

Howie's interests are Economic development, housing, jobs and education.

Stuart Pagaduan - Qwiyahwult-hw

stuart.jpgThe committees that Stuart sits on are Gravel Permit Company, Economic Review Team, Membership, Policy, Youth Recreation, Education, Health Advisory (Alternate), Community Safety, Specific Claims and Growing Together Day Care.

"I consider it a great honor to represent Cowichan people.  My initial goals are to listen and understand the needs of our community.  Making small positive changes for a stronger future.

Art is a big part of my life.  I've been an Artist for about 20 years.  I like to be outdoors; fishing and hunting."

Calvin A. Swustus Jr - Swutth’tus


Calvin Swustus Jr, born into the Village of Quamichan, raised in the Cowichan Valley. This is his first term as an elected official.

Calvin has worked in various areas in his young life, in local sawmills, and an adult outreach worker, working with persons with disabilities, and worked as the Legal Aid at the Duncan Court House. Calvin filled a position with the La’Lum U’tul Smuneem Child and Family services as a Family Connection worker for 7 years.

Calvin is now employed with the Hiiye’yu Lelum House of Friendship, as the Youth Service Coordinator, he enjoys working with youth sharing cultural songs and Tzinquaw dancing, sharing the local myths and history. Calvin has up to 60 youth on the youth drop in evenings, taking part in the events.

Calvin has put in his time promoting sports and culture, he has played Ice Hockey since the age of 5 and continues to play Ice Hockey today. Calvin filled the Youth position to promote Sports and Health for the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games. Calvin has been dancing and singing with the well knowing Quwut’sun Tzinquaw Dance Group since 1996.

Calvin has spent the past 12 years participating in the North West Coast Salish war canoes races, and the Outrigger canoe races.

Calvin Swustus Jr has selected the following committees: Cowichan Treaty Committee, Cowichan Nation Alliance Committee , Gravel & Dike Committee , Policy Committee, and Joint Venture Committee.

“I look forward to being the voice for the community and making the best decisions for the community as a whole.”

Calvin is married with 3 daughters.

Calvin Swustus Sr. - Swutth'tus


Councillor Swutth’tus Calvin Swustus, is from the Quamichan Village, has enjoyed extensive careers in the public service, including 22 years with the RCMP where he served in a variety of operational roles which included First Nations Policing, at the North Cowichan Duncan Detachment, and Sidney Detachment. Calvin also served in the Tse’wultun Police Service, and Chief Constable at the Ditidaht Police Service, and 5 years in the Commissionaire Corp. of Canada.

Calvin Swustus has enjoyed volunteering in many community services, including the Providence Farm Board of Director, Cowichan Valley Crime Stoppers Board of Director, Cowichan Valley Native Friendship Centre, The Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games, and the 2017 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.

Calvin Swustus has been decorated with the RCMP Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, and the Canadian Aboriginal Veterans Association decorated Calvin for his service to Canada.

Calvin Swustus has sat on various Council Committees, for Cowichan Tribes. Calvin Swustus has built a valuable Restorative Justice program, which has received 2 Recognition Awards. Calvin has received the Premiers Award for Promoting Innovation And Excellence.



Debra Toporowski - Qwulti'stunaat

debra.jpgDebra sits on the following committees: Cowichan Band Housing Society, Khowutzun Gaming Corporation, Health Advisory, Fishing, Quw'utsun Kw'atl'kwa Fisheries Board, Cowichan Tribes Treaty, Cowichan Nation Alliance, Island Corridor Foundation (Alternate) and Cowichan Watershed Management.

Debra is looking forward to working with the community members, the chief and councilors. Debra wants to reconnect with the community, building relationships and have openness to finding practical solutions to some of the issues that we face today.

Debra's interests are fishing, camping, snowshoeing, walking and photography. Debra enjoys gardening and finds it very rewarding in growing and canning her own fresh fruits and vegetables.

Dora Wilson - Thulamiye

dora.jpgDora has been on Council since 1979 and wants to ensure that the interests of the community are addressed.  She is particularly concerned about housing and the economy.

Dora sits on the following committees: Cowichan Band Housing Society, Khowutzun Gaming Corporation, Gravel Permit Company, Dike Permit Company, Duncan Properties, 0990409 BC Ltd, Membership, Own Source Revenue, Policy, Education, Elders S'ulhween, Elders Tobacco Tax, Land Investigation, Specific Claims, Archaeological Reburial, L.S. Adoptions, Cowichan Tribes Treaty, Cowichan Tribes Elders Advisory, Cowichan Tribes Elders Advisory Working Group, Cowichan Tribes Shared Territory Working Group, Cowichan Nation Alliance, HTG Board of Directors (Alternate) and HTG Shared Territory Working Group,