Chief and Council Profiles

Chief Lydia Hwitsum

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Francine Alphonse

Fran.JPGFrancine sits on the following committees and boards:  Youth Recreation, Health Advisory, Elder’s Tobacco Tax; Justice, Coordination Agreement Table - Child and Family Wellness Legislation, City of Duncan/North Cowichan/CVRD, Cowichan Bay Planning Committee, and the Khowutzun Development Board and Gravel Permit & Dike Company.

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, Capital Assets Management, Policy, Land Investigation, and the Jurisdiction Working Group for Child & Family Wellness Legislation and the Coordination Agreement Table. Stephanie also services on the Boards of Cowichan Nation Alliance, Costa Canna, 0990409 BC Ltd, and Mustimuhw Information Solutions Inc.

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 (on leave)

Cindy.JPGMs. Daniels has taken leave from her role on Cowichan Tribes’ Council while serving as Acting Chief Administrative Officer. She previously service as General Manager between April 2017 and September 2018, and as Acting Chief for several months in 2021.

This term, Cindy serves on the following committees and boards: Community Safety, Finance, Health Advisory, Own Source Revenue, Tumuhw', and Grave Permit & Dike Company. 

Cindy was first elected to Council in 2009. 


Darin George


Howard (Howie) George - Q'isulestse

Howie.JPGHowie George sits on the following committees: Khowutzun Development Corporation, Capital Assets Management, Human Resources, Own Source Revenue, Housing, Land Investigation Committee, Child & Family Services, L.S. Adoptions, Jurisdiction WG – Child & Family Legislation, and Coordination Agreement Table – Child & Family Legislation.

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 and boards that Stuart sits on are Captial Assets Management, Membership, Policy, Youth Recreation, Finance, Community Safety, Fishing, Tumuhw', Cowichan Valley Regional District, Cowichan Watershed Board, North Cowichan Parks & Recreation, Costa Canna 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

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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 serves on the following committees and boards: Treaty Committee, Cowichan Nation Alliance, Gravel Permit & Dike, Policy Committee, and Khowutzun Gaming Corporation.

“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

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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.



Lydia Hwitsum

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Dora Wilson - Thulamiye

Dora Wilson.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:

  • Membership Committee
  • Own Source Revenue
  • Housing Committee
  • Education Committee
  • Elders Tobacco Tax Committee
  • Land Investigation Committee
  • Cowichan Tribes Treaty Committee
  • Cowichan Tribes Elders Advisory Committee
  • Cowichan Tribes Shared Territory Working Group
  •  Cowichan Nation Alliance
  • HTG Board of Directors
  • Coordination Agreement Table – Child & Family Wellness Legislation
  • Elders S'ulhween

Dora also services on the following boards:

  • 0990409 BC Ltd.
  • Gravel Permit & Dike Company
  • Khowutzun Development LP Board
  • Village Green Mall – Cowichan Mini Mall Ltd.