Vice President, Indigenous Health & Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Dawn Thomas joined Island Health in the newly established position of Executive Lead, Indigenous Health in June 2020. Dawn is a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation on Vancouver Island. Her traditional Nuu-chah-nulth name is Aa ap waa iik which loosely translates to “The one who says the right words about chiefly business.”
In her role, Dawn is responsible for enabling and facilitating system transformation and service delivery improvements that improve the wellness, health, and care needs of all Indigenous peoples across the Island Health service area including First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and non-Status Indigenous peoples – both on and off reserve. Dawn engages with a wide range of senior internal and external partners to foster effective relationships, leadership and service advancement while ensuring an Indigenous lens is applied to the development, review and revision of Island Health’s organization values, governance, administration, and decision-making.
Dawn brings to Island Health more than 20 years experience with Indigenous children, families, communities and leadership. She is currently on secondment with the Ministry of Health. She has worked for the B.C. government at the Ministry of Children and Family Development and most recently at the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth. Dawn holds a Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution, and a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care, both from the University of Victoria.