Increasing Opportunity for Success: Inter-Nation Collaboration Panel

Presenting Organization
Indigenous Business and Investment Council

The leadership of the Spayum Limited Partnership (SLP) will discuss their successes and challenges in coming together as a multi-national economic and business organization. 

The overall goal of the SLP is to develop a long-term revenue stream for the Nicola Valley First Nations communities, and to enhance the City of Merritt as a whole. The SLP aims to establish commercial and Indigenous/recreational tourism focused development within the Nicola Valley. The SLP is currently focused primarily on economic and business development, land development and provision of infrastructure.
The five First Nation bands that formed the Spayum Holdings Limited Partnership (SLP) are the Upper Nicola Indian Band, the Lower Nicola Indian Band, the Shackan Indian Band, the Nooaitch Indian Band and the Coldwater Indian Band.

What Participants will Learn by Attending

  1. Approaches to collaboration - common goals and objectives.
  2. Importance of communications.
  3. Building and reinforcing mutually beneficial relations.

A panel of three presenters:

  • Moderator: Jim Kew
  • Chief Aaron Sumexheltza, Member of the Spayum LP
  • Chief Jordan Joe, Shacken Indian Band
  • Susan Roline, Member of the Spayum LP

Presenter Biographies 

Moderator Jim Kew, Member - Indigenous Business and Investment Council

I am Kwes Kwestin.  My English name is Jim Kew.  I am Musqueam. I am a Program Coordinator for Langara College, Indigenous Education and Services, a member of the British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology, Indigenous Business and Investment Council, and the Elder on the Musqueam Land Code Committee. The ancestral obligation attached to my name Kwes’Kwestin is to be a bridge between Canada and the people of the earth.


Councilor Aaron Sumexheltza, Lower Nicola Indian Band & Chair Indigenous Business and Investment Council

Ski’us Aaron Sam Sumexheltza (Aaron Sumexhelta) is Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band.  He previously worked as a lawyer for Fulton & Company and several other organizations, focusing on representing residential school survivors and criminal defense.  Aaron is currently a member of the board for the Assembly of First Nations – Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment, the BC Aboriginal Justice Council, and the Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation.  He was previously a Councilor for the Lower Nicola Indian Band and the Nicola Valley Community Justice Services Society.  Aaron has a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from California State University.


Chief Jordan Joe, Shacken Indian Band

Jordan was born in Saanichton BC and raised during early life all over BC and parts of the U.S while traveling with family for work in the Carnival. Finally coming home to the Nicola Valley at age 14 to finish High school at Merritt Secondary and going on to NVIT for Business Administration then finishing his degree at Thompson Rivers University and working as a Wildland Fire Fighter during the summers while attending university. after completing his degree, he worked in Economic Development and Special Projects for Shackan Indian Band for 2 years then moving on to Spayum Developments Ltd., a First Nations Economic Development company, for 5 years. While in this capacity earned a Certificate in First Nations Tax Administration and Capital Works Management.


Susan Roline

Susan Roline was appointed to the newly formed Spayum Holdings LLP Board in January 2019. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute her in-depth knowledge of Merritt and municipal processes in assisting the Nicola Valley’s five First Nations bands in bringing economic and financial prosperity to their off reserve land holdings. Susan was born and raised in Merritt and worked for forty years in the financial services industry assisting Nicola Valley residents with all aspects of their banking needs. In the fall of 2008 Susan was elected as Mayor of Merritt and thoroughly enjoyed the learnings and challenges of this role for six years. During her term as Mayor she actively participated in securing Provincial agreement in the acquisition of the Crown lands known as Exit 286. A project that she continues to work on in her role as Board member of Spayum Holdings LLP. She now enjoys retirement by volunteering on the Canadian Country Music Heritage Society as Treasurer and Convener of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. She is also in my third term as President of a classic car club called Nicola Valley Cruisers, who hosts an annual car show and Rock n Roll Dance. Along with attending car shows she and her husband Sam enjoy camping with their families and friends. She has also taken up Genealogy research, which holds her captive by the interesting histories of her family and how they tie in with her hometown of Merritt.