Elected leader with background in social work has charted a course to develop the governance, legal, business, natural resource and political aspects of her First Nation
Resource Works welcomes Chief Karen Ogen to the Resource Works Advisory Council, a body that supports the work of our non-profit society.
Chief Ogen is of Wet’suwet’en ancestry and belongs to the Git’dim’den clan house of Spo’x. She comes from the Wet’suwet’en community outside of Burns Lake,. Her background is predominantly in the social work field as a frontline worker, life skills coach, program director.
Chief Ogen has 25 years of experience in the social work field. She has taught at UNBC as an Instructor for the Social Work & First Nations course at the Terrace, Fort St. John and Prince George campuses. She has a masters degree in social work. She is passionate about doing community development within her community.
The role of the advisory council is to provide strategic guidance to the Resource Works Society as it formulates research and communications programs. The group meets quarterly.
"Chief Ogen has spoken courageously of the challenge for First Nations leaders to get away from what she called 'administering poverty'," said Stewart Muir, executive director of Resource Works.
"As we work to enlarge knowledge about the benefits of a responsible resource economy, we hope to learn more from Chief Ogen about how all residents can participate in achieving shared prosperity."
Here is her recent appearance on the Higher Ground show:
During her first three years as the elected chief of Wet’suwet’en First Nation (WFN), Chief Ogen led the creation of a strong Natural Resource department to ensure full respect for WFN aboriginal rights and title, high environmental standards and full and proper consultation, accommodation and economic benefits.
The WFN council led by Chief Ogen was instrumental in creating the Yinka Dene Limited Partnership, an economic development arm of WFN, that is promoting self sufficiency through joint ventures and partnerships with various businesses that create long term sustainable employment, business opportunities and economic benefits for her nation.
A recent example is the finalization of negotiations with Huckleberry Mines resulting in significant economic benefits, well paid jobs for 5 WFN members, and the negotiation of major contracts with YLP.
Chief Ogen was recently re-elected for a second three-year term and is implementing a three-year strategic plan that involves the governance, legal, business, natural resource and political aspects of Wet’suwet’en First Nation. The goal is for WFN to become a self sufficient nation so that WFN is able to look after its own affairs and significantly raise living standards especially in relation to the four pillars of housing, education and training, health and wellness and language and culture.