Martha is proud to have roots with the Neskonlith Indian Band, which is one of the 17 communities within the Secwepemculecw (Shuswap territory). Her education includes Business Management, Public Administration, Critical Incident Management and is currently pursuing a Masters in Business & Indigenous Leadership through Simon Fraser University (SFU).
Much of what she’s learned about building effective community-industry relations was taught to her by her late father, Grand Chief George Manuel (founder of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples) and her mentor, the late John Jules of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc. She enjoys spending time on the land and believes that the water and mountains are the best medicine to help guide her work.
She brings over 20 years of experience leading Indigenous related programs to new levels of success. Her team effort approach is crucial in developing communication strategies that offer a collaborative approach to creating effective partnerships between community and industry. She considers personal development/wellness, education, traditional healing and land stewardship as essential in striving for sustainability with Indigenous communities.
She began working with New Gold in 2008 as the First Nations Liaison and eventually transitioned to the Manager of Indigenous Relations. She recently left the employment of New Gold to start her own consulting business. During her employment with New Gold, she was a member of the Mining Association of Canada, Aboriginal Affairs Committee (MAC AAC), the Industry Training Authority, Mining Sector Advisory (ITA MSA).
Earlier this year, Martha received the Michelle Pockey Leadership Award. The award is named in honor of the memory of a prominent lawyer and community activist, Michelle Pockey, who dedicated herself to making a positive impact with energy, mining, environmental and Indigenous issues, increasing the economic success and impact of women. She also received the Trailblazer Award from Women in Mining Canada at the PDAC conference in March.
As she continues her work with communities across Canada, she continues to strive for the development of strategic initiatives that will create long term benefits for the communities. “We are setting a precedence for future generations. And we will continue to work together to maintain the foundation of respect & trust that has evolved into meaningful, productive relationships.”