Matriarch Illuminations – “Safety and Matriarchy”

Monday November 23, 2020
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Jessica Wood, known as Si Sityaawks (Woman who creates change), from the Gitxsan and Tsimshian First Nations with roots among the Tahltan and Nisga’a Nations, is engaging in dialogue for a 5-part series called Matriarch Illuminations in November and December 2020. Jessica Wood is the current Policy Practitioner Fellow at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia and she will host fellow Matriarchs from across Turtle Island.

Students, staff, faculty and community members are invited to pour themselves a cup of tea and sit around the virtual table to listen.

Format: A 45 min discussion, 15 min Q&A from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm on various evenings on Zoom

Audience: All are welcome. Questions will be prioritized from Indigenous, Black and People of Colour attendees.

Guest Speaker: Brenda Butterworth-Carr, Tr’injà shär njit dintlät, Assistant Deputy Minister and Director of Police Services, Policing and Security Branch

Student Host: Nadine Van Dalen, UBC Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs

Theme: “Safety and Matriarchy”

Guest BioBrenda Butterworth-Carr; Tr’injà shär njit dintlät is the Assistant Deputy Minister and Director of Police Services and has been leading the Policing and Security Branch in the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General since March of 2019.

In the past year as the Director of Police Services, Brenda has provided central oversight of policing, law enforcement and the security industry in B.C. Working collaboratively with branch executives, Brenda and her team develop and administer public safety initiatives dedicated to the protection of British Columbians. Recent special projects have included the Witness Security Program, anti-money laundering, countering radicalization to violence initiatives and the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act. As well as, providing oversight for the law enforcement aspects of the opioid emergency and COVID-19 responses.

Brenda began her career with the RCMP in 1987 as a Native Special Constable and continued her 23 years of service in various roles with the RCMP in B.C. and Yukon Territory. Prior to joining the ministry, she was the Commanding Officer of the British Columbia RCMP, the largest RCMP Division in Canada. She has also held key senior executive leadership positions, which included: BC RCMP’s Officer in Charge of Criminal Operations and Core Policing, the Commanding Officer of the Saskatchewan RCMP and the National Criminal Operations’ Director General for Aboriginal Policing and Crime Prevention Services.

As a First Nations woman, Brenda has had many firsts and her diverse career has provided her with extensive experience and a solid understanding of policing service agreements; operations; management of critical incidents and crisis negotiation; crime prevention, community and Indigenous policing; and executive leadership. She is passionate about operations, employee safety, and ensuring that all employees have the proper resources to carry out their duties in a professional manner.

Brenda maintains many active positions on provincial, federal and international committees and associations. Her awards and honours include the Senate 150th Anniversary Medal, Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and Officer of the Order of Merit of Police Forces. These awards recognize her exceptional service and performance of duty.

Brenda is from the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Han Nation, Yukon Territory. Her three sons, and Boston Terrier x Pug, Doug, are her ultimate inspiration for dedicating and committing herself to continuously learn and grow as a leader.

Learn more about the Matriarch Illuminations series here.

For technical assistance, please email tina.alexander(at)

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