Our Team

Our Vision is to support the realization of a 100% high school graduation rate for Aboriginal students in Nanaimo/Ladysmith
— Chris Beaton

Chris Beaton, Executive Director

Having worked in social services and community development for the past 20 years, Chris believes strongly that the best decisions are made in and by community. He is married to Wendy, a father of four sons and Mohawk, from Six Nations.

Ivy Richardson, Youth Advisory Council Coordinator

My name is Ivy Richardson. My family on my mom’s side come from the Nuxalk and Gusgimukw Nation and my dad’s side is a mixed European descent. I’ve studied First Nation Studies and Physical Education at VIU and have been working in community for the past 8 years. I have been with Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre for almost 3 of those years. Currently, I am Coordinating Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre’s Youth Advisory Council. I have always had a passion for working in community and primarily with children and youth. I look forward to my continued growth and learning within this community and to give back my passion, love and light to all those I get the privilege of knowing and working with.

Beckie Wesley, Director of Operations

I am the Director of Operations here at the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre (NAC). I have an extensive background in Management and Child Care Licensing where I spent the last 15 years. You will see me around – mostly under the radar ensuring that things are running smoothly. I strive to ensure that everything I do, whether personally or professionally, is seen out from start to finish. I am pretty enthusiastic about making sure things are organized and I believe in constantly challenging myself to embrace new learning experiences. In my personal life, I’m passionate about spending time with my spouse, family and close friends. I love enjoying all that beautiful Vancouver Island has to offer. I am a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.


Mariah Robinson, Cultural & Physical Literacy Coordinator

Mariah is the Cultural and Physical Literacy Coordinator of the Mid Island ARC Program at the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre. The Mid Island ARC (Aboriginal Recreation and Culture) promotes the benefits of cultural and physical activity, and provides recreational and cultural activities.

Mariah was born and raised in Alert Bay, and she is ‘Na̱mg̱is and Ma’a̱mtagila of the Kwakwak̓a̱’wakw Nation. In 2014, she graduated from Vancouver Island University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Management with a Major in Sport and Recreation. Mariah has over 10 years of experience with Management, and delivering positive activities, programs, and multiple sporting events.

Mariah enjoys spending time with her husband, daughters and family; as well as working out, socializing with family and friends, and playing soccer.

Melissa Gus, Child & Youth Navigator

I am Nuu-chah-nulth and Coast Salish. My direct maternal and paternal roots are Tseshaht, Squamish, Ditidaht and Uchucklesaht. I am a devoted mother to 4 children. I am eager to connect, learn and actively be present in my Coast Salish Culture, Traditions, Family Lineage and Language. I am new to the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre’s canoe and look forward to paddling with this team as we work together in Snuneymuxw to provide security, comfort and knowledge for all children and families living away from their Traditional Territories.

Sally Williams, Elder in Residence


Jenn Aubichon, Tenant Support Worker

I have worked in the social services field for a number of years and is new to the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre. I enjoy working in the community and have a passion for working with people.

Matthew Stephens, Housing Manager

Matthew has been working as the Housing Manager with NAC since early 2017 when NAC first developed its Housing Program. Originally from Ireland, he moved to Nanaimo with his wife 8 years ago. Having spent the last 6 years working in supportive housing in Nanaimo, Matthew has developed a passion for providing housing to those people in our community who are in most need of housing or who are at risk of homelessness. In his current position, he is also able to combine this with his other passion, working with youth.

Nicole Jack, Bonds to Literacy Coordinator

My name is Swul'ulten'naut and I am from Penelakut Island. My english name is Nicole Potvin-Jack and I am 24 years old with 2 beautiful daughters. I am heading for a career involving children! And lastly, I am an athlete; soccer and softball rule my world(next to my children ofcourse)


Mitch Clifton, Building Service Worker

Luke Robinson

Luke is the Land and Sea Cultural Coordinator at the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre. Through the Mid Island ARC (Aboriginal Recreation and Culture) program, the Land & Sea Cultural program will provide traditional harvesting and preserving educational activities.

Luke was born in Tofino, and raised in Ahousat, and he is a member of the Ahousaht Nation. Luke has over 25+ years of experience with traditional harvesting.

Luke enjoys fishing, hunting, spending time with his family, and playing basketball.

Daakwii, Betty Knight, Cultural & Youth Support Worker