Lydia graduated from University of Victoria’s Law School (1997). Her undergraduate work at UVic was in the Faculty of Human and Social Development in the School of Public Administration: Certificate Administration of Aboriginal Governments; Diploma in Public Sector Management. She also has dispute resolution and mediation training from the BC Justice Institute.
Lydia served as elected Chief of Cowichan Tribes for eight years (1997-2001 and 2007-11). She served as an elected member of the BC First Nations Summit Political Executive (2002-04) and also served at the BCAFN (2010/12) on the Board of Directors and as the BC Region elected representative on the AFN National Women’s Council. In January 2012 Lydia was appointed by BC FN’s to the BC First Nations Health Authority Board of Directors and then Chair March of 2012-2018. Lydia was appointed to the Royal Roads Board of Governors Jan 2018-Jan 2021.
Lydia served a number of appointments including:
Federal appointments to the Board of Directors for the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (6yrs);
Inaugural Chair for BC Capacity Initiative Council (5yrs);
Provincial appointment to the BC Land Title and Survey Authority Board of Directors (3yrs);
Appointed by BC First Nations Summit to serve on the BC First Nations Health Council as chair;
Appointed to the Tele’ethw Aboriginal Capital Corporation as Board member (5yrs).
Lydia has worked and advocated locally, nationally and internationally at the United Nations Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and at the Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Lydia has in depth knowledge and experience strategically identifying and addressing social service and child and family service issues and solutions. Lydia is a citizen of the Cowichan Nation, which gives her a deep connection and understanding of the importance of indigenous nationhood.
Over Lydia’s career she has lead negotiations and been part of negotiating teams. Lydia has successfully leveraged partnerships and resources to meet strategic goals. Her methodology includes academic theory combined with First Nation knowledge and teachings. Lydia is a creative thinker and has a strong commitment to Indigenous rights.
Lydia Hwitsum (Green Party Candidate for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford)
Canadians in this election, more than ever, can vote from hope and from conviction, not from fear.