New Commissioner: Tł'akwasik̕a̱n Khelsilem


Khelsilem webOn November 15, 2016, Vancouver City Council appointed Tł'akwasik̕a̱n Khelsilem to the Vancouver City Planning Commission. 

Khelsilem hails from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-speaking communities of Xwmel̓ts’stn and Eslhá7an and the Kwak̕wala-speaking tribes of the Na̱mg̱is' and Ḵwiḵwa̱sut̓inux̱w. He grew up and lives in the city of Vancouver.

He is currently the Programming Director for Kwi Awt Stelmexw – a Coast Salish arts & education non-profit. He is also a Lecturer at Simon Fraser University in an Indigenous language program that focuses on adult immersion. He is a second-language speaker of the Squamish Language. 

Prior to becoming an Educator, Khelsilem worked for many years as a graphic designer and communications consultant. He has with different First Nations and organizations on community engagement projects that engage members to provide policy feedback to leadership.

Khelsilem’s interests for being on the Vancouver Planning Commission are place-making, redress, and learning how to include citizens in the decisions that affect their lives.

Tim̓á kwetsi.


The Vancouver City Planning Commission is an advisory body of volunteers appointed by City Council with a broad mandate to consider and advise Council on matters relating to the future of Vancouver. The current Commissioners are: Nola-Kate Seymoar (co-chair), Neal LaMontagne (co-chair), Dave Crossley, Amelia Huang, Lihua Huang, Tł'akwasik̕a̱n Khelsilem, Karenn Krangle, Robert Matas, Melanie Matining, Jennifer Marshall, Anthony Perl, and Andy Yan. Councillors Adriane Carr and Andrea Reimer provide liaison with Vancouver City Council, Commissioner Casey Crawford provide liaison with the Vancouver Parks Board. The Vancouver School Board Trustee liaison position is currently unfilled. The Executive Director of the Planning Commission is Yuri Artibise.