About Us

Our Story
Our Team

Our Story

White Raven Consulting is a communications consulting firm based on Tseshaht territory in Port Alberni, Vancouver Island. We provide communications, facilitation and cultural resource management services to communities and organizations. We do this with a vision for the future, creativity and respect for traditional knowledge.

We first opened our doors on April 28, 2004 and, since then, our priority has been providing quality service and affordable solutions for our clients. White Raven Consulting is a unique agency in that we incorporate Nuu-chah-nulth values, traditional knowledge and cultural sensitivity in our day-to-day business dealings.

Our Team


Kelly Poirier

kelly [at] whiteravenconsulting.ca


Kelly holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver. Kelly has an in-depth understanding of First Nations' arts and culture, having grown up on Tseshaht territory and attended Haa-huu-payak School. She learned song, dance and language studies from elders Carrie Little and Cathy Robinson. Throughout her studies, Kelly also obtained unique job skillsets, working in various part-time positions – always linking herself to the arts or First Nations organizations. Kelly has demonstrated leadership, organization, creative problem solving, and research skills, as well as a strong communication and teamwork background having served as a marketing and publicity coordinator for several non-profit arts and cultural organizations. Kelly continues to develop her understanding of Nuu-chah-nulth and West Coast First Nations' culture, organization and politics, which unearths further knowledge of protocol and cultural appropriateness. Kelly also understands the application of public relations and fundraising. Kelly's vision is to bridge the gaps between disparate interest groups, and economic and cultural sectors within communities.




Dawn Foxcroft

dawn [at] whiteravenconsulting.ca


Dawn is a graduate of the University of Victoria with a double major in Anthropology and Sociology. Passionate about social justice and sensitive to First Nations' issues, Dawn has been heavily involved with community development, youth, and social justice issues since she was a teenager in Port Alberni. Consistently pursuing her goals, Dawn was trained as a mediator and facilitator while at UVIC, and as a restorative justice worker in the Alberni Valley. Combined with extensive traditional knowledge of Nuu-chah-nulth communities and culture, her skillsets and openness help her to connect people to the issues facing Nuu-chah-nulth communities, proposing viable solutions. Dawn grew up in the Tseshaht Community, attending Haa-huu-payak School. It was there that she learned the traditional songs, dances and language of her Tseshaht people, which connect and root her to the strength of her community. Dawn has demonstrated excellent social skills, as well as a strong leadership background. She has spent time traveling in Western Africa, Central and South America, and Australia, lending a unique worldview and understanding of cultural diversity. Dawn’s combination of skillsets and energy give White Raven Consulting a unique perspective.




Charmead Schella

char [at] whiteravenconsulting.ca


Charmead is a graduate of Ottawa's Carleton University where she studied journalism, linguistics and comparative literature. She also holds a TESOL (Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages) and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) diplomas. Taking a brief hiatus from Canadian living, Charmead travelled, lived and worked overseas for nearly a decade – from Rotorua to Edinburgh to Moscow to Samana. Traveling and learning about diverse cultures first-hand is a passion for Charmead. Charmead speaks English, French and Czech, and is currently learning Spanish. She moved to the Alberni Valley with her husband and loyal dog, Lily, in 2005, where she immediately fell for the West Coast way of life and all of its charms. Illustrating her innate gift-of-the-gab, Charmead has studied and practiced journalism, communication and writing for most of her life, and has sat on many editorial boards for various publications around the world. She has also contributed written material to various international travel books, magazines, newspapers and online news sources.




Mary Conquest

mary [at] whiteravenconsulting.ca


Mary Conquest is a graduate of the University of Victoria, with a double major in Writing and Anthropology. At UVic, Mary was able to combine her passion for social justice and all forms of communication. Her communications experience includes hosting, production and sound editing for radio; production, writing and editing for print; book layout and design; graphic design and print production; and technical writing. With the belief that we all make decisions based on the information available to us, Mary strives to keep social justice issues at the forefront of her work. She has participated in the writing and production of activist and feminist newspapers, as well as the UVic Students' Society newspaper, The Martlet. Her work has also been published by Forget Magazine, an online Canadian cultural magazine. As of April 2008, Mary has taken on her most important role ever: motherhood. She hopes to raise a daughter that is confident, compassionate, and committed to making the world a better place.




Terri Aitchison

terri [at] whiteravenconsulting.ca


Terri has been White Raven's trusty bookkeeper since 2006, and boasts an impressive list other of clients who place their financial lives into her capable hands, including: Red Fish, Blue Fish, Alberni Enhancement Association and West Coast Aquatic Management Association. Terri's favourite part of being a White Raven is that she is pleased to contribute to the drive toward the company's purpose of providing ethical, creative solutions for communities' and businesses' communications problems. "After all," she says, "There are no problems, only solutions." Besides driving the White Raven bus with dexterity and grace, Terri also finds the time to camp, boat, read and sea kayak in her spare time. Raz, Terri's dog, has asked us to mention that she also makes the meanest chicken wings this side of the Hump.




Shannon Cowan


Editor, author, journalist, and teacher, Shannon Cowan earned her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from U.B.C. and her Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts from the University of Guelph. For more than 10 years, Shannon has worked delivering communications products to clients ranging from First Nations and businesses to non-profit organizations, individuals, and government. She has published two novels, a travel guidebook, and recently co-edited a national collection of writing by Canadian authors, Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood. Shannon’s writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, the Times Colonist, and other Canadian and U.S. periodicals. Shannon has taught the writing craft through Malaspina University College (now Vancouver Island University).




Trudy Warner


Trudy Warner comes to White Raven with a boatload of experience in the field, ranging from being the Assistant Program Manger of Uu-a-thluk to the Maa-nulth Communications Coordinator, to Huu-ay-aht Treaty Negotiations Office Administrative Assistant. Trudy is Huu-ay-aht. She grew up in Grappler Creek, near Bamfield, where she enjoyed living on the water and travelling to school by boat. Trudy feels fortunate to have childhood memories of bountiful sea resources as part of her daily childhood diet, and fond memories of her grandfather’s fishing boat, the “Northern Pacific”. Amongst other attributes, Trudy lends attention to minute detail, unwavering commitment, and tireless humour to every project she signs her name to. Most recently, Trudy has been juggling a full-time professional portfolio, a four-year-old son (Jaden), and a Master of Arts Leadership degree from Royal Roads University in Victoria. Amazingly, she excels on all fronts.




Colleen Lucas


Colleen Lucas is a graduate of the North Island College Fine Arts program, with a major in Graphic Arts. She has been madly designing the world ever since finishing school. Colleen was born and raised on Vancouver Island and grew up in a stimulating, artistic family, where being creative was strongly encouraged. Her interest in graphic art and design was a natural progression nurtured from her childhood. She lent her skillset to a daily newspaper, as well as to a graphic design and print company for the past decade, designing for local tourist operators and businesses. From newsletters to annual reports to corporate branding, Colleen has done it all and continues to— very well. Colleen gleans inspiration from her husband, Mike, her stepdaughter, Samantha, and her four-year-old daughter, Maria. Archie, her new Golden Retriever puppy, also adds his zest to the mix, along with the creative team at White Raven Consulting.




“White Raven Consulting has had a business relationship with the Tseshaht First Nation for four years. We are extremely satisfied with their professionalism and the quality of work they produce. The experience and creative skills of the principle owners and staff are outstanding. In addition, their organizational skills assist us by bringing efficiency into our processes. Tseshaht highly recommends White Raven Consulting.”
–Tseshaht First Nation

"Enthusiastic, dynamic, creative, impeccably organized and an absolute pleasure to do business with! They get the job done with zest and zeal!"
–Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce

"Even while designing newsletters and writing press releases, Dawn, Kelly, and their team of lovely ladies always find time to pet us and scratch our ears. We offer what support we can, often snoozing in the boardroom and wagging our tails to demonstrate our tremendous support of all things White Raven. The ladies of White Raven work hard to be excellent communications specialists—even beyond their own species—and really nice people. We would let them scratch our backs and bellies for hours.... any time."
–Deefur and Tizza, local Jack Russel terriers

“I just came across a copy of the C2C newsletter and see that White Raven is doing the writing. Just wanted to pass along a note to say how great I think it is that you’re doing this. The newsletter reads well, the level of detail is great, and the “connections” to related sources is very valuable as well. Congratulations. You are doing great work!”
–Angela Wesley