The BCDHA is governed by a Board of Directors whose nine members are selected through a regional election process administered by BCDHA. Through consultation with members, the Board determines the goals and direction for the Association. The BCDHA is a non-profit society and a constituent member of the Canadian Dental Hygienists’ Association (CDHA).

If you would like more information on what it means to be a BCDHA Director and the role of the Board contact our office at

Interested in observing a Board of Directors meeting?

BCDHA welcomes members to attend Board meetings to observe the proceedings. Requests for observer status will be assessed on an individual basis by the Board and will be dependent on such things as agenda items to be discussed, meeting location, etc.

Requests to attend Board meetings must be received by the Chair no less than two weeks prior to the meeting. Please send your request to

Indigenous elder-in-residence, Sheila Nyman

Sheila Nyman is a mixed Syilx (Okanagan) woman and a member of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. Her spirit name is “Stands Strong like a Rock BearWoman,” and by the generosity of the Ancestors, she lives in the Interior of BC. Sheila carry’s the name of her 4 times great grandmother, Sal Uni At Kn. Sheila has worked extensively with women, focusing on addictions, mental health, HIV/AIDS, and well-being in and around Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) from 1994 to 2007. From 2009 to 2014, she provided emotional and cultural support to former survivors of Indian Residential Schools and Truth and Reconciliation. ​
Sheila received a Fellowship from the University of Victoria and completed her Master’s thesis in 2015. Her thesis explored the link between ancient Indigenous Ceremony/Traditional Healing and Western models of therapy. She is a skilled intuitive trauma counselor who integrates traditional healing and knowledge into her work. From 2014 to 2017, Sheila worked with the Okanagan Nation Alliance as a Team Lead in the Family Decision Making Program. Since then, she has supported numerous arts-based research projects such as The Criminalization of HIV, CHIWOS, and the Mothering Tool Kit. She is a member of the Feast Center Elders Council and supports the Native Women’s Association of Canada in various research projects, including those on Cannabis Use, changes in the Indian Act regarding gender-based inequalities, Elders and Dementia, etc. ​
Sheila has been mentored and initiated into “Indigenous Healing and Ceremony” by Spiritual Leader and Pipe Carrier, Aline LaFlamme, known as “Many Buffalo Running.” She has completed six “Spirit Quests” (vision quests, mountain fasts) and has learned and earned the responsibility to hold a people’s Pipe. Conducting healing ceremonies such as Moon Lodge and Sweat Lodge keeps her connected with the traditions of the ancestors. Her connection with Grandmother Moon has inspired her interest in learning and understanding the interconnections of the energy of our great mother, the Earth.

Click here to hear Sheila’s story.


2023 – 2024 BCDHA Board of Directors

Leta Zaleski


Director at Large
(Term 2021-2024)

Nancy MacMillan

Vice Chair

Fraser Valley
(Term 2021-2024)

Michelle Foster

Northern BC
(Term 2023-2025)

Cerina Marshall

Director at Large
(Term 2023-2026)

Mindy Pylatuk, RDH

Director at Large
(Term 2022-2025)

Susan Schmitz

Greater Vancouver
(Term 2022-2025)

Cilla Watkins

(Term 2023-2026)

Melody Weimer

Vancouver Island
(Term 2023-2026)

Christie Young

Director at Large
(Term 2023-2026)

Cherie Payne, BA, LL.B

Executive Director

604-415-4559, ext. 101

Afifa Eidher, RDH(C)

Program and Innovation Manager, DHAA Lead

604-415-4559 ext. 107

Shannon Wilson, DHP(C)

Practice and Education Manager, CDA Alliance Lead

604 415-4559 ext.106

Gary McKenna

Communications Specialist

604 415-4559

Kyla Oshanek, DHP(C)

Research and Policy Program Manager

604 415-4559 ext.110