In the field of child and family services for Indigenous youth and families on Vancouver Island, Sqwulutsultun William (Bill) Yoachim is a transformative leader. Having dealt with trauma in his own life, Bill understands the importance of providing an environment required for children and their families to overcome barriers. At Kwu’mut Lelum Child and Family Services, Bill has been the Executive Director for 16 years, and under his leadership, the agency has helped children and families in nine First Nations as well as urban centres. This has involved the development of cutting-edge programs and policies that are informed by Big House Teachings which ensure all First Nations youth be cared for and served.
In the fall of 2021, Bill, in collaboration with the nine Kwu’mut Lelum First Nations, officially launched the Kw’umut Lelum Community Foundation. The Foundation provides a mechanism capable of attracting and distributing charitable and philanthropic resources to youth. This new, First Nations owned and controlled community foundation, provides a self-determining charitable approach to support programs, generate ideas, and invest in community creativity, while encouraging engagement, entrepreneurship, and social and economic prosperity for youth, families, elders and their communities.