Councillor, Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Dennis Thomas “Whonoak” is a member and an elected Councillor of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (People of the Inlet) in Deep Cove, North Vancouver. Dennis began working for his community in 2007 as the 2010 Coordinator for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Since then, Dennis pursued business with his Nation and managed several band-owned companies, including Takaya Tours, an internationally recognized Indigenous tourism business. This is where he connected with his cultural roots and now is a cultural ambassador in his community. He strives to embed his Nations’s culture in all areas so that the ancestral knowledge is awake and alive. He also led new business ventures, including implementing the largest Solar array project to date in the North Shore, which inspires him to practice and implement green energy. As a consultant, he was TWN Cultural Liaison for MST Development Corporation, where he ensured Tsleil-Waututh Nations’ history and culture are at the forefront and rooted in the building structure, architectural design, and the overall public realm. He holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University specializing in Indigenous Business Leadership. He is also a recipient of Business in Vancouver’s 2021 Top Forty under 40.