Shuswap Band Chief and Council

Shuswap Band Chief and Council

Chief and Council meet every Wednesday each week. If you would like to meet with Chief and Council, call the Shuswap Band Office at (250) 341-3678 to make an appointment.

Chief Barbara Cote

Chief Barb Cote was born and raised in the Columbia Valley to Sabina and Joe Cote. She is the great-great-granddaughter to the last hereditary chief of the Akisqnuk Band, Chief Louie Arbel and granddaughter to Adrian and Margaret Teneese. She resides in Invermere with her husband Franz.

She is the mother of two children who she is immensely proud of. Her oldest daughter Jenna is an elementary school teacher in the valley is working on her Masters’s Degree in Education with UBC. Jenna and her husband Fil have two children, son Kye, who is eight years old and daughter Kayli who is five. Her son Smokii Sumac is presently finishing his Ph.D. with Trent University in Peterborough Ontario and is teaching at College of the Rockies in Cranbrook.

Barb has completed a Masters’s Degree in Distributed Learning from Royal Roads University in 2006 and continued to work full-time as an Aboriginal Education Support Worker which she started in 1975 until she was elected as a councillor in November of 2012. In November 2014 she was voted in again as Chief.

Barb lived on the Shuswap reserve in a 12X68 trailer with her parents, 3 siblings and 7 cousins. She shared a bedroom with 6 other girls in two double beds. She left home at the age of 16 where she became independent and has worked almost every job there is to do from cleaning toilets to campground attendants until the age of nineteen when she was hired by school district #6 as one of the first Aboriginal Support Workers in the Province.

She is very proud of all her accomplishments up to date and her hope is for all Shuswap Community Members to have opportunities that will give each person a sense of accomplishment and belonging and proud to be a Shuswap Community Member.


Councillor Mark Thomas

Born in Invermere, BC and is a Shuswap Band Member. Mark is the father of 3 and is married to a Ktunaxa member.

He currently sits on Council for the Shuswap Band and holds the portfolios for aquatics, fish, housing and forestry. Mark is educated and has worked in the natural resource management field for over 20 years.

A highlight of Mark’s interest is the advocation for salmon restoration in the Columbia River, which he has done through public engagement, agency education and at the request of those wanting more information. Salmon Restoration is key in Mark,s view to re-establish long lost cultural, spiritual, communal and economic losses suffered by the Columbia Basin peoples.


Councillor Tim Eugene

Tim Eugene was born in Golden British Columbia, in March of 1963, he has lived on the Shuswap Indian Reserve for most of his life. Tim’s daughter Belinda Dawn Eugene passed away on July 15th, 2020 due to complications in her heart. Tim Eugene’s parents are Xavier and Marge Eugene, of Radium B.C. Tim is a direct descendant of Pierre Kinbasket (Kenpesq’t) through his father, Xavier. Tim has 5 other siblings Audrey, Ted, Wade Eugene, Fred (deceased) Amy (deceased). Tim’s father worked at the Skookumchuck pulp mill and took a leave to work for child and family services in the East Kootenays for The Area Council.  In the early days, this was equivalent to the Current Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services and Shuswap Nation Child and Family Services. His parents brought in 44 foster children to bring up with their own children.

Tim Eugene has worked in various industries before taking on his current role, including 4 years in tourism and 26 years in mining. Tim began managing in the tourism industry as nighttime manager for the Invermere Inn, and then moved on to a Job Steward role, that turned into the Union president role for CertainTeed Gypsum mine.

Tim Eugene is currently in his 3rd term as an elected official for the Shuswap Indian Band leadership, as well as a member of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, which consists of 17 other Secwepemc communities (The Shuswap Nation).

The Shuswap Indian Band Chief and Council is a working governance, each elected Councillor has specific portfolios. Tim Eugene’s portfolios include; Mining, Health, and wildlife.

Government to Government work with British Columbia, various day-to-day tasks and housing are shared tasks of the working Chief and Council’s portfolios within the organization.

Tim feels very fortunate to still have both of his parents to shape his governance abilities and traditional knowledge. Xavier, 85 and Marge Eugene, 80  have taught all of their children the traditions of hunting, trapping, fishing, berry picking, medicine gathering, and the oral traditions of the Shuswap people. Tim has been designated Chief Pierre Kinbasket’s pipe from his father.

The Shuswap Indian Band Chief and Council continue to create equal opportunities for all of their membership. They are all proud of the work that has helped build a foundation that will be the legacy that all membership continues to be proud of and will contribute to shaping our futures.

The Chief and Council’s number one commitment is to always operate transparently to the people that they serve.

Our people are our strength, our children are the future!