Deputy Representative for Children and Youth
Dawn Thomas-Wightman was appointed Deputy Representative for Children and Youth in August 2015 after seven months as Acting Deputy Representative. Prior to that, Thomas-Wightman was the Office’s Chief Investigator. In the past, she has also served as RCY’s Associate Deputy Representative, Aboriginal Services and as an Investigator. She also previously held the position of Executive Director, Aboriginal Services, at the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
Thomas-Wightman has worked in the field of Aboriginal child welfare for nearly 20 years, in both delegated Aboriginal Agencies and the Aboriginal Services Branch of MCFD. She worked as a Practice Analyst, Quality Assurance Analyst, Manager of Aboriginal Policy and Manager of Quality Assurance. She also served on an acting basis as Deputy Director. She was a member of MCFD’s Aboriginal Adoption Exceptions Committee and regularly presents to Adoptive Parents Education meetings on the topics of special needs and Aboriginal adoptions.
A member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, her name is Aa ap waa iik, which translates to “the one who always says the right words or right speeches about chiefly business.” It is a Nuuchuhnulth name because her grandmother’s family is Nuuchuhnulth.
Thomas-Wightman has her Bachelor of Arts (Youth and Child Care) from the University of Victoria, and a Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution from UVic. She and her spouse are proud parents of three children, and she works from the Representative’s Victoria office.