18 King Street East, Suite 1400 Toronto, Ontario M5C 1C4 Canada
(647) 875-1145

Board of Directors


TLC is governed by a Board of eminent indigenous language specialists, both speakers and linguists. The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall direction and decision-making of the organization. Directors are elected for two-year terms from candidates nominated from within the Board.

Board Members

Wilhelm Meya is the Chairman and Executive Director of The Language Conservancy. He is a national advocate for endangered languages and draws on more than 20 years of experience in higher education, linguistics, and nonprofit management. Under Mr. Meya’s leadership, the Conservancy has become the chief promoter of worldwide action for protecting languages and preserving cultures.

Lisa Perley-Dutcher – Maliseet/Wolastoqi woman from the Tobique First Nation. She is a mother of 4 sons and grandmother to 4 granddaughters. She has been a registered nurse for 30 years with a Masters Degree in nursing from the University of New Brunswick. The focus of her career as a nurse has focused on contributing to the improvement of health outcomes for Indigenous peoples in Canada. Lisa worked as a community health nurse in one of the first communities that transferred health services to a First Nation community in the Atlantic Region. She was also at the forefront of the First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program when it was being launched into First Nations across the country.  She established the first Aboriginal Nursing Initiative Director position at UNB Faculty of Nursing. She also worked as the Director of Mental Wellness for the Atlantic Regions First Nation and Inuit Health Branch. Lisa and her husband Stephen are partner consultants providing on-line educational sessions, facilitation and research services on various topics related to Indigenous history and health. She served as President of the Indigenous Nurses Association of Canada. She is currently a student studying her Wolastoqey Language and is heavily involved in language revitalization.

Ben Black Bear (Sičháŋǧu Lakȟóta) serves as the Lakota Translation and Language Specialist for the Lakota Language Consortium. His other credentials include positions as the former Vice President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the founder of the Lakota Studies Department at Sinte Gleska University, and the current director of Lakota Studies at St. Francis Mission.

Dr. Janine Pease (Crow) is an educator and advocate. She is the founding president of Little Big Horn College, past president of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, and former director of the American Indian College Fund. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education and the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities. She has also served as a trustee of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Dr. Jan Ullrich is Linguistic Director and Vice-Chairman of The Language Conservancy. He is one of the world’s leading applied linguists and the foremost authority on the Lakota language. Mr. Ullrich brings these skills and specializations in curriculum development and teacher-training to his leadership of TLC’s endangered language programming work.