Core Staff

John G. Paul

John Paul | Atlantic Policy CongressMr. Paul is the Executive Director of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Taking direction from the Chiefs through frequent All Chiefs Forums and Executive Chiefs Board of Directors and Co-Chairs Mr. Paul provides policy analysis and strategic advice on a wide range of policy issues facing First Nations in Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec. The APC Secretariat’s mandate is to research, analyze and develop alternatives to federal policies affecting its member First Nation communities.

Mr. Paul has a Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies from Cape Breton University in 1980 and received his Master of Public Administration in Financial Management from Halifax’s Dalhousie University in 1982. A strong and dedicated advocate for First Nations, Mr. Paul has worked toward positive change for First Nations communities in diverse policy areas for more than 35 years.

Rhonda Wiley

Rhonda Wiley has worked as the Executive Assistant for APC for over 10 years. She provides
leadership and coordination for the day-to-day operation of the Executive Office. The Executive
Assistant is responsible for providing senior administration support to the Executive Director,
Board of Directors and Chiefs of the organization.

Rhonda brings 25 years of experience working in Government, Health Care and Telecommunications organizations.

Rhonda’s education background includes IT support and accounting programs and practices
which has provided her the skills to perform her job efficiently.

Rhonda enjoys travelling, music festivals, camping, hiking, and spending time with family and

Debbie Christmas

Debbie Christmas | Atlantic Policy CongressDebbie is a band member of the Paqtnkek First Nation. She is currently employed at the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs (APC) as the Director of Finance. She now resides in Dartmouth, NS; but her heart is still with her home Community. Debbie earned her Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) designation from AFOA Canada and is currently working on her Certified Aboriginal Administrator (CAPA) designation through AFOA Canada as well.

She has spent her entire career working within the Indigenous Culture. She started her journey working with the Paqtnkek First Nation, located just outside of Antigonish, NS; as the receptionist. She moved from that position to become the Social Development Administration for the Community. Then she moved to the finance field of the organization. She also volunteered for numerous activities and still helps out whenever she is home. In 2009, after 28 years working with Paqtnkek; she decided she needed to expand her experience and skills and became the Director of Finance for APC. All during this time Debbie was active with AFOA. First as a member then as a Board Member of the AFOA Atlantic Chapter. She has served on the Chapter Board for more than 15 years. She is also a member on the AFOA National Board.

Debbie believes that education is the key to moving the Communities forward no matter what your age or background is. She is passionate about her work and the benefits it can provide to First Nation Communities and Organizations. She sees the value and importance of having qualified individuals in positions on the First Nations Communities. Debbie knows that AFOA Canada can provide the skills and learning opportunities necessary to assist First Nations in moving forward while respecting the individual Culture and Traditions of the many First Nations throughout Canada.