Indigenous Perspectives Society

Board of Directors

Della Preston, Interim President
Della Preston is a Tseshaht First Nations from the Nuu-Chah-Nulth peoples. She was born and raised in Victoria and she was a former child in care, which complimented her six years volunteering experience on the Board of Directors as the Youth Council Representative for Surrounded By Cedar Child and Family Services. Della also previously volunteered with BC Association of Friendship Centers and National Association of Friendship Centers board of directors. She has a certificate in Recreation Leadership from Camosun College, as well as a Diploma in First Nations Community Studies. Della is currently four courses away from completing a BA in Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria and is currently working at the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres as the Gathering Our Voices Youth Conference Coordinator and also volunteering with Surrounded By Cedar Child and Family Services on the Board of Directors. Her career goals include management and administration and to complete a graduate program in public administration.

Charles Hill, Secretary
With over 20 years of experience in workforce diversity training, Charles Boehm-Hill is owner and director of the consulting firm Paideia Educational Consulting and Mediation, based in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. He is a graduate of Indiana University with a BA degree in Education, The State University of New York at Buffalo with a M.Ed. degree in Early Childhood Education, the University of Toronto with a MA degree in School Psychology and the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Management in Victoria, BC with 252 hours of training in mediation and negotiation. Charles consults with Non-Profit Agencies in the areas of workforce diversity, conflict resolution, collaboration and strategic planning. In the area of Adoption and Foster Care Charles co-authored “Raising Healthy Multiracial Adoptive Families: A Question and Answer Guide for Adoptive Parents”. He serves as a mediator and consultant to the Adoptive Families Association of British Columbia and introduced a widely accepted basic skills training program for families of adoption. He brings experience in working for the past 14 years with 7 First Nation’s communities on Vancouver Island. Aboriginal families, schools and communities have participated in his workshops that address racism, lateral violence and other forms of oppression. Families experiencing conflict in divorce, separation, custody and access have benefited from participating in an alternative dispute resolution process.

Marjorie Reid, Treasurer

Kathleen Bennett, Member at Large
Kathleen Bennett’s child welfare experience, up to date, spans a sixteen year period from 1998 to present. She has worked as a front line child protection social worker in the City of Prince Rupert, for seven years with MCFD before being seconded to an Aboriginal agency in Prince Rupert; Northwest Inter-nations Family and Community Services Society (NIFCS). Since 2004 Kathleen has worked in management positions; first as a team leader for four years and three years as the executive director for NIFCS in Prince Rupert. She works directly with the Board, who is her employer of the Northwest Inter-nations family community services society and has had many opportunities to use her skills, knowledge and talents to contribute to the mission, vision and goals of the agency. As a board member of IPS she can use her strengths and talents from her professional experience to assist with achieving the outcomes set by the society. In addition to contributing to the planning, designing and implementing the strategic goals of the society, she is also advocating for the needs of the North, because of the special challenges of remoteness, isolation and geographical distance away from centralized, formal resources. Kathleen has a keen interest in promoting the ideals of the board and society, to work with other like-minded individuals, to be of service to the larger community and to Aboriginal people.

Nedinska Donaldson, Member at Large
Nedinska and her family are relative new comers to Vancouver Island, moving from Prince George to Victoria in 2009. Before joining the board of directors for Indigenous Perspectives Society (IPS), Nedinska was employed as a policy analyst with the Society. As a member of the policy team, she was the lead analyst on projects related to the Aboriginal Operational and Practice Standards and Indicators (AOPSI), such as the redesign project, “Starting from a Traditional Place.” She also shared her experience in accreditation with the Society which she gained from her previous work with the Addictions Recovery Program of Carrier Sekani Family Services. Nedinska recently completed her Master’s degree in Political Science in 2013 and currently works for the provincial government in treaty implementation.

William (Bill) Nelson, BA(Psych), MSW, Member at Large
After 40 years working in the area of Community Mental Health as a therapist, group psycho-therapist, team leader, clinic manager and regional director and in Child Protection as a social worker for MCFD and Metis Community Services William has discovered the meaning inherent in Mother Teresa’s comment “You can do no great things, only little things with great love.”  William will never be able to significantly alter the great issues associated with family and community disruption, domestic violence or the increasing incidence of self-harming behaviours.  He takes the greatest comfort in his family and the individuals with whom he has provided something of value in their life’s journey.  Families are the building block for a healthy community as well as globally.  Maintaining family integrity is William’s primary focus as well as providing individuals with the tools that will assist in this process.

Courtney Wylie, Member at Large
Courtney has worked in the Nanaimo Urban Aboriginal community for almost ten years. Currently she coordinates a program for young mothers to develop life skills that support them in caring for their children. The Young Mom’s Program includes a housing facility that enables young mothers to live with their children as an alternative to child apprehension or as a transitional program for bringing children back into the care of their mother.

Being raised by her mother of Coast Salish decent, Courtney also has a Danish and Irish background. Growing up with intensive involvement in the local Friendship Centre, Courtney has had much exposure to youth conferences, Aboriginal community development and training opportunities, and personal development workshops. Courtney has also has some opportunity to work with Mother Earth Whispers, a company delivering cultural competency workshops to professionals and personal development workshops to marginalized communities across Canada. Courtney has a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth care with First Nations specialization. Currently, she is working to complete her Master of Arts Degree in Leadership at Royal Roads University. Being that Courtney is a youth, she hopes to bring another perspective to Indigenous Perspectives programming.

Mike McKenzie, Member at Large