Indigenous Perspectives Society

Category Archives: Blog

Indigenous Perspectives Society Wins Best First Nations Business!

Indigenous Perspectives Society (IPS) is proud to be the winner of the Best of the West Shore Award for Best First Nations Business. Winners were announced On October 26, 2017 at the awards dinner hosted by the WestShore Chamber of Commerce and sponsors at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort Community.

Nominated for the second year in a row, winning this year is inspiring for the IPS team.

Indigenous Perspectives Society thanks everyone who voted for us. We appreciate your participation and support!


IPS staff pictured from Left to right: Elaine Zamardi, Kelly Legge, Melissa Barnhard, Rachelle Dallaire, and Alesha Doran.

Cultural Perspectives Training November 8, 2016


There are still a few seats left in our November 8th session of Cultural Perspectives Training! Registration closes November 2.

Do you want to have a thriving and diverse workplace that supports growth and well-being?

Indigenous Perspectives Society (IPS) offers Cultural Perspectives Training (CPT) to help governments, organizations, businesses and individuals deepen their understanding and develop actionable ideas to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.

Cultural Perspectives Training addresses:

  • The legacy of colonization including inter-generational trauma, privilege and racism, and what it means to an individual or organization wanting to build successful relationships with Indigenous people and communities
  • How to create a Call to Action response plan that turns ideas in to meaningful action

Upon completion, the outcomes that participants can anticipate are:

  • Applying anti-oppressive ideologies and methods into work and daily life
  • Engaging in ongoing reflection on how privilege and stereotypes impact work and relationships
  • Strengthening collaborative working relationships with Indigenous people and communities

To accommodate the learning needs of adults and professionals, Cultural Perspectives Training is offered through a blended learning model that balances in-class sharing, learning, and collaboration with self-guiding online resources, research and off-site action-taking.

Length:  7 hours in class and 8 hours online
Cost: $250.00 per person

Register Here

Supporting Two Spirit Youth: Curriculum for Front-line Service Providers

promo poster

*This training is now full. Indigenous Perspectives Society is pleased to announce a free day of training on October 11, 2017, Supporting Two Spirit Youth for front-line service providers and caregivers, thanks to the support of Queer as Funk.

  • Length: 7 hours
  • Next Session: October 11, 2017 at 9 am to 4:30 pm
  • Location: IPS Office, 664 Granderson Ave.
  • Registration: Free! Sponsored by Queer As Funk

For more information and to register, visit

How to be an Ally to Indigenous People

AllyMy parents immigrated to British Columbia from Northern California two years before I was born. They came for the beautiful nature, the opportunities to build a life, and the vision of Canada as a free and just country that is presented internationally. I was fortunate to grow up in the interior plateau area of the province in Kamloops. Kamloops is a city where communities are divided by the rivers, with the local Indigenous people, the Secwepemc, having been moved to the opposite side of the river from where the city grew on their traditional lands.

Growing up there, I remember not understanding why the community was divided, and why Indigenous people were insulted, bullied, and marginalized. I remembered hearing hurtful comments and hateful stereotypes shared by the adults around me, and feeling upset and confused because many of the students I went to school with were Indigenous and I knew those comments were wrong and did not apply to who they were as people. In high-school, a friend of mine and I would do our best to defend one boy who was regularly bullied by members of the senior football team. As an adult, another friend shared that as a teenager he took up skateboarding in part so that he would have a weapon to defend himself from groups of guys that thought it was fun to gang up on a younger kid.

Thanks to the enormous work of several leaders from communities across Canada, collectively we are coming to terms with the impact that international colonization of Indigenous territories in Canada has had on generations of families in hundreds of communities throughout the nation. As the deliberate and unjust treatment of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples resulting from the desire to take control of territories and resources continues to be revealed, thanks to many courageous people willing to stand up for their rights, each one of us called upon to do our work as an ally. The dedication of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and their 94 Calls to Action, along with individuals and organizations who are stepping up to accept their responsibilities in repairing the wrong actions of history, have helped bring to light the darkness that is foundation of this nation.

We are part of a transformative time in which we all have an imperative to take action. It has been eight years since the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly, and Canada joined in support of the declaration on May 10, 2016 of last year. Becoming an ally to Indigenous people often has uncomfortable moments where we are confronted by the racism of the world around us, and our own outdated beliefs from our upbringing. In a world of entrenched belief systems evolved from our histories, there is often not a lot of support from communities from all backgrounds. It takes initiative and courage, and these actions are essential for leading with integrity as we step into the future.

While a few Indigenous people have taken on the task of educating all of us about our collective history, while at the same time healing their own deep wounds, this work is not their responsibility. Allies need to take on the task of social transformation, and share the responsibility of ensuring we move into a future built on integrity, good relationships, and trust.

Dr. Lynne Gehl has clearly identified the roles and responsibilities of an ally in her Ally Bill of Responsibilities, and reflecting and reading through this list is a great place to start. Think about what on her list challenges your beliefs, question why, and look at places where you can easily engage and take action. Red Rising Magazine also has a great article on Being and Indigenous Ally. Find your knowledge gaps and explore ways to learn by visiting cultural centers, going on tours, celebrating National Aboriginal Day on June 21, and participating in training and workshops.

We all have an imperative to do our part, both collectively and individually to help support Indigenous self-determination to repair and rebuild the damage done to communities and peoples. As allies, we must examine how our systems of governance and economics have been built, how our social beliefs are constructed, and explore what each one of us can do to help transform our relationships, workplaces, and communities to truly become the safe and just country we proclaim ourselves to be.


Ally Bill of Responsibilities,

National Aboriginal Day, June 21,

FAQ on being an Indigenous Ally,

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,

Canada officially adopts UN declaration on rights of Indigenous Peoples,

About the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,

About the Author

Alesha Doran is the Business Development Coordinator for the Indigenous Perspectives Society – Creating Excellence through Training and Leadership. A non-indigenous ally, Alesha was born and raised in Secwepemc territory and now enjoys life in beautiful Lkwungen territory on southern Vancouver Island. For more information on Cultural Perspectives Training email her at and visit

What Is Jordan’s Principle And Why Does It Matter?

Jordan's Principle(1)Jordan’s Principle functions as an essential mechanism for ensuring human, constitutional, and treaty rights of Indigenous children. By establishing a procedure to guarantee immediate care for Indigenous children, Jordan’s Principle provides access to public services ordinarily available to other Canadian children so Indigenous children do not experience service denials, delays, or disruptions related to their First Nations status.

Jordan’s Principle is named to honour Jordan River Anderson, an Indigenous child from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. Jordan was born with Carey Fineman Ziter Syndrome, a rare muscular disorder that required medical treatment in a Winnipeg hospital. After spending the first two years of his life in a hospital, doctors felt he could return home. A disagreement between the province of Manitoba and the Canadian federal government on who should pay for his at home care caused Jordan to remain the hospital, and he died at the age of five years old in 2005. Jordan never knew what it was like to live in his family home.

After reflecting on Jordan’s Principle, I was reminded of when at 5 years old I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks with severe pneumonia. I shared a room with a girl who had polio. During the time I was there a couple of other children came and went. The nurses and doctors where nice, but it was lonely and frightening. I can’t imagine if that was my whole world.

Responsibility for services to First Nations children is often shared by federal, provincial/territorial, and First Nations governments; in contrast, funding and delivery of these same services to most other children in Canada falls solely under provincial/territorial jurisdiction. Canadian federal and provincial governments often dispute financial responsibility for services for Indigenous children, resulting in children being left waiting for services they desperately need. Due to structural racism in Canadian systems of governance and healthcare, Indigenous children are denied services that are available to other children.

A Members Motion (M-296) endorsing the adoption of Jordan’s Principle was unanimously passed in the Canadian House of Commons in 2007. The federal government subsequently led a governmental response to Jordan’s Principle, facilitating the development of federal and provincial/territorial policies and procedures for identifying Jordan’s Principle cases and resolving jurisdictional disputes over payment or provision of services to individual First Nations children. This process resulted in a limited application of Jordan’s Principle by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to children living on reserve with a disability or short-term condition.

In a landmark ruling on January 26, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordered the federal government to immediately stop applying a limited and discriminatory definition of Jordan’s Principle, and to immediately take measures to implement the full meaning and scope of the principle.

On July 6, 2016, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada submitted a compliance report to the Tribunal providing an update on its implementation of the principle. In the submission, the government committed to invest up to $382 million to implement a broader application of Jordan’s Principle.

The governmental response to the application of Jordan’s Principle does not reflect the vision and intention for service delivery advanced by First Nations and endorsed by the House of Commons. Reviews by the Canadian Paediatric Society and UNICEF Canada have highlighted shortcomings in the governmental response to Jordan’s Principle, and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society is asking for all governments to work together to fully practice the intention and spirit of Jordan’s Principle.

Additional Resources:

About the Author

Alesha Doran is the Business Development Coordinator for the Indigenous Perspectives Society – Creating Excellence through Training and Leadership. A non-indigenous ally, Alesha was born and raised in Secwepemc territory and now enjoys life in beautiful Lkwungen territory on southern Vancouver Island. For more information on Cultural Perspectives Training email her at and visit