Indigenous Perspectives Society

Monthly Archives: May 2019

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The Impact of Language


Language, namely the words we use and how we use them, is a central feature for the foundations of our relationships. Yoga gurus claim that language effects our brains, provides us the ability to heal, and also helps us determine how we perceive our world. Social service practitioners will often say that how we say things and how we use language can create and/or deter positive social responses. Our grandmothers have repeatedly told us to consider our words before we speak them.

The commonality between our ancestors and professionals in the fields of relationships is that language does matter. And it matters most in Indigenous communities where language has often been used to harm or oppress. Worse yet, the aggressor alleges that the Indigenous party is “simply oversensitive”.

The truth is, our words are conduits of powerful messages that indicate whether our intentions are good and what our values are. Individuals acting as allies must take great care to avoid language such as “running on Indian time” or “lowest man on the totem pole”. For Indigenous communities and individuals, these micro aggressions have great impact. For non Indigenous communities these statements may be a reference point that have been learned, but the meaning behind the words creates greater divide between themselves, Indigenous peoples, and their true allies. Words do matter. In fact, the words we speak will convey messages to our listeners of who we are, what we stand for, what we will not tolerate, and what our core beliefs are.

Be the leader who carefully considers their words and avoids use of words and phrases that convey culturally relevant connotations which may be offensive. When uncertain, refrain from using clichés or learned phrases that you do not know the historical origin or significance of. Better yet, find safe and respectful spaces where meaningful conversation can be had that addresses micro aggressions and their impact in Indigenous communities.

Rachelle Dallaire, Executive Director, Indigenous Perspectives Society

Recruiting for Board of Directors

Indigenous Perspectives Society (IPS) is a charitable and not-for-profit social enterprise that offers training, consulting, and projects to help foster a deeper understanding of Indigenous perspectives, cultural differences, and the need for self-determination. By creating excellence through training and leadership, we help strengthen lives and build successful relationships in the communities we serve. Our mission is to provide culturally relevant training, research, and policy that advances and strengthens the lives of Indigenous peoples.
IPS is extending an invitation to join our provincial Board of Directors
Skill Requirements:
• Finance
• Non-profit
• Program evaluation
• Legal
• Capital acquisition
Duties of Directors
53 (1) A director of a society must, when exercising the powers and performing the functions of a director of the society,
(a) act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the society,
(b) exercise the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent individual would exercise in comparable circumstances,
(c) act in accordance with this Act and the regulations, and
(d) subject to paragraphs (a) to (c), act in accordance with the bylaws of the society.
(2) Without limiting subsection (1), a director of a society, when exercising the powers and performing the functions of a director of the society, must act with a view to the purposes of the society.
(3) This section is in addition to, and not in derogation of, any enactment or rule of law or equity relating to the duties or liabilities of directors of a society.
(4) Nothing in a contract or the bylaws of a society relieves a director from
(a) the duty to act in accordance with this Act and the regulations, or
(b) liability that, by any enactment or rule of law or equity, would otherwise attach to the director in respect of negligence, default, breach of duty or breach of trust of which the director may be guilty in relation to the society.
This role is a volunteer position. IPS conducts 4 meetings per year and your travel will be covered.
If you are interested in joining our Board of Directors, we encourage you to submit a Letter of Interest and a copy of your resume to: Rachelle Dallaire,
Executive Director, Indigenous Perspectives Society