The Indigenous Perspectives Society: Centre of Excellence in Community Education (IPS) is an Indigenous-run charitable non-profit. We are comprised of Indigenous staff, allies, a board of directors and volunteers. Our composition is an intentional and deliberate one that allows us the agility to deliver services, meet community needs, and respond to actions of reconciliation in a way that is reflective of the communities we walk amongst. Our circles where we deliver services are Indigenous, non-Indigenous, and blended. We practice diversity and inclusion with our society representing many different communities and lifestyles which brings a wealth of insight into how we work. IPS is proud to provide the opportunity for career development and mentorship, and believes in growing people in addition to attracting excellent talent. It is with pride and gratitude that we introduce you to our team:
Rachelle Dallaire, BSW/MSW/RSW
Rachelle Dallaire, BSW/MSW/RSW×
Rachelle is from the Montagnais peoples in lower Quebec. She brings more than 15 years of management and leadership experience to her work as Indigenous Perspectives Society’s Executive Director. Rachelle has extensive front line service experience that informs her leadership from her early work with at risk communities including women in the sex trade, corrections, and the homeless community. As an inter-generational trauma survivor, she brings a lot of passion to developing Indigenous Perspectives Society’s Reconciliation from an Indigenous Perspectives training offerings, which include Cultural Perspectives Training, developed to support the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action.
Connie Martin, BSW/AA/MPA
Connie Martin, BSW/AA/MPA×
Connie Martin is from the K’omoks First Nation on her maternal side. Her late mother’s name was Leslee Martin, and her late grandmother was Mable Frank. Her grandparents, Richard and Catherine Wilson, raised both her and her mother. On her father’s side she is German and Swedish. Her late father’s name was Gary Martin. Her paternal grandparents were the late Maggie Martin and Charlie Martin. Connie comes to Indigenous Perspectives Society with previous experience as a social worker at the Ministry of Children and Family Development and with an Indigenous Child and Family Serving Agency. She has also worked in the non-profit sector for over 10 years with Indigenous children and their families, from all over Canada. She is a passionate advocate for education, learning cultural practices and western academia. She has worked to earn an Associate Arts Degree in Aboriginal Studies, a Bachelor of Social Work Degree, with Indigenous and Child Welfare specializations, and completed her Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 2021. Connie is inspired by the beauty in our communities and the days yet to come where Indigenous people are exercising more of their inherent rights to support children and families.
Zhila Alizadeh – Borji, BBM
Zhila Alizadeh – Borji, BBM×
Zhila joined the Society in April 2011. Zhila is a Persian woman, a mother of a beautiful daughter and a proud aunt. Born and raised in Iran, she graduated from the University of Tehran with a degree in business, level 4 of Certified General accountant, and planning to obtain her Certified Aboriginal Finance Manager. She worked in a variety of financial management positions in Tehran. She moved to Canada in 2001 and has been employed since that time in similar environments. She is very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Indigenous Perspectives Society. She has many passions which include artistic endeavors, family values, and her work. She believes in the passion that is demonstrated by the Society in the work they do and for this, she has been very appreciative to be a part of that passion and to work for such a dynamic team!
Facilities and Resources Manager
Carol is first generation Chinese and was born and raised in Victoria, B.C. She holds a Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Victoria. After more than 23 years in the banking industry, Carol began a different journey with IPS in May 2002 where she was able to apply her knowledge, administrative skills and experiences. Carol has been the Society’s Facilities and Resource Manager since December 2005 and enjoys the camaraderie with her colleagues.
Elaine Zamardi, C.I.M.
Executive & Project Coordinator
Elaine Zamardi, C.I.M.×
Elaine was born and raised in Toronto, ON and moved to Victoria, BC in 1996 with her husband and their two daughters. She is Mohawk on her Mother’s side, from Kahnawà:ke Quebec and English on her Father’s side. As the Executive and Project Coordinator she is passionate about working at IPS and being able to support projects, our youth, Elders, families, and communities. She loves spending time with her family, riding her bike and enjoys the outdoors.
Tammy Fleming, BSW
Tammy Fleming, BSW×
Tammy lived in Victoria until the age of 15 both with family members and in care. She reunited with her Mom at age 15 and went with her to Northern Alberta. She is blessed to have two communities where she feels at home. Tammy has 3 children by birth, and many more by relationship; and is grateful to be Nana to 18 grandchildren. After raising her family, she realised a childhood dream and returned to school, becoming a social worker. Having spent time in care herself, she carried a passion for creating safety for children and youth in a holistic and collaborative way and has spent the past 15 years working with families, communities and children. She is excited to join IPS in the role of Instructor. “It has been amazing to gather here and see the dedication, excitement and passion that is so evident among my colleagues. I am grateful to have been provided this opportunity.”
Program Development Project Lead
Candace works in the development of online training in Moodle and is also the accreditation specialist for the Society. She is a non-Indigenous staff member who applies an intersectional lens to all that she does; believing that health and wellbeing for people and communities comes from achieving equity across the social determinants of health. Candace is also passionately committed to her volunteer work with inmates at the local federal prison.
Kelly Legge, MA
Program Development Project Lead
Kelly Legge, MA×
Kelly has been fortunate to live and work in Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ territories, Victoria, for over 10 years. She has worked at IPS since 2010 in various roles, including a policy analyst in Aboriginal child welfare and a program development specialist wherein she develops curriculum, facilitates training, and leads the media team as a non-fictive film maker. As a non-Indigenous person, she brings a passion for inter-cultural learning and ally work.
Program Development Coordinator
Lizz is from the Tsesk’iye clan of the Tahltan Nation, as well as Chinese on her father’s side and mixed European from her mother’s side. She has lived within various locations and territories across British Columbia, but Vancouver Island is where she has called “home” for most of her life. She wears many hats as the Program Development Coordinator at Indigenous Perspectives Society, where she works closely with training curriculum development, connects with contracting organizations, and facilitates trainings focused around allyship. An active member within the performing arts community, Lizz regularly shares space and facilitates conversations focused around decolonization within the arts and guidance for fostering space for individuals from marginalized communities. She is passionate about uplifting and empowering others while continuing to learn about Indigenous Sovereignty, equal rights, visibility, and history.
Business Development & Communications Coordinator
Aaron is from the Namgis First Nations of the Kwa’Kwa’Ka’Wake-speaking peoples, born and raised on the Namgis First Nations Reserve in Alert Bay, British Columbia. This is where he had spent the first 17 years of his life. Aaron has been located in the Lekwungen territory for the past ten years. Starting his journey in the territory by Learning Anthropology and fine art at Camosun College, and since then has been a vital resource in the workforce within the finance industry. Reminiscing his ancestral life on the water in a fishing community, Aaron wanted to be closer to his heritage; as such, Aaron now lives on his Sailboat in Victoria Harbor, offering him the opportunity to be close to the land and practice traditional fishing and curing methods. Aaron is also a part of the live performing arts community, where he works on community building and other performers’ sense of belonging.
Jacqueline Moisan BSW/Masters in Leadership
Manager of Curriculum & Learning
Jacqueline Moisan BSW/Masters in Leadership×
Jacqueline works with the curriculum development team as a curriculum writer. She has over 25 years experience working in B.C. child welfare in a variety of roles, including social worker, practice consultant, analyst and in management positions. She has worked with Provincial and Aboriginal Services providing practice and operational support to Indigenous Child and Family Serving Agencies. She has also developed curriculum and facilitated regional and provincial training for front-line social workers in Ministry offices and delegated agencies. As a non-Indigenous person, she is grateful to live on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people and is committed to Indigenous People’s jurisdiction over their own child and family services.
Curriculum Development Coordinator
Kai'a is a Kanaka Maoli (Indigenous Native Hawaiian) born and raised on the island of Maui, Hawai’i. She moved to Victoria to study Anthropology and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. Upon graduating, she knew that she wanted to begin to give back the Indigenous peoples and communities whose lands she became a settler on as she pursued her post-secondary education. She is honored to serve on the team at IPS, and deeply grateful to be able to continue to live and learn on these beautiful lands. Kaia’s hopes are to one day take all that she has learned from her time here and use it to facilitate healing and reconciliation for her Indigenous community back home.
Client Services Coordinator
Tasman is Algonquin, Irish and French on her mother’s side and Algonquin and French on her father’s. A proud mother and stepmother, she is very grateful to be raising her family and working on Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ Territories. In April, Tasman will be graduating with a Diploma in Indigenous Studies from Camosun College and is very eager to begin being of service to her community. Tasman comes to the Indigenous Perspectives Society passionate to find ways in which she can help create positive and inclusive spaces wherever she goes. Tasman lives her life always looking for ways to be the best ancestor to the future generations.
D’Arcy is proud to be a member of the IPS team in the role of Program Coordinator. He is a non-Indigenous team member from the lək̓ʷəŋən territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. He holds a B.A. from the University of Victoria in History and French, as well as a B.Ed. in Secondary Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Previous experience includes over a decade in the not-for-profit sector as a festival organizer with the Victoria B.C. Ska and Reggae Society, as an educator with students in the K-12 system, and as an administrative support staff with both private and public educational institutions. When not working at IPS, D’Arcy can be found listening to music, swimming in the ocean, or organizing with various social and environmental community groups.
Board of Directors
Aimee is Algonquin/ Métis, originally from South Western Ontario. She has been an uninvited guest on the W̱SÁNEĆ Territory for the past 3 and a half years with her teenage daughter. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brock University. Most of her professional background includes working with Indigenous families, children, and youth. She started her career working with families at my local Friendship Centre before moving on to work for nearly 10 years as a youth counsellor in the public education system. Since moving to Victoria, she has had the opportunity to work with the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth and the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Since completing that work, she has been working in Indigenous Health and with the Federal Indian Day School Settlement. She is honored to be part of a diverse team that honors Indigenous knowledge and values.
Graduate of Tribhuwan University Commerce program and Columbia College Business Administration program, Raj received his Certified General Accountant designation in 2011. He spent the first ten years of his career gaining finance experience with various national corporations. While there, Raj was awarded the Employee of the Month, earned two Bravo Awards, and was twice nominated for nationwide Annual Awards. Since 2011, he has gradually shifted his career from industry to public practice accounting. He joined Schell and Associates, CPAs in January 2015. At Schell & Associates Raj prepares Canada and US personal income tax returns, does year-end corporate reporting, and provides consulting for owners of small and medium sized businesses in a variety of industries and professions.
Member At Large
Rachel Bevington MSc is a registered professional Biologist who has over 20 years of experience working with non-profit organizations. Rachel has worked as a Financial Manager, Biologist, Educator and Board Member at several Salt Spring Island non-profits, working with a variety of populations, including children, seniors, women-at-risk due to violence, academics and Indigenous communities. Rachel grew up in the We Wai Kai and Klahoose territories and has ancestral ties to the Nlaka'pamux of Lytton First Nation. Rachel and her partner are raising her two children on a small farm where she loves to garden and work with wool as a weaver and knitter. Rachel is Land Manager for the Salt Spring Island Conservancy and the Administrator for Stqeeye’ Learning Society at Xwaaqw'um where she is actively working on environmental and indigenous reclamation projects on Salt Spring Island.
Member At Large
Christa has called the Cariboo Chilcotin home for the past 30 years, she is married with two grown children, three step children and five grandchildren. Christa brings enthusiasm and energy to all aspects of life. She loves to learn new things and has an extensive educational history that includes a Masters of Business Administration, a Masters in Counselling Psychology, a Bachelors of Social Work with Child Welfare Specialization, and a wide variety of certificates and diplomas that cross business and social service fields. She brings over 20 years of business experience, leadership and volunteerism to this role. Currently Christa is the Executive Director of an Aboriginal Agency and loves what she does. With service as a core value, she looks forward to being able to extend that to Indigenous Perspectives Society.
Saranda is of Nuu-chah-nulth and of mixed European ancestry. She was raised on the traditional territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth people and moved to the lands of the Lekwungen people in 2013. During her time in Victoria, Saranda has engaged in various roles in the service sector in areas such as; mental health and substance use, corrections and health care. She believes community and a sense of belonging are integral to individual and collective wellbeing and believes a holistic approach aligns with this perspective. Saranda is in the final semester of her Bachelor of Social Work Degree with an Indigenous Specialization at the University of Victoria. After completing her degree, she hopes to continue working alongside Indigenous families and communities in diverse settings.