The Indigenous Perspectives Society 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:

Team Members

Rachelle Dallaire, BSW/MSW/RSW

Executive Director

Rachelle Dallaire, BSW/MSW/RSW

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Rachelle is from the Montagnais people 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 Perspective training offerings, which include Cultural Perspectives Training, developed to support the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action.

Connie Martin, BSW

Associate Director

Connie Martin, BSW

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Connie Martin is from the K’omoks First Nation on her maternal side, her late mother’s name is Leslee Martin, and her late grandmother was Mable Frank. Her grandparents, Richard and Catherine Wilson raised her mother and herself. On her father’s side she is German and Swedish, and her late father’s name is Gary Martin. Her paternal grandparents are the late Maggie Martin and Charlie Martin. Connie comes to Indigenous Perspectives Society with previous experience as a social worker both for the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and for a Delegated Aboriginal Agency. She has also worked in the non-profit sector for over ten years with Indigenous children and their families from all over Canada. She is a passionate advocate for education and 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 is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Public Administration. 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

Finance Manager

Zhila Alizadeh – Borji, BBM

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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!

Carol Itakura

Facilities and Resource Manager

Carol Itakura

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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 and Project Coordinator

Elaine Zamardi, C.I.M.

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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

Instructor

Tammy Fleming, BSW

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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.”

Candace McKivett

Program Development Project Lead

Candace McKivett

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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

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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.

Lizz Brooks

Program Development Coordinator

Lizz Brooks

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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 across British Columbia, but Vancouver Island is where she has called “home” for most of her life. In recent years, she continues to actively educate herself on her own Tahltan culture along with the many Indigenous relationships and current events across Turtle Island (North America). Lizz is passionate about uplifting and empowering others while learning about Indigenous Sovereignty, equal rights, visibility, and history. An active member within the performing arts community, she is excited to be a part of the Indigenous Perspectives Society’s team to help bring awareness, education, and support where needed

April Reeve

Caregiver Support

April Reeve

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As a Metis woman April is honored to be starting her new position at IPS as the Caregiver Support Worker. She looks forward to working in our indigenous communities throughout BC and is grateful that she is able to help train foster parents as they embark on their journey in becoming caregivers for our children. April has been with her partner Wayne for 42 years, and they have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren. Also, she has been a foster parent with Indigenous youth for many years. One of her favorite things to do is to watch her grandchildren play baggataway (lacrosse). She can also be found in her garden nurturing all that grows.

Michele Oatman

Programs Coordinator

Michele Oatman

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Karman Lippitt

Business Development and Communications Coordinator

Karman Lippitt

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Karman has recently arrived on the island from Northern Australia, to be closer to her Canadian family. She is very grateful to have been warmly welcomed to the Lekwungen speaking territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. And she is pleased to be joining the highly accomplished team at IPS.

Karman’s previous professional and personal experience in Indigenous community development and Indigenous-led natural and cultural resource management, has allowed her the opportunity to work extensively in intergenerational, cross cultural and cross sectoral environments. Karman has spent the past twenty-seven years building knowledge and skills in training, facilitation, strategic planning, social enterprise and inter-cultural governance model development. Karman has a strong interest in diverse cultures, languages and perspectives. She has a deep love and respect for the natural world and recognizes our shared responsibility to look after it, each other and particularly our younger generations.

Kaia Hill

Curriculum Development Coordinator

Kaia Hill

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Kaia 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.

Shae Zamardi

Marketing & Donor Program Development Officer

Shae Zamardi

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Shae is a proud Mohawk woman from Kahnawa:ke Quebec, on her mother’s side, and Dutch/Italian on her father’s side. Shae graduated from Louisiana State University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and a minor in business, and is honored to be joining the team at IPS as the Marketing and Donor Development Officer. Motivated and inspired by the resiliency of her late grandmother, a Residential School Survivor, Shae has a deep affinity for supporting works that provide learning, healing and empowerment opportunities for Indigenous peoples and communities. For 11 years, Shae traveled extensively as an Elite Artistic Gymnast and as a performing Artist with Cirque Du Soleil. She is humbled and grateful to have recently returned home, where her roots lie, in the beautiful lands and territories of the Lekwungen speaking people of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. Shae’s love for traveling and exploring all that the world has to offer remains constant. She is a spin class instructor 3 times a week and enjoys getting outside and being active with her loved ones.

Board of Directors

Charles Hill

President

Charles Hill

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With over 20 years of experience in workforce diversity training, Charles 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 14 years experience in working for the past 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.

Raj Sigdel

Treasurer

Raj Sigdel

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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.

Aimee Oakes

Member At Large

Aimee Oakes

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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.

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Christa Smith

Member At Large

Christa Smith

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Christa has called the Cariboo Chilcotin home for the past 30 years, she is married with two grown children, three step children and three 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 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 twenty 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 and she looks forward to being able to extend that to Indigenous Perspectives Society.

Jack Stirling

Youth Representative

Jack Stirling

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Jack is from the Wei Wai Kum First Nations in Campbell River, BC. He moved to Victoria to study psychology at UVIC and has since graduated. He now works as a family support worker at Island Metis Family Community Services Society (IMFCSS).