Honoring HeroWork at IPS

On December 17, 2021 a very special ceremony was hosted at Indigenous Perspectives Society: Centre of Excellence in Community Education (IPS) to honor and celebrate our dear friends at HeroWork, our IPS leadership and staff. The event began with a smudging, a welcome to guests and an acknowledgement of the Lkwungen speaking territories and of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations on whose lands we were gratefully gathered. The ceremony was led by Elder Laurie MacDonald of the Enoch Cree Nation and IPS Executive Director, Rachelle Dallaire.

The ceremony was an important opportunity for us to recognize the people who have made this renovation happen through all the ups and downs of recent months. The IPS building has been transformed, inside and out. Elder Laurie MacDonald has been an important part of the IPS family for many years and has contributed a great deal to the success of the organization. It was a special honor to have him lead the ceremony.

Paul La Tour & Jason Demmy

IPS Executive Director, Rachelle Dallaire, was blanketed by Laurie and IPS staff members. This was a very important moment for our team. Rachelle’s tireless spirit and leadership guide us in the work we do. To witness her receiving this medicine was medicine for all of us.

Connie Martin, Rachelle Dallarie and Laurie MacDonald

Our guests of honor from HeroWork were blanketed and offered gifts. Elder Laurie MacDonald spoke about the cultural significance of the blanket and the blanketing ceremony. 

HeroWork Team: Kate Markham-Zantvoort(Trades Manager) Marlena Salvador(Philanthropy & Communications Manager), Paul Latour(Founder & CEO), Trevor Botkin(Executive Director, Victoria) & Linda Morrison(Operations Manager).

Each person spoke from the heart about the importance and meaning of this project for them personally. We sincerely thank each of our guests for sharing with us and for their commitment to IPS and this Radical Renovation project.

Alysha Brown and guests gifted us with their beautiful songs and a healing jingle dress dance. We were reminded how powerful the medicine of song and dance is in helping us to keep our spirits strong.

*A special thanks goes out to Don Craig for capturing and sharing these great images. 

HeroWork board members Deborah Hunt & Jason Demmy & dedicated supporter and volunteer Jim Clark
left to right: Nicole Mandryk, Alysha Brown, Sarah Rhude, Jen Hill
Nicole Mandryk
Nadine & Linda

Nadine, a special young friend of the Society, helped to present gifts to our guests as part of the ceremony and was also blanketed and given a gift. All enjoyed delicious food prepared and provided by a family member of the Society. Our staff received lovely gifts from Elder Laurie MacDonald and IPS. It was a wonderful ceremony to see out the end of 2021 and recognize all the hard work, commitment and generosity of our friends, family and circle members.

Trevor giving Kaia, Sam & Lizz a tour of the new training space at IPS