Indigenous Perspectives Society 30 Year History

The history of the Indigenous Perspectives Society is a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives, resilience in the face of challenges, and the transformative impact of dedicated leadership. Founded on December 17, 1990, as the First Nations Family Child Care Workers Society, this organization emerged as a beacon of hope and empowerment for Indigenous communities across Canada.

In its formative years from 1990 to 1994, the Society embarked on a journey of collaboration and advocacy, organizing meetings and conferences with other Indigenous organizations. One significant milestone during this period was the hosting of the Aboriginal Foster Parents Conference in October 1994 at Whistler, where Indigenous caregivers came together to share knowledge and experiences.

The year 1994 marked a pivotal moment as the Society officially registered as the Western Canadian Aboriginal Family & Child Care Worker’s Society. This change reflected a broader scope of service and commitment to supporting Indigenous families and children.

(Pictured Above: Location in West Vancouver of Caring for First Nations Children Society)

By August 19th, 1999, the organization underwent another transformation, becoming the Caring for First Nations Children Society. Under the leadership of Cindy Blackstock, who served as Executive Director from February 1999 to September 2002, the Society launched the Aboriginal Social Worker Training Program (ASW) in 1999. This program aimed to provide essential training for individuals working within Indigenous communities, with curriculum development led by Cindy Blackstock and Maggie Kovach.

(Pictured Above: Cindy Blackstock)

Throughout the early 2000s, the Society continued to expand its reach and impact. Offices were opened in Victoria in 2001-2002, with Linda Lucas assuming the role of Executive Director during this period. In 2003, the Society relocated to Langley Street, further solidifying its presence in the community.

(Pictured Above: Linda Lucas)

The year 2006 brought about another significant change as the Society found a new home at Tsawout First Nation, reaffirming its commitment to Indigenous communities. Despite the challenges, the Society persevered, delivering crucial programs such as ASW training, Adoption-On-Line, Board Training, Supervisory Training, and Cultural Awareness Training.

From 2002 to 2015, the Society served as the Secretariat for the First Nations Directors Forum and the Partnership Forum, further amplifying its role as a key player in Indigenous advocacy and governance. Achieving accreditation with CARF in 2013 underscored the Society’s commitment to maintaining high standards of training and service delivery.

In 2014, the organization underwent a rebranding, emerging as the Indigenous Perspectives Society, a name that reflected its deep-rooted commitment to honoring Indigenous knowledge and culture. Leadership transitions occurred over the years, with Rachelle Dallaire assuming the role of Executive Director in 2018, following Linda Lucas’s 16-year tenure.

The year 2020 brought about unprecedented challenges with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting the Society to pivot all training online. Despite the adversity, the organization remained steadfast in its mission to empower Indigenous communities.

In 2021, the Society further solidified its commitment to excellence, declaring itself the Centre of Excellence in Community Education. Renovations by HeroWorks and expansions in social enterprise initiatives underscored its dedication to holistic community development.

(Pictured Above: Indigenous Perspectives Society: Centre of Excellence In Community Education Renovations by HeroWorks)

Finally, in 2022, the ASW program was rebranded as Indigenous Child & Family Service Training (ICFST), reflecting its evolving focus and scope. Online training received a new look, ensuring accessibility and effectiveness in the digital age.

In conclusion, the history of the Indigenous Perspectives Society is a testament to the power of collective action, visionary leadership, and unwavering commitment to Indigenous empowerment. From its humble beginnings to its current status as a Center of Excellence, the Society continues to be a beacon of hope and inspiration for Indigenous communities across Canada and beyond.


IPS would like to thank Peninsula Co-op for their donation to support our 30th year anniversary event