Indigenous Perspectives Society

IN Perspective

Canada’s Workforce Choice Awards Finalist

Indigenous Perspectives Society is a Canada’s Workforce Choice Awards finalist for the category of Indigenous Engagement! More information about the awards can be found at

It takes strong leaders, wonderful staff, and engaged participants to make a make an excellent workplace. Thank you to everyone in our community for making IPS a fantastic place to be.


Why Cultural Competency is Critical in Intercultural Relations


Cultural Competency has often been referred to in many ways; cultural sensitivity, cultural intelligence, cultural agility, and cultural humility. Whatever the terminology, we are encouraged to consider our cultural competence especially when working with communities and groups who have historically and are contemporarily marginalized, colonized, racialized, and ostracized.

Cultural Competency is more than our ability to relate to others and more than being kind to others. Cultural Competency is the keen ability to recognize cultural cues, to be comfortable with new situations and cultural behaviours that we are unfamiliar with, it is about our appetite for growth when it pertains to social circles more diverse than our own, and our ability to challenge learned behaviour, stereotypes, and ideologies. Cultural Competence is not about tolerance, it is about embracing diversity. It is not about comparing, it is about appreciating difference, and including a multiplicity of perspectives.

It is no secret that cultural diversity has proven to enrich work environments both in social experience and productivity. Culturally diverse environments thrive for a variety of reasons which include more input, more ideas, more comprehensive decision making, and greater learning. With these benefits in mind, it is critical that leaders ensure their staff have had exposure and opportunity to grow their cultural competence. This is more than simply educating to increase cultural knowledge. It is about exposure, experience, and dialogue so that staff can build cross cultural skills. More importantly it is also about providing space and safe opportunities for staff to assess, reflect on, and talk about their successes and areas of needed growth. With these practices firmly in place, cultural competency becomes a standard and expectation in diverse environments.

Since its inception as Caring for First Nations Children Society more than 25 years ago, Indigenous Perspectives Society’s core function has been developing cultural competency within organizations working with Indigenous children and families. Out of the work we do to  train and support those working directly with families we have created effective and comprehensive training for developing cultural competence in professional organizations. Cultural Perspectives Training is transforming how people work with their colleagues and clients, and the results of that are new partnerships that are contributing to community resilience and organizational endurance both through throughout British Columbia where we work primarily, and thanks to our work with federal agencies, across Canada.

“It (Cultural Perspectives Training) was a perfect balance of info that touched many folks emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. I don’t know any other training where the content has been so comprehensive and offered with such thoughtfulness, grace and good humour.” – Candice MacDonald, Manager Supportive Housing, Victoria Cool Aid Society

Rachelle Dallaire, Executive Director, Indigenous Perspectives Society

IN Perspective – Summer 2019

The Summer 2019 IN Perspective is out and available to read here. This season’s newsletter features the following:

  • Executive Update
  • Message from the Representative for Children and Youth
  • IPS Updates
  • Gladue Report Training
  • Cultural Perspectives Training
  • Training Calendar

Summer 2019 IN Perspective

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If you have any questions about IN Perspective or would like to have your articles, poetry, photos, news or events posted in our next newsletter send us an email using the contact page on our website. *Submissions included at the editor’s discretion.

Children’s Aid Foundation Foster Care Transition Kits


Each year, Indigenous Perspectives Society packs back pack transition kits for children in care. These back packs help children in care have a few things of their very own to help them get through a difficult time. This year MCFD Esquimalt, Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem Child and Family Services, Foster Family Support Services, Fraser Valley Aboriginal Child and Family Services, and Beecher Bay First Nation are partnering with us to help distribute 140 back packs to the children who need them.

Backpacks are assembled for a range of ages from 0-2, 3-5, 6-12, and 13-18. They include bibs, sippy cups, and toys for the little ones, tablets, mp3 players, books, puzzles and art supplies for the other age ranges. IPS would like to thank Gerry Denis and Tara Garnet from Staples on McCallum Road in Langford, British Columbia, who negotiated discounts on many items for the backpacks from their suppliers.

Launched in November 2013 through the leadership support of a private donor, the Children’s Aid Foundation’s Ted and Loretta Rogers Foster Care Transition Program aims to improve the experience of coming into care for children by providing items and resources that aid in their comfort, well-being, safety, and sense of security.

National Indigenous Peoples Day 2019

The co-hosts of National Indigenous Peoples Day 2019 celebrations at Royal Roads University extend a warm invitation for a day of fun and community relations on the traditional lands of the Lkwungen (Songhees) and Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) ancestors and families.

The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, June 21 at Royal Roads University. Everyone is welcome and admission is free.

10:30 a.m.

  • Traditional canoe landing protocol practice and welcoming ceremony on the shore of the Esquimalt Lagoon led by Lekwungen (Songhees) Nation Elder Butch Dick and Elder Elmer George
  • Performances by Lekwungen Singers and Dancers and ANSWER Drum Group


  • Salmon lunch and stage opening

Noon to 6 p.m.

  • Canoe challenge
  • Children’s field games and craft workshops
  • Fry bread stations
  • Vendors market
  • Interactive Métis showcase including Tipi and Trappers Hut, and “Story Walk”
  • Traditional plant walks on Charlie’s Trail along Colwood Creek with Cowichan Elder Kenneth Elliott and TSAWOUT Elder Earl Claxton Jr.
  • Performances from the Esquimalt Singers and Dancers, Red Buff Powwow Singing Group, Hannah Gentes, Leslie Gentile, Aurora Finkle and Ed Peekeekoot
  • Art by Indigenous artists and an interactive display on the new Four Feathers Writing Guide runs all day in the Library Showcase

Last year more than 2,000 people were welcomed to the annual event, which has grown in thanks to community enthusiasm and continued support from partners, sponsors and hundreds of volunteers.

Limited parking is available. The university encourages the public to consider taking public transit, or walking or cycling to Royal Roads along the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. On-campus transportation between event locations is available for Elders and guests who need assistance.

The event is co-hosted by Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, Royal Roads University, University of Victoria, Camosun College, Ministry of Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation, Island Métis Family & Community Services Society, Indigenous Perspectives Society, ISPARC, Métis Nation of Greater Victoria, Power to Be, Sooke Family Resource Society, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Vancity Credit Union and West Shore Parks & Recreation.

The co-hosts are grateful for the partnership with the BC Government Employees Union, First Nations Health Authority, RBC Bank and Simply Pure Ice & Water.