Reconciliation needs to be central to creating a more equitable social safety net.
As it stands, however, Indigenous communities & services are often left out of key datasets, creating barriers to accessing help, as well as limiting our understanding of the resources Indigenous communities need. This creates a risk of continuing to overlook important issues in decision-making and continuing to perpetuate inequality.
In this webinar, Monique Fry, Amber Potts, Aaron Franks and Shawn Gervais will discuss why access to information, self-representation, and understanding community needs is essential to supporting Indigenous communities, and how HelpSeeker is supporting this through their Systems Mapping efforts.
HelpSeeker’s Elder in Residence, Grandmother Doreen Spence, will open and close the session.
In this webinar, you will learn:
Why access to information, self-representation, and understanding community needs are essential to supporting Indigenous communities.
How HelpSeeker is supporting Indigenous self-representation and ownership through our Systems Mapping efforts.
Elder Doreen Spence
Elder in Residence
Our cultural and spiritual guide, our Grandmother, Elder Doreen Spence O.C., has been appointed to receive the Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours. Her appointment is in recognition of “her efforts as an internationally respected Cree Elder advocating for peace and Indigenous peoples’ human rights.”
Doreen, whose sacred name is Bald Eagle Woman Who Leads, has been a proud activist for most of her 83 years of life! She worked for over two decades with the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples. This group was instrumental in the creation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Locally, she has been a founding member of the Calgary Indigenous Human Rights Circle. Doreen hosts vision quests, sweat lodges and other sacred ceremonies to build healthier communities and leave a legacy for others. She will never stop advocating for her communities and those that need support to understand and combat the root of racism. Her ultimate goal is to teach us how to heal ourselves and support the healing of others. Grandmother Doreen plays a vital role at HelpSeeker, as she provides us with support and guidance for our internal and external Indigenous & Diversity strategy.Read
Senior Advisor, OCAP and Information Governance at First Nations Information Governance Centre
Aaron holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Glasgow and has worked for many years as a formal and informal educator, researcher, and artist.
Originally from Treaty Six territory (Edmonton), Aaron is of British, Northern European, Anglo-Métis and Cree descent and lives in Ottawa on unceded Algonquin territory.Read
Senior Director, Social Branch - AFN
Amber Potts is the Director of Research and Policy Coordination at the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). She has worked for more than 20 years with the federal government in Alberta and Ottawa and has extensive experience in policy, program development, and community engagement. During her time with the federal government, she worked with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada on Labour Market programs, Western Economic Diversification Canada, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) on the Urban Aboriginal Strategy, Strategic Policy, and Emergency Management. She has received two Deputy Minister awards for Excellence and sat on the Deputy Minister Committee on Policy Innovation as a Reverse Mentor for the Deputy of INAC.
Amber earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calgary and a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University. She is also a graduate of the Canada School of the Public Service Executive Development program, Direxcion, and has numerous professional certificates including: management, facilitation, mediation, and program management. She is currently studying Change Management at Cornell. Raised in Piikani Nation in southern Alberta, Amber is proud to have been raised ranching and rodeoing. She now lives in unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory with her husband and children.Read
VP Strategic Foresight - Digital Technology Supercluster
Since 2018, Shawn has led the Digital Supercluster's Strategic Foresight practice. This practice includes the development of people through a capacity-building program and exploring opportunities through digital futures studies. In capacity building, we co-invest in innovative projects that equip people and enterprises with the digital skills and leadership they need to succeed in the digital economy. In our futures studies, we explore challenges and opportunities associated with emerging technologies, data and the digital transformation of our economy.
Shawn obtained a BA in Military and Strategic Studies at Royal Roads Military College and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Alberta.Read
VP, Community Success
Monique is from the Xwchíyò:m First Nation on her grandfather’s side and from the shíshálh Nation on her grandmother’s side. Both Nations are located on territories that are currently known as the province of BC. She holds a Blackfoot name gifted by Elder Dr. Reg Crowshoe, which in English translates to “where the water meets the west shore spirit”.
Monique has 12+ years of experience in cross-cultural communication and stakeholder relations with a focus on successful engagement and partnerships with Indigenous communities. She brings both a lived experience perspective as a First Nations woman as well as career and academic experience holding an MA in Communication and Culture from the University of Calgary. Monique is recognized as a Cultural Mediator and holds relationships with diverse Elders and Knowledge Keepers from across Turtle Island. Her work in Calgary has included the intersection of understanding and tackling poverty, homelessness, health, human rights, education, justice and employment of Indigenous peoples. One of her strengths is in relationship building and connections to community leaders, as well as those in non-profit, corporate and government.