RESPECT, COURAGE, LOVE, TRUTH, HUMILITY, HONESTY, WISDOM
The Indigenous Gathering Place Society of Calgary: the Elders and Indigenous youth that guide our journey, our board of directors, and the many volunteers and committee members make up the Indigenous Gathering Place Society of Calgary.
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Dr. Crowshoe, a former Chief of the Piikani Nation, is a member of the Order of Canada, a Senate member of the University of Calgary, and lecturer the University of Lethbridge. He also co-authored the book Akak’stiman which explores Indigenous concepts of justice and sentencing circles.
Dr. Reg Crowshoe and Rose Crowshoe are honoured Blackfoot Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers. Together they have been advisors for many committees with national, provincial, and local scopes focusing on work with Elders, youth, culture and the environment. They are both instrumental in the development of the upcoming Indigenous Gathering Place of Calgary.
Born and raised on the Blood Reserve, Blackfoot Confederacy, Southern Alberta, Elder Doreen is a member of the Kainai Nation, Blood Tribe having made her home in Calgary since the mid 1960s. She has been instrumental with her knowledge, experience and professional endeavours in areas such as Tribal Councils, post-secondary institutions, government and private industry. She is the current Resident Elder for the Alberta Energy Regulator.
John Fischer is the Director of the Iniskim Centre at Mount Royal University. With over 35 years of experience as an educator and administrator, and board member of the Calgary Foundation, John brings his leadership and expertise to the Indigenous Gathering Place.
Michelle serves Indigenous students at Bow Valley College as the Manager of the Iniikokaan Centre and the owner of Sacred Four Communications. As previous Director and Chair of Communications for the Indigenous Gathering Place Society, Michelle is humbled to continue to work alongside the Board with a united vision for a physical gathering space within the City for all Nations.
"We are building the Indigenous Gathering Place for the children."
Anne Harding is the Owner of Forum Community Relations, a Calgary based consulting company dedicated to catalyzing better communities through Indigenous relations and community engagement. In her 17+ years of experience as a community and Indigenous engagement professional, she has engaged with over 85 Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada on economic development, community engagement, reconciliation, education, training, and resource consultation initiatives. Anne holds a Master of Arts in Corporate-Aboriginal Relations and a CP3 (Certified Public Participation Professional) designation through IAP2 Canada. As a settler of English, Welsh, and Swedish heritage, she is humbled to be elected to the IGP board after serving as chair of the community engagement committee in 2018 and 2019. Anne is also a director on the board of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce where she also co-chairs the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Sub-Committee.
Alison Pidskalny is a strategist and trusted ally to CEOs and Boards of Directors in Calgary and Southern Alberta. For 25 years, she has dedicated her career, her investments and her philanthropy to a strong and stable non-profit sector. Alison believes strongly in the power of gathering spaces for people to be in community with each other, to share knowledge and culture. Since 2011 she has rallied our community and raised funds for large-scale capital projects, most recently as Campaign Director for the new YW Calgary Hub for vulnerable women and families. Alison has also worked closely with the City of Calgary as a senior executive and President & CEO of two of Calgary's prominent civic partners, TELUS Spark and Fort Calgary. As a settler of Ukrainian heritage, she is honoured to be elected to the Board and will commit her time to helping IGP to realize its urgent, important and timely vision.
Alvin is of Plains Cree and Anishnawbe ancestry and is an enrolled member of the Muskowekwan First Nations, Saskatchewan. Alvin has considerable experience in advancing the social and economic development of First Nations through designing innovative capacity-building initiatives such as the national Aboriginal environmental training program, BEAHR sponsored by Eco-Canada. Alvin has over 20 years of experience managing Indigenous federal government programs in areas of project and community development as a consultant for the Public Health Agency of Canada, Employment & Immigration Commission, and Secretary of State. He holds a Certificate of Indigenous Leadership. Governance, and Management Excellence from the Banff Centre of Management. Alvin is owner/operator of Earthcode Enterprises Ltd, a local Indigenous business.
Sheryl-Ann (SAS) is Cree, a Member of the Metis Nation of Alberta and a graduate of Banff Centre's Indigenous Leadership, Strategy and Management Program. She is a leader in the Information Technology and Consulting Services space working with Shing Digital in Calgary.
“I believe that in order to truly reconcile relations in Canada, we need to build bridges and find common ground in our collective understanding of the past and the present. It is through deep listening that mutual respect is demonstrated. Through this, we can create a healthy future to be enjoyed by the next 7 generations. The IGP will be a catalyst and gathering place for those who are interested and invested in doing just that.”
Buddie Dixon is from the Stoney Nakoda, Kainai and Tsuu T’ina Nations. Raised in Treaty 7 Territory, he has always been connected to his culture through traditional teaching from his grandparents and community.In all of his work Buddie has strived to support others in their learning journey to sustainably incorporate Indigenous perspectives and ways of working into their organizations. Most recently, having led the Indigenous engagement work Vibrant Communities Calgary and Momentum, two non-profit organizations working hard to end poverty in Mohkinstisis with a passion to ensure that there is truthful and respectful collaboration between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous people of this area. Through his traditional teachings and western education, he understands how to balance both worlds. Buddie supports the IGPSC because it represents an important place for our community to demonstrate the coming together of both worlds and the importance of place in our journey of reconciliation.
Melodie is a proud Metis, and is fiercely committed to bridging the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, helping to create business opportunities and leverage partnerships.
Since founding Mosaic in 1995, she has worked with a broad range of local and international clientele. Melodie is known for her enthusiasm and for her ability to connect people, ideas, interests and causes that spark new ventures, partnerships and projects. She has demonstrated an ability to develop uncanny brand strategy and design for multiple sectors including agriculture, energy, tourism, real-estate, industrial, hospitality, government and not-for-profit.
“I hope to foster greater understanding of who we are as Indigenous peoples today, our history and be part of shaping an exciting future. I believe the IGP will bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people at every opportunity so together we can move toward a kinder, brighter future.”
Clint is Managing Director of Projects for GGA Architecture, one of the largest architectural firms in Western Canada offering professional services in Architecture, Interior Design and Urban Design. He is committed to building places for people to lead healthy, meaningful lives in a sustainable and responsible environment, for example, Banff Centre’s Donald Cameron Centre, Enmax’s District Energy, Deerfoot Meadows and Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope.
“An Indigenous Gathering Place is essential for everyone, and a most important step on the path we all walk toward reconciliation. This Gathering Place will provide a setting for Indigenous people to share their culture with the world and provide an environment for themselves to heal, celebrate, learn and move forward in a good way.
“My great grandmother was a residential school survivor. She was adopted by a missionary family and never freely spoke about her feelings or thoughts regarding her culture. She felt very ashamed that she did not know her own language or people. I feel privileged to work and collaborate with many respected and influential individuals by being a part of the Calgary Urban Indigenous Gathering Place Society.”
Ryan is a registered professional urban planner with over 15 years of experience with the City of Calgary. He has worked on a variety of development projects, policies, and research specializing in large and complex cultural and arts projects. Ryan is passionate about building an equitable and inclusive city for future generations. While working on the plan for Calgary’s culture and entertainment district, he had a chance to work with elders from all Treaty 7 nations, which was an enlightening and meaningful experience. Wanting to continue moving forward with reconciliation efforts, working with the IGP will provide opportunities to bring Calgarians a rich and meaningful space where indigenous people can practice indigenous ceremony and culture, as well as allow everyone in Calgary a place to connect with Indigenous cultures. He would like an IGP so that we may have a place to learn more about Indigenous ceremonies, cultures, and knowledges in the heart of our city.
Colin brings his experience building and running educational and cultural organizations and facilities to his Board efforts on behalf of the IGPSC. He will also engage his extensive relationships in business, education, politics and culture toward a vision for an Indigenous Gathering Place in Calgary.
“In my heart I know all the peoples on this land would greatly benefit from achieving reconciliation and by adopting First Nations wisdom including hospitality, honouring the seven sacred teachings, thinking in terms of seven generations when making decisions and seeking harmony and gratitude in our relationships with all of creation.”
Sue Hull is a first generation Canadian settler, born in Halifax Nova Scotia. Calgary and Treaty 7 have been home since 1992 and Sue is forever grateful for the opportunities afforded through her career with the City of Calgary mainly in Youth Probation Services. This provided fulfilling work, lifelong friendships, professional networks and learning and relationship building opportunities through the Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative and an Indigenous Teaching Series in our Youth division. Sue is a working artist, and retired from Social Work in 2018.
Sue joined the Board of IGPSC to promote the development of a substantive, culturally appropriate gathering place for the ongoing celebration of the cultures, people, languages and knowledge of the original peoples of this land.
After gaining socio-economic grass-roots community development experience working and volunteering internationally, Martin brought his inter-cultural skills and curiosity to work in Treaty 8 territory, building effective respectful relationships between Indigenous communities and energy companies.
“As a born and raised Calgarian, I believe that it is time for Calgary to acknowledge and celebrate its Indigenous roots and history and an Indigenous Gathering Place will bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together towards this goal.”
Huan Li is a CPA, CGA member and has worked at Sunrise Healing Lodge Society for over 10 years where he manages finances and accounting. Huan regularly enjoys hiking and is excited to contribute to the vision of an Indigenous Gathering Place in Calgary.