Welcome to this new Federation initiative and this new section of our website. My name is Riley McKenzie and recently joined the Federation as an Indigenous Advisor. I am Mohawk/Scottish and live in Victoria. I have been a guest on the lands of the Lekwungen people for over ten years.
My role is to support the Federation in ensuring programs and services are provided to members from a culturally respectful place that reflects an Indigenous worldview and to develop, encourage, and recommend changes to support our board’s vision of reconciliation and decolonization.
This initiative, what we’re calling Reconciliation Dialogues, will combine monthly interviews, editorials, and reflections and commentary on current events in order to further The Federation’s commitment to reconciliation and resurgence.
It will be an opportunity and a space in which to provide information on Indigenous issues that affect the social services sector, provide a forum for dialogue with and between members, create a safe space to ask questions, and provide an entry point through which to learn about Indigenous people, practices, and perspectives.
While you can expect these Reconciliation Dialogues to explore and cover a variety of topics and current events (e.g., child welfare, colonization, racism, recruitment and retention) we will also be reaching out to you, Federation members, to let us know what you would like to learn more about and who you would like us to speak with and interview.
We are framing this initiative as an ongoing series of dialogues because our hope is to engage with members, foster discussion, and create relationships. While on the surface this may look like a series of blog posts on The Federation website, I see it as an opportunity to share stories of resilience, gain a greater understanding of our shared history, explore pathways to reconciliation, and delight in some laughter.
I understand very well (as does the entire Federation staff team) how busy you are with the work of your communities and organizations. But I am hopeful that you will join us in these dialogues. We have some inspiring and interesting interviews and discussions lined up and I am certain they will provide you with valuable insights, a dose of humour, and new ways of thinking about your communities, organizations, and daily lives.
I hope you join us.
Federation Indigenous Advisor