Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.B.C., O.C.
Reconciliation Canada Ambassador
Chief Joseph is currently the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and a member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council. He was formerly the Executive Director of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and is an honourary witness to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As Chairman of the Native American Leadership Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation and Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation with the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IFWP), Chief Joseph has sat with the leaders of South Africa, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and Washington, DC to learn from and share his understanding of faith, hope, healing and reconciliation. Click here
to read Chief Dr. Robert Joseph’s full biography.
Chief Executive Officer
Karen Joseph is a Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw social change maker who brings more than 25 years’ experience inspiring diverse partners to collaborate on transformative initiatives. Karen co-founded Reconciliation Canada in 2012 to uphold a dream held by her father to witness thousands of people walking together in support of Indian Residential School survivors and Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In September 2013, the Walk for Reconciliation brought 50,000 people to the streets of downtown Vancouver to display their commitment to revitalizing the relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. Since then, she has championed 100’s of gatherings with a diversity of leaders to advance individual, organizational and societal reconciliation. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Systems Change and a graduate of the Getting to Maybe: Social Innovation Residency. In 2017, Karen was recognized by BC Business Magazine as one of the Top BC Women of Influence and was recently awarded Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division) to recognize her contributions to Canada’s reconciliation movement.
Elaine Kinequon is a proud member of the Day Star First Nation in Saskatchewan and has made her home in Vancouver for the past sixteen years. She comes to Reconciliation Canada with more than twenty years of office, administrative and management experience. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the First Nations University of Canada and attended the Indian Communication Arts Program. She is a strong believer in her cultural roots and has the greatest respect for all modalities of holistic healing. She is honoured to be a part of the Reconciliation Canada team and strongly believes that reconciliation begins with us, as individuals, and our families and eventually to the community around us.
Chief Strategy Officer
Michelle comes to the team with a background in non-profit management, marketing and communications and a passion for intercultural relations. Combining her education in business, entrepreneurship, and arts with the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others, she spent the last ten years of her life to working with non-profit organizations and volunteering internationally. Her travels abroad and graduate studies in intercultural communications has fuelled her desire to embark on the journey of reconciliation with the rest of the Reconciliation Canada team.
Director of Program Development
Charlene Seward is a proud member of the Squamish Nation. She is honored to join the Reconciliation Canada team, and brings almost a decade of experience working and volunteering with local non-profit organizations and small businesses. She is wholly dedicated to First Nations rights, reconciliation, and food sovereignty.
Director of Community Engagement
Patricia’s Traditional and Ancestral Land is the Blood Tribe, Kainai First Nations of the Blackfoot Territory located in Southern Alberta. She has been a guest on the Traditional Coast Salish Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations for many years. Patricia has worked in different capacities as a service provider within the First Nations Community. She is dedicated to the important and ongoing work in the process of reconciliation and is honoured to do the good work collectively with the Reconciliation Canada team.
Public Outreach Lead and Cultural Advisor
Hekwa’gila’owgwa, Shelley Joseph, brings over 25 years of experience paired with education covering spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well-being for families and communities. She is passionate about supporting First Nations people to take an active role in healing and growth utilizing a holistic approach to well-being. Shelley has always followed traditional teachings through a lifetime of learning from elders and cultural leaders. Aligning with Reconciliation Canada’s idea about creating a better tomorrow for our children; Shelley lives by the Kwakwaka’wakw law “if not for our children, what would our purpose be?” And has always believed in the Kwa’kwala phrase– ḵ̕wa̱la’yu, you are my reason for living. Rounding out her beliefs and cultural values; Shelley is excited to continue to move the work of Reconciliation Canada forward and be a part of her dad’s legacy.
Public Outreach Lead and Cultural Advisor
Tim was born and raised in a small community called Spaxomin (Upper Nicola), east of Merritt, B.C. He carries the traditional Sylix name of N’petkwulax, which means “nailed to the earth.” Tim’s paternal lineage come from a hereditary chieftainship that can be traced back 9 generations. He was raised in the strong culture and traditions of the Syilx and Nlakampux people of the interior of BC. He was a cultural resource teacher in the Merritt School District for 5 years, and has served on band council for 5 years and as chief of his community for another 5 years. He is very honored to be a part of the team at Reconciliation Canada to continue to foster transformation for our greatest resource: our children.
Partnerships and Marketing Manager
Justine joins the Reconciliation Canada team with a background in not-for-profit communications, marketing, public relations and journalism. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication Studies from the University of Calgary and a diploma in Journalism from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Justine is passionate about helping individuals and groups convey their stories in meaningful ways to encourage open dialogue, new perspectives and positive action. She is honoured to be a part of Reconciliation Canada, where she has the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the reconciliation movement alongside an inspiring and energetic team.
Fanny is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience. Prior to joining the Reconciliation Canada team, she worked at as an audit manager working with a variety of clients, including many non-profit organizations. Outside of her work with Reconciliation Canada, Fanny enjoys spending quality time with her family, and volunteering her time and skills to different organizations in need.
Public Outreach Lead
Farrell Joseph (Traditional given name: Gayusdas) is a proud member of the Kwakwaka’wakw people. For the past 10 plus years Farrell has served in a supervisory position in a mid-size development company and has been implementing policies and procedures that are congruent with provincial regulations and laws. Farrell is passionate about the environment and humanity as a collective whole. He holds diploma’s in Natural Resource, Fish and Wildlife Management and Forestry as well as several other certifications in safety management. Farrell is an intergenerational survivor of the Indian Residential Schools and is fluent in its harmful impacts. His personal values have 4 core pillars that consist of love, strength, faith and perseverance which are in direct alignment with what he feels will compliment his work with the Reconciliation Canada team.
Community Engagement and Outreach Coordinator
Kiran is a recent graduate of UBC with a Bachelor of Science and will be returning in September 2018 to start her nursing degree. She has been working and volunteering with diverse communities for over eight years and is passionate about building understanding and empathy through open dialogue. She is excited to use her past experiences to contribute to the work of Reconciliation Canada.