Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.B.C., O.C.
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.
Karen Joseph 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.
Barbara Lawson Swain Chief Strategy Officer
Barbara Lawson Swain descends from the Heiltsuk, Nisga’a and Haisla Nations. She joined Reconciliation Canada with 20+ years of experience of service delivery for the Urban Indigenous Community of Greater Vancouver. Mrs. Lawson Swain continues to work in partnership with Lu’ma Native Housing Society as a Program Director for Indigenous Youth In and From Care and Aboriginal Housing Outreach. Her employment experience in leadership includes sectors such as Education, Employment, Housing, Homelessness, Youth and most recently the Executive Director of The Aboriginal Mother Centre Society. Barbara’s firm belief is to lead with love and serve others as individuals without judgement while maintaining dignity.
Elaine Kinequon Executive Officer
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.
Charlene Seward 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.
Shelley Joseph Public Outreach Lead and Cultural Advisor
Shelley Joseph (Hekwa’gila’owgwa) brings almost 30 years of experience paired with education in the spiritual, physical, mental and emotional well-being of families and communities. She is passionate about supporting people in taking an active role in their healing and growth, utilizing a holistic, community-based approach to well-being. Shelley has always followed traditional teachings through a lifetime of learning from elders and cultural leaders. In alignment with Reconciliation Canada’s goal of creating a better tomorrow for our children, Shelley lives by Kwakwaka’wakw law: “If not for our children, what would our purpose be?” Shelley is excited to continue to move Reconciliation Canada’s work forward and be a part of her father’s legacy.
Fanny Romeyn Financial Controller
Fanny is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience. Prior to joining the Reconciliation Canada team, she worked 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.
Farrell Joseph Public Engagement 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.