Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.C., O.B.C.
Ambassador
Chief Joseph is currently the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and a former 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.

Karen Joseph, M.S.M.
Chief Executive Officer
Karen Joseph
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.

Jane Reitsma
Executive Assistant to Karen Joseph
Jane Reitsma
Jane Reitsma grew up in Vancouver and currently lives on the Sunshine Coast, BC. After many years of living overseas and traveling, Jane focused on social justice in the UBC Education program. This led to an fulfilling career in local and international community education and development. From there she went on to work in education locally and coordinate an education nonprofit office supporting various collaboration and leadership groups. She is excited to bring her organizational, training and education skills and experience to the Reconciliation Canada team.

Lisa Thomas-Tench
Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives
Lisa Thomas-Tench
From her first contract translating historical records for the Sto:lo Nation in 1992, Lisa’s consulting and job roles have been built on collaborative work with Indigenous organizations for over twenty years. The bulk of Lisa’s work has centred around the application of Paolo Freire’s theory of praxis with and within Indigenous communities on a global basis, creating leadership initiatives and educational programming for youth, university students, and professors and administrators within Canada and through partnerships with UNICEF, schools, universities, and thought leaders in 93 countries around the world, for which she was awarded a UNESCO Peace Prize. Lisa has built a collaborative practice working with thought leaders around the world bringing their teachings and leadership into the public sphere. Her clients have included His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, Oprah Winfrey, Ashanti Branch, Ram Dass, and others. Most recently, Lisa has collaborated with Chief Dr Robert Joseph, supporting the sharing of his survivor story, the legacy of residential schools, and the creation of a covenant and framework for reconciliation practice in Canada.

Leslie Hunt-Dickie
Tli’li’nukw

Director of Partnerships
Leslie Hunt-Dickie
Leslie Hunt-Dickie is a member of the Kwakiutl Nation, located in Fort Rupert, British Columbia. Her traditional name is Tli’li’nukw, a name passed down to her from her mother. A mother of five sons and 17 grandchildren provides a deep commitment to building lasting relationships with governments, partners and society to do better in the name of reconciliation. She looks forward to supporting Reconciliation Canada’s team with her background in Management, Finance, Business Owner and past Chief Councillor of her nation.

“A new beginning and an opportunity to move forward together in partnership while practicing our teachings of Maya’xila (Respect). I am grateful to be part of a team that works towards building strong families, strong communities and contributing to a stronger Canada.”

Erin Dixon
Gizhagate
Director of Knowledge and Indigenous Leadership
Erin Dixon
Growing with the crystal-clear waters of Beneshi Okaninissing (Skeleton Lake), Erin/Gizhagate walks with vision and all of life in mind, sharing her Otipemisiwak-Métis heritage and love for Indigenous knowledge systems. Erin comes to Reconciliation Canada as lead faculty and researcher with the Banff Centre Indigenous leadership team, leading Truth and Reconciliation through Right Relations and Wise Practices for Indigenous Leadership. She is a teacher and director on the board for Feather Carriers: Leadership for Life Promotion and within the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, and was asked to lead the development of First Nations and Indigenous Leadership within the International Leadership Association.

A weaver and natural innovator, Erin carries an MA in Global Leadership from Royal Roads University, and post-grad certification in Eco-Psychology. She was a team recipient of the RRU Founders award for personal development in the co-creation of the ‘Weavers’. She had the gift of immersing herself in the, Getting to Maybe month-long systems-change residency and is currently a supporting fellow with Wolf Willow Institute.

Farrell Joseph
Gayusdas
Public Engagement Lead
Farrell Joseph
Farrell (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 diplomas 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 complement his work with the Reconciliation Canada team.

Fanny Romeyn
Financial Controller
Fanny Romeyn
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.

Lillienne Zen
Director of Marketing and Communications
Lillienne Zen
Growing up in Hong Kong, Lillienne was always interested in the intersections between diverse cultures and the power of words to connect. She went on to study for her BA in English Literature from UBC and an MA in Publishing from UCL. Lillienne has worked in marketing and communications across the public, private and non-profit sectors – from science and research publishing in the UK, to supporting the Musqueam Language Program, telling diverse migration stories in Chinatown, and handling media relations at the City of Vancouver. Lillienne is honoured to now offer her skills to Reconciliation Canada in bringing people together and transforming our shared tomorrow.

Yeram Ko
Database Specialist
Yeram Ko
Before joining the Reconciliation Canada team, Yeram worked as a Marketing & Communications Specialist at an international development organization working with a variety of partners such as UNHCR. With a passion for developing the technology further to make a bigger impact in the non-profit sector, she is currently pursuing a Computer Science degree at UBC. As a newcomer to Vancouver, Yeram feels committed to learning more about the first people and land that Vancouverites are blessed to live on. To her, reconciliation is an ongoing shared journey to healing by acknowledging what happened in the past and having the willingness to move forward to make a better future for the next generation.

Cristina Chihaia
Director of People Engagement
Cristina Chihaia
Cristina brings over eight years’ experience in human resources and operations in both nonprofit and for-profit sectors in Canada. She is an enthusiastic professional both at the strategic level of HR, as well as hands-on ownership over key HR functions, from workforce planning and recruitment, onboarding and training to performance management, HR policies and employee relations. Cristina holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management and the CPHR designation for BC and Yukon. She has a personal passion for improving the lives of people in communities and believes massively in the power of local individuals to enact positive change. It has been her mission to provide proactive people with the tools and support they need to achieve their professional goals.

Dashae Geddes
Office Coordinator
Dashae Geddes
Dashae Geddes is a Cree Indigenous woman from George Gordon’s First Nations located near Regina, SK. Dashae has a passion for Event Planning and Coordination; she attended Event Management classes at VCC in 2019. Dashae joined the team at the end of 2018 as the Office Coordinator and has helped plan/coordinate both team and partner events throughout 2019. Dashae has joined the team again this year as Office Coordinator in hopes to continue following her and others’ journey of reconciliation. During her time away she had started her own small clothing business which focuses on mental health; to remind everyone that their story matters.