Calgary Foundation with guests from ATB Financial, United Way of Calgary, Calgary YMCA, Calgary Public Library, Fort Calgary and The Alex Community Health Centre on September 12 & 13, 2019

Calgary Foundation has committed to strengthening relationships with Indigenous communities in a variety of ways. One of those ways is incorporating a systems change approach, internally, that informs our current system of knowledge and practice in an effort to mobilize reconciliation. Decolonizing Practices, Sínulhkay and Ladders, is a powerful experience that challenges the mental models that exist in our personal and professional spaces. It also encourages and supports participants to unpack dialogue that is difficult to tackle at times. From the words of our CEO, “The best way to change a system is to change attitudes and beliefs”. Decolonizing practices has contributed to a shift in our beliefs and attitudes and will continue to help us surface tangible next steps as we move forward in our journey of learning for reconciliation. Hand to heart to Michelle and Lloyd for this gift!

Tim Fox, Vice President, Indigenous Relations
Calgary Foundation

Northern Shuswap Tribal Council CFS with guests from the Province of BC and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada on August 13, 2019

Michelle and Lloyd’s workshop opened hearts, minds, and our imagination to how we can work together through the uncomfortable spaces to achieve harmony and balance for all.

Paula Salter,
Child and Family Wellness Manager,
Northern Shuswap Tribal Council

Urban Systems Vancouver on July 4, 2019

Michelle is an awesome facilitator. What stood out to us the most was how she created a safe and open space to learn about complex and difficult-to-talk-about concepts. The activities not only challenged us but served to bring our team together in an incredibly meaningful way. She walks the talk, modelling leadership and care and showing that decolonization starts with each one of us. The Decolonizing Practices workshop energized the conversation in our office and provided a framework for reflecting on ourselves and our professional practices. Thanks Michelle!

Marina Jozipovic, MES
Housing and Planning Consultant
Urban Systems

Michelle was a wonderful facilitator and communicator for our staff team of 12 folks who participated in her workshop.  The learning environment allowed for a certain degree of lightness and fun - we are playing a giant board game after all!  Perhaps, precisely because the content was introduced in such a light, open and accessible manner, it allowed our staff to be comfortable reflecting on some difficult truths about how we might structure our work.  More than anything, I saw our staff leave with optimism and inspired ideas about ways we can go about changing the work we do, while recognizing the good work we might already be doing.  
After the workshop, Michelle shared a visual graphic that captured some of our key takeaways and giveaways, which we have used and re-used at staff meetings since the workshop, to ensure our learning and growth is on-going and continual.  This visual aid has been helpful to encourage further dialogue and hold us accountable to actions we committed to take.
Joel Harnest, Manager, Programs & Community Engagement
QMUNITY, BC’s Queer, Trans & Two- Spirit Resource Centre ​
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