SIXTIES SCOOP HEALING FOUNDATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Wayne Garnons-Williams, Chair Wayne is a First Nations, Sixties Scoop Survivor from Saskatchewan. Wayne completed his Bachelor of Arts, Political Science at the University of Windsor in 1987 and Bachelor of Laws at Queen University in 1990. Wayne is licensed to practice law in Ontario and British Columbia since 1992 and 1994, respectively. He has completed a Certificate in Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution from University of Windsor in 2001. Thereafter in 2008, he completed his Master’s in Public Administration at Dalhousie University. He is currently a research fellow at the University of Oklahoma, the College of Law and is completing his Master’s in Law at the same time.
Wayne has served as Chair of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Appeal Tribunal as well as served as a member of the NAFTA secretariat from 2018 to the introduction USMCA with his focus on Indigenous Law and International Inter-tribal law. He is also the Principal Director of both the Indigenous Sovereign Trade Consultancy Ltd. and his law firm, Garwill Law Professional Corporation.
Wayne has successfully led international Non-Government Organizations, federal government departments and his own law firm. Through his years of education and professional life, Wayne has gained experience in Indigenous research, Indigenous political history, Indigenous grassroots leadership, policy, finance, accounting, advocacy, government relations, governance, management, human resources, law, fundraising, communication, marketing, and cultural based program delivery.
The Selection Committee felt that Wayne endorses the entire skillset that the Foundation is seeking. His experience in media relations, and his tremendous depth of expertise demonstrated through his work with various Boards is an asset that would be beneficial for the Foundation.
Cheryl (Sherri) Swidrovich, Vice Chair Policy Sherri is a First Nations (Anishinaabe) Sixties Scoop Survivor from Saskatchewan. She obtained her Bachelor (Hons.) and her master’s degree at the U of S, both in the area of Indigenous Studies and Indigenous child welfare. Sherri is currently a faculty member in the Department of Indigenous Studies at the U of S and has also taught at the First Nations University of Canada. Her teaching areas include introductory Indigenous studies, Indigenous child welfare and Indigenous political history. Sherri also feels passionate about the roles community service groups play in her community ; she has supported or participated in fund-raising events for various service groups such as The Lighthouse Supported Living (Coldest Night of the Year event), AIDS Saskatoon (now Prairie Harm Reduction – “Saskatoon Aids Walk”), and Sanctum Group (home for those living with HIV/Aids - “Sanctum Survivor Event”). She currently sits on the Board of the Saskatoon Community Clinic, where she is able to participate in advocating for the health and well-being of Saskatoon’s vulnerable populations, many of whom include Indigenous peoples.
Vicky Boldo, Vice Chair Programs Vicky is a Métis/Cree, Sixties Scoop Survivor residing in Quebec. Vicky is a registered energy medicine practitioner (ANQ) and plays a central role in the Urban Aboriginal community of Montreal. She was Co-Chair of the Montreal Indigenous Community NETWORK from 2015 to September 2019 and has held numerous board positions in various capacities including the Board of Directors for the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network (NISCW), the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, and the First Peoples Justice Centre of Montreal.
She is currently the In-House Cultural Support worker at Concordia’s Aboriginal Student Resource Centre and a member of the Indigenous Directions Leadership Council for the University. Vicky also provides support and is an advisory member in various research projects that touch on issues of child welfare, female incarceration, urban Indigenous youth and land-based education. She strives to be a leader of integrity, to communicate well and to create safe spaces for the self-empowerment of others.
Most importantly Vicky is a daughter, a sister, an auntie, mother of four and grandmother to 10. Connection to ceremony and culture plays a big part in the 28+ years healing journey that Vicky has been on. It gives her the passion and focus to give back to the community and to use her voice to advocate for those that are still muted by colonial oppression.
The Selection Committee agrees that Vicky’s years of contribution to the Indigenous community, and her ability to speak both French and English will be an asset to the Foundation.
Ann Watts, Treasurer Ann Watts is a First Nations, Sixties Scoop Survivor from Ontario. She currently is a Vice President of Finance at BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) as well as serving as the Chief Financial Officer of The Source – a national consumer electronics retailer. Ann has held various senior leadership roles at Bell Canada for 25 years. She holds a Bachelors of Commerce (1987) from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) with over 30 years of financial and accounting leadership experience. Ann is a caring, transparent leader who is motivated and inspired to learn, grow and serve. She is the mother of three kind and generous adult children and ‘Amma’ to two beautiful granddaughters.
Ann will use her skills, knowledge and experience in the areas of financial governance, in-depth accounting, strategic planning, team building and communication to help the Foundation achieve its mandate. She is humbled and honoured to serve as a board member for The Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation.
Selina Legge, Secretary Selina would like to acknowledge her Ancestors who have passed on before her. To Selina’s Aunt Mary Adams who gave her the courage to speak up for truth and justice, Selina’s Mother for her letters of love and encouragement to never give up, no matter how many times she fell or failed along the way. To the Anishnawbe Health team for helping her make sense of it all and to stop blaming herself for injustices put upon her. To Sally Brown Martel( Marcia) who bought this case forward. To her Lawyer Geoff Budden on representing her with her own personal lawsuit. To the Toronto Inuit community for your support, love and respect. To her Nunatsiavut family and beautiful friends who have been Selina’s solid rock. Nakummek, Thank you.
Atelihai, Hello. Selina is an Inuk of Nunatsiavut. Mother of 3 and Grandmother of 5. In 1964 she was scooped from her family and ancestral lands by the Canadian Government and made a ward of state where she was placed with non-Indigenous people. When Selina reached 16 years of age, she no longer belonged to anyone. The government that stole her from her people now gave up ownership of her. She was left to fend for herself. She is a Sixties Scoop Survivor. At the age of 24 she was a single Mother and was able to come up with enough funds to buy a used car for $300.00 and a hot dog cart business that won her the best restaurant award. She continued working with Trade shows and festivals buying and selling products.
In 2007 Selina hired a lawyer and took the government to court for the abuses imposed upon her as a child which made her relive the Trauma. She spent four years with counselling and recovering to heal her broken spirit. Selina settled the case out of court through negotiations. In 2014 she was elected Toronto's Inuit Delegate to represent them on the National Level developing Inuit Specific programs and services. Selina worked collaboratively with Indigenous organisations such as Tungasuvvinat Inuit, Pauttitut Women and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. She is also one of the Co-Founders of the Toronto Inuit Association where she served on the board as Secretary. She was entrusted by the Inuit community to lead the Pre-Inquiry for Toronto's Missing and Murdered Inuit Woman and Girls. She also attended the 5th Indigenous Women's Summit representing Toronto and took part in the Truth and Reconciliation conference. This is part of Selina’s journey and healing story. With this experience Selina is looking forward to serving all sixties scoop Survivors on their journey to healing and reclamation.
Nakummek, Thank you
Halie Bruce, Board Member Halie (Kwanxwa’logwa) Bruce is a Kwakwaka’wakw, Tlingit, and Scottish/Canadian mother, wife, lawyer, mediator, adjudicator, sometimes soccer coach and Sixties Scoop Survivor. She is a member of the ‘Namgis First Nation.
Halie has lived on and off-reserve, in rural, remote, and urban settings. She has devoted her career to working on behalf of Indigenous Peoples for the recognition and implementation of Indigenous Self-determination, Laws and Government. Halie has dedicated her life to advocating and helping Indigenous children and families impacted by the child welfare system and the intergenerational impacts of colonial and Canadian government laws, policies and practices.
Before entering the legal profession, she served as the Executive Director of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. As the Joint Policy Council Coordinator, she advocated for Aboriginal Title and Rights and Treaty Rights, including the Rights of indigenous peoples generally and indigenous children specifically.
She has worked with Indigenous communities and governments from across B.C., Canada and internationally, in the areas involving Indigenous Title & Rights, traditional dispute resolution, policy and community issues.
In 2014, Halie co-founded the law firm Cedar & Sage Law, which focuses on Alternative and Traditional Indigenous Dispute Resolution mechanisms with respect for Indigenous laws and peacemaking protocols.
She has taught, coached and facilitated courses on Gladue Principles and Reports, Indigenous Child Welfare, and Trauma-Informed practices.In 2015, Halie assisted in the research and editing of “Wrapping Our Ways Around Them: Aboriginal Communities and the CFCSA Guidebook” (currently being updated).
She is the former President of the First Nations Law Students Association (UBC 2005-2006), a former Board member of the BC Aboriginal Justice Council and Advisory Committee member of the Society for Children and Youth BC’s Children’s Lawyer initiative.
Since 2010, Halie has also devoted part of her practice to Indigenous restorative justice initiatives, including writing Gladue Reports for Indigenous people at bail, sentencing and appeal courts in BC.
Justice Harry LaForme, Board Member The Honourable Harry S. LaForme is an Anishinabe of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Ontario. He was born and mostly raised on his reserve where some of his family continue to reside and remain active in First Nation's government.
Judge LaForme graduated, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1977 and called to the Ontario Bar, 1979. He articled with Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt; joined the law firm as an associate, and shortly thereafter commenced private practice in Indigenous law focused on Constitutional and Charter issues. He has appeared before each level of Canadian Court, travelled extensively throughout Canada, and represented Canadian Indigenous interests in Geneva Switzerland, New Zealand, and the British Parliament.
Judge LaForme served as: Co-chair, Independent National Chiefs Task Force on Native Land Claims; Chief Commissioner, Indian Commission of Ontario; Chair, Royal Commission on Aboriginal Land Claims; and taught, “Rights of Indigenous Peoples", Osgoode Hall Law School. In January 1994 he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice, Ontario – then, one of 3 Indigenous judges ever appointed to this level of trial court in Canada. In November 2004, he was appointed a judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal. He is the first Indigenous judge appointed to an appellate court in Canada’s history. He retired from the judiciary in October 2018. In December 2018 he commenced a position as Senior Counsel with Olthuis Kleer Townshend, LL.P.
Judge LaForme has been honoured with the gift of numerous Eagle Feathers including at his swearing in at the Ontario Court of Appeal, and by the National Indian Residential School Survivours Society. He was honoured with: the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Law & Justice; a Talking stick carved by Git’san artist Chuck (Ya’Ya) Heit; a bursary in his name for Indigenous first year law students by the University of Windsor Faculty of Law; and honourary Doctor of Law degrees from York University; University of Windsor, University of Toronto, the Law Society of Upper Canada, and an honourary Doctorate of Education from Nipissing University.
Judge LaForme has published numerous articles on issues related to Indigenous law and justice. He speaks frequently on Indigenous issues, Indigenous law, constitutional law, and civil and human rights.
Gary McDermott, Board Member Gary is a First Nation (Cree), Sixties Scoop Survivor living in British Columbia. He is a highly skilled and passionate leader with over 25 years of experience in developing and delivering culturally appropriate programs and services that have made a significant contribution to the social and economic well-being of Indigenous children and families. Gary completed his Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Calgary in 1992 and his Executive Leadership Certificate from Sauder School of Business in 2015.
Gary has vast knowledge in areas of Indigenous child welfare, policy, advocacy, and government relations, governance, management, HR, fundraising and communication and marketing. In 2012, Gary was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to BC Public Service. Gary’s many years of experience in child-welfare system was deemed highly valuable to the Selection Committee and they found that his expertise in the area is a necessity asset that the Board could benefit from.
Eric Phillips, Board Member Eric Phillips is 60’s scoop Survivor. He is Haisla, Whale Clan, Tsimshian and Gitxsan. Eric started commercial fishing at a young age and spent all of his summers on the water. For the last 18 years, he has been president of a commercial fishing company and in 2018, he received his Captain’s ticket for 150 ton Masters. Eric also studied emotional competence for indigenous people at the Justice Institute, with Dr. Lee Brown.
Eric lives in Chilliwack, BC on unceded Tzeachten territory with his wife and youngest daughter. He also has 3 adult daughters and a transgender son. Around 20 years ago, Eric's birth mother reached out to him and since then he has reconnected with his family. Eric suffers from anxiety and depression, though he is not afraid to try something new. When he heard the stories and met the people, Eric felt that his personal experiences could help other Survivors find a connection. Eric's abilities in finance, management and cultural understanding will lend a hand in development of this foundation.
Danelle St-Laurent, Board Member Danelle is an Ojibwe-Cree-Sioux from Saskatchewan. Her mother is from Muskowekwan First Nation and her father is from Pasqua First Nation. At the age of seven, Danelle was adopted by a family in Quebec in the city of Rock-Forest, which is now named Sherbrooke. Since 2011, she worked as an Indigenous Community Development Officer for Correctional Service Canada, and she served for 3 years on the National Aboriginal Peoples’ Circle as the Aboriginal Representative of Quebec for the Government of Canada. In addition, Danelle has worked for Quebec Native Women, First Nations Human Resources Development Commission of Quebec, she sat on the Board of Directors for the Native Montreal Women Shelter and for the Rising Sun Childcare Centre. Danelle has been an active member for the Indigenous community in the province of Quebec and Montreal area for almost 20 years. She has great knowledge of the historical context, realities and challenges that the Indigenous people of Canada are facing.
FIRST PERMANENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS – UPDATE
Presenting our first permanent Board of Directors: Throughout 2020, based on the recommendations in the Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation Survivor Engagement Report, we recruited the first permanent Survivor-led Board of Directors for the Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation. Our first official Board of Directors represent compassion, strength, unity and healing.
November 12, 2020 Virtual Event Official Launch of the Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation and Board of Directors Announcement.Captions in French and English will be provided in the future, but for now, the video is available for viewing in its entirety.
Carolyn Bennett Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Bennett shares remarks on the new permanent Board Members of the Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation and their vital work to address the legacy of the Sixties Scoop.