We believe that reconciliation is a commitment, a relationship, and a journey. Reconciliation starts with agreement that something needs to change, a shared agreement that the status quo of the current health and wellbeing inequities endured by many Indigenous Canadians should not continue. Reconciliation continues with the sharing of stories to build relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canadians, and uncovering the history of colonial impacts on Indigenous communities, and eliminating stereotypes about Indigenous Canadians. Reconciliation is a journey we choose to take together, with leaders and allies and change makers across all sectors of Canadian society pushing us to do better for each other.
The IRG is a national Indigenous company with a vision to support the capacity for understanding and relationship between Canadians and Indigenous peoples, and to support the leaders and allies and change makers in reconciliation.
The IRG is a registered Aboriginal-owned company under the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business, and holds a Procurement Business Number with the Government of Canada.
The mandate of the IRG is to support capacity in organizations to increase cultural competence in employees and in the overall organization, and to facilitate excellent frontline delivery to Indigenous clients. Through training, coaching and consulting, we support organizations to implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The IRG offers unique value in training and organizational change management due to the mix of values, knowledge and skills, and experience:
- Value of strength-based: when we look for strength, we find it
- Value of partnership: we are stronger together
- Value of quality: we continue to learn more to do better
- Knowledge and skills in adult education from both mainstream and Indigenous theory on how adults learn and work well together
- Experience across federal and provincial governments, non-profit, and national Indigenous organizations
- Extensive network across health and mental health policy, funding and provider organizations
Rose LeMay, CEO
From Taku River Tlingit First Nation in northern British Columbia, Rose brings 20 years of experience in Indigenous health and health systems to the position of CEO of the IRG. Her specialization in cultural competence and capacity started in the field of early childhood education, and continued through her work in mental health and health systems development. Based on her experience of facilitating group learning on the topic of reconciliation across Canada in 100+ sessions with thousands of participants, Rose brings a strong sense of hope for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and for Canada. She is an alumnus of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, and a Certified First Nations Health Manager. She has written and published on cultural competence, and was a guest editor for a special issue of the Journal of Social Inclusion focusing on wise practices for Indigenous inclusion.
Rose is the founding international chair of the Wharerātā Group, an international network of Indigenous leaders and their allies working in mental health and addictions. Based on the Wharerātā Declaration on cultural competence in mental health, Wharerātā leaders build their own skills in influence and communication to improve mental health systems for Indigenous consumers and clients. The Wharerātā Group is a partner of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership.
Bi’di is Crow Clan, and is honoured to have learned from Elders from across Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the US.
Destine Lord, Director of Programming and Development
- Certified in Prosci Change Management
Destine Lord worked in six departments over her 15-year career with the federal government. She brings over six years of facilitation experience working with people and programs in order to help them identify strengths and risks, establish goals and make concrete plans. Since 2013, she has been delivering Indigenous cultural competence training across Canada. Destine has been to a number of First Nation and Inuit communities as an ally and relationship builder. Destine has an honors degree in Mass Communication from Carleton University and a master’s degree in Journalism from Bond University. She is very interested in how the media can shape our perceptions about the world and the people around us.
Lisa Zimmerman, Manager of Equity Programs
- Registered Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
Lisa Zimmerman comes to IRG with 14 years of experience working as a Psychotherapist, Facilitator and Presenter. She specialises in addictions and trauma in her work in both inpatient and outpatient service centres in Ottawa and in Auckland New Zealand. She has worked closely with military personnel and first responders and has a keen interest in supporting those who work and live in high-stress environments. Lisa is passionate about lifelong learning and is trained in a wide range of therapeutic modalities including mindfulness meditation, somatic experiencing, motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural techniques, among others. She has participated in workshops on anti-discrimination principles and has delivered presentations on substance use and treatment techniques throughout the Ottawa community. Lisa enjoys teaching and has developed emotion-focused and meditation workshops for a range of audiences. Along with her role at IRG, she has a private psychotherapy practice and is a clinical supervisor at St. Paul University for Masters of Counselling students.
Lisa graduated from Auckland University of Technology with a Master’s degree in Psychotherapy. She has published articles on shame and addiction for the New Zealand Journal of Psychotherapy and presented and conferences across Australia and New Zealand.