We acknowledge that the office of the BC College of Social Workers is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam people). Further, this acknowledgment, gratitude and respect extends to all the First Nations communities on whose traditional territories the BCCSW builds relationships and conducts business. You can read a more comprehensive acknowledgement here.
The College recognizes the need to not only acknowledge the harm that has occurred within Indigenous populations throughout Canada because of colonization, but we also understand the need to deeply embed the knowledge of this history into the social work profession, so that it never again plays such a role in the future. For this to happen, strong relationships with Indigenous peoples and communities must be established so that Indigenous knowledge, perspectives and values are inherent within the work of the College and the social work profession in BC.
Through the recommendations highlighted through the Towards Developing a Respectful Relationship initiative, the Board of Directors of BCCSW has approved an Indigenous Committee to form as a standing committee of the College.The Indigenous Committee seeks to reflect Indigenous values and Indigenous ways of working to provide a framework for engaging in College affairs.
The Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the BC College of Social Workers offering Indigenous cultural perspectives and knowledge as a way to culturally inform the development of: regulation, College policies, initiatives, projects and programs, communications and relationship building with Indigenous persons and communities. Where appropriate, the Committee is able provide the Board with clear recommendations including background information, perspectives considered, options considered and rationales. The Committee will also develop its own initiatives in order to reflect Indigenous values and Indigenous ways of working in College affairs.
2019 Committee Members:
Ruth Kenny (Committee Chair and Board member):
Aaniin! My English name is Ruth Kenny. I am Anishnaabe from northwestern Ontario. I have lived, played and worked on these unceded lands of the Coast Salish since 1992. I am currently on an educational leave from my position as Team Leader with the Family Preservation and Reunification Program in Vancouver while I work on completing the Advanced MSW program at UBC. Prior to that, I was one of the Family Preservation & Reunification Counsellors with VACFSS. In addition to that, I work on a casual basis as a Hospital Social Worker with Fraser Health. Being part of this community holds us to high standards – not only because of the sensitive work we do, but the relationships with people we are privileged to make. It is also of great benefit to us and to those we serve that we keep up to date on issues that are affecting us as a whole. I grew up in a home headed by parents who spent their early to adult years in residential school, but was ever so fortunate to be able to spend time in the bush, as they hunted and trapped to supplement our income. I believe that my life experiences in facing violence, racism and violence as an Indigenous single mother will help. Thank you for reading!
Cheney Cloke (Public Board member and Vice Chair of the Board):
Cheney was appointed to the Board of Directors of the BC College of Social Workers as a Public Member in 2016 and continues to serve on the Board as Vice Chair, with a focus on building foundational frameworks and plans to align with and meet the strategic goals.
Cheney is a Strategic Transformation Leader with over 15 years of experience in public and private industry. For the last ten years Cheney has been partnering with Senior Leadership in large publicly funded health care organizations to implement high priority, complex, regional and Provincial initiatives.
Cheney received a Bachelor of Business Administration and is both a PMP (Project Management Professional) and CCMP (Certified Change Management Professional) with a certificate in Program Management. Cheney has a vast amount of training in Strategic Planning, Leadership, Consulting and political navigation in large organizations.
Jennifer-Lee Koble (Registrant):
My name is Jennifer-Lee Koble, BSW, MSW, RSW, I am Métis on my mom’s side, with mixed European ancestry on my dad’s. Originally from Saskatchewan, I have lived more than half my life on the traditional unceded homelands of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
I bring more than 20 years’ experience in teaching, facilitating and mentoring. I have a private therapy practice, am an adjunct professor at the UBC School of Social Work, instructor at The Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health and UBC Extended Learning and a counsellor at the SFU Indigenous Students Centre.
Prior to these roles I was the strategic lead and lead facilitator of Indigenous Cultural Safety for Vancouver Coastal Health. I also spent five years supporting Indigenous individuals, couples and families in therapeutic relationship at the Vancouver Coastal Health Aboriginal Wellness Program.
Jenny Morgan (Board member):
My name is Jenny Morgan, I am from the Gitxsan First Nation. I was born in Terrace, grew up in Prince George, and been residing in Vancouver since 2001. I moved to the lower mainland to pursue my Bachelor’s degree in social work at UBC, graduating in 2003. I then attended UVic and obtained my Master’s in social work in 2014. Currently, I am enrolled in the Doctor of Education program at UWO, with the end date of late 2018.
I previously served on the BCCSW Board from 2017-2018. It was a great experience, and since then I have remained a member of their Indigenous Committee in support of the work the college is focusing on with reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities.
My practice experience has included child protection social work, working in non-profit programs and management, and working in health care. More recently I have moved into leadership as the director for Indigenous health at the BC Women’s and Children’s hospitals, and teaching as a sessional instructor at the UBC School of Social Work.
Wendy Simon (Registrant):
Wendy is grateful for the opportunity to work and live as an uninvited guest on the unceded and occupied traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. As a proud Haida/Hotinonshonni woman, Wendy’s work as an educator and social worker has been informed by her traditional name/role which is Lightning Eagle Woman. As the Eagle that sits atop of the tree and sees the storms coming, Wendy carries the responsibility of warning and protecting the people. Currently, Wendy works within her community as the Dean of Student Services and Registrar at NEC Native Education College. She locates her social work practice in the transformative space where community, education, and culture intersect.
Sandra Wilson (Board member):
Hello my name is Sandra Wilson, I am originally from Kispiox BC, the Gitxsan territory, and I belong to the wolf clan. I graduated from the University of Northern BC with my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2008, and have been working for Prince George Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS), a Delegated Aboriginal organization, since 2008. I began my career in social work as a front line guardianship social worker from 2008-2014, at which time I was assigned the guardianship team leader position in 2014 with CSFS. I am very passionate about my work in the social work field and my commitment to my guardianship team, and the 11 Carrier nation’s CSFS serves. My passion as a first nation’s woman is to ensure better outcomes for our children & youth in care, as they are our future leaders.