Community Living BC (CLBC) is pleased to welcome Joanne Mills to the newly created role of Executive Director of Indigenous Relations. Joanne is a member of Fisher River Cree Nation with ties to Skidegate and brings her experience as a parent of an individual who receives CLBC services.
“I am thrilled and honoured that Joanne will be joining our leadership team to bring her broad knowledge, insights and experience to help guide us in working effectively with Indigenous Peoples and communities,” said CLBC CEO Ross Chilton.
Joanne’s most recent role was Executive Director of the Fraser Regional Aboriginal Friendship Center Association, where she developed new programs that were very focused on Indigenous Peoples with vulnerabilities, among her other accomplishments. Her previous roles have included leadership positions with the Provincial Health Services Authority in training services, Interior Health where she was Director of Indigenous Health and led the Community Integration Leadership team, and the Kaa Laa Nay House of Healing where she served as Executive Director. She has also provided consulting services for First Nations as well as non-profit and public sector organizations.
“I am very privileged to be chosen for this important work and feel that my life’s journey has prepared me to support our most precious people,” said Joanne. “I look forward to working in partnership with the Indigenous communities to build a meaningful, culturally relevant model of care, and to collaborating with the leadership team to bring life to our collective vision.”
Following consultations with CLBC’s Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC), CLBC’s CEO announced in June 2020 the creation of a new director role to oversee the establishment of a new Indigenous Relations team that will inform CLBC policies, improve service standards about cultural safety and sensitivity, and lead community engagement efforts. The IAC includes representatives from across the province who provide information and advice to CLBC staff from an Indigenous perspective and worldview.
The new Indigenous Relations team will help advance the goals in CLBC’s strategic plan and the 2020/21-2022/23 Service Plan to build trusting relationships with Indigenous communities by improving awareness of CLBC and available supports and services among Indigenous Peoples and communities and by increasing CLBC staff understanding about Indigenous Peoples’ history and culture.
Joanne is currently completing a Master of Business Administration from Thompson Rivers University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Social Work degree.
Joanne will begin her new role on January 18, 2021.
Read the June 1, 2020 announcement: New director to help CLBC improve Indigenous services