Through the Lens: Cultivating Safe Spaces

“How do we create safe space so we can heal?” Elaine Alec decided to write a book called, “Calling My Spirit Back” to help answer this question. Her book and presentations share an extremely personal examination of her lived experience and also talks about a much broader overview of serious national sociological concerns and tangible steps to address them. It was meant to help others understand what is needed to cultivate safe space so that individuals can gather and contribute their authentic selves for decision-making in a solution based manner.

The UBC Equity & Inclusion Office is excited to present another Through the Lens series, a series of interactive workshops exploring how different identities intersect, navigate and experience UBC while offering practical ideas on creating a more inclusive campus.

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Led by experienced community leaders, Through the Lens aims to provoke meaningful conversations on issues of identity, diversity, equity and inclusion. Each workshop provides an opportunity to learn, connect and join a network of allies across campus through story-telling, statistics and other resources.

Elaine is from the Syilx (Okanagan) Nation and Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation and is a member of the Penticton Indian Band in the Interior of British Columbia. She has been a political advisor, Chief of Staff for the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, Community Planner for her own First Nation, a public servant with the Province of British Columbia and an employee with the Community Initiatives Unit for Indigenous Services Canada in the BC Region. Elaine has spent over 20 years in over 100 communities across Canada to promote healing and wellness. She is a partner of an Indigenous owned and operated planning company called Alderhill Planning Inc. who are recognized as leading experts in Indigenous community planning. Most recently Elaine led the Path Forward Women & Girls Safety Community Sessions which brought individuals together to talk about a path forward to create a plan with action items and solutions for individuals, families and communities. This work was initiated as a response to the MMIWG National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice. Elaine is a first-time author of “Calling My Spirit Back” a memoir about growing up as an Indigenous girl in Canada and the impacts of colonization. It also provides Indigenous knowledge, teachings and tangible steps on how to cultivate safe spaces for diversity and inclusion.