Mentor, Music Alive Quartet
Mikisew Cree, K’ai Taile Dëne Sųłıné and Wêmistikôsêw Iskwêw
As the Indigenous Culture & Traditions Coordinator at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC), Lisa Mercure supports Indigenous Elders/Old Ones to determine culturally relevant programming for the urban Indigenous community at Victoria Native Friendship Centre.
The vision for the Urban Indigenous Language Hub was initiated by Ms. Mercure once visiting fluent speakers began to frequent the Centre and inquiring how to start up language classes. Lisa has coordinated and documented the work in 5 distinct Indigenous language classes, creating language learning tools for new learners.
The Friendship Centre became a social gathering place for Indigenous Elders and Seniors, with 19 Indigenous Elders/Seniors as employees and 11 Advisors actively supporting programming. Lisa provides technical support to Elders engaging with the City of Victoria’s Senior Task Force, District of Saanich Older Persons Recreation, to engaging with New Canadians.
She has 19 years’ experience managing the Urban Indigenous Friendship Centre Program in BC, and developed five provincial programs. Ms. Mercure recruited an annual 5-8-person volunteer advisory team of professionals and 3 founding Elders, to provide sound governance, finance, management, organizational capacity building and training for non-profits experiencing board or operational challenges. Being mentored by 40 experts to assist in developing organizational curriculum, customized culturally-relevant resources, and mentors Managers and Board Directors. This mentoring model continues to inform her, in building consensus and mentoring emerging leaders.
“It’s an Honor to be of service and support at a grass root level.”
Lisa Mercure, 2021