Lisa smiles, her hands in the pockets of her bright blue zip up. She has long brown hair and wears a red t-shirt.

Lisa Mercure

Mentor, Civic Engagement Artist Residency

Mikisew Cree, K’ai Taile Dëne Sųłıné and Wêmistikôsêw Iskwêw

As the Indigenous Culture & Traditions Coordinator at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC), she supports Indigenous Elders/ Old Ones to determine culturally relevant programming for the urban Indigenous community at VNFC.

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, now with 33 Indigenous Elders/Seniors as employees and 9 Advisors actively supporting programming. Lisa provides technical support to Elders engaging on Advisories, with Partners. Our focus is primarily on supporting Elders and Seniors leading workshops or supporting VNFC programs.

She has 19 years’ experience managing the Urban Indigenous Friendship Centre Program in BC, and program development at provincial, national and now local programs. Ms. Mercure recruited an annual 6 person volunteer advisory team of professionals and 3 founding Elders. She was mentored by 40 experts to assist in not for profit organizational management, developing curriculum, customize culturally relevant resources, and mentors Managers and Board Directors. This mentoring model continues to inform her, in building consensus and mentoring emerging leaders.

“It has been an Honor to be of service and support at a grass root level.” – Lisa Mercure, 2021

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