The Caring Society - Staff Information
Andrea Auger, MAReconciliation and Research Manager
Andrea Auger (she/her) is Ojibwe and a member of the Pays Plat First Nation. She was raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario and is honoured to reside in Ottawa on traditional unceded Algonquin territory. With almost 20 years experience working with children and families, Andrea has proudly worked at the Caring Society since 2008. She is a skilled presenter and facilitator and thoroughly enjoys opportunities to work with agencies and organizations on the Touchstones of Hope and reconciliation initiatives. While passionate about teaching and mentoring, she recognizes that children, youth, and Elders are the best teachers. Her main areas of work at the Caring Society include engaging organizations, agencies, young people and others in reconciliation, Jordan's Principle, CHRT and website support. She is the proud mother to a beautiful son.
Cindy Blackstock, PhD (Social Work)Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
A member of the Gitxsan First Nation, Cindy is honoured to serve as the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and a professor at McGill University’s School of Social Work. She has over 30 years of experience working in child welfare and Indigenous children’s rights and has published more than 75 articles on topics relating to reconciliation, Indigenous theory, First Nations child welfare and human rights. Cindy was honoured to work with First Nations colleagues on a successful human rights challenge to Canada’s inequitable provision of child and family services and failure to implement Jordan’s Principle. This hard-fought litigation has resulted in hundreds of thousands of services being provided to First Nations children, youth and families.
She recently served on the Pan American Health Commission on Health Equity and Inequity and fundamentally believes that culturally-based equity is fundamental to meaningful reconciliation. Cindy is frequently sighted in the company of the Caring Society’s reconciliation Am-bear-rister, Spirit Bear, engaging children in meaningful actions to implement the TRC Calls to Action.
Sarah FredericksExecutive and Administrative Assistant
Born and raised in rural Nova Scotia, Sarah has always had a passionate nature and deep connection to the landscape that surrounded her. Her need to meet new people and hear their stories transformed into a decade of post-secondary certificates, travel and a degree that not only enabled her to specialize in both science, creative writing and the arts but to also interact with people from all around the world. Though she has always been interested in the welfare of people and animals, it was during this time that she became more aware of the inequalities that Indigenous people have had to and continue to endure. Sarah is extremely grateful to be a part of the Caring Society and hopes to make a difference in people’s lives - no matter how big or small.
Jennifer King, MSWReconciliation and Policy Coordinator
Please note: Jennifer is away on parental leave.
Anishinaabe from the Wasauksing First Nation, Jennifer has been working in areas of research, policy and public engagement in support of Indigenous women and children for over 10 years. Jennifer has a Master’s degree in social work, with a focus on Indigenous methodologies and Indigenous perspectives on policy and practice. She is passionate about the role of critical education and research in promoting justice, equity and meaningful reconciliation in Canada. An experienced presenter and facilitator, Jennifer has authored/co-authored several publications on Indigenous issues and is also a sessional instructor in the School of Social Work, University of Victoria, teaching via distance education.
Click here to listen to Jennifer's sample presentation!
Brittany MathewsReconciliation and Research Coordinator
Brittany (she/her) is Michif and a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta with ancestry from St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba with her family more recently coming from St. Paul, Alberta. She grew up in the Bow Valley of Alberta and moved to Ottawa to pursue an undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa. Brittany is passionate about the role kinship and family plays in the empowerment of Indigenous women and communities. She is dedicated to elevating the stories and contemporary realities of Indigenous peoples through community organizing and creative outlets.
Robin McLeod-ShabogesicYouth and Reconciliation Coordinator
(she/her) - Nishinaabe kwe and Franco-Ontarian from Nipissing First Nation, Robin is currently completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Ottawa, majoring in Indigenous Studies with a minor in Women’s Studies. She is passionate about education and the role it plays in fostering meaningful reconciliation in Canada. She is dedicated to creating and working on initiatives that educate young people on the inequities that impact First Nations families, and ways that they can respectfully engage in social justice and reconciliation. Robin has been with the Caring Society since early 2017 and is the creator of the annual Spirit Bear's Guide to Reconciliation calendar.
Marc St. Dennis, MAPublications and Events Manager
Born in Manitoba and raised in Ontario, Marc (he/his) is Métis with ancestral roots in the Red River Valley. Marc has a Master’s degree in Indigenous and Canadian Studies and a keen interest in Indigenous knowledge and pedagogy. Marc is an engaging and knowledgeable public speaker and facilitator. He has spoken to people of all ages and backgrounds about the history and contemporary realities of colonization in Canada and the many ways we can all positively impact the lives of Indigenous children, youth, and their families.
Click here to listen to Marc's sample presentation!