The Caring Society - Staff Information
Andrea Auger, MAReconciliation and Research Manager
Raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Andrea Auger is Ojibwe and a member of the Pays Plat First Nation. She joined the Caring Society in 2008 to work on the Touchstones of Hope. With her background in education, Andrea is passionate about teaching, mentoring, and learning from others, especially children, youth, and Elders. Her main areas of interest include engagement in reconciliation, reconciliation approaches, child and youth engagement, and human rights. She is the proud mother of a beautiful son.
Cindy Blackstock, PhD (Social Work)Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
A member of the Gitksan First Nation, Cindy has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights. Her promotion of culturally based and evidence informed solutions has been recognized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Frontline Defenders and many others. An author of over 50 publications and a widely sought after public speaker, Cindy has collaborated with other Indigenous leaders to assist the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in the development and adoption of a General Comment on the Rights of Indigenous children.
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 is Métis/Michif with ancestry from White Horse Plains, or St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba and 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.
Daxton RheadAdministrative Assistant
Daxton is a high school student from Ottawa, Ontario, and a member of the transgender community. He has been involved in reconciliation campaigns such as Shannen’s Dream and Jordan’s Principle as an ally and activist for over five years. Daxton was a winner of the Peter Henderson Bryce Award in 2014 and has been involved in numerous film projects with the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.
Marc St. Dennis, MAEducation and Public Engagement Coordinator
Born in Manitoba and raised in Ontario, Marc 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!
Jacquie Surges, BJExecutive and Administrative Assistant
Though Jacquie was born in Bathurst, New Brunswick, she was raised largely in Ontario, in Mississauga then Ottawa. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, she enjoys getting to know people with diverse backgrounds and helping them share their stories. In her time at university, Jacquie was exposed to many differing perspectives on Indigenous reconciliation and the impact of intergenerational trauma on First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, particularly women and children. She’s very grateful to be a part of the Caring Society team!