FNCARES - People
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.
Melisa Brittain, PhD
PhDResearch Associate, FNCARES
Melisa is a settler scholar and filmmaker who brings a knowledge of colonialism and neo-colonialism in Canada, and a commitment to decolonization and social justice, to her role as Research Associate with FNCARES. She earned a PhD in English from the University of Alberta, where she has taught courses in Indigenous literatures and cultures, gender and sexuality, queer and feminist theory, critical race studies and academic writing. Current research interests include decolonizing research methodologies and transformational resistance strategies that address structural inequities for First Nations children and youth, and their larger communities.