Letter from the Executive Director

Thoughts From Our Executive Director 

At Alexandra Neighbourhood House we are actively learning about the impact of colonization on our Indigenous neighbours, and as part of our work as a 100 plus year old organization we need to better understand our own complicity in the oppression of Indigenous people. These past two years I have been actively learning, and building our organization awareness and understanding alongside our Community Board and colleagues at Alex House.

This past summer I participated in the inaugural session of - M̓i tel'nexw Leadership Society’s inaugural learning seminar, which was a transformative experience for me. Through the inspired teachings of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Chief Janice George, Buddy Joseph, Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee and Lloyd Attig, whose storytelling send the groundwork for renewed understanding. When we are gifted with people’s personal stories and experiences, the truth is undeniable. M̓i tel’nexw in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Snichim (language) means ‘figuring it out’ which underscored the work for me, I need to figure out how to decolonize my personal approach, as well as our organizational practices. https://www.mitelnexwleadershipsociety.org/

I have also participated in Ta7talíya's Decolonize First sessions which again helped me uncover my work as it relates to decolonizing - https://www.decolonizingpractices.org/. I need to look at how I have personally benefited from colonization, and how we continue to benefit organizationally from colonization. More importantly I look forward to being a better steward of the land, and to explore how to reconcile the fact that we operate on the unceded, stolen land of the Coast Salish people, locally the Semiahmoo First Nation. I don’t expect this work to be easy, or even completed in my lifetime, more likely over seven generations*, but I do commit to moving this work forward within our organization. There is not a straight line, or right way, to approach this work, the most important thing we can all do is to commit to learning, and unlearning. I look forward to sharing our learnings, and engaging our community where we can. If you are interested in doing this work with us, please reach out to me pbradley@alexhouse.net, I would be happy to connect.

Warmly, Penny Bradley, 

Who am I? - A third generation settler on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people, growing up on the Tsleil-Waututh and Kwikwetlem Nations. I currently live, work and play on the traditional territory of the Semiahmoo First Nation. My family is indigenous to Wales (a learning for me through this work), and identify as LGBTQ2s+, my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am married, and mother to our 16 year old son.

For more learning -*http://www.fngovernance.org/publications/research_article/seven_generations_seven_teachings_ending_the_indian_acthttps://bit.ly/3fByO7h SD36 History of Semiahmoo First Nation

https://www.sfu.ca/sexual-violence/education-prevention/new-blog-/consent/the-importance-of-pronouns.html Why Pronouns are important.