National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare
Board of Directors
The NISCW Network is a not-for-profit organization comprised of an Indigenous board of directors. Each director has their own story of being apprehended by social services, being torn from their communities and families and placed in a non-Indigenous environment.
Your board of directors is here to assist survivors and their families.
Duane Morrisseau-Beck is a Métis from Manitoba and has lived in Ottawa, Ontario since 1999. Since 1994, Duane has been a strong advocate for Indigenous health and social issues at the community and national level.
Duane’s bi-cultural background and focus on community collaboration has lead him to a number of volunteer and community leadership roles. Today, Duane is currently on a federal interchange program where he serves as the Senior Manager for the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples on a community engagement and national awareness project focused on prevention of violence towards Indigenous Women and Girls.
Duane continues to volunteer his time to important causes, most notably, the issues related to the ‘60s scoop era where he is involved in initiatives currently taking place across the country.
Duane spends his free time enjoying the outdoors, engaging in his music abilities and spending time with his partner, family and friends.
Colleen Hele- Cardinal is co-founder and coordinator of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network. With the Network, she has successfully organized three national Indigenous Adoptee Gatherings in 2014, 2015 & 2017. She speaks publicly and candidly about murdered and missing Indigenous women and the impacts of the 60’s Scoop drawing critical connections between genocidal colonial policies and her lived experiences and those of women in her family.
She believes that sharing her story is an important part of her healing journey in addition to raising awareness and building solidarity and understanding within Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
Colleen continues to volunteer with several initiatives, including Families of sisters in Spirit and the Nobel Women’s Initiative Sister to Sister Mentorship program to address gender-based violence, while giving context on the making of Canada, treaty relationships and the dehumanization of Indigenous people through policy and media.
Colleen is a sought after dynamic, engaging speaker who has spoken all over Turtle island to diverse audiences seeking to understand MMIW2SG and colonial child welfare policies, historical violence and impacts of Indigenous people and community organizing at a grassroots level. She is the author of the much-anticipated Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh (Raised somewhere else): A 60s Scoop Adoptee’s Story of Coming Home, which is forthcoming from Rosewood Press in June 2018.
Colleen is the proud mother of four grown children and enjoys spending all her free time with her grandchildren.
Born in British Columbia and raised on Vancouver Island, is a transracial adoptee from the ‘60’s Scoop Era – although she was placed for adoption at birth she is a strong ally to the survivors of this time. Vicky is of Cree/Coast Salish/Métis heritage. Vicky is a registered energy medicine practitioner (ANQ) and has a certificate in journalism for Concordia. She is passionate about effecting change in policy, education and attitudes in social work, health care and education for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
She is highly involved in and around the city as Co-Chair of the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy NETWORK. Vicky sits on the board of the Native Women’s Shelter, on the board of Montreal’s First People’s Justice Centre as Vice-president and is on the (Police Service of Montreal) SPVM Aboriginal Advisory Committee. Most recently, Vicky was hired as Cultural Support Worker (Elder) for Concordia University’s Aboriginal Student Resource Centre. In 2016 she resigned from her coordinator position in women’s reproductive medicine with McGill University Health Centers (MUHC) to pursue her passions within the Urban community full-time.
Vicky has presented her personal healing journey in Australia and throughout Canada, at the 2nd International Indigenous Voices in Social Work in Winnipeg in 2013 and regularly guest lectures at schools, universities and colleges as well as to child and family services and public and private sector organizations.
She is the mother of 4 and grandmother of 4. The healing journey that Vicky has been on for over 25 years has brought her to a place of strength and compassion. Her joy in living is matched by her desire to give back to the community. The drum and song has empowered her to use her voice for those, young and old, still caught in a “muted” system.
Photo credit: Janet Best