for Two-Spirit, LGBTQIA+ and Neurodivergent individuals
Stolen Land Acknowledgement:
Finding supports that invite us to be our entire, complex selves can be hard and yet it is essential for healing. This is why creating spaces like Out of the Box is so important to us. We want to create a healing space that recognizes our individual identities and the ways that systems of oppression impact us.
To us, an important part of bringing both ourselves and the institutions, policies, social norms and systems we live within healing work is acknowledging over and over that racism and colonialism have long, connected histories. One of the many ways that racism continues in our current world is the ongoing displacement of Indigenous Peoples from their lands. Out of the Box Counselling & Collaborations operates along the Haldimand Tract (Waterloo Region) which is the stolen territories of the Anishnaabe, Haudensaunee, Mississaugas and Attawandronk people.
As registered social workers, we understand that colonial worldviews have shaped social work’s processes, frameworks and approaches that have actively silenced intergenerational knowledge and differing worldviews. Because of these unexamined racist and colonial roots, social workers can be tools to promote White European worldviews being forcibly applied to individual and community wellbeing. We have lost many invaluable teachings and experiences from Two-Spirit/Indigequeer, Black and other racialized leaders; we have lost our connection to land, language, and culture deemed “unhealthy” or “harmful”; we have separated and under-resourced families and communities; and we see realities like the under and misdiagnoses and over-representation of Indigenous and Black people in our child welfare and prison systems. Despite this continuous stress and violence, Indigenous, Black and racialized peoples continue to resist assimilation, have found ways to thrive and reclaim nearly lost traditions and cultures, while taking up their rightful place in society as leaders of social change and caretakers of the land.
At Out of the Box Counselling & Collaborations, we believe that healing means actively standing against oppressive systems and processes like racism and colonialism. We are committed to changing the collective unwillingness to recognize historical and ongoing violence within our communities and the field of social work. We believe this change begins in our own self-reflection and unlearning of harmful beliefs, attitudes and behaviours connected to racism and colonialism. We believe this change also requires our active support of Black, Indigenous and racialized people’s reclamation of power and leadership. We stand in solidarity with land and water defenders calling for collective liberation, Indigenous sovereignty, stopping non-consultative land development, and the return of land to its original caretakers. We believe systemic change is the only way towards deep wellbeing for us as individuals and our communities. Putting these values into action is an ongoing and continuous learning process for us. We ask that you, our community, hold us accountable to our commitments to decolonization, anti-racism, anti-ableism and pushing back against all forms of oppression that impact the wellbeing of ourselves and our communities. Through this active process, we seek to step into collective values of equity, honesty and justice.
With over 10 years experience in the social services/non-profit sector both in Canada and in East & West Africa, I have experience in project management, capacity building, and organizational change.
As a global thinker, I have a lot of experience conducting participatory community needs assessments and developing programs with community buy-in. I have collaborated with organizations to further equity initiatives in the workplace, to write reports and research community needs.
Additionally, I have a growing interest in expanding my portfolio of creating meaningful resources that are both informative, visually appealing, and accessible. Contact me to connect to discuss your collaboration project needs.