The Secretariat uplifts the work and voices of the Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors.

As the ICFS Agencies and Directors work to improve the well-being of Indigenous children, youth, families, and communities, the Secretariat works to support the Agencies and Directors. Our role is to provide technical support, including: planning, policy analysis, engagement, research, communications, and administrative support.

The Secretariat team brings Indigenous knowledge and wisdom together with experience working in the governance, operations, and delivery of Indigenous child and family services, along with skills in research, evaluation and communications.

Jennifer Chuckry, Executive Director

Debra Foxcroft, OBC, Elder-Advisor

Debra has made significant contributions and continues to direct her positive energies as a committed, responsible, and strong leader with over 30 years’ experience working with and advocating for the health and wellbeing of First Nations peoples.

A member of the Tseshaht First Nation and a recipient of the Order of British Columbia, Debra Foxcroft is the daughter of Jeanette Gallic and the late James Gallic, and granddaughter of the late Jessie Gallic (nee, Campbell) and Je (Jimmy) Gallic. She is also a sister, auntie, mother and grandmother; a proud and strong Tseshaht women who approaches her work with honesty, integrity and strong values.

Judy Wilson, Elder-Advisor

Judy with her grandson

Judy Wilson (tsiqw xwéxwne), Elder-Advisor

Judy Wilson formerly served as Kukpi7 (Chief) of the Neskonlith Indian Band since 2007 and as a Council member for eight years prior. Over those 25 years she has gained knowledge, experience and an extensive background in First Nations land rights/specific claims, human rights, children & family jurisdiction, emergency management and supports a wide range of issues including MMIWG2S, climate action, justice reform, environmental & animal rights etc.

Education & skills include Public Administration, federal & provincial legislation development/amendment, Keynote/Panel Speaker, Advocacy, Media Relations, Book Publishing, Journalist Broadcasting and Organization planning/management.

In addition, she served on many Boards and committees of a large number of organizations, including the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (Secretary-Treasurer), First Nations Leadership Council member, First Nations Technology Council (Charity Society), Vancouver MMIWG2S Coalition and BC Small Business Roundtable.

Now currently a member of the Our Children Our Ways Secretariat. She continues to work with several various Assembly of First Nations Chiefs Committees at the national level and current boards include Global Indigenous Council, Rural BC Centre and a volunteer member to the Vancouver MMIWG2S Coalition. Internationally she led many national and provincial delegations to COP 26, 27, and United Nations Forums in Geneva and New York. Including the UN World Water Conference in 2023. For more information email [email protected].

Bart Knudsgaard (MSW), Policy Lead

Bart Knudsgaard, Policy Lead

Nation/Ancestry/background: Danish and French
Education: Masters of Social Work – Indigenous Specialization – University of Victoria
Publications/Dissertation/Thesis: How one becomes what one is: Transformative Journeys to Allyship –
Relevant Experience

  • Delegated Aboriginal Agency Executive Director
  • Ministry of Child and Family Development Aboriginal Services Branch Manager
  • Ministry of Child and Family Development – Social Worker and Supervisor

“Be the change” Ghandi

Tracy Lavin (PhD), Policy Analyst

Tracy (left) with her partner Jen (right)

Tracy Lavin, Policy Analyst

Nation/Ancestry/Background: Scottish, Irish, Polish
Home community: Grew up on the traditional territory of the Abenaki nation of Missisquoi
Education: PhD in Developmental Psychology
Publications/Dissertation/Thesis: Culture and the acquisition of Nouns and Verbs
Relevant Experience: Principal Researcher at the Canadian Council on Learning; research consultant for First Nations Education Steering Committee

If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve never been in the dark with a mosquito.

Michelle Doherty, Administration & Communications

Michelle (right) with her Mother Misty Morningstar (left)

Nation/Ancestry/Background: Cowessess First Nation, Cree Saulteaux (mother) and Irish Australian (father)
Where did you grow up?: Squamish Nation Territory (Canada), Gabrieleño and Costanoan Territory (California), Kulin Nation and Bundjalung Territory (Australia)
Relevant Experience: Business owner/operator, Public Relations, Marketing, Intergenerational Survivor

“Upon suffering beyond suffering the Red Nation shall rise again, and it will be a blessing for a sick world; a world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations; a world longing for light again. I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again.” Chief Crazy Horse, Oglala Lakota.

Lori Mason, Policy Analyst

Doug Hughes, Consultant (BA, MSW)

 Doug Hughes, Consultant

Ancestry: Irish, grew up in Prince Edward Island

Education: Masters of Social Work in Administration at University of Calgary, Executive Leadership Certificate at Queens University, BA in Political Science at St. Mary’s University.
Publications/Thesis: A Cost Comparison of Placement Outcomes of Treatment Foster Family Care to Residential Care, University of Calgary (1992).
Relevant Experience: Provincial Director of Child Welfare, Deputy Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Assistant Deputy Minister with MCFD and MOH. Front line child protection worker. MCFD Executive Director for Aboriginal Operations, Regional Executive Director of Interior Region. Secondment to Aboriginal Peoples Family Accord.

“Those impacted by the change need to be part of the change process.”  Change Management Principles, Kotter.

Kayla Swing (BA), Policy Analyst

Kayla (center) with her gran, Alice (left) and grandpa, Gus (right)

Kayla Swing, Policy Analyst

Nation/Ancestry/Background: Da’naxda’xw/Awaetlala First Nation, Bangladeshi, English, Scottish
Where did you grow up:  Traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation
Position: Policy Analyst
Education: BA in Anthropology, University of Victoria
Publications/Dissertation/ Thesis: None (maybe one day!)
Relevant Experience: Indigenous Youth Internship Program- MCFD

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change – Wayne Dyer

Ky Scott (BSW), Policy Analyst

Ky (left) with her dog, Mia, and partner, Justin (right).

Ky Scott, Policy Analyst

Nation/Ancestry/Background: Irish and Icelandic (Maternal), British and Métis (Paternal)

Where did you grow up?: Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) First Nation territory near ‘Driftwood Place’ (qʷɬeləm). Settlers who occupied and colonized the land and its people called it “Steveston Village” in Richmond, B.C.

Education: Theatre Arts Diploma- Studio 58 (2011), Social Service Worker Co ordinated Diploma- Langara College (2019), Bachelors of Social Work Degree- University of Victoria (2022)

Publications: ‘Beyond Individual Experience: Frameworks for understanding shared group traumatization and healing’ Lucero, Scott, Nutton (2023); ‘Working in circle and online’ Scott (2023); ‘Integrating the Colonial Trauma Framework into Trauma-Informed Care and practice’ Scott, Lucero, Nutton (2022)

Relevant Experience: Grant Co-ordinator and Research Assistant (McGill Centre for Research on Children & Families; Canadian Consortium on Child & Youth Trauma); Integration Support Worker (PRIYD Program, Family Services of Greater Vancouver)

Quote: “…we accept the idea that knowledge does not only reside within the mind. Our hearts can also perceive what we may not see with our eyes or understand with our minds.” –Leona Makokis, ohpikinâwasowin/Growing a Child

Tracy Malchuk (MSW), Policy Analyst

Nation/Ancestry/Background: Ukrainian, Scottish, Irish

Education: Master of Social Work – Indigenous Specialization, Bachelor of Social Work – Child Welfare Specialization

Relevant Experience: Director of Operations MCFD, Social Worker MCFD – Provincial Mobile Response Team, Aboriginal Services/Co-location NIL TU,O, Specialized High-Risk Pregnancy

“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision – then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde

Marc Woons (PhD), Consultant

Mark with statue of decolonial hero Kwame Nkrumah.

Marc Woons, Management Consultant (Project Management and Strategic Planning)

Nation/Ancestry/Background: Settler Canadian of German and Dutch Descent
Education: PhD in Political Philosophy (Leuven, Belgium) with a focus on Indigenous self-determination in settler colonial states.
Relevant Experience: Worked in the Deputy Ministers office at MCFD

“what is possible could never have been achieved unless people had tried again and again to achieve the impossible in this world” Max Weber

Ashley Stevens, Policy Advisor

Ashley Stevens (2Spirit), Policy Analyst

Nation/Ancestry/Background: Ktunaxa (Maternal side), Haida, Nations and Kwakwakaʼwakw

Where did you grow up: unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Position: Policy Analyst
Education: Second year of my Bachelor’s degree.

Relevant Experience: Working with our youth in treatment facilities and healing lodges and front-line experience in a harm reduction setting.

The photo was taken this summer at Tsuut’ina Pow Wow after a 10-year hiatus from the pow wow circle. Definitely a highlight of my summer to be back in the circle with my community and that my mom was there to watch me retake my first steps.