Meet Robyn Heaslip Kefi, the new Program Manager for the Indigenous Management Board

Read the transcript below to learn more about Robyn and the work she’ll be doing with the Indigenous Management Board.

Interviewer: Can you tell us a bit about who you are and where you’re from?

My name is Robyn Heaslip Kefi and I live in Cowichan Bay in Quw’utsun lands. I am of Irish, French, Scottish and English ancestry. I grew up in Cree territory in Edmonton and moved with my parents and siblings as a young adult to Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ lands in Victoria. After studying at University of Victoria (UVic) I moved to the mainland for graduate school and then lived and worked for many years in Stó:lō lands. Three years ago, my partner, kids and I moved back to the island to be closer to my parents and sibling’s family. My partner is Tunisian-Canadian and our family on his side lives in Haudenosaunee lands in Montreal and in Tunisia.

Interviewer: Can you share with us some of the background & experience you bring to this position?

So over the last 10 years, I have worked in the tourism industry on the water for a couple different operations all up the coast from here to Alaska. So I have a lot of marine experience as well as data analysts experience working with marine education and research society and other science based research organizations looking at citation data and vessel data and how those things interact.

Interviewer: What kind of work will you be doing with the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council / IMB?

My position is the program manager for the Indigenous Management Board Secretariat. The secretariat supports the coordination of the efforts of the Indigenous Management Board technical committee, as well as the Indigenous Management Board, which is the leadership level. I am helping to support their efforts to carry out the goals and priorities of the IEȽȻIȽTEL or Nuts’a maat kws ‘i’ shul’ hwilasmut tu Skwul ‘i’ kwthe’ Accord signed by the 11 First Nations. This involves strengthening communications, providing planning support, and tracking the progress of their work.

Interviewer: What kind of impact do you hope to have during your time with the WLC / IMB?

I hope to be a real support and resource to help the IMB(TC) become what it hopes to be. The vision of the Accord is really powerful. It requires a tremendous amount of effort and focus to help carry forward those goals. So if I can play a role in helping to support the people who hold that amazing vision and help realize it, then I would consider that a great impact that I hope to make.

Interviewer: What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

I like to hang out with my family. My kids are five and nine. We have a big veggie garden and some fruit trees, and I enjoy growing food and cooking.  I like learning languages, playing soccer, hiking, and textile arts. 

Interviewer: Is there anything else you’d like community members to know?

I’m really grateful and honoured to be contributing in this way, and I’m looking forward to meeting people.

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