Understanding and learning about the Indigenous people is a step for organizations to take regarding their own reconciliation action plan. This presentation will provide the audience with a level of baseline knowledge about Indigenous rights, issues, and concerns to support informed discussions. It will then move into a reflection moment of sharing stories of the lived experience of being an Indigenous communicator and a non-Indigenous communicator.  Examples of action plans and how they were implemented in different organizations will be shared to tell the positive stories that a few organizations in BC have implemented and where they are now with the work they have done.


We will motivate you to want to take your own actions toward reconciliation both at personal level and as an organization so don’t miss this talk. 

Key takeaways: 

  • Listen. 

  • Give Indigenous People the opportunity to inform you how they want to be communicated with.

  • Always make protocol a priority

  • Allow for more time in event plans and don't get stuck on very scripted events

  • Engage early and go beyond collaboration

  • Learn the traditional name of the Nation and how to say it. Practice.

  • Use traditional spellings.

  • Place audio clips into digital materials, recorded by Nation members, so others also learn proper pronunciation

  • In video, if people would like to speak their traditional language, support them to do so. Then, place English subtitles.

Manager of Indigenous Relations,
Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping

Sarah is a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, who earned her degree in communications while starting her career while creating a communications department for her Nation. Her commitment to learning Indigenous issues and focusing on advancing priorities for the betterment of the future generations has become her lifelong goal.


Sarah holds a number of leadership roles in the community, including on the board of CPRS Vancouver as the Director of Communications, she has recently joining the CPRS National Task force for EDIB, and the MCM National working group for EDIB.  She has an impressive CV spanning multiple organizations, including most recently with the Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping, and builds Indigenous and western knowledge into her learning and work.

Director of External Communications and Brand Management,
BC Housing

Deneka is Director of External Communications and Brand Management with BC Housing. Prior to this role she spent nine years in the education sector as Communications Manager at the North Vancouver School District and Manager of Communications and Marketing at the Delta School District.


Deneka originates from a journalist background, earning an honours degree in journalism from Carleton University and spending nearly a decade as a television and print reporter. Since joining the PR field, Deneka has obtained a Master’s degree in communication, leadership and conflict management and a graduate certificate in professional communication management, both from Royal Roads University.


Deneka is also an Accredited Public Relations (APR) practitioner. Deneka has served on the national board of the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education, leading professional development. Deneka also served as Mentorship Director on the board of the Vancouver chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), sat on the national Education Council for CPRS, and has been a judge for the CPRS Awards of Excellence.