As we mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, The Philanthropist is profiling Canadians from across the non-profit sector and putting a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector.
Name: Kelvin Redvers
Current role in the sector: Co-Founder and National Director of Media and Partnerships for We Matter, a national Indigenous-led non-profit committed to Indigenous youth empowerment, hope and life promotion.
Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector: Six years.
What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
My first job was launching We Matter with my sister—a massive national multimedia campaign to support Indigenous youth going through issues like depression, addiction, or suicide. It has been quite the ride, as in just the first year, we’ve had support from Facebook, Telus, RBC, Health Canada, and had videos submitted from groups like A Tribe Called Red, people like NHL Hockey Player Jordin Tootoo, children’s advocate Cindy Blackstock, and even the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. We’ve also reached millions of people on social media, with tens of thousands of followers! Quite the ride!
Describe your desk/workspace.
Well! I do a LOT of work from my couch—I do rather enjoy that 🙂 I am a person of comforts, and do a lot of work from home, so the couch and my lap is my desk a lot of the time. I also do a lot of work from coffee shops too, and that is where I am writing this right now.
What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?
This is something I feel like I always can do more of! On my Facebook I follow a friend I know from a scholarship conference I attended while in university. She runs Ghana Medical Help, and seeing her grow and expand has been really exciting. Also, the work Cindy Blackstock does with the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada is always inspiring—we keep up to date with them on Twitter. They do a HUGE amount with a fairly small team. Others I stay in tabs with is Nokee Kwe, N’we Jinan, Nishnawbe Aski Nation and many more!
What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?
We need to be thinking about decolonizing funding structures to be more appropriate to Indigenous mindsets and modalities. We need to have more thinking about alternative ways of supporting cultural, on-the-land and youth programming—as it may feel uncomfortable to the way things have been done before.
Do you know someone we should profile as part of this series? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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