Vanessa Hickman

Director of Strategic Innovation

vanessa.hickman@frafca.org (604) 595-1170

I am thrilled about starting this new chapter in my life, which includes accepting the Director of Strategic Innovation role at FRAFCA. It is an absolute privilege to return to FRAFCA in this brand-new capacity. From the very start of my career, I have always wanted to dedicate myself to helping improve the lives of Indigenous people.

I have spent nearly 3 decades of working in Indigenous Early Years. I am Interior Salish from Esdilagh First Nation on my mother’s side and other mixed heritage on my father’s side. I am a sixty’s scoop survivor and the granddaughter of a residential school survivor. My lived experience have given me firsthand knowledge on the impacts of colonization and trauma. These lived experiences that shaped my childhood have enlightened my journey and given me valuable insight.

I know from years of experience, that our people flourish in settings that are infused with the power of culture, tradition and Indigenous prospectives. Many decades ago, a few colleagues and I drew a vision of an appropriate space for our people. It included housing, childcare, counseling, healthcare, businesses, office space, programs, services, gardens, all inclusive of culture, tradition, and Indigenous way of knowing. This vision would embrace an Indigenous world view, values, and experiences. My role at FRAFCA will be dedicating myself to the planning, collaborating, guiding, and securing, of a permanent location and setting up a satellite location in the Fraser Valley. I will be working directly with the executive director and many other key stakeholders, including our local traditional territories. I feel very inspired and motivated with this new journey and can’t wait to start trailblazing.

Indigenous people have made exceptional contributions to society historically, currently and in the future. There is a beautiful diversity of Indigenous wisdom in this world and our new path forward would be inclusive and accepting.

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