An exploration of parallels – BC’s indigenous people and people who experience mental illness

Paul will take us on a journey that explores the historical parallels between Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia and those who experience mental illness. This examination of our historical, statutory, and cultural realities will reveal a deep shared experience and a powerful connection. It will also help us to recognize the opportunities and the need for greater synergy and collaboration between Indigenous Peoples and organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals that experience mental illness.

Paul Lacerte is the Provincial Executive Director of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, a position he has held for the past 16 years.

The BCAAFC represents the largest Aboriginal service infrastructure in British Columbia and is engaged in social and community development for Aboriginal peoples.

He was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Foundation as their first Aboriginal Board member.

He also serves as the CEO for the BC Centre of Excellence for Young Indigenous Leaders and has been instrumental in the establishment of an international Indigenous Youth Alliance. Lacerte currently sits as one of the Canadian representatives at the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples in New York. He is a practitioner of traditional Aboriginal culture and ceremony and is a member of the Carrier First Nation in northern BC.