The E2S Board of Directors is happy to announce the successful grant application submission to the Department of Women & Gender Equality (WAGE) which has been approved for the Community Capacity Fund where the main objective is to build stronger capacity and networks of 2SLGBTQ+ community organizations to advance 2SLGBTQ+ equality across Canada. More information will follow with our quarterly newsletter in the coming weeks. For now, we would like to introduce E2S’ inaugural Executive Director, Jeffery Chalifoux, who will lead our newly founded organization beyond its infancy over the next couple of years. Most importantly, “To re-establish and enhance our traditional roles and responsibilities as Two-Spirit people in Indigenous communities while creating supportive environments within all societies for contemporary Two-Spirit peoples.”
Jeffery Chalifoux is an Indigenous Two-Spirit Social Worker who uses they/them or he/him pronouns. They are a Cree/Métis citizen of the Métis Nation and a proud parent. As an advocate for Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ communities, Jeffery took part in co-founding the Edmonton 2 Spirit Society in April 2018. They have worked diligently on local initiatives where they have been an active leader and volunteer with various organizations: the Alberta College of Social Worker’s Sexual and Gender Diversity Committee; the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Wild Rose, the Edmonton Men’s Health Collective, and has worked collaboratively with many others. Jeffery has also been involved on the national level in various capacities, by taking part in the founding of The Enchanté Network as a Two-Spirit representative and continues to volunteer their time and skills with the 2 Spirits in Motion Society as well as Fierté Canada Pride. Jeffery is no stranger to leadership nor adversity and the impacts of colonialism as he openly shares his lived experiences through homelessness, 20 years of active addictions and over a decade in correctional systems. Jeffery will soon achieve a Masters in Clinical Social Work and continue striving towards their doctorate in social work with a focus on Indigenous Two-Spirit health.
Jeffery will spearhead this 17-month project and will strengthen the capacity and networks of E2S to advance 2SLGBTQ+ equality. This will be achieved by hiring a Community Liaison; building managerial capacity; strengthening collaboration among organizations; ensuring long-term sustainability; advancing 2SLGBTQ+ equality with an intersectional approach, such as race, age, official language; and improving access to funding opportunities. Project activities include board governance training, a strategic planning session, applying for federal incorporation status, applying for federal charitable organization status, two community consultations, building an intersectional network and hosting two network summits. By March 2022, the Edmonton 2 Spirit Society will have a strategic plan, detailed work plans for executive director and staff, a community impact assessment, organizational policies and procedures, a human resource manual, a fundraising plan, developed partnerships, and an intersectional network.
A brief word from the ED:
“Two-Spirits are an integral part of our Indigenous societies and it is an honour to be chosen as the inaugural Executive Director of E2S. I will endeavour to continue, and expand, the work of the many tireless volunteers, members, and Elders who have carefully pursued to re-establish and enhance our traditional roles and responsibilities as Two-Spirit people. In the coming years my efforts and energies will be to advance the mission of E2S and focus on collaboratively building partnerships and resources among 2S-BIPOC-LGBTQ+ people” – Jeffery
Jeffery Chalifoux, BSW, RSW (they/he)
Edmonton 2 Spirit Society