WINNIPEG — Siloam Mission has named Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud its new CEO with a mission to strengthen Indigenous relations in the community.
Blaikie Whitecloud comes from 1JustCity, where she spent the last four years leading the charity that supports community drop-ins and programs for underserved Winnipeg communities.
“I am truly excited to be coming on board at Siloam and to begin doing this important work,” Blaikie Whitecloud said in a release.
“It is a place where I can bring my full depth of experience with social justice and leadership, and know that I am doing God’s work every day. God’s love is a foundation from which I understand my own worthiness and lovability, and apply that, as He does, to all I encounter.”
Earlier this year, the CEO of Siloam Mission resigned and the chair of its board stepped down following accusations that the organization wasn’t meeting the spiritual needs of Indigenous community members. A consultant was commissioned to look into the allegations and a report found that among Indigenous staff and clients, none felt discriminated against, but many did see a need for more culturally-informed Indigenous programming. The report also made a number of recommendations including Indigenous representation on the board of directors and developing stronger partnerships with the Indigenous community.
“We are delighted that Ms. Blaikie Whitecloud will lead Siloam in the development of a five-year strategic plan that will strengthen our partnerships with other organizations in the poverty and homelessness sector, direct our focus on housing initiatives and integrate the Indigenous Relations strategy into our operations,” said board chair Garth Manness.
The new CEO will begin her role with the organization on November 15.