Our story

“We walk together to forge a new path”

Karen Mackenzie
Cree-Métis & HIP Board Member

In 2014, a dedicated group of individuals from various Southern Ontario communities gathered in the basement of an Oshawa building to discuss the creation of a nationwide organization that would collaborate with Indigenous Peoples. From those initial discussions and rough sketches on paper, HIP’s multi-year plan was born.

While we remain attentive to the voices and wisdom of Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners, we also engage in reflection, adaptation, and the amplification of our achievements. A significant stride forward has been the expansion of our board to encompass 20 members hailing from communities across the country. This collaboration has united some of Canada’s most brilliant minds and compassionate hearts, resulting in an updated vision and mission.

As Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies, our commitment to collaboration remains steadfast. While we have refined our focus, placing a strong emphasis on relationship building, we remain dedicated to our educational and awareness initiatives, including the support of the next generation of leaders and the transformation of knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.

HIP’s growth entails an increase in participation from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals. We actively promote and facilitate relationship building between communities and organizations, seeking common ground, shared values, and improved support systems. Together, we work towards building a stronger and more inclusive nation.

Our Logo

HIP Logo

Our logo was designed by Jennifer Wemigwans, Anishnaabekwe (Ojibwe/ Potawatomi) from Wikwemikong First Nation. The four colours of the medicine wheel represent many things.  In this specific design we are using the symbolic image of people and the four colours to represent the four races of human kind.  They are intertwined and inter-related to symbolize that we are all dependent upon one another and that only together do we represent the strength of the circle – a complete unity.  The outer circle that envelops the four races is done in purple and white to pay homage to and acknowledge the importance of wampum belts and their historical bond for bringing together people in this land.  Traditional wampum beads are a blend of white and purple. The waves emitting out from the circle symbolize the ripple effect and strength that comes from being united as people.  

Our Mission & Vision

Our mission is to catalyze societal change by inspiring Indigenous & Non-Indigenous
relationship building, strengthening community well-being and advancing the next generation of leaders.

Our vision is that all Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Peoples work together,
interconnected and interdependent, for the benefit of future generations.

While HIP remains focused on education, awareness and relationship building, we place emphasis on building of meaningful, equitable and long-lasting relationships. By creating bonds and supporting one another, we employ key elements needed to walk the path together.


In keeping with our constitutional mandate for a 50% Indigenous and 50% non-Indigenous composition, we’ve gone the extra mile. Our commitment now includes a gender-balanced and geographically diverse board, reaching from coast to coast. This diverse mix brings a wealth of perspectives, expertise, and skills to our board, and we’re devoted to making this a continuous part of our normal operations.

Chris Snyder


Chair, HIP, Former Founder & CEO, ECC Group and Financial Advisor


Mohawk, Ontario

Elder/Senior Manager Strategic Initiatives, CAMH & Educator

Andre Morriseau

Ojibway, Ontario

Communications Manager, ONWA

Larry Frost

Ojibway, Ontario

Former Executive Director, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto

Jan Fox


Executive Director, REACH Edmonton

Tim Karihwake Thompson

Mohawk, Ontario

Former Education Co-Ordinator (Chiefs of Ontario), Parliammentary Liaison (AFN), Policy Director (OFIFC)

John Andras


Sr. VP, Director and Portfolio Manager, Research Capital

Michael Gauthier


Retired – Former Sales Director, CHEP, VP Sales & Marketing Canada Steamship Lines

Suzanne Grouette

Metis(MB), Ontario

Rotary Club Past President & Rotary District 6400 Assistant Governor

Diane Redsky

Ojibway, Manitoba

CEO, Kekekoziibii Development Corporation

Tom Herman

Nova Scotia

Professor Emeritus of Biology, Retired Former VP Academic Acadia University

Audrey Gilbeau

Anishinaabek, Ontario

Executive Director, Nokiiwin Tribal Council

Robert Blacker

British Columbia

Retired Police Officer

David G. Newman, Q.C.


Retired Partner/Lawyer & Cabinet Minister
Past President and current member of Rotary Club of Winnipeg

Pat Neuman


Retired – President & CEO, Welcome Wagon

Katherine Whitecloud

Dakota Nation, Manitoba

CEO, MahpiyaSka

Eleanor Bernard

Eskasoni, Nova Scotia

Assistant Professor, Cape Breton University

Jim Louttit


President, JVL Global Corp., Retired Executive Scotiabank

Deborah Baker

British Columbia

Board Director, VCH & Member Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council


MEET Our Team

At HIP, our incredible network of thousands of supporters is like the beating heart of what we do. We wanted to give you a peek behind the scenes – our Board of Directors totally gets that none of our work would be possible without the amazing dedication and hard work of our fantastic staff.

So, without further ado, meet our awesome team of professionals! They’re the ones who empower, facilitate, and support our incredible members.

John Currie

Executive Director

Julie Dunaiskis


Gyuszi Berki


Clay Melnike

Partnerships & Special Projects

Sean Baillie

Chief Technical Officer

Bethany Coles