Meet The Board: Candace Cleveland
As the summer approaches, REACH Edmonton is welcoming new members to the REACH Board.
Candace Cleveland, a Senior Manager at Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, joined the REACH board at the June 9 Annual General Meeting.
“I’ve been in the social work field for 15 years now and working with Bent Arrow and we collaborate with a variety of different stakeholders and agencies,” says Cleveland. “I realized that to affect real change we need to collaborate and utilize the gifts of others.”
“Because REACH is an agency that seeks to bring partners together and expertise from different agencies and organizations it just fits with the work we currently do and long term sustainable community development,” she says.
Cleveland brings a wide variety of experience to the board and is hoping to put it to work.
“Being a biracial person, I think it’s really important that we create equity in the community among a diverse population,” she says. “We should have all voices at the table and everyone should feel valued and safe in the community.”
She brings an understanding of intergenerational trauma and more than a decade of work in the Indigenous community.
Cleveland’s career started out as a youth care counsellor, then family support work, kinship and foster care supervision, family and group home oversight and finally she now manages collaborative service delivery.
With first-hand experience at every level of the system families are dealing with, she has a clear understanding of the challenges they face.
“I had my daughter at 16, I so decided to help kids realize they have potential, no matter their experience,” she says.
Cleveland says she’s looking forward to widening her understanding of the agencies and organizations working with REACH, while bringing the benefits of an Indigenous worldview to the table, especially to the Governance Committee.
“I want to support a conversation around traditional governance, where everyone has a key role to play,” she says. “Indigenous communities were high functioning societies before settlers came and changed things.”
With all the possibilities and opportunities to learn, Cleveland says she’s excited to get started.
“Having an agency such as REACH is integral becaused a lot of time, in the non-profit world, we don’t necessarily know what our neighbours or everyone is doing so it’s essential there are agencies like REACH bridging that gap.”