Doreen Williams

Doreen Williams

2023 Innovative Leadership Award - Calgary

Executive Director

Circle of Wisdom Elders & Seniors Centre

Nominator Comments:

Doreen has built an organization that is Indigenous-led and staffed to support urban Indigenous Elders and seniors. The Circle of Wisdom was born when she hosted a dinner for Elders and listening to them talk about the need for a welcoming and healing space to gather that would support Elders and seniors regardless of where they are from (Indigenous, Metis, Inuit). She has followed the teachings and guidance of various Elders and follows protocols in program and service delivery.

Her most recent project that the Circle of Wisdom launched is called the Blanket Project which uses the medicine wheel as the basis of triage and assessment for working with Indigenous Elders and seniors. The Medicine Wheel considers the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of the person. Given the complexities that most Elders and Indigenous seniors face with the impacts of residential schools and intergenerational trauma, this approach offers a more holistic way of working through the needs of those that come to the Centre. The goal of this project is to build the capacity and resiliency of the people who come to the Centre so they are better able to heal themselves and help others.

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