Susan Tatoosh

Susan Tatoosh

Executive Director, Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society

Susan Tatoosh, is a respected elder and mentor who, as Executive Director of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society, is credited with significant improvements to programming and services for the Urban Indigenous community and assisting some of the most marginalized populations.

Of Shuswap ancestry and a member of the Hupacaseth First Nation of the Nuu -chah-nulth Tribal Council. Susan has dedicated her life to working with people, bringing her leadership, governance, planning and management skills to many of the boards of urban Indigenous organizations and non-Indigenous organizations in the Greater Vancouver area.

She was instrumental in moving the homeless shelter from the gym of the Friendship Centre to a well-managed temporary emergency shelter in the Downtown Eastside. She is presently working with the City of Vancouver and BC Housing on the development of a permanent second shelter that will house transition units and affordable housing and market housing in the Strathcona neighborhood.

She also worked with the City of Vancouver on the Dialogue project that brought together Indigenous Peoples and new immigrants to build a better understanding between cultures and help to alleviate discrimination and racism.

As Chair of the Aboriginal Community Career Services Society (ACCESS)she worked with the President for 15 years to ensure opportunities in education, training and employment were accessible for Indigenous people. As a founding member of Urban Spirit Foundation, she ensures that opportunities are open to youth to upgrade their education, continue their education at the university level and find employment.