About the IRF

Indigenous-led Healing and Reconciliation for Communities and Families

About the IRF

A Catholic Commitment to Healing and Reconciliation

The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF) is an arms-length, federally incorporated not-for-profit registered charity with its own independent Board of Directors and members comprised of Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders. The charity was registered in March 2022 and its first Board meeting was held in June 2022. In the IRF’s first year of operation, the Board approved 18 projects. As of today, the IRF has approved 89 projects across Canada.

The IRF Board meetings are held monthly and scheduled on the second Thursday of each month. Proposal applications, for consideration, should be submitted at the beginning of each month. Dioceses and their Indigenous partners are discerning local Indigenous reconciliation needs and opportunities and apply directly to the IRF for funding.

The Indigenous Fund Board of Directors & Members


Rosella Kinoshameg

Board Chair

Rosella is an Odawa/Ojibway woman and residential school survivor from the Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation Territory, with over 50 years of nursing experience, mostly working with First Nations communities on community health care.

She has an honourary doctorate in Sacred Letters from Regis College at the University of Toronto. In April 2023, she was honoured with the Magis Award.

Giselle Marion


Giselle is a Tlicho Citizen, born and raised in Behchokǫ, North West Territories. She is the Director of Client Services with the Tlicho Government, which represents the Dene people of NT.

She holds a law degree from the University of British Columbia.

The Honourable Graydon Nicholas


Graydon has a lengthy history of working for justice for First Nations and other people. He was the first Indigenous person in Atlantic Canada to earn a law degree, the first Indigenous judge in New Brunswick, and was Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick from 2009 to 2014, also a first for an Indigenous person.

Presently, he is the Chancellor of St. Thomas University, where he is the Endowed Chair of Native Studies.

William Angalik


William Angalik is an Indigenous educator from Arviat, Nunavut, who teaches Information and Communication Technology in both Inuktitut and English.

Ordained in January 2023, he serves as a Deacon for St. Theresa Church and has actively contributed to Indigenous initiatives during his three-year term with the Canadian Catholic Indigenous Council. Currently, William is a member of the Diocesan Reconciliation Fund Committee for the Diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay, Nunavut.

Dennis Whitford


Dennis Whitford, who is of Métis heritage and was bestowed the name Two Thunder Caller by an Elder from the Blackfoot Confederacy, brings a wealth of experience and dedication to the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund Board. Following a 27-year career with the Government of Alberta, Child and Family Services, he is currently the owner of 2Thunder Consulting.

Dennis holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Calgary and is a registered Social Worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers.


Nat Gallo

Member – Former Supreme Director of the Knights of Columbus

Barbara Dowding

Member – Former National President, CWL, Canada

Omar Ellis

Member – Vice-President Social Justice – The National Council Society of Saint Vincent de Paul

Bishop Christian Riesbeck

Episcopal Liaison between IRF and CCCB

Our Logo

The Story of our Brand + Logo Design

The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund logo was created by Shaun Vincent, a Winnipeg-based Métis graphic designer, for the 2022 Papal visit to Canada.

When asked what inspired the design, Vincent shared that he thought of family and friends, traditions and teachings and the grandfather drum that gives rhythm to dance, circles of flowered beadwork and a circle of outstretched arms while throat singing under the sun. In a circle, all are equal, all are visible.

Vincent then looked to animals that have symbolism across many Indigenous nations:

  • the eagle, which represents a connection to the Creator,
  • the bison, which symbolized the support and strength of a herd,
  • caribou, which persevere on harsh lands to find what they need to survive,
  • Arctic char and salmon, which represent sustenance and strength of great migrations.

He chose the colour blue to bring the calming nature of water and air.

Vincent’s design, which was approved by a committee that included Elders and residential school survivors, carries a message of hope and unity during a time of historical reconciliation and healing.

The information provided above is a summary based on an article and interview with Shaun Vincent published by CBC in 2022. The original article can be accessed at


The Dioceses/Regional
Reconciliation Committee Formation

Dioceses can choose to create their own Committee (or leverage their own existing Reconciliation Action Committee, Discernment Circle or working group) or join together with other Dioceses to create a Regional Reconciliation Committee.

Committees can make granting recommendations/requests to the IRF for up to the amount that their Diocese has contributed to the Fund. Committees are responsible for consulting with local Indigenous leaders, groups and agencies to source potential grantees.

Grant recommendations/requests to the Fund are to be made with Indigenous input based upon an assessment of their merit and local value consistent with the General Criteria/Guidelines for granting and within each Diocese/Region’s budget.

Diocesan/Regional Reconciliation Committees can seek support from other Committees for grant requests that have impact beyond their Diocese/Region or are in excess of the Committee’s budget.

The Committee’s role is central to the success of the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund by ensuring that grant requests to the Fund are consistent with the Fund’s General Criteria/Guidelines for granting and that such grants made by the Fund have the maximum positive impact in their Diocese/region.

Committees are expected to exist for up to 7 years or until all of the monies contributed by the local Diocese/Region have been granted by the Fund.