Indigenous cultural support worker Vicky Boldo moves on from Concordia
Vicky Boldo, long-time in-house cultural support worker for the Otsenhákta Student Centre at Concordia, has moved on to become special advisor for Indigenous student support at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
According to Boldo, the decision came after some deep personal reflection on her priorities and work-life balance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For those who have sat with me, you know that I continually encourage following the nudgings and promptings that Creator places on your path,” Boldo says. “Nudgings have now come on my path and I have been offered an opportunity to work closer to home.”
Apart from her former position at the OSC, which she held for four years, Boldo has juggled a variety of other important roles. These include being a research coordinator, a board member at the National Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation, a registered energy medicine practitioner, as well as a coach, motivational speaker and cultural facilitator. She is also a mother and grandmother, and she sees this career shift as a chance to hold more space for her family, on top of her health and well-being.
“I will continue to offer my gifts much in the same way, but in a different institution,” says Boldo. “I feel that Concordia has grown me up into an adult. I am forever grateful for the trust and respect that I was gifted throughout my time at the university.”
One of the many tasks Boldo undertook during her time at the university was to sit on the Indigenous Directions Leadership Council (IDLC).
“There are no words to describe the immense contributions that Vicky has made over the past several years at Concordia,” says Elizabeth Fast, assistant professor of applied human sciences and past member of the IDLC.
“Vicky has been an incredible support to both the Indigenous and larger Concordia community through her ability to listen, hold space and to communicate important truths. She has been the driver behind so many incredible initiatives — I don’t know what we will do without her.”
‘Someone who lives with great integrity and caring’
Of Cree/Coast Salish/Métis heritage, Boldo is an adoptee and survivor of the Sixties Scoop era. She has been a cherished ally and resource for Indigenous students and beyond.
“Vicky’s greatest accomplishment was reminding us what it means to be human,” says dean of students Andrew Woodall. “She provided the Indigenous students, staff and faculty with a resource to whom they could always turn for counsel, a caring ear or a laugh.”
Woodall says Boldo was unfailingly devoted to students, providing them with 24/7 support, celebrating their successes and holding innumerable events over the years. Through her own healing journey, she was able to offer unique perspective and understanding.
“She is someone who lives with great integrity and caring,” Woodall adds. “The mark she has left on us is indelible.”
Catherine Kinewesquao Richardson, director of the First People’s Studies program at Concordia, says Boldo brought people together across faiths, communities and ideologies. She did so by promoting decolonization in Canada through increased education and understanding and by facilitating a number of healing and talking circles.
“Vicky has been a real gem and it is unfortunate that we are losing her at Concordia,” Richardson notes. “She went way beyond the call of duty, treating students with kindness and respect and attending to all sorts of needs, both academic and in relation to isolation, loneliness and separation from their Indigenous community.”
Find out more about Concordia’s Otsenhákta Student Centre.