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Award recipients’ biographies

Shawn Bayes, Vancouver, CEO, Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver

Winner of the Award of Distinction, Shawn Bayes has supported at-risk women and children impacted by the justice system for 40 years. As chief executive officer at Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver, Shawn’s innovations have filled support gaps, and helped marginalized women and children locally, provincially and across Canada. Throughout her career, Shawn has been driven by her heartfelt belief that connecting people with appropriate supports can empower them to make positive changes in their lives.

Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness, Victoria

Winner of the Safe Communities Award, the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH) provides culturally supportive, affordable housing and services to end homelessness for First Nations, Métis and Inuit across Vancouver Island. ACEH developed B.C.’s first culturally supportive housing program and decolonized harm-reduction services with the Indigenous Street Family Program, which includes land-based healing. Through research, advocacy and networking, ACEH is improving the lives of Indigenous people through systems-level change and helping them reconnect with their communities.

Lovepreet Brar, Surrey, Surrey family liaison victim services manager, RCMP Integrated Homicide Investigation Team

Winner of the Services to Victims Award, Lovepreet Brar has shown outstanding leadership and dedication assisting crime victims’ families as the family liaison victim services manager of the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT). IHIT provides support, liaison and co-ordination services for 28 RCMP-served communities and four municipal police-served communities in the Lower Mainland. Crown counsel, investigators, community support programs and families have praised Lovepreet for her work providing trauma-informed and empathic support to those in need.

Mary Brown, Heiltsuk Nation, program director, Heiltsuk Gvi’las Restorative Justice Program

Winner of the Restorative Justice Award, Mary Brown has innovated new programs and initiatives dedicated to Heiltsuk justice values. Since 1999, she has provided exceptional leadership developing sustainable solutions to issues facing her community of Heiltsuk Nation (Bella Bella). Mary is advancing restorative justice, and preventing and responding to conflict by working with Elders, adults and youth to create cohesive and culturally safe services.

Sk’ai Zeh Yah Youth Centre, Prince George

Winner of the Youth Leadership Award, Sk’ai Zeh Yah (Children of the Chiefs House) is a low-barrier youth centre that supports young adults up to 29 years of age, most of whom were formerly youth in care. The centre is operated by Carrier Sekani Family Services and opened in November 2020. Sk’ai Zeh Yah is a one-stop resource providing culturally safe and supportive services with wraparound supports that include outreach staff and life-skills workers. The centre also facilitates cultural connections for Indigenous youth and young adults living off-reserve.