Want to get in touch with ALIVE?

If you are a member of the community and have any concerns, ideas, suggestions or questions, we encourage you to contact us directly by email or phone to discuss and/or set up an appointment.

We can be reached by email at info@alivesociety.ca or via phone 604.417.0327

ALIVE is also on Facebook and Twitter

Our Facebook page is a place where ALIVE members and supporters connect with each other, share information and discuss important issues affecting the urban Aboriginal community.

Mailing address: ALIVE Society c/o Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre 920 E. Hastings St. Vancouver BC V6A 3T1

*Mail can also be dropped off in-person to the front desk at RayCam

Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement Society


ALIVE (Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement) Society exists to promote, enhance and foster the social, economic, and cultural well-being and health of Aboriginal peoples in Vancouver. Working within a place-based framework to develop inclusive strategies to support Aboriginal individuals, families, and extended families wherever they find themselves; ALIVE creates opportunities for urban Aboriginal people in the City of Vancouver to fully engage as citizens in their neighbourhoods and in the city as a whole. ALIVE was created in 2010 in response to the needs and desires of many urban Aboriginal peoples to seek supports and receive services in a new way.

We reach out to our community on an ongoing basis to ensure we remain fully accountable to our members and communities to which they belong. ALIVE strives to build effective partnerships and collaboratives, promoting initiatives and strategies that Enhance the experiences of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. The recent, Environics Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study (UAPS), supports our findings that the majority of Aboriginal peoples in Vancouver feel empowered to contribute to community life within their neighbourhoods, and that they can make Vancouver a better place to live. The UAPS reports that success means a balanced life, close to family and friends, raising healthy well-adjusted children who contribute positively to their community.
A large proportion of Aboriginal peoples in our city report multiple barriers to participation, including feelings of stigmatization and negative experiences accessing supports and resources such as housing, education, childcare and employment. ALIVE believes that, using a place-based strategy, we can create avenues for Aboriginal citizens to have meaningful impacts in their communities and to identify their role in the urban ‘place’ on their own terms. Place-based approaches work to actively engage citizens by removing barriers, and promoting people-centred, participatory service delivery and economic involvement. It does so by creating comprehensive, holistic, and integrated strategies that target both the individual and broader community needs.

Our approach to service delivery is much broader than the current federal, provincial, and municipal government models which keep us segregated and fund programs through competitive, siloed processes. Our model is outlined in more detail in the attached Reconciliation In Action-2014 booklet. We believe that to truly be reflective and relevant, change must be progressive, evidence-based, and involve our citizens and partners. This approach is not endorsed at this time by any government level with the exception of the Vancouver School Board, which has endorsed our Graduation Strategy, a partnership developed to ensure all children are fully prepared for each level of education and that all achieve success.

This approach and the principles involved are very similar to the Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) processes that many land-based First Nations are now developing. ALIVE has been inspired by the work of Musqueam First Nations CCP process, which is described in more detail in the booklet as presented by Musqueam Councillor Wendy Grant-John. Our challenges are very different of course from that of land-based peoples, but the Indigenous principles we have adopted of connecting the social, economic, and environmental variables are quite similar. Our strategic approach is fully supported by BC Representative of Children and Youth, who shares their thoughts in the Reconciliation booklet on the need to embrace evidence-based strategic approaches, beginning with a prenatal lens and continuing to support our children and families through to post secondary graduation.

ALIVE society is committed to engaging the principles of a place-based philosophy to, foster equitable and inclusive communities for Aboriginal peoples in Vancouver. As a resource to the community, we have created a document outlining the philosophy, as well as specific place-based contexts and practises. Download a PDF of our place-based 2 pager here
Or check out our Reconciliation in Action Booklet to learn more about the collective impact, place-based work of ALIVE and our partners.

ALIVE Board of Directors 2014-2015

We had a great turnout for ALIVE’s 2014 AGM! Thanks to everyone who joined us…



We are pleased to announce the ALIVE Board of Directors for 2014-2015


President: Ernie Crey

Vice President: Penny Kerrigan

Treasurer: Clayton Brown

Secretary: Devon Webster


Board Members:

Melanie Lecoy

Carol Martin

Brandon Block

John Skulsh

Rob Morgan

Kwakwee Baker

Marilyn McKee

Bill Lightbown

Lorelei Hawkins

 The evening began with dinner and a screening of “Our Place, Our Children”, a short documentary that follows Caprice, an indigenous youth who suffered a critical crisis in 2012, and the important family figures who supported her through her recovery process.
This film is a collaboration between Caprice and Melanie Rita Lecoy (ALIVE board member), Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement Society(ALIVE), Our Place, Raycam Community Centre, and Salish Sea Productions. It was well-received by all ALIVE members.




New ALIVE Logo by Lou-ann Ika’wega Neel

ALIVE would like to thank Lou-ann Neel for creating this beautiful design, titled ‘In Coast Salish Territory’, to represent our organization and the diverse communities we work with.

Great work Lou-ann!

(Below is an artist statement and bio)

 In Coast Salish Territory

 “In Coast Salish Territory” is an original design created in 2014 by Lou-ann Ika’wega Neel, for the Aboriginal Life In Vancouver Enhancement Society.

 “In Coast Salish Territory” speaks to our diverse communities, as represented by the ‘four stars of the four directions’ that shine brightly in the night sky.

 Two wolves provide protection and guidance to all who roam this land; Sky Spirit Wolf transforms minute by minute, forming the clouds that dance across our coastal communities, keeping our air clean.  Sea Spirit Wolf swims to and fro, creating the hourly tides that grace our coastlines and enable marine life to flourish.  Wolves represent loyalty and strong family ties. Wolves are social and communicative beings, and are very strategic hunters.

 They are integral to the delicate ecosystems that provide us with our homes, our food and our communities, and they protect the mountainous landscape that serves as home to many of our other Original Ancestors.

 Together in a circle of our sacred red cedar bark, these symbols collectively speak to the commitment of the ALIVE Society – to promote, enhance and foster the social, economic, and cultural well-being and health of Aboriginal peoples in Vancouver.

  Lou-ann Ika’wega Neel

 My Kwakwaka’wakw potlatch names are Ika’wega, Kiditl’logw, and Ga’astalaas, and I am from the Kwagiulth, Mamalilikulla, Ma’amtagila, ‘Namgis and Kwickwasutaineuk people of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation.  My grandmother was Ellen Ka’kasolas Neel (nee Newman), and she spent most of her life here in Vancouver, BC.  When I was invited to submit a logo for consideration by ALIVE, I was very honored, as my grandmother was a full time artist in Vancouver from the early 1940’s until her passing in 1966.

 I am now a full time art-school student and practicing artist residing in Vancouver.  I work with artists and community organizations to promote creative, artistic, and cultural activities across the Lower Mainland, and am pleased to support the good work of ALIVE!

ALIVE Board 2013-2014

ALIVE is pleased to introduce the Board for 2013-2014

ALIVE Board of Directors 2013-2014


President: Ernie Crey


Vice President: Penny Kerrigan


Treasurer: Marilyn McKee


Secretary: Clayton Brown


Board Members:

Lorelei Hawkins

Carol Martin

Bill Lightbown

 Grace Tait

Rob Morgan

Melanie Lecoy

Devon Webster

Zee Baker

Youth Representatives:

Cassandra Simeon

Kurtis McKee

Our Place and ALIVE- Creating a Culture of Success for Children Living in Vancouver’s Inner City

 Our Place is a collaboration of residents, community-based organizations, and service providers committed to ensuring that  children living in Vancouver’s inner city have every opportunity for success.  ALIVE is an active partner in the Our Place initiative.

Our Place service hubs are Ray-Cam Community Centre at 920 East Hastings, the Network of Inner City Community Services Society at 877 East Hastings, and Strathcona Community Centre at 604 Keefer Street. To find out more go to http://www.aboutourplace.ca/

Become a member

Download the membership form here

Once you fill it out, either email to: info@alivesociety.ca This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or return to Ray Cam Community Centre 920 E. Hastings St., Vancouver




President: Grace Tait

Vice President: Penny Irons                           

Secretary: Ambrose Williams                  

Co-Treasurer: Devon Webster                     

Co-Treasurer: Melanie Lecoy                                    



Stella August                          

Patrick Canning                    

Ernie Crey                              

Mark Handley                       

Lorelei Hawkins                   

Donald Isbester                     

Bill Lightbown                       

Carol Martin                           

Marilyn McKee                   

Jenelle McMillan                     

Roseanne Supernault             


Youth Reps:

Darren Baptiste                    

James Naknakin