Chris Livingstone is a COPE candidate for Vancouver Park Board. Join COPE to help elect Chris and all the other COPE candidates by signing up here.
What is your background and experience? What work have you done in your life or community that is relevant to the office you're seeking?
My Nisga'a name is Ukws Kots'a, a beaver clan name passed down from time immemorial. With the name comes the responsibility to the people, which is a duty transferrable and not defined by borders or geographic locations. It flows directly from the people and is based on connection and respects diversity. It also helps to keep me motivated to build, create, and contribute to community and people.
- Formed the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, serving as their first member, director, president and community organizer
- Elected negotiator Woodsquat 2002
- Constituency Representative Pivot Legal Society
- Squatter at Crab Park – Called for Indigenous Longhouse
- Director, Pacific AIDS Network Society
- lnsite for Community Safety
- COOP Radio Show Host and Producer "From a Whisper to a Song"
- Wrote and Managed WAHRS project From a Whisper to a Song Bridging the Peer Collective together
Current community roles:
- Peer Navigator Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council (Urban Indigenous Opioid Taskforce)
- Helped to revive community support for Crab Park Healing Project
- Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society Director
- Aboriginal Front Door Society Member at Large
- Community Action Initiatives – Advisory
- Member VPD Indigenous Advisory Vancouver Community Action Team
- Formed and served as director for Serious Hope Society
- Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre Outreach Coordinator
- Created Smoke Signals Digital Outreach Hub
What do you like about COPE and why do you think you’ll be a good fit for COPE?
I can relate to many of COPE’s campaigns and policies, from the street to the residents. I recognize the people, and I think the multi-focus that COPE has helps us all envision the future of Vancouverites. I also recognize the hard work that has been done, and that needs to continue going forward to address the imbalances in our society.
I think I share values with COPE and its members in so many areas:
- Experience relating to homelessness and housing, having spent time myself being homeless as well organizing people with lived experience helping in Vancouver’s parks/homeless encampments.
- In favour of expanding the safety net for people and initiating compassionate ways with interacting with citizens feeling the effects of trauma and poverty.
- Re-evaluation of our relationships with authorities and how we can functionally connect our community needs to better realities.
- As a director for many organizations and radio show host I've done a lot of listening, learning peoples’ stories and histories of how they've come to call Vancouver home, as well as some of the challenges we often face.
- I pride myself on being a member of the Nisga'a beaver house and am interested in turning the safety net into a dam, where no one slips through.
What are the big issues you want to highlight during the election campaign and work on while in office?
- Strengthen relationship with MST and Urban Indigenous communities.
- Strengthen the community voice and bring MST and MVAEC together in partnership to build a healing centre at crab park.
- Help support putting resources and homes in the hands of communities and people.
- Work towards implementing a safe, non-toxic supply for substance users and end the criminalization/stigma of people treating their own trauma.
- Raise the rates of income assistance to adjust to today's markets.
- Work with youth and keep them engaged and enthusiastic and hopeful. Build no-cost recreation facilities such as outdoor pools.
- Establish more fruit-bearing trees in Vancouver Parks Ecosystems, and community garden spaces.
- Work to clearly define concepts; decolonialization, reconciliation, land back, indigenous governance, and bring them into the light of policy for communities.
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