BIPOC Recovery Pathways

Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour Recovery Pathways:  Equity, Intersectionality, Inclusion

Panellists will discuss lived experience on the intersectionality, diversity and historical racism and prejudice encountered when accessing professional and peer-based recovery supports. BIPOC communities are historically less likely to have access to safe, quality healthcare for mental health and substance use-related traumas and challenges. All Canadians have shared responsibility to create a safe and respectful recovery-oriented environment for Black, Indigenous, and persons of colour.

It is important to foster foundational knowledge of the significance of Black, Indigenous and persons of colour experiences in seeking pathways to and of recovery.

Objectives Goals
The intent of this facilitated panel discussion is to instil hope, acknowledge the need to seek out, share and affirm the distinct histories of BIPOC recovery communities and unlearn dominant narratives of historical and contemporary roles in the cultural, social, political, legal, and economic life. The session’s goal is to shed light on the foundation of truth and knowledge required to effect real change.

Lived Experience Panel Moderator 

Todd Ware, a person with lived experience with addiction, recovery and healthcare.

Lived Experience Panel

Avis O’Brien (Nalaga / Kaaw Kuuna)

Avis is a Haida Kwakwaka’wakw land-based cultural empowerment facilitator who has been on the Red Road for 13 years. Her passion is working within Indigenous communities helping to diminish shame rooted in our colonial history and built strength, healing and wellness through a connection to land and culture. She does this through her business, Nalaga Designs.




Donovan Patrick Mahoney

Donovan is a First Nations man from the Kwakwakuwak People, the Namgis Band in Alert Bay was born in Vancouver… Has been teaching Yoga, meditation and mindfulness in treatment centres and public studios In Vancouver and Thailand… He is also Well known for his photography and writing in the downtown Eastside.

Vindi Sekhon – Recovering from Substance Use Disorder

Vindi Sekhon is a Communication Specialist at Wildlife Rescue Association of BC. She completed her Business Management Diploma at SAIT College in Calgary, AB before pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication and minor in Marketing from Royal Roads University. Her experience in various corporate, non-profit, and small business organizations has allowed her to develop a versatile portfolio that allows her to step into tasks and challenges with ease of understanding various communication styles among people.

Vindi is proud to be in recovery and uses her experience as an Indo-Canadian woman to inspire men and women who face challenges to access the help they need.

In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, nature, and spending time with animals.

Kia Kadiri is a respected vocalist based in Vancouver.  For over 20 years her unique style has kept her in demand as a performer, instructor, facilitator and recording artist.  Kia has worked with organizations such as the Vancouver Biennale, Artstarts, Urban Ink and the City of Vancouver; teaching youth songwriting and the history of hip-hop culture.




My name is Kevin Parker

I started using substances when I was a young teenager

I ended up spending over 10 years on the downtown side east side and in and out of prisons for 14 years I found my way to recovery in 2009

Since then I’ve been on a recovery path and focus on helping others that want to recover.





My name is Todd

I am a child of Africville. I am a son, father, brother and I love my family as I define it.

I identify as a person in recovery and I put myself out there with transparency, humility and compassion and hold hope it will inspire others to do the same and ask for help.

I walk with people in recovery as it drives me to be better and to help others find their way back to what they truly value and love.

Being my best self has become about being a good helper to folks as they enter their recovery journey. I have built a way of being which has far exceeded anything I would have foreseen for myself, but it’s in my journey that I know…

No one needs to walk alone, the journey may always be travelled together.

In solidarity and service, Todd



About the Conference

This one-day Recovery Capital Virtual Conference will include:

  • Expert Speakers presenting on Assessing and how to build Recovery Capital, the Science of Recovery,  and other related topics.
  • Earn CEUs
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Full Conference Experience using the WHOVA App


Full Speaker Program

Click here for the Full Speaker’s Program

Thank you to our Sponsors and Partners

Continuing Education Units