Banff Centre Announces Simon Ross as Director of Indigenous Leadership

January 17, 2022, Banff, AB – Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is proud to announce Simon Ross as Director of Indigenous Leadership. Mr. Ross is a hereditary member of the Nlaka'pamux Nation in British Columbia. He has more than twenty years of successful experience in the areas of post-secondary education, healthcare, non-profit sector and working with and for multiple Indigenous communities and organizations. Simon has multidisciplinary interests ranging from community health, career development, leadership training, adventure tourism, and environmental land-based education.

This year marks 50 years of indigenous Leadership programming at Banff Centre and we are pleased to celebrate this milestone as we welcome Simon’s leadership of the Centre’s wide range of Indigenous leadership training programs. Simon brings a wealth of experience to this role, and we look forward to working with him to further develop Indigenous Leadership at Banff Centre.

Janice Price, President and CEO of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

I am humbled to take on this role, following in footsteps of incredible leaders, faculty, and Elders who have guided Indigenous Leadership programming at Banff Centre for 50 years. I intend to listen, and to ensure the programming remains relevant in the context of reconciliation and reconcili-action in Canada.

Simon Ross, Director of Indigenous Leadership

About Simon:

Throughout his career, Simon has stood at the forefront of developing meaningful connections and has built a reputation as a catalyst in championing the empowerment of individuals and communities. 

Working with the Ktunaxa First Nation on their social governance initiative, Simon provided support and guidance to leadership based on research and evaluation of the Indian Act and British Columbia legislation to support their community development of strong, healthy individuals, families, and communities. This research and experience ignited Simon’s passion to explore Indigenous leadership in greater breadth.

As a senior health program advisor in his previous role at Alberta Health Services, he partnered with healthcare providers to better understand the diverse needs of First Nation communities in planning quality programs and services. In the areas of education and career development, Simon worked as liaison between Indigenous workers and future employers and initiated culturally based Indigenous and non-Indigenous skills and leadership training programs. He has provided operational leadership in funding, program advancement, strategic planning, board governance, and community and governmental relations.

About Indigenous Leadership Programs at Banff Centre:

Indigenous Leadership programming at Banff Centre provides leaders an opportunity to gain a better understanding of how to establish a strategic direction for their communities and organizations, implement that plan through focused effort, and measure performance. Leaders also learn the knowledge and skills necessary to run effective organizations and build communities with sustainable economies. With investment in their professional development, community leaders will have additional knowledge and tools to achieve incredible change and growth.

The programming model is in the form of the sacred circle of life. The inner circle sets out the principles that underpin all our work, which is called Right Relations and mirrors the seven grandfather teachings. The next circle is the Wise Practices model with its seven elements of success. The seven elements of success are: identity and culture; leadership; strategic vision and planning; governance and management; accountability and stewardship; performance evaluation; and collaborations, partnerships, and external relationships.

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity:

Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home on Treaty 7 territory in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach.

Land Acknowledgement:

We acknowledge, with deep respect and gratitude, our home on the side of Sacred Buffalo Guardian Mountain. In the spirit of respect and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Banff area, known as “Minhrpa” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “the waterfalls”) and the Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley First Nations – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Shuswap Nations, Ktunaxa Nations, and Metis Nation of Alberta, Region 3. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play, help us steward this land, and honour and celebrate this place.