Debbie Everley

In this episode, Bruce Anderson from the Core Gift Institute talks with Debbie Everley, the Executive Director of the Kenora Association for Community Living in western Ontario, Canada which provides supports to people with disabilities and, more recently, young First Nations people trying to find their place in the community.

A thought leader amongst her peers, she is working alongside her employees and others in her community to understand more about the “how to” of identifying and bringing gifts of all people into their community.

In this interview, she is particularly interested in the kinds of gifts—she calls them core gifts— that arise out of life struggles. Her interest is to help community members use those kinds of gifts as a way to help heal what she calls the “heartbrokenness” of her community resulting from the devastating effect of the long, long history of colonization and victimization of First Nations peoples in the region.

She speaks forthrightly of her own growth and fears as she learns about her gifts, and how much confidence it takes to approach her community with the message that everyone’s gifts must be known and contributed if her community is to rightly claim itself as a genuine community.