After twenty years of working in the North and the past 2 decades working on reconciliation across sectors Davida and Tosh are ready to share what they have learned and use this knowledge to support other organizations in responding to the TRC's 94 calls to action and supporting Indigenous self-determination.
Both founders are from the Yukon and are strong First Nations women who have a track record of creating the systemic change in organizations needed for reconciliation to actually occur. Tosh and Davida have an extensive network across the Yukon, and nationally across post-secondary institutions. They have built a distinct reputation for working with organizations and Indigenous communities to design and implement projects that move the bar on reconciliation forward.
Meet The Team
Consultant & Founding Partner
Tosh Southwick, belongs to the wolf moiety and is a Citizen of Kluane First Nation. She grew up in a small northern community and is the mother to three children and the auntie to many more. She has worked with Yukon First Nations most of her career and in many different capacities. Most recently in her previous role as the Associate Vice President of Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation at Yukon University Tosh oversaw the integration of First Nation ways of knowing and doing throughout the institution. During her 12 years there she worked with her team to ensure that Yukon University was meeting the education and training needs of the 14 Yukon First Nations. Tosh is a trained facilitator and knowledge sharer. She has worked with organizations across sectors to build and deliver relevant and culturally appropriate workshops and creating safe spaces to explore complex topics. Tosh has worked in Governance, Education, Human Resources and Health for various First Nation Governments and organizations. She has also served as youth councilor and Deputy Chief for her First Nation. Tosh acquired her B.A. with honors in Psychology from the University of Victoria and completed a Master’s in Education with the University of British Columbia.
Sarah grew up in the UK and has lived in Whitehorse for 5 years. She has postgraduate degrees in both Music and Human Resources, and during her time in the Yukon has held HR roles in the Yukon government’s Health & Social Services department, and Yukon University. Prior to her move to the Yukon, Sarah worked internationally in recruitment, across multiple sectors including Retail, Financial Services and Data Analytics. Sarah is overjoyed to continue to serve her community through her support to this team of strong, talented and innovative women. Outside of work, Sarah can usually be found in the mountains – whether on bike, foot or skis. Or, like many of her IRP colleagues, snuggling with the family dog!
Consultant & Founding Partner
Davida Wood is a born and raised Yukoner from the Teslin Tlingit Council of Southern Yukon, a member of the crow moiety and Kùkhhittàn clan. Her formal education was completed through the University of Regina via Yukon College with an Education degree. Her informal education is on-going through her various roles in life; business owner, consultant, director, facilitator, mother, wife, teacher, First Nation member, committee member and traveler.
It is with great and excitement and passion that she co-founded IRP consulting. Working to not only further self-determination for Indigenous people, but also to work closely with other entities who are embarking on or furthering their learning and journeys on how we are all able to thrive together on this land.
Uniting her passions, interests and past experience Davida is looking forward to working thoughtfully on projects with you.
Kae Gatenbsy is a life-long Yukoner, who loves her wife, her pets, and her Jeep. She often spends time driving around, venturing down roads she had never been down. After spending 6 years in retail, she needed a change, and is very excited to be the newest addition to the IRP Consulting team.
She enjoys reading and creating art very much, and looks for inspiration everywhere she goes! She also has a great interest in anything musical. She spent 8 years in the All-City Band, and though she is no longer a member, she finds music to be one of the best things about life. It holds a special place in her heart.
Despite hating the snowy weather, she can't seem to pull herself away from her beautiful hometown of Whitehorse, Yukon. The sights are stunning, and she loves spending time near the Yukon River, it always gives her a sense of home.
Director of Finance & Operations
Cassandra, better known as Cass, was born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, where
she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Memorial University of
Newfoundland (MUN) before deciding to pursue a career in education. After completing her
B.Ed., she spent four years teaching in the northern Labrador community of Natuashish and in
Iqaluit, Nunavut before moving to Whitehorse in 2008. After five years at Yukon Learn, an adult
literacy center, she accepted a position at Yukon College, now Yukon University, as a facilitator
with First Nations Initiatives (FNI). As part of the FNI team, Cass had the opportunity to work
with all departments - delivering workshops on Yukon First Nation history and culture,
reviewing curriculum, and supporting senior executive as they implemented Indigenization
goals. It was in this capacity that Cass was able to further explore her interest in creation and
design. As the Creative Director at IRP she is continuing to build her skills in this area while
pursuing her other passion of doing her part as an ally in the ongoing journey of reconciliation.
She is excited to see where this new direction in her career will lead. Outside of work you will
likely find her snuggling with her cat, Hank, while watching Netflix or proudly donning the
purple and gold jersey of the Yukon Thunder broomball team – and probably out of position!