Djaka Blais-Amare


Djaka Blais-Amare (she/her) is a seasoned bilingual social sector leader with 18 years of experience in philanthropy, government, and community mobilizing. Djaka is a change agent to shift power dynamics and remove oppressive structures within philanthropic organizations and in relation to communities. As a recognized thought leader on equity in philanthropy, she focuses on continuous improvement, advocates for marginalized voices and grassroots initiatives at decision-making tables (create “seats at the table”). 

Djaka is the Director, Grants and Racial Equity Strategy with Calgary Foundation where she guides the Foundation through an ongoing journey of towards a Racial Equity Culture, which closely intersects and builds on the Foundation’s Reconciliation Journey. She also works collaboratively with the Grants Team to deliver a broad range of grantmaking activities. 

Before joining Calgary Foundation, Djaka worked for several years with the federal government where she administered a variety of funding programs, including the Official Languages Program, Multiculturalism Program and Settlement Programs.

Djaka is a founding member of the Foundation for Black Communities, the first philanthropic foundation for Black communities in Canada. She is a board member with Philanthropic Foundations Canada and completed a fellowship with the Justice Funders Harmony Initiative.

Djaka was born on unceded Indigenous lands on the Island of Tiohtiá:ke or Montréal and now lives, works and plays in Moh’kinsstis or Calgary with her husband and two boys and enjoys travelling with them whenever possible.