(‘i’ ce:p’uw’eli’’al) (Programs Supervisor– Elder and Cultural Support Coordinator) for Indian Residential School Survivors Society);
I am xwulmuxw from Snuneymuxw on Vancouver Island with a B.A. History Major from the University of Winnipeg. I have a long history working with Indigenous Peoples, spending seven years with Snuneymuxw First Nation as a Negotiator and Assistant Negotiator while fulfilling a Communications and a Community Relations role. Later, I continued with Te’mexw Treaty Association as a Communications Manager for six-and-a-half years. My passion is working and advocating for Indigenous Peoples in B.C., ensuring that our history and voices are never silenced. At the Indian Residential School Survivors Society I was first the Workshop Coordinator, then the Programs Manager/
RHSW Supervisor and currently hold the title of Acting Executive Director. My passion and dedication are working for the Indigenous people of B.C. I also educate, inform, and get people thinking about how colonization has impacted--and had damaging effects on--Indigenous Peoples in Canada. I also assist in the facilitation of wellness workshops for Intergenerational and Residential School Survivors within Indigenous communities. I believe it is important that everyone understands and shares our unspoken truth of what happened in our backyard. The impact of Residential Schools is not only an Indigenous history, it is a Canadian history. What I provide is just a glimpse of that story.
Hay c:eep qa
Adeline is Haida from Haida Gwaii.
She has been doing Arty Therapy Groups or Individual since 1998.
She has presented to different First Nations and non-First Nations in different areas in British Columbia. As well as what is needed in the community.
Her passion is to see the wounded get on their healing path and become all that they can in different areas in their lives. She tends to focus on the positives and helps individuals to see their abilities.
She is a Survivor of Indian Residential School and understands the complexity of the harms that have occurred.
She has worked with IRSSS since 2005 and is passionate about healing for the wounded and hurting.
Shirley David, (MISW) is originally from the Gitxsan / Wet’su’wet en Nation. Shirley has a Masters of Indigenous Social Work (MISW), a Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work (BISW), an Addictions Counselor Certificate, an Aboriginal Life Skills Facilitator Certificate, an Aboriginal Trauma Certificate, and courses/programs from the Justice Institute of British Columbia.
She has worked with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society for the past eight years and is currently working in the Kamloops Regional office as the Resolution Health Support Worker (RHSW) and Aboriginal Therapist.
For Holistic Balance and guidance, Shirley's family is very important. She is a proud mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother. Shirley works her own Balance wheel on a daily basis. She likes walking, is a Pow Wow Traditional Dancer, and attends and participate in her Spiritual/Traditional Ceremonies and Gatherings. In her spare time, she does a little beading and sewing.
As Shirley stated, “When we can get past the darkness, our journey to recovery and Healing become a little easier”.
Greetings! My name is Dayle George and I was born in Edmonton, Alberta. I was raised in North Vancouver, British Columbia in my mother Verena George’s community, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. My father is Russell Campbell who is from Sturgeon Lake, Saskatchewan. From what I know, I am a mix of Coast Salish, Cree, Sioux, Scottish, and Nooksack.
I am a mother to one handsome little boy named William. My partner and our son have shown me a new way of life and have opened my eyes to a whole new world. Everything I do is for my family.
In 2013, I successfully completed the Applied Business Technology program at Native Education College which suited me up for office administration work. I have been with IRSSS for close to three years now and am constantly learning and growing. My passion for this Society and what we have to offer is neverending.
“Faith; it does not make things easier, it makes things possible”
My name is Jeremy Jones I come from Nanoose first nations on Vancouver Island. I have many roots within the Coast Salish peoples and some that stretch as far as Ditidaht in the Nuu-chah-nulth tribes. I have been brought up with traditional knowledge from my village and surrounding nations. It is with these teachings I have been able to put into practice the value of making sure that people can be taken care of in a way that is encompassing of there emotional and spiritual needs. After some time I attended the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in their chemical addictions worker program where I learned indigenous modalities in healing with a focus on folks with chemical addictions. I have a history of working in sexual health within indigenous communities both in local and National levels. In addition to my Sexual Health work, I have also explicitly worked in Gay Men's Health/men who have sex with men (MSM) in which I bring my own lived experience is a queer indigenous male in conjunction with my traditional upbringing. Having said this, it is also important to note that one of my biggest passions is working with our indigenous LGBTQ + community's and I hope to be able to specific Lee work with our indigenous queer communities as I proceed on with this work. It is with this experience I have found myself as a resolution health support worker / LGBTQ + liaison for the Indian residential school survivors Society. At the time of me writing this bio I have worked with Indian residential school survivors Society for just under a year and have had the opportunity to work with many diverse communities whether it be within the education of our history or walking with folks in their healing Journey. I have valued my time with the organisation so far, and I look forward to working with them as we continue this work together. So mostly what my role with Indian residential school survivor Society is to provide workshops to help educate folks about our real history, to provide emotional and spiritual support, in to walk with our people in a good way. Having said this, I would like to take this time to thank you for looking into our organisation and raise my hands to you to lift your spirit.
Hay c:eep qa
My Name is Vera Jones and I’m an Elder. I have been with IRSSS since January 2008. I am currently employed as an RHSW working out of our Vancouver office on Nanaimo Street.
I am Nisgaa and have lived in Greater Vancouver since January 1968. I have three children, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
I am an Indian Residential School Survivor of 14 years (not by choice).
I have hobbies (e.g., sewing, cedar weaving, and I’m interested in going back to school).
I am from the Tlingit Nation in Teslin, Yukon Territory. My dad is from a place called Johnson’s Crossing and my mom from Old Crow, 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle. They are both from the Wolf Clan, which makes me a Wolf. Although I was born in the beautiful Yukon, I was raised in Vancouver for most of my life. I have two beautiful children, Darrell and Sofie, who add much love to my life.
As a young woman, I spent most of it being a single mom and later married. During my mid-thirties, I got the incredible urge to learn! I was so hungry for knowledge. I attended the Native Education Centre for one year acquiring my Certificate in Family Counselling. From there I attended Langara College where I earned a Diploma in Arts & Science and my Diploma in Family & Community Counselling. My greatest educational achievement was in 2002 when I graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts Diploma in Sociology.
I love sharing knowledge with others, because “Knowledge is freedom”. Facilitating groups and hearing what our younger generation has to say is very exciting for me. I think my role in another life would have been a teacher. My passion is working with young moms, the homeless, and people in general. Nothing feels better than seeing expressions of happiness on someone’s face!
IRSSS has been my employer since 2010 and I am looking forward to the next page in our organization’s history!
Nehiyaw Niyaw (I am Cree). Sapotaweyak Manitou Wapaw ochi niya (I am from Sapotaweyak Manitoba). Isinikason Meskanaw Napew (I am known as Trail man). I believe in Nehiyaw epistemology (ways of being and doing) as this has helped me tremendously on my journey.
I have a Bachelor Social Work (BSW) from Nicola Valley Institute Technology (NVIT) and will be a Registered Social Worker (RSW) soon. I am applying to take my Masters Social Work (MSW) at UBC in 2017. Additionally, I have a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) from Fraser Valley University (FVU) that laddered in from a certificate, diploma, and advanced diploma in chemical addictions from NVIT. Also, soon I will be a registered addictions counsellor through the First Nations Wellness Addiction Counselling board (FNWAC).
My mother Dorothy was Nlekepmx/Okanagan of the Nicola Valley from a place called Springs. My late father was Dene/Metis from a small community called Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories. My parents--along with numerous family members--attended Indian Residential Schools.
My early years were influenced by the traditional teachings of my mother and my maternal grandparents. We grew up spending many hours learning to harvest traditional foods from the land and were taught work ethics from having to work as a family tending to livestock on the family ranch.
I am a proud parent of six and I am also the proud grandmother of eight grandchildren and three great-granddaughters. My common-law spouse Herman Edward and I currently reside in an area that is traditionally known as Neweenah but is commonly known as Keremeos.
My personal, family, and community experiences led to studying psychology, sociology, and Drug and Alcohol Counsellor Training. Today I work as a Resolution Health Support Worker and am influenced by understanding, compassion, and both mainstream and cultural/traditional teachings. Today I am grateful to be one small part of helping our people and community. One step, one day, and one paradigm shift at a time.
I am 27-years old and I am from the Tla’Amin Nation. I have worked in First Nations Health for over ten years and have been with the IRSSS for three. My position is a Scheduler and Statistician and I work closely with Angela White and the Cultural Support Program. I schedule many of the workshops and settlement hearings for our staff of support workers. I wish to educate future generations about the stories of Survivors and help in an administrative capacity to achieve those goals.
Ms. Morin is currently the Innovations and Transitions Manager at IRSSS. This role entails serving on the Management team and concerns new transitional planning as the IRSSS moves into its post-hearing stage.
She is a Secwepemc lawyer who has worked with First Nation Governments for over twenty years. She is currently a member of the Law Society of B.C. and in good standing.
Ms. Morin’s concern is rooted in humanitarian concerns. She was one of the co-founders of the Native Women’s Association of B.C. and has served five terms as the President. She also helps many other non-profit organizations.
She is the mother of one son and Grandmother to three grandsons.
Ms. Morin was born and raised in Williams Lake. She is the daughter of Walter and Elsie Gaspard who was born in Stswecem’c Xgat’tem (Dog Creek and Canoe Creek) and whom both attended St. Joseph Mission.
Ross comes from Squamish on his Mom’s side and Bella-Bella on his Dad’s side. Ross believes in--and lives in--our ancestor’s sacred beliefs and values. In his healing journey of over 23 years, Ross had many great Elders and teachers from where he can pass on traditional teachings. Ross has a great care for all peoples wellness and the impact of living a good life. In serving Indian Residential School and Intergenerational Survivors, the need to restore holistic wellness and balance in our lives is clear.
Ross passes on these teachings with Group Facilitation skills he learned at The Change of Seasons First Nations Men’s Domestic Violence Groups Program. Ross has been with IRSSS for three-and-a-half years and looks forward to continuing to serve all Indian Residential School and Inter-generational Survivors in the coming years. Ross believes that we are in a time of great healing and recovery from the hard times of Indian Residential Schools.
Arlene Roberts is from the Nisga’a / Tsimshian Nations and has 34 years of sobriety. Her son is Mike Dangeli, she has three stepchildren who call her mom (a title she dearly treasures), and is the grandmother of five wonderful grandchildren. Arlene also served for seven years as a firefighter in her community. She was raised in the culture of her nations and in accordance with the matrilineal tradition and responsibility to family, clan house, and community.
Arlene graduated from the University of BC / VST program in 2013, receiving her diploma from the Master of Divinity Native Consortium program (the M-div diploma is an equivalent of a social work diploma). She also has numerous certificates from programs and projects including the UVic Fetal Alcohol Syndrome training, Art Therapy for special needs, a two-year Internship with psychologist Dr. Ted Altar, a Diabetes Educator course, and an Aboriginal Statistics training program for market analysis. She has developed and presented workshop presentations on the History of Residential Schools/just the facts, Our foods and nutrition, Understanding Post Trauma, Genograms, Understanding Financial issues for healing, and numerous Cultural education sessions on Cedar bark weaving, Regalia, and history that she uses for Healing Sessions. Her inspiration continues to be her children and grandchildren and her special needs Drumming and Dance group, always with the belief that through our cultural knowledge and teachings Healing will prevail.
Greetings! My name is Wesley Scott and I am a counsellor and support worker with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. I have been with IRSSS for over three years providing emotional support, trauma counselling, and self-care workshops to Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors of all ages. My professional background is in Mental Health and Addictions as well as Street Community Outreach. I grew up in Victoria, B.C. and I spend my free time performing as an independent songwriter and musician.
My name is Carol Stegman, I am a Heiltsuk (Bella Bella) Band member, from the Central Coast of B.C. I have lived and worked in our urban Indigenous community for a number of years. I took Secretarial training and Office Administration courses through the LIFT Indian Future Training, Dexter Wallace & Associates, and ACCESS ESAF Program. I have worked for Indigenous organizations and in the public sector. While working at the Friendship Center I was able to meet so many people in the community; children, youth, and Elders. I met fellow Indigenous people from all over Turtle Island and had the opportunity to learn more about the diversity and uniqueness of our Indigenous cultures.
In my role as Receptionist at IRSSS, I look forward to working with the Staff and learning about the services that we provide to Residential School Survivors and their families in B.C. and Canada.
Tansi my name is Oswald Thomas I am Nehiyaw from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba and I was born and raised in Winnipeg.
I am the father of three beautiful children: Tineesha, Jesse, and Ozzie who live in Winnipeg with their family. I am a writer by trade but after attending my mother’s Residential School hearing with my siblings I decided I had some unfinished business to take care of.
My late aunty Marge Pruden--herself a Survivor--said that one day I would help the people on my journey. Thus far it’s allowed me to be of service to people from many First Nation communities across Turtle Island. The diversity, richness, and generosity of those experiences have continued to guide me as I trudge the road of happy destiny.
My name is Johnathan Whonnock I am Namgis from Alert Bay, British Columbia. I am from Kwakwaka’wakw speaking people or Kwakiutl. My grandmother Edith Nelson comes from Quatsino and my grandfather Gideon Whonnock is Namgis from Alert Bay. On my father’s side, my grandmother Violet Tait came from England and my grandfather Joseph Smith is from Belfast, Ireland. One of my l goals is to go to England and Ireland to connect with my family there.
I am a certified Addiction Counselor from the Sal’l’ishan Institute in 1992, a Trauma Counselor in 2008 with the Trauma Incident Reduction Association (TIRA), Applied Metapsychology, Frank A. Gerobde, M.D. I’ve taken courses in Suicide Prevention and Trauma from UBC and studied Emotional Competency with Dr. Lee Brown NVIT, FASD.
More recently I have worked with NNADAP at different Villages throughout B.C. I’ve also worked for Colville Confederated Tribes in Central Washington State in the Addictions Program.
Previously I worked in Corrections and at Friendship Centers here in the North as an Addictions Counselor and FASD Circle of Life Program.
I have been in our regional office in Terrace since 2012 in the role of RHSW.
My spiritual practices are Kwakwala Big House Namgis, the Indian Shaker Church West Saanich, Sweat Lodge and Sacred Prayer Pipe.
Hello; I am from the Heiltsuk Nation (Bella Bella BC), and am of the Raven Clan.
My work life is extensive, but my passion has been always to be a Helper.
I am a senior now and feel grateful to have made it to this age.
I am a Grandfather of six and Father to a Son and Daughter who provided these treasures to me.
I survived 10 years of Residence at the Port Alberni Indian Residential School and have come full circle to being the person I came to Earth to be, after being deterred by the years of experience in AIRS, and that is a Helper.
I am grateful to be privileged to work with all who help, within IRSSS and outside of IRSSS, to support and aid Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors of this era experienced by a large percentage of Indigenous People.
I envision a healthy and Harmonious experience for all.
Yowtz, Nugwa (sp), I am Umguelumx from the Haisla Nation, I belong to the Raven/ Beaver Clan. My home where I grew up, in Kitimat B.C. which is located along the North Coast of B.C.
My parents are the late Chris Walker and my dear mother Susan Walker, my siblings are three sisters, three brothers, plus numerous adopted family members. I am blessed with three sons, five grandchildren, three adopted grandchildren and one adorable great-grandson.
I have completed Business Administration Program at Native Education College in Vancouver, and an Accounting Program at the Academy of Learning also in Vancouver. My transition from a small quiet town to a large busy city has been quite the experience for myself. One goal for my job is to continue helping the awesome team of IRSSS in any way possible. I will continue to be thankful for what the Creator has in store for me, and also be grateful for having an amazing
job, comfortable work place and most of all the Team at Indian Residential School Survivors Society, I feel so blessed.
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