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.
My name is Alanna Moore, and I am a guest living on the traditional Treaty 8 Territories of the Dane-zaa peoples. I have a diploma in Social Services from the Northern Lights College (NLC) in Fort St. John and I am also the proud mother of a little boy. Previously, I worked with indigenous and non-indigenous youth at the FSJ Friendship Society. I am new to the IRSSS and am excited and incredibly grateful to be joining the team as a MMIWG Coordinator in the North and connecting victims and families to supports and traditional healing.
My English name is Alexandra O’Donaghey. My traditional name is Peq Máqa7 Smúlhats. I come from Heiltsuk territory(Bella Bella, BC), Xaxli’p territory (Lillooet, BC), and Ireland but I was born and raised here in Vancouver, BC, on the unceded Coast Salish Territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) people. I am a woman who wears many hats in the community but one of the most important hats I wear is being a mother to four beautiful children. My children are some of the best teachers I have in my life and they always inspire me to be the best version of myself. With that being said, I always do my best to integrate my life experiences and textbook knowledge into all the work I do in the community. Right now, I am currently one of the MMIWG2S+ Coordinators with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and I am still actively involved in helping implement change with other organizations within the metro-Vancouver area when it comes to mental health, homelessness, poverty, and addiction. I currently have 10+ years of experience in the field of helping and advocacy and I plan to continue to stay in this field as helping others and making changes is something I’m passionate about in life. With that being said, I’m super grateful for all the teachers and lessons I’ve crossed paths with along the way that have brought me to where I am today as an MMIWG2S+ coordinator and I’m also grateful to be a part of such a great team and organization.
(‘i’ ce:p’uw’eli’’al) (Executive Dirctor) 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 began as the Workshop Coordinator, then the Programs Manager, RHSW Supervisor and currently hold the title of Executive Director. My passion and dedication are working for the Indigenous people of B.C. in assisting in their own healing journey. I also educate, inform, and get people thinking about how colonization has impacted--and had damaging effects on--Indigenous Peoples in Canada, through, 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 own backyard, known as Canada. The path to reconciliation is not an easy journey but to achieve Truth, Justice and Honesty you need acknowledgment. "acknowledgment leads to truth, truth leads to healing, healing can change our future". 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 by being a voice for those that can not share, at the moment.
Hay c:eep qa
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.
I am an optimistic and enthusiastic person, with a high vocation for service and always willing to continue learning.
Ms. Morin is currently Director of HR/Policy at IRSSS. This role entails an involvement in all HR/Policy matters on the Management team and moving the IRSSS forward in its rapidly expanding program areas.
She is a Secwepemc lawyer, former Principal and Teacher 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.
Barbara's concerns are rooted in humanitarian concerns. She was one of the co-founders and helped resurrect the Native Women’s Association of B.C. and has served five terms as their President as well as serving as Treasurer and Vice-President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. She also served as a Board member on many other non-profit organizations.
She is the mother of one son and one daughter (now in the spirit world) and Grandmother to three grandsons.
Ms. Morin is an intergenerational survivor and was born and raised in Williams Lake. She is the daughter of Walter and Elsie Gaspard whom were both born at Stswecem’c Xgat’tem (Dog Creek and Canoe Creek) and whom both attended St. Joseph Mission (Indian Residential School in Williams Lake). Her Indian name is Mootha7
Barbie Whiskeyjack is a Dakelh Woman from Saikuz First Nations, she sits with the Grouse Clan, her traditional name is Sumyaz which means Little Star in the Carrier language. She is a traditional dancer and singer since she was 5 years old. She holds a bachelor's degree in Social Work. She was raised by her late grandmother Celena John who has inspired her to further her education in efforts to assist First Nations people in the healing of the effects of residential school. Barbie has always been involved in her own community as well as other First Nation communities within Alberta and British Columbia in their healing journey. Presently she is proudly working for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society as an Indian Day School Coordinator.
Ts’umusyoo (Beaver clan)
Stellat’en First Nation
Bruce is an educator who has taught in Elementary and Secondary schools and has taught at the College of New Caledonia since 1995 in First Nations Studies and currently Aboriginal Studies. The topics range from culture, history, residential schools, current events in indigenous political events, and more recently worked on developing materials for a new course at CNC. The focus of the course at CNC has been elders in the classroom.
I have worked with the various aboriginal agencies in Prince George including Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS); Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC); Prince George Native Learning Centre; Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment Training Association (PGNAETA) and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). Presented on topics of drumming, traditional Balhats and traditional games such as Lahal.
Bruce is an intergenerational survivor through his grandmother and father who attended the Lejac Indian Residential School near Fraser Lake. Bruce also attended Lejac from 1967 to 1974. Bruce has worked with IRSSS from 2006 to 2013 as a Regional Health Support Worker in Prince George. Bruce also worked on the “Healing the Healers’” AHF project from 2000-2003. Bruce is a father and a grandfather.
My name is Carol Stegman, originally from the Central Coast of BC (Bella Bella), have lived in the Lower Mainland for most of my life. I have worked at many different organizations in our Urban Aboriginal Community. Love to connect with people in our DTES office, hopefully now that Covid is almost behind us we can have more in person activities at our location.
My name is Chas Coutlee. The traditional name given to me by my maternal grandmother is Sulinek. I am interior Salish from the Nla’kapamux nation.
My late father comes from Newfoundland and spent most of his life in BC.
I have a Bachelor of Social Work form Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT). I also completed the certificate, diploma and advanced diploma in chemical addictions at NVIT.
My most cherished role in life is as a mother.
Christine (T.seseleĺckn) is from the First Nations community of Esk’etemc, located in the Interior of British Columbia. Esk’etemc is a community of the Secwepemc/Shuswap tribe. She is an Intergenerational Survivors of Indian Residential School and Indian Day School. While growing up in Esk’etemc Christine grew up practicing cultural and traditions of Secwepemculucw. She loves powwows, hockey, and spending time with her family.
Christine has worked with Indian Residential School Survivors Society for more than four years, her background includes Business, Finance, Administration and Governance. She gained her Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads University, as well as her Bachelor of Business Administration at Thompson Rivers University, along with other Certificates and Training focusing on Community, Leadership, Change, and Crisis Intervention.
Christine has always been drawn to working with Indian Residential School Survivors Society because of the important work with healing, trauma, and ensuring the voices of the Indian Residential School Survivors are heard. Christine’s Dad went to St. Josephs Mission, Williams Lake, and she has always supported his story and those stories other IRS Survivors.
Connie Greyeyes is an 'accidental' activist. A Cree woman who hails from the Bigstone Cree Nation and was born and raised in FSJ BC. A wife and the mother of two sons, Jason and Jordan. She began advocacy work when she started to realize that a shocking number of Indigenous women in her community had gone missing or had been murdered. She began organizing local vigils to support the families of the missing and murdered women and raise awareness, which led her to the steps of parliament. She has advocated for families for nearly a decade worked closely with Amnesty International on the report, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.”
‘Uy” Skweyul, Enthe’Pe TusTaaNaat, Good Day, I am Daisy E. I come from Snuneymuxw and Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw and I am the Crisis Line Team Lead for Indian Residential School Survivor Society.
Splatsin First Nation, Secwepemc Nation
I am happily married with 3 sons and reside in Vernon, BC. I have had the good fortune of having a traditional upbringing from my great grandparents that has shown me great gratitude for our cultural ways. I have over 30 years of Sobriety and have worked in various position mostly with in First Nations communities and organizations. It has been a long-term interest of mine to assist Aboriginal People towards holistic wellness to improve their life and lifestyles. As an Intergenerational survivor of the Indian Residential School system through my grandmother and mother I have witnessed first-hand what the effects of trauma are for communities, families, and individuals. I believe our Culture is our Medicine and this is what I live in my life and want to help others use in their wellness journey as well. I look forward to working with First Nations in my position and to be of assistance in the work Survivors and families need to do.
I am so excited to introduce you to Dawn George as the Indian Day School Coordinator for Vancouver Coastal Region.
In 2017, Dawn obtained a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Community & Population Health & Aboriginal & Rural Health from the University of Northern British Columbia. Dawn is looking forward to combining her previous work, educational background and personal experience of being a day school survivor herself. She understands the intergenerational trauma of Residential School as her father attended Lejac residential and Day school, and her mother is part of the 60's scoop where her mother spent her who upbringing in the child welfare system. Both of her parents’ life experiences has impact her and her family deeply. These personal experiences will help her in her journey in learning about compassion, family, love, resilience, and advocacy.
Dawn and her two amazing teenagers who relocated to the lower mainland. On her free time, she will be exploring the lower mainland. It will be a different landscape to cover, coming from Takla Landing, British Columbia. Takla landing is her home community. She is also a member of Takla First Nation.
Dawn is excited to join the Indian Residential School Survivor Society team and looks forward to working with the Indian Day School Coordinators and IRSSS Team with assisting Indian Day School application process and supporting the team and First Nation communities who are impacted by Residential schools who need mental health and emotional support.
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”
K̓alhwá7alap nsnekw̓núk̓wa7, Francine Billy nskwátsitsa; Tsal̓álhmeckan múta7 Xaxli'pmeckan.
Nilhs Diane Billy nskícez7a Xaxli'pmeckan, Nilhs Irene Billy (nee Kenoras) Nkúkw7a Cstálenmeckan, Nilhs Charles Billy nspápez7a Xaxli'pmeckan.
Nilhs Jules Alexander nsqátsez7a Tsal̓álhmeckan, Nilhs Melanie Alexander (nee Copeland) Nkúkw7a Tsal̓álhmeckan, Nilhs Benedict Alexander nspápez7a Tsal̓álhmeckan.
Hello Friends, my name is Francine Billy I am from Tsal̓álh (formerly known as Seton Lake Indian Band) and Xaxli'p (formerly known as Fountain Indian Band) My mother is Diane Billy from Xaxli’p, My grandmother is Irene Billy (nee Kenoras) and my grandfather is Charles Billy from Xaxlip. My dad is Jules Alexander from Tsal’alh, My grandmother is Melanie Alexander from Tsal’alh and My grandfather is Benedict Alexander from Tsal’alh
I am from St’at’imc and Secwepemc bloodlines. My children and I have a strong connection to our St’at’imc culture and heritage through speaking and hand drumming.
My parents are both survivors of Residential School, I did not know this until my recent adulthood, I am grateful as without their survival I would not be here; I have so much love and respect to know that my parents survived great trauma in Residential School.
My name is Gail Jones, I am Secwepemc from Esketemc First Nation and reside at Splatsin First Nation where my husband and son are from.
I have worked with First Nation organizations and a health organization in the Interior over the past 20 years. I look forward to working with and partnering with agencies within the region to provide services and support to MMIWG family members.
I am Interior Salish from N’laka’pa’mux Nation. In my other job I am an Early Childhood Educator who has a counselling skills certificate and 10+ years, experience working on the phone lines supporting callers in crisis. I want to help our people through the trauma that forced on us. By healing, we can stand up as healthy leaders in our communities. We deserve the chance to take our place in society showcasing our beautiful heritage and culture.
Kw ukw Sce’mx w
My name is Gertrude Pierre and my traditional name is i yal-xwemat I am from the Shishalt Nation graduated with my BSW at the University of B.C. After graduating I worked at the Gihanna House, Aboriginal Front Door, Aboriginal Policing Station, Carnegie Centre, worked as a health support worker for the National Enquiry and now I am working for IRSSS as a Elder Cultural Support Worker and on call for the Crisis Line. I am also a motivational speaker for Universities, Colleges, Elementary and high schools within and around the lower mainland of B.C. I also travel to different communities to give support on suicides and losses in the communities that I go to. When working for the enquiry I was educated to be trauma informed for the work that I did with families that attended the hearings on the death and their missing loved ones. I also work towards the decolonization in the prevention of systemic violence against indigenous women, girls, men and boys and LGBTQ2S. In the month of February I just completed a Crisis Verbal Intervention training to complement my job that I am doing for IRSSS.
I’m a relatively new addition to the amazing IRSSS family and finance administration, before finding myself in this amazing role, I worked 20+ years in a Not-For-Profit Dental Clinic, that role and the many people I met through the years gave me the confidence to change my career and this new “life-role” gives me the courage to open my heart and my mind and learn more about my Indigenous background and Snuneymuxw and We Wai Kai First Nation roots.
Dzin Guzin, (Good day)
I am from the Tsilhqotin, from a community called, Tletinqox. English is my second language, I am a survivor of the Saint Joseph’s Mission Residential School as well as the Federal Indian Day School. I have a Bachelors and a Masters of Education from the University of British Columbia, vast amount of teaching in the Vancouver/New Westminster/Caribou Chilcotin area. Since my early years, i have been introduced to the Philosophy of Tsilhqotin. I continue to mentor/teach: Drumming, Drum Making, Lehal Games, Hunting, Fishing, Horse Training, Language, BC FNation History, Colonialism, Decolonization.
Feel free to chat or contact me, sechanalyagh (thank-you).
My Traditional name is Us’kuu’sel of the Gitxsan Nation, I belong to the Gisgaask (fireweed) Wilp (house) Gwiiyeehl/Xaantxw from Anspayaxw (Kispiox). I have 4 children of my own 3 girls and 1 boy, and my partner Jenny has 3 children 2 girls and 1 boy. The boys are the only ones left to graduate within the next couple of years. I have been on my wellness journey for the past 10 years and recently started my four-year commitment to Sundance. It is my goal to strengthen my spirit to work with the men in my Wilp and then in the community. Integrating culture to strengthen the spiritual aspect that is missing in today’s generations. I am fortunate to be here to work with IRSSS as my parents are survivors of residential school and my brother and my self are survivors of Day School. Wellness is a major part of my family, we come together yearly to harvest salmon along the Skeena River, utilizing our mother’s smokehouse for the families to work as one. The spiritual gifts of my brother and sister strengthen my skills and provide me the confidence to find my voice and space within my family.
Janis belongs to the Gitxsan Nation and is an inter-generational survivor of IRS. Janis has an extensive background supporting community wellness and is honoured to have the opportunity to connect with survivors and their families through the crisis line.
I am Wuikinuxv and Kwakwaka’wakw decent and come from the House of Hailhamas. I carry my great-great grandmothers name ‘Ala’Kilay’ugva. I am a mother of two incredible children, a loving daughter, a niece & an aunty to many loving humans. I have had incredible leaders & mentors who have showed that Culture will keep us grounded and helps to remind us of who we are, where we come from and where we are going.
I have recently returned to the IRSSS family on a part time basis with 30+ years of experience and a firm understanding of how Cultural Safety & Humility enriches the approach when working with families who require support through the Indian Day School process. As an IRSSS IDS Coordinator, I am committed to a proactive & holistic approach to health and wellness, to the delivery of services which are sustainable and that honour the customs and traditions of our citizens and communities.
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 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.
Laura discovered alternative medicines in 2007 after a major auto accident that disrupted her life direction of working in the arts and film. After her own healing, she discovered she could "tune" into others and sense their emotions and pain easily, which led her to seek training and knowledge in cultural and ancient medicine. Her communities embraced her skills and she is accepted as a healer in may BC First Nations communities.
This ability to "feel people and their pain/body sensations" is a symptom of the accident trauma, in allopathic medicine: a rare condition called "Acquired Savant Syndrome" which occurs in less than 1% of non-autistic people after a brain injury or other disorder. Within First Nations communities Laura is called a healer, empath or intuitive.
Her decade plus of practice and study of ancient healing practices and modern energy healing, has led her to her role with IRSSS.
Her passion is to support the First Generation and Intergenerational Trauma caused by Residential Schools. Lauras gift to heal is accessed by 100s of elders and community members from isolated First Nations communities.
Laura has worked fulltime in private clinics in Vancouver, Toronto, Smithers and many other cities for the past 15 years as an intuitive healer. She has traveled extensively into 40+ First Nations communities for outreach clinic. Laura enjoys art, ritual, meditation, ceremony and lives in Kelowna BC with her extended family. She loves to be on and near the water, harvesting wild medicines and food, and she loves to fish. She finds great meaning in exploring her lineages and cultural practices of her origin, including, Mohawk, Ukrainian and Scottish
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.
All my Relations
I am one part Geek and one part Nerd with a life-long passion for computers and the Rubik's cube. I was born as a 3rd-generation uninvited guest in a place that was originally called Moscâstanisîpiy and much later known as Moose Jaw.
Most kids my age spent their summers in the early 80’s playing with each other. Not me. I chose to spend my time hovering over the family’s VIC-20 trying to create a video game copying the 100s of lines of code provided in the manual. The VIC-20 not only ignited my desire for coding, but it was also my first lesson in frustration, patience, and humility. If your code had a missing semi-colon or even one character without the proper capitalization, all your work would be lost, and you had to start over. After many attempts, I finally made a working, primitive version of Pong.
After high school, I went directly to France to work and study. My first stop on my return trip to Turtle Island was Ottawa (unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaben nation). I graduated with an Honours bachelor's degree of Commerce in Management Science & Computer Science and started working, in the same year the first graphical browser was born. My career progressed as I gained experience in government and private organizations.
Just before the dot-com boom, I headed to the Bay Area (fun fact – I was smallest player on the SF Earthquakes ice hockey team when we won a gold medal at the 2002 Gay Games). When I returned to Canada, I landed in Vancouver - unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations -, I worked as a freelance consultant until I accepted my current position in this newly created role.
My goal is to support the IRSSS team, many of whom are survivors themselves, so they can focus on supporting Survivors.
My name is Norma-Jean Stump I am the MMIWG2S Coordinator for the Interior. I am from the Chilcotin Nation from Esdilagh First Nation. I have over 20 years of working in the Justice system. Some of my past experience is Corrections, Justice worker, writing Gladue Reports, Family Support. Although supporting and advocating for First Nations in the Justice System is challenging, I believe our people need as much assistance as possible. English is second language for most and the Justice process is not easy to understand. I also feel strongly that it’s time for our people to heal and not be locked away in more systematic colonized systems. Also I consistently work on my emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being. I am open to learning and experiencing something new as much as I can. My heart is with my people and I will always fight for our health and wellness. We all have a purpose here and meant to share our gifts we receive from Creator. I am thankful for all the opportunities I have been given to help people.
Paul acknowledges and respects that he lives and works on the traditional territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen), Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples and the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. He recognizes the impacts that colonization have had and strongly supports actions towards Indigenous self-determination.
Paul has been involved with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society since November 2017, leading and supporting the Finance and Administration team, including Accounting, Treasury, Fundraising, Risk Management and Planning, Information Technology and Payroll, that together support the important work the IRSSS does. Prior to joining the IRSSS, he was VP Finance and Interim Chief Financial Officer at an oil and gas company.
Paul has his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) designation and graduated with his BBA (Accounting) from Simon Fraser University.
Rafik graduated from Bombay University and then went on to do additional courses at York University in Toronto to complete his requirements for the CPA CA program. Rafik achieved an A+ average and was awarded multiple scholarships while he was at York University. He completed his education for the CA program in 2000 and his articleship at Arthur Andersen Canada. Rafik joined IBM Canada where he worked for 10 years in various roles. Since 2012, he has been working independently with different clients specializing in the not-for-profit and small business sectors providing accounting, tax, organizational and business advisory services. He volunteered as a Treasurer of the Surrey Food Bank and the PAC at Fraser Heights Secondary School from 2011 to 2014.
My English name is Sadie McPhee my Traditional Name is Smayt Sp’oq’es ot Eagle helping women [ which means I have the Gift of Prayer ]
Married with 3 sons and 3 Grandchildren
My home is in Hope BC Chawathil F.N.
I have been with IRSSS since 2010 worked as a Cultural Worker , 2012 I was hired as a RHSW [ Resolution Health Support Worker ]
My Office is located at 360 Wallace St Hope BC
I do one on one support or Cedar / Eagle Fan Brushing .
Crisis support in the Communities .
Yours in Native Spirit
Sadie McPhee [ Smayt Sp’oq’es ot ]
Sheridan Martin is the MMIWG Coordinator for the Northwest Region. Sheridan’s traditional name is Sagit Skaak (Flock of Eagles) from Wilps Dawamuux, Gisgaast Pdeek, Gitxsan Nation. Sheridan’s mom is Gitxsan and her late father is Gitxsan, English, Scottish and Irish descent.
Sheridan has three adult children and two granddaughters.
A Masters Degree in Social Work – Indigenous Field Of Study from Wilfrid Laurier University, Sheridan is impassioned with the knowledge that Turtle Island’s Indigenous Nations walk with generational trauma but powerfully balanced by generational healing/knowledge/ceremony/language and culture.
A strong believer in Indigenous culture and ceremony, Sheridan is attentive to bringing together communities of support for the MMIWG families within the Northwest Region.
Sheridan looks forward to walking alongside Indigenous families during their MMIWG journey and assisting where she can.
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”.
I am 32 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 Donations Coordinator and I work closely with Finance.
Suzette Amaya, is Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw, Cree, Nisga’a, Coast Salish pf the GwaSala-Nakwaxda'xw Nation, living on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations known as Vancouver. Currently Ms. Amaya is the Qwum Qwum Xwii Xwaa Youth Justice Coordinator at Indian Residential School Survivors Society and has also been working in the DTES for the last 19yrs. In Womens’ and Childrens Shelter. Passionate about helping those dealing with Homelessness, Addictions, Mental Health, and Trauma. Appointed as a member of the City Of Vancouver Urban Indigenous Peoples Advisory Council, she is committed to being an advocate for meaningful reconciliation and giving a voice to Urban Indigenous Peoples.
Reality TV Star seen on Big Brother Canada Season One and Back In The On The Mighty Fraser (APTN). Winner of Online Reality TV Show SEQUESTER 5.0
Previous Hip Hop Host for CBC Radio 3 AB-ORIGINALS Suzette Amaya is proud to promote Aboriginal hip hop/urban and pop artists! Suzette Amaya Created & Produces/Hosts the award winning Radio Show ThinkNDN 100.5fm CFRO, and Owner of SAMAYA Entertainment and Manger of Award winning Artist Joey Stylez. Touring to over 500 First Nations Communities across Canada Suzette has been on the road with Joey Stylez and her Husband DJ Staniml with the Wellness Tour Waniskawin AWAKE & RISE Tour.
A Motivational Speaker/Workshop Facilitator, Suzette is passionate about inspiring other to live healthy balanced lives and touches on topics such as; Sexual Abuse, Suicide Prevention, Reconciliation, Residential School, Building Confidence & Esteem, Radio, Media & Arts, Self Image, and Goal Setting. Social Media: @SuzetteAmaya
I am the IDS Coordinator here in the Williams Lake region. I'm here to help survivors with their application process and finding other resources if need be. I'm fortunate to be in this job role as this work comes naturally to me and it's an honour to help my fellow First Nations people.
In my spare time you can find me spending time with my children and husband. I also like to sew, play lahal, and being surrounded with family and friends.
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).
Veronica is of mixed ancestry from Tatasweyak Cree First Nation (Manitoba) & Red Rock Indian Band (Ontario) along with Finnish & Acadian roots. She has a B.A. First Nations Studies and Anthropology joint major from the University of Northern British Columbia. Veronica currently lives, works and plays on the Lheidli T’enneh Territory (Prince George).
She has worked in the area of Community Development in Prince George and the North for over 17 years. Veronica is very passionate about the important roles she takes on working and advocating for Indigenous Peoples in BC. She began my journey with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society as the Indian Day Scholar Coordinator in the Northwest & Northcentral Region and currently holds the position as Manager - Indian Day School Coordinators.
Veronica is an intergenerational survivor. Her maternal grandmother and her siblings attended Day School in Ontario. She is a mother of six children, (3 daughters & 3 sons), speaks 3 languages (English, Spanish, French) and is currently learning Nedut’en (Lake Babine), a Carrier language. Veronica shares that she is on a lifelong healing journey and continues to strengthen her emotional, physical, mental and spiritual well-being through the many traditional teachings and ceremonies she has been taught. She looks forward to the work that is ahead of us and help where it is needed.
Warner is a Hereditary Head Chief of the Sun House and the Fireweed Clan of the Witsuwit’en People. He has a Double Major in Anthropology and First Nation Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia. Warner currently lives in Witset BC, the largest of the Witsuwit’en communities.
Warner has been active in many capacities working and living in the Northern Region of British Columbia from instructing college courses for Coast Mountain College (BC) and Northern Lakes College (AB) to recently setting up a Men’s Wellness Program and Outreach services in his community because of the homelessness and related rural Opioid Crisis. He begins his time here with IRSSS as the first Northern Trauma Informed Cultural Worker for the Northwest Region of BC.
Warner attended the Catholic Day School in Witset at 4 & 5 years old. He also attended the Catholic Prince George College for grades 11 & 12. He is an Intergeneration Survivor with grandparents and extended family who experienced unimaginable abuses in Lejac IRS.
Warner grew up traditional on the land with his grandparents Madeek and Sa’itne. He received training in the Indigenous Focused Orientation Training trauma therapy course. He now uses those tools acquired in the program to continue with his own deep healing and helping others chart their healing path using the same tools.
My name is Wendall and I am Mohawk (Haudenosaunee) from Six Nations and Anishnabe (Ojibway) from Garden River First Nations Ketegaunseebee. I’ve worked in many capacities with Indigenous societies and organnizations over the years. Circles of Eagle Lodge Society and CSC for 14 years holding various roles within the society, House Supervisor, Facilitator for various workshops within corrections, sitting on the screening committee for the parole office and COELS, Cultural Program Coordinator, Sweat Lodge Keeper at Anderson Lodge from 2016/18 and Skipper for two Society society canoes. Facilitating and coordinating biannual Camp Potlatch retreat for Correctional brothers within CRFs in the community and within institutions. Travelling on Pulling Together Canoe Journeys with Musqueam as a bowman and Skipper and support for the community. Presently sitting on the Elders Advisory Committee for Kilala Lelum and as Knowledge keeper. Teaching within the community as well at Kilala Lelum, teaching drumming and protocols. Sitting on the DTES Circle of Grandmothers Council. Working with The Dudes club as cultural support and Elder along with Elder Sandy Lambert. Collaborating with UBC and The Dudes Club on a 5 year project to help men coming out of Corrections and supports to help with barriers faced reintegrating into society. Knowledge keeper and facilitator with The UBC Learning Exchange 2018/19. Presently managing with my coworker SaaUst located on the downtown eastside supporting the families of the MMIWG2 after the national inquiry. As well as supporting various nations in capacities of support those from the Residential schools, MMIWG2, LGBQT, 60s Scoop, Day School, Intergenerational survivors. I would like to acknowledge I Live, Work, Play and Heal on these Unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people since 1994. I am a proud father of three beautiful children.
Wendall - Thunder Buffalo
Resolution Health Support Worker
All my Relations
Wesley Scott (He/Him) is a workshop coordinator and support worker with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. He has worked with the organization since 2013, providing emotional support, trauma counselling and educational presentations to residential school survivors, intergenerational survivors and the greater community in BC. His professional experience pertains to the areas of Mental Health and Addictions, Street Community Outreach and IAP Hearing Survivor Support. He is a First Generation Canadian living on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations in the city of Vancouver.
I am originally from Hazelton, BC, a member of the Gitxsan Nation Frog Clan.
I am a mother of three beautiful, powerful girls who inspire me to strive to be the best version of myself daily.
Previously I worked with a client caseload of youth and adults in housing advocacy and am trained to be a Legal Advocate. Advocacy helped me strengthen my voice and my passion is helping others to find or strengthen their voice.
My first glimpse into the history of our Indigenous people at Indian Residential Schools (IRS) was in 2003 when I attended a five-day training workshop called Aboriginal Perceptions that focused on Indian Residential Schools and the affects on our people. This was the first time I learned that my late father had attended IRS.
Empowering people is important to me as I took so many years of learning to become the force I am today. There are more people watching you and inspired by you than you’ll ever know.
There’s enough success in the world for all of us. Empower instead of compare.