Way’ – I am from the Okanagan Nation- Upper Nicola Band; I also have Thompson and Shuswap ancestry.
Prior to becoming Executive Director at IRSSS, I was an instructor and coordinator at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT).I have been a band councillor for 12 years: and everything I have done has been to improve the quality of life for First Nations people, as well as protecting our title and rights. I have a son and daughter and four grandchildren – being a gramma is a great blessing.
I am honored to be working to provide services for Survivors of IRS and their families.
All My Relations,
I am Secwepemc from Esk’etemc First Nation (Alkali Lake). I grew up in Alkali Lake, my father is W. Hilary Johnson and my mother is Edith Robbins. I moved to Kamloops in 2002 to pursue my education at Thompson Rivers University where I had obtained my Bachelor of Business Admin. I have a wonderful daughter and an amazing husband. My hobbies include travelling, beading, watching Netflix and going to powwows.
Since 2013 I have had the pleasure of working with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. I work with the Admin and Finance team, we cover all the admin and finance responsibilities for IRSSS and the staff. We have had a lot of great accomplishments working together as a team for Orange Shirt Day, the IRSSS Website and promoting our Society across BC. Through working with IRSSS I have gained a lot more knowledge and history of the impacts of Residential School and our people.
My future goals are to expand my education through obtaining a Masters and to further develop my leadership skills and continue working with First Nations peoples.
ANGELA WHITE (‘i’ ce:p’uw’eli’’al) (Programs Supervisor– Elder and Cultural Support Coordinator) for Indian Residential School Survivors Society);
I’m xwulmuxw from Snuneymuxw on Vancouver Island with a B.A from University of Winnipeg, majoring in history. I’ve a long history working for aboriginal peoples, spending 7 years with Snuneymuxw First Nation (Negotiator, Assistant Negotiator, Communications, Community Relations). Later, I continued with Te’mexw Treaty Association (communications manager) for the past 6.5 years. My passion is working and advocating for aboriginal peoples of B.C., ensuring our history, our voice is never silenced. Currently I am the Workshop Coordinator for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. I educate, inform and get people thinking about how colonization has impacted and had damaging effects on First Nations People of Canada. I also assist in facilitation of wellness workshops for Intergenerational and Residential School Survivors within First Nations communities. It is important that our unspoken truth of what happened in our back yard is shared and understood by everyone and that this is not just an aboriginal history it is a Canadian history. What I provide is just a glimpse of that.
Hay c:eep qa
I am 27 years old and I am from the Tla’Amin Nation. I have worked in First Nations Health for 10+ years and have been with the IRSSS for just about 3 years now. 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.
Greetings, my name is Dayle George and I was born in Edmonton, Alberta; but, I was raised in North Vancouver, British Columbia in my mother Verena George’s community Tsleil-Waututh Nation. My father is Russell Campbell whom 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 3 years now constantly learning and growing. My passion for this Society and what we have to offer is never ending.
“Faith; it does not make things easier, it makes things possible”
My name is Carol Stegman, I am a Heiltsuk (Bella Bella) Band member, from the Central Coast of BC. I have lived and worked in our urban aboriginal community for a number of years. I took Secretarial training as well as Office Administration training courses through LIFT Indian Future Training; Dexter Wallace & Associates and ACCESS ESAF Program. I have worked for aboriginal 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 Aboriginal people from all over Turtle Island, and had the opportunity to learn more about the diversity and uniqueness of our aboriginal culture.
I was just hired as Receptionist at IRSSS, I look forward to working with the Staff, and to learn and gain more knowledge about the services that they provide to Residential School Survivors and their families in BC/Canada.
Ross comes from Squamish on his Mom’s side, and, Bella-Bella on his Dad’s side. Ross believes in and lives in the best way that he can, our First Nations, ancestor’s sacred beliefs and values. In his healing journey for over 23 years, Ross has many great elders and teachers from which he can pass our traditional teachings. Ross has a great care for all peoples wellness with living a good life. In serving Indian Residential School and Intergenerational Survivors, the need to restore holistic wellness and balance in our lives
The teachings are also passed on with Group Facilitation skills Learned at the private course The Change of Seasons First Nations Men’s Domestic Violence Groups Program back in 1992. Ross has been with IRSSS for 3 ½ years now and looks for-ward to serving 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.
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 be of service to people from many First Nation communities across Turtle Island. The diversity, richness and generosity of those experiences has continued to guide me as I trudge the road of happy destiny.
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 an dis passionate about healing for the wounded and hurting.
Greetings! My name is Wesley Scott and I am a counselor 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 inter-generational survivors of all ages. My professional background is in Mental Health & Addictions as well as Street Community Outreach. I grew up in Victoria BC and I spend my free time performing as an independent songwriter and musician.
My Name is Vera Jones I’m an elder; I have been with IRSSS since January 2008 (8 ½ years now). I am currently employed as an RHSW working out of our Vancouver office on Nanaimo Street.
I am Nisgaa and I have lived in Greater Vancouver since January 1968. I have 3 children; four grandchildren; 2 great grandchildren (two more on their way – Sept / November).
I am an IRS survivor of 14 years (not by choice).
I have hobbies – ie. Sewing; cedar weaving; interest 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 and I am applying to take my Masters Social Work (MSW) at UBC in 2017. Additionally, I have a Bachelor General Studies (BGS) from Fraser Valley University (FVU) that laddered in from a certificate, diploma, and advanced diploma in chemical addicitons from NVIT. Also soon, I will be a registed addicitons counselor through 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 North West 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 6 and, I am also the proud grandmother of 8 grandchildren and 3 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 is influenced by understanding, compassion, both mainstream and cultural/traditional teachings. Today I am grateful to be one small part of helping our people and com munity’s one step, one day and one paradigm shift at a time.
Shirley David, (MISW) is originally from the Gitxsan / Wet’su’wet en Nation. Shirley is accredited in: Master of Indigenous Social Work (MISW); Bachelor of Indigenous Social Work (BISW); Addictions Counselor Certificate; Aboriginal Life Skills Facilitator Certificate; Aboriginal Trauma Certificate, and courses/programs from the Justice Institute of British Columbia.
She has worked with 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) / Aboriginal Therapist.
For Holistic Balance and guidance, family is very important to Shirley; she is a proud mother, Grandmother and a Great-Grandmother. Shirley’s works her own Balance wheel on daily bases. 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 pass the darkness, our journey to recovery and Healing become a little easier”.
Ms. Morin is currently Innovations and Transitions Manager at IRSSS. This role entails serving on the Management team and mainly concerns new transitional planning as the IRSSS moves into its new 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. in good standing.
Ms. Morin’s concern is rooted in humanitarian concerns, and she was one of the co-founders and has served five terms as the President of the BC Native Women’s Association of BC as well as serving for many other non-profit organizations.
She is mother of one son and grandmother to three grandsons.
She was born and raised in Williams Lake. She is the daughter of Walter and Elsie Gaspard who were born in Stswecem’c Xgat’tem (Dog Creek and Canoe Creek) and whom both attended St. Joseph Mission.
Hello; I am from the Heiltsuk Nation (Bella Bella BC), and am of the Raven Clan.
My work life is very 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 6 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 aide Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors of this ERA experienced by the large percent of Indigenous People.
I envision a healthy and Harmonious experience for all.
Arlene Roberts is from the Nisga’a / Tsimshian Nations, and has 34 years of sobriety. Her son is Mike Dangeli, and she has three step children who call her ‘mom’ (a title she dearly treasures)., and grandmother of 5 wonderful grandchildren. Arlene also served for seven years as a fire fighter for 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 & projects such as; U-Vic Fetal Alcohol Syndrome training, Art Therapy for special needs, completed a two year Internship with psychologist Dr. Ted Altar., and Diabetes Educator course and Aboriginal Statistics training program for market analysis. She has developed and utilized workshop presentations on; The History of Residential Schools/just the facts., Our foods & nutrition., Understanding Post Trauma., Genograms., Understanding Financial issues for healing., and numerous Cultural education session on Cedar bark weaving, and Regalia & 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 teaching Healing will prevail.
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, 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 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 Sal’l’ishan Institute 1992 , Trauma Counselor 2008 with the Trauma Incident Reduction Association, TIRA, Applied Metapsychology, Frank A. Gerobde, M.D. I’ve taken courses in Suicide Prevention, Trauma from UBC, 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 I have worked at Friendship Centers here in the North as an Addictions Councilor 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.
I am a Residential School Survivor. I attended the St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake in my formative years and through that experience I became deeply interested in how trauma affects individuals, families and communities. I am committed to working with individuals from a culturally appropriate and strength based counselling practice. My life mission is to work with all people who have been affected by Residential School. I see my life mission as walking with Residential School Survivors and Inter-generational Survivors towards health, healing and peace.
I am a registered British Columbia Clinical Counselor #2969 specializing in Residential School Survivors trauma and First Nations issues. I specialize in counselling Residential School Survivors with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and depression.
I am a basic level one trained Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) counselor. EMDR promotes healing from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and is clinically proven to assist trauma survivors.
I have a Master’s Degree in Education specializing in Counselling from the University of Victoria. I also have a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria.
My office is located in the city of Williams Lake and I look forward to hearing from you in the future. Please call to set up an appointment.