I am driven by curiosity. It is scary heading into the unknown, we know how it feels. As an educator, I know what it is like to be in the current educational landscape which is fast-paced and constantly changing. What I hope to contribute is my knowledge and experience to support educators in the area of Indigenous education and make it accessible to everyone.
How long have I been an educator? Since my sister was old enough to sit through “playing school” with me. That early interest in learning and the sharing of ideas propelled me into a career in education, that I have been working in for 10 years now. Earlier in my life, I was a fisheries biologist and I have combined my love of the environment and literacy and helped create a company that will support my partners in education. My post-graduate education is in leadership with a focus on curriculum. Knowing what is new, what practices that we need to hold onto, and where transformation in education is taking place informs my practice as an educator and business owner.
Being people of mixed ancestry, termed walking in both worlds, gives us the insight we need in order to deliver on the philosophy of our company and fulfill the needs of the Canadian public. Both Gabrielle and I are proud to be Indigenous women, proud of our Irish ancestry and most of all, proud of being given the opportunity to support our colleagues in education in this time of change. Being a Carrier woman means you are respectful, powerful, resilient and hard-working. These are the values that I would like to instill in my three beautiful children. As members of the Lake Babine Nation, Nak’azdli, and Likh Tsa Mis Yu clan, we carry the responsibility of representing our community with grace and responsibility.
My interests are reading and exploring children’s books. It is amazing to delve into a new story and experience the lives of new and interesting characters. My life has been filled with beautiful stories and storytellers. As a child, I listened to elders tell their stories and also teachers read to me children’s classics. My love for literacy started at a very young age and it continues to grow with every new story I encounter. These stories gave me a sense of who we are and what is expected of us from our community. We are grounded in story and each of us has one. We are excited to see where the next chapter of our lives brings us.
I have always known that I wanted to start a company. I had thought of a list of things that I wanted my company to encompass. 1) I wanted it to be web based, so that it was available nationwide 2) A retail company 3) Connected to my Indigenous background, and 4) Meaningful to me, as well as my people. I came up with all sorts of ideas, then I just released the idea into the Universe. A week later Leona came over to visit and she was talking about these kits that she helped create. I jumped and and said “That’s it”!! I told her about my prayer list and she replied “Let’s do it”. We started a company and sold these themed kits that contained educational contents such as books, games, puppets, and so on. A couple years later when she told me that she wrote a story about ‘Young Women’, I responded “Let’s publish it!” If you would have told me that one we would own a publishing company one day, it would have blown my mind. The Creator always has bigger a better plans than anything we can imagine for ourselves. We are living in a wonderful time and country where you can dream big, work hard, and make it happen. Amazing! I am so grateful every single day for the blessings and the people in my life, especially the people who are blessings!
I am also inspired by technology and the possibilities that it offers. I am so intrigued with all the inner workings of our website. I love structure and I will be the first to admit that I can be a little obsessive when I set my mind to something, but I would just like to add, “In a totally fun way!” I can feel Leona rolling her eyes right now, ha-ha!
I was born in Prince George, B.C. and I have lived in different areas across British Columbia and Alberta. My office career started in 2007, working as the Housing Coordinator for Eurest Support Services of Compass Group. I have always worked in customer service and in various management roles. I strive to provide you with the best customer service and I hope that you enjoy your experience when you visit our website.
I have volunteered for many different causes such as Stop Violence Against Women for The Body Shop, Burnaby BC and Beauty Night with Caroline MacGillivray for Woman in Poverty on the east side of Vancouver BC. In addition, Leona and I have worked together for Camp Happy, a camp for Aboriginal Youth, where we travelled to Haida Gwaii, British Columbia and got to experience the rich and beautiful culture of the Haida Nation. I donated blood to The Canadian Blood Services every 56 days, before the Prince George Blood Donor Clinic closed its doors. I also donate as much as I can to the woman’s shelters here in town. I sat on the board of M.O.M.S.S. (Making Ourselves Matter Service Society). A non-profit organization dedicated to helping women in our community learn necessary life skills to help them succeed. A four year apprenticeship that I think is innovative and will be a saving grace to many. It was a pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful initiative.
People are my passion. I love meeting people and getting to know them. I have had some of the most inspiring, eye opening and memorable conversations during the volunteer work that I have completed. I am excited because I know that through Fireweed Canada, I will be able to meet more amazing people. I’ve always enjoyed volunteering for different causes. I am thrilled as we have already come up with a few ways that we can give back. I know that Fireweed Canada is going to provide many ideas and opportunities to help us, help others.
We can’t wait to meet you and hope you love our books as much as we love the journey that brought us here. Musi!