Sheri Wildman is a proud Métis and Cree woman who was raised in Vernon, BC, and now resides in Kamloops, BC. She is grateful to the Secwepemc Nation for sharing their territory, as she is able to call it her home. Sheri's Métis background is from her grandmother, Violet Dumont, and her Cree background is from her grandfather, Alexander Paquette.
She is most proud of her continued commitment to ensuring that families who are involved in the child protection system are safe and supported by honouring and strengthening their connections with their culture, family, kinship networks, community and Nation.
Sheri has been involved in the field of social services for over 17 years in a variety of roles and settings. She has specialized in Indigenous Child Protection Social Work since 2005, in both leadership and front-line capacities, with three Delegated Indigenous Agencies. She has extensive experience and demonstrates effective coordination and evaluation of child protection service delivery and a concrete understanding of the legislated authority and role of the MCCFBC. Throughout her professional career, she has enjoyed and has been active in local, regional and provincial committees for the purpose of improving the lives of Indigenous people involved in the child welfare system.
Serena joined our team in February 2021 as a Cultural Safety Worker and feels honored to be working on behalf of Métis children and families. Her personal and professional experience has given her the knowledge and awareness to create effective changes for our families.
Serena is a proud Indo-Canadian woman who was born and raised in Kamloops, BC. Serena’s family is from Punjab, India. There is a rich and vibrant culture in Punjab, full of connection to the land, community, and much more. Serena feels deeply connected to British Columbia and enjoys spending time outdoors whenever possible. Serena understands that balancing western and traditional identities is difficult but maintaining connection to your roots is essential.
Serena holds a Bachelor of Social Work with a specialization in Child Welfare and has been involved in working with children and families for the past 5 years. During this time, Serena has had the privilege of working with Indigenous children and families in different capacities and settings. Serena continues her journey in hopes that she can contribute to making the child protection system safer for Indigenous families by supporting and honoring their connection to culture, family, kinship networks, community, and Nation.
Lisa Nguyen is a proud Vietnamese woman who was born and raised in Kamloops, BC. Lisa’s family background is from the North and South of Vietnam where her ancestors and family members still reside. Growing up in a westernized culture and balancing Vietnamese culture simultaneously Lisa knows how important it is to stay connected and to be proud of your roots.
Lisa has been involved with working with children and youth in different capacities and settings for the past 8 years. She has had the privilege of working with Indigenous children and families throughout her journey. This is the first time that Lisa has worked for a specific Nation but is extremely honored and grateful for this opportunity.
Lisa obtains a Bachelor of Arts degree from Thompson Rivers University and a Master of Education specializing in Leadership. Throughout her professional career, Lisa has had experience with ensuring cultural connections to our children and youth through activities, events, and cultural practices. Lisa is most proud of connecting children and families to their roots and culture and keeping traditions alive. Lisa continues to dedicate herself to help families and children through commitment and honoring the work she does.
Chantel MacMillan joined the team in September 2020 as the Youth Connections Finder. As the child of a person who was adopted in Manitoba, she understands the hole that can be left in your heart when you are missing a connection to family and culture. She is honoured to be working on behalf of the Métis youth to close that hole and keep them surrounded by the networks they so richly deserve.
Chantel has lived all over this beautiful province at different points in her life - from the Lower Mainland to the West Kootenays and onward to Prince George - and even lived in Québec for a summer; however, she has always called the Interior home. She believes that her experiences with people and cultures across the province bring her a unique perspective and understanding.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Thompson Rivers University and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Northern BC. She has worked as a high school teacher in northern BC and, since returning to Kamloops, has held various roles working with youth in care and adults with diverse needs. Her background in working with youth in both the education and social services systems makes her passionate about making a difference in their lives, preserving their culture, and ensuring they have lasting, life-long relationships.
Grace Gairdner is a proud Gitxsan First Nations woman. Her First Nations background is from her grandmother, Irene Ness. She is also part Sicanees First Nations from her grandmother Vera Gairdner, on her father’s side.
Grace was born in Terrace BC, raised in Prince George and now lives in Kamloops. She moved to Kamloops to pursue education and fell in love with the Thompson-Okanagan region. It wasn’t until she came to Kamloops that she was truly able to appreciate her heritage and celebrate her culture. She found a community here that was supportive, open-minded and helped her learn.
Grace is grateful to have the opportunity to work for an organization that helps Metis children and families connect to their culture and help keep their traditions alive.