Suzanne is Métis of Cree and Scottish ancestry from Fort Pelly, Saskatchewan. Suzanne has been married to her husband and best friend for 26 years and is a loving mother to her three sons, ages 20, 16 and 12. The family enjoys living on a small hobby farm in Maple Ridge.
Suzanne received her Bachelor's Degree of Arts with a Major in Criminology at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby. Her work history is in social work; she worked for a Métis Delegated Child and Family Services agency for over 12 years in the roles of Guardianship Worker, Child Protection Worker, Team Leader and Programs Manager. As well, Suzanne has had the opportunity to work with an Elder in the Métis community facilitating preventative, cultural, personal healing and parenting workshops across the province of BC.
Suzanne has recently joined the Métis Commission team in April 2022 to cover Sheri Wildman's parental leave. She is honored to fill in for Sheri and to be part of an agency whose vision is to advance transformative change for the well-being of Métis children, youth, and families. Suzanne believes strongly that Métis culture needs to be interwoven into the social services' practice and services in every community of British Columbia to address the intergenerational effects of colonization for the future well-being of Métis children, youth, and families.
Shawna joined our team in April 2022 as the Cultural Safety Supervisor and is excited to lead the Cultural Safety Team who work hard to serve our Metis children, youth, and families. Shawna was born in Edmonton Alberta and spent most of her life living and working in British Columbia. Shawna grew up in Logan Lake, BC where she was able to spend a majority of her time in the great outdoors. Shawna loves to hike, fish, hunt, and camp. Shawna currently lives in Kamloops with her three children, and she continues to enjoy the outdoors with her children every opportunity she gets.
Shawna holds a Bachelor of Social Work Degree with a specialization in Child Welfare and has worked in the social services field since 2000 in many different areas such as youth outreach, family support worker, life skills worker, parent/ teen mediator; however, she fell in love with working with children, youth and families involved in the child welfare system as a child protection social worker. Shawna spent many years working in several different communities in Northern and Southern British Columbia where she has had the opportunity to work with many Indigenous and Metis children and families in many capacities.
Shawna is honored to work for the Metis Commission where she will continue her passion with working with children, youth and families that are involved with the child welfare system to ensure that Metis children are connected to their cultural roots, families, and communities. As Shawna continues her journey, she is looking forward to building strong and collaborative working relationships with community partners and Metis children, youth, and families.
Chantel MacMillan originally joined the team in September 2020 as the Youth Connections Finder. As the child of someone who was adopted in Manitoba, she understands the hole that a lack of connection to culture and family can bring. Chantel has lived all over this beautiful province - 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. Chantel holds a Bachelor of Arts from Thompson Rivers University and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Northern BC. She started my career 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 service systems make her passionate about making a difference in their lives, ensuring they have a sense of belonging, and preserving their culture. She is honoured to continuing helping our youth in the role of a Cultural Safety Worker.
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.
Taanshi! Amber joined the MCCFBC team in January 2019, as an Administrative Assistant and quickly became an indispensable part of the team. Helping to run the office and support the Cultural Safety Workers was extremely rewarding, but she always felt like she could do so much more to help our children and families.
As of January 6, 2020, Amber became a Cultural Safety Worker and she feels honoured to be working on behalf of Metis children and families. Amber’s personal and professional experience has given her the passion, drive and understanding necessary to help Metis children and families connect to their community, culture, nation and family.
Amber is proud of her Metis heritage, tracing her roots back to Girouxville, Alberta, on her maternal side. Amber’s Legal/Administrative Diploma and experience working in a law firm have proven valuable, as well as her experience as an outreach worker with vulnerable youth. As a previous child in care, Amber is truly honoured to be doing this work to ensure that our Metis children in care have better outcomes and lifelong connections to family, community and culture. Amber takes great joy in being a part of this amazing team and all the great work that is being done for Metis children and families here.