I am grateful for this opportunity to introduce myself as the Director of Circle Works, a qualified clinical therapist, a trained art therapist, a prolific writer and artist, a dedicated activist for Earth Mother, and an enthusiastic ceremonial leader.
I completed my training as a clinical therapist in 1985 (clinical MSW Masters in Social Work), and obtained a PhD at Dalhousie in 1996 (focusing on revitalizing Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge for healing and teaching). I have added to my knowledge over the years with more formal training as an art therapist (completed at Vancouver Art Therapy Institute in 2005), through various workshops and intensives, as well as through studying with Indigenous Elders and Healers and participating in Earth-based healing traditions.
As a Metis person, I grew up in the woods, and I am a nature lover. I have chosen to live and work in rural and remote areas for most of my life, and have been the “go to” person for many individuals, families, and couples experiencing life stresses of all kinds. Because of my own life journey, I have specialized in providing supports to victims of sexual violence, trauma, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), low self-esteem and depression. I have worked intensively with Survivors and Descendants throughout the Indian Residential School Settlement and the Truth and Reconciliation Processes, and understand the deep impacts colonization has had on all Indigenous peoples and our communities.
I consider myself a holistic, strength-oriented teacher and healer, which means that I believe that health and wellness requires a balance of all aspects of life (mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical), and see the broader picture of how all personal transformation must be intimately connected to family, community, society, and Mother Earth. I consider it to be my primary life purpose to create pathways for all beings to access the resources and supports necessary to/for all of us to survive and thrive in this time of deep trauma and inequity. I have been told that I am a great listener, an inspiring speaker, a creative problem solver, very resourceful, highly intuitive, a dedicated advocate and a radical activist.
I have worked many years as an adult educator and administrator in universities and colleges across Canada, including Schools of Social Work, Education, First Nations Studies, Women’s Studies and Art Therapy. I am also a prolific writer, so you can access some of my theories, political views, and lived experiences, by reading my published work. I am most infamous for my first book, Circle Works: Transforming Eurocentric Consciousness (1998); and most loved for my second book Healing Wounded Hearts (2004), both through Fernwood Press. I also have published a couple of manuals through Ningwakwe Press: one is how to implement Indigenous teaching methods in all learning environments: Circle Works: Transforming Aboriginal Literacy (2011); and the other, co-authored with Michele and Amber Graveline, is how to assist Indigenous students to transition into Post-Secondary programs: Just Reach Out! (2009). I have an Indigenous Healing Art Manuscript in process, that I keep changing the name of, and I hope to have it completed to teach in the upcoming Groundwater program at the Kutenai Art Therapy Institute in Nelson BC. Of course, I have a bunch of other poems and articles published as well, but you will have to contact me or google me to find them.
If you want to connect with me, you can find me on facebook, through my company name Circle Works, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, explore my blog athttps://earthingwithart.wordpress.com or check out my webpage www.circleworksconsulting.com. I hope we can share some time and space soon, and wish you a creative day, with at least some time communing with Earth Mother in a heartfelt way.
View the program HERE