Connie Jasper, Tŝilhqot’in Health Manager
Connie was born and raised in the Chilcotin by Roy and Gwen Mulvahill, who reside in the very small remote community of Chezacut. Connie attended Alexis Creek Elementary School, boarded in Williams Lake for High School and she furthered her education first through Caribou College and then later through UNBC and TRU in Business. Outside of work, Connie enjoys spending time at home on her ranch and outdoors. In the summer months Connie loves gardening, running and biking and through the winter cross country skiing.
Connie has been working at TNG since 2010 and was hired to help develop the Health Program at the Nation level. TNG applied to First Nations Health Council for HUB (Helping Us Build) funding. At that time the TNG started meeting with all six Health Directors from the communities. Surveys were conducted in the communities which determined where some of the gaps were. As a result the Nation was able to seek funding from Interior Health and First Nations Health Authority to employ staff at the Nation Level to provide services to the communities.
All of the Nation Health Staff listed below are a result of the funding streams that the Nation has been able to apply for. The Health Manager works very closely with FNHA and Interior Health and meet quarterly with other Nation representatives within the Interior Region continuously seeking ways to improve the Health Service that are offered in community and in facilities like Caribou Memorial Hospital. The Health webpage is intended to keep the Nation informed about the Health Services at the Nation level as well as at the community level.
Lorna Elkins, Health Programs Coordinator
Lorna is a Tŝilhqot’in citizen from the Tl’etinqox community. She has been working with Tŝilhqot’in National Government for 3 years as the Health Programs Coordinator. In this role, Lorna assists with organizing workshops or training in communities for the Home Care staff. In addition to this she provides support to the Home Care Staff as well as linking them to the mainstream services for mental health and helps to connect Band members with mental health professionals or services.
Ellen Williams, Tŝilhqot’in Clinician Lead
Ellen is first and foremost a mother of 2 children and 2 doggies. Ellen grew up in a small town called Tahsis BC, where she learnt the joys and challenges of residing in a rural area. Ellen completed her education in Victoria and Vancouver and graduated with a Masters in Educational Counselling Psychology at UBC. She have spent the last decade working as a counsellor in many different settings and had the honor and privilege of working in the Tŝilhqot’in as a community counsellor for close to three years. This was a pivotal point for Ellen in her career as a counsellor, since she learnt the value and importance of approaching counselling in a way that involves community and family systems. As well, she was able to connect with and grew to love a nation of people with incredible strength, resiliency and culture. Although she currently lives in Vernon BC, she is continuing to work with the Tŝilhqot’in Nation as a Mental Health Team lead for the Tŝilhqot’in National Government (TNG). In this role, she advocates for and implements mental health service in 6 of the surrounding First Nation communities. She also works in a supervisory role for a wonderful team of clinical counsellors that are not only highly qualified and well trained in treating trauma, but are committed and full heartedly connected and devoted to the clients they serve. Ellen looks forward to continuing her work with the Tsilhqot’in people and is grateful to be a part of this team again.
Christine Constabel, Dentist
Christine has enjoyed working as a dentist for TNG since 2014. Prior to this part time work, Christine practiced dentistry in private practice in Williams Lake for 30 years. Her hobbies are classical music, she plays the flute, as well as along with many outdoor activities. Christine volunteers with the Girl Guides and other community groups. In 2005 Christine had received the volunteer of the year award from the city of Williams Lake.
Mental Health Clinicians
Hana Kamea, Registered Clinical Counsellor and Board-Certified Dance/Movement Therapist
Hana is a child and family counsellor working in Tŝi DelDel and Tl’etinqox since 2016, who lives at Tatlayoko Lake. She uses methods such as Expressive Arts, Play, Sandtray, Music, Poetry and Nature-connection to help people express what is in their hearts and on their minds, to feel better, to problem solve and to see a better way forward. She works with yoga, dance and movement as well. Hana loves to be outdoors, camping, hiking, canoeing, and also loves writing, making music, singing, and making films. Her film The Moving Child can be found at www.themovingchild.com. Hana’s music can be found at www.hanakamea.com. It is a great honour for Hana to be working for the TNG and all the communities with such great teams of people.
Sandra Suasnabar Alberco, RTC – Mental Health Clinician
Sandra is a Certified Expressive Arts Therapist and a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor with experience facilitating individual and group work addressing trauma & intergenerational trauma, sexual assault, depression, identity, grief & loss, anxiety, substance use, life transitions, relationship challenges and wellness. Sandra is committed to offering a safe, nourishing, compassionate and creative space for healing. Most importantly, Sandra strives to support clients to recognize their own resilience and determine the route of their own healing journey. Sandra is an Indigenous Andean descendent from Peru and migrated to the traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations 15 years ago. She has over a decade of experience supporting community members of all ages through non-profit, social justice, anti-violence, harm- reduction, community and educational settings in Vancouver, BC. In the last years, Sandra has been living and working in rural communities in the Northwest Territories.
Cherrie Carr, Mental Health Clinician
Cherrie Carr is honored to have been offered an opportunity to be the Mental Health Clinician in Tŝi Deldel. At this time, Cherie is in the community at the Health Center most Fridays. She has been going to Tsi Del Del since September 2019, and appreciates that she has been invited to the Tŝilhqot’in Territory to offer support to the community! Cherrie was born in Williams Lake, and spent the first ten years of her life in Big Creek before her family relocated to Riske Creek, then Soda Creek where she spent the rest of her childhood. Cherrie moved to Kamloops, BC in 1992, and spent the next ten years living in Kamloops and Kelowna while attending University. After finishing university, Cherrie realized that home truly is where the heart is and returned to the Cariboo-Chilcotin to raise her family. In 2010, Cherrie received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Dalhousie University and began specializing in the areas of attachment and trauma-informed practice. Over the years Cherrie have had the great privilege of working alongside First Nations people in a number of capacities ranging from providing support in a wellness center environment to helping develop trauma-informed counselling and healing programs and providing clinical supervision and consultation, to working with people in individual and group counselling settings. She have learnt a great deal from the people who have shared their personal journeys with her, and is humbled by the incredible perseverance, strength and resilience that she has been shown by so many and in so many ways. Cherrie feels it is a great privilege to be invited to spend time in Tŝi Deldel, looks forward to working with the community!
Daniel Ducheck, MA
Daniel is a counsellor for the Tŝilhqot’in National Government, currently working in Tl’esqox. He is trained as a Creative Art Therapist and offers a range of art and body-based techniques to support children, youth and adults facing a variety of challenges including stress, adjustment difficulties, self esteem issues, identity, anxiety, depression, and relational difficulties. Daniel’s trauma informed practice focuses on harnessing creativity and spontaneity as a means to explore new perspectives, broaden expression, and enhance tolerance for life’s challenges and instability.
Tyler has worked as a Physiotherapist in the Tŝilhqot’in communities since early 2014, initially at the TŝI Del Del Health Centre, then including Tl’esqox and ʔEsdilagh with visits at regular intervals, every two to four weeks. Members living in Williams Lake also have access to community Physiotherapy every two weeks.
Tyler provides treatment based in Manual Therapy for mobilization and stretching, Acupuncture for pain control and Therapeutic Exercises to maintain high levels of function while building physical resiliency.
Tyler has taken special interest in assessment and treatment of Concussion and other Traumatic Brain Injury, completing extra training through Complete Concussion Management. Working closely with organizations to provide baseline testing for athletes and workers at high risk for concussion, we have been able to promote physical activity without the long term risks of repetitive concussions. He is happy to meet any new community members who would like to speak about their physical wellbeing, in managing old injuries or preventing chronic disease.