I am from the Coast Salish Nation.
Throughout the past eighteen years that I have lived in Victoria I
have worked at various jobs as a home support worker, chambermaid, and as a support worker in a woman’s emergency shelter. The type of work that I have chosen to work at is usual with a class of people who come from a part of society that is considered one of the most disadvantaged groups. I have worked with homeless men and women who suffer from mental illness, drug addictions, and depression and separation issues. Many of these people have been displaced by society and sometime there own family and just need a little extra support from the people who work in these shelters.
I have worked with the disabled (both mentally and physically),
First Nations families who were facing child apprehensions and with homeless people. Many of my jobs where minimum wage paying job or volunteer ones.
My volunteer work represents a wide variety of my personal beliefs on how I have been able to deal with the discrimination(s) that I have learned to live with. It is through my volunteer work that I have learned to speak up and out about the discriminations that people of colour face everyday in the community. I had also learned that I belonged to a group called the poorest of the poor because of my race and my gender and because there are so few of us willing to speak out.
For the past ten years I have attended and spoken out at many different rallies union and non-union if issue was about the social in justices of today’s society. People have told me that some of the issues that I speak out are very provocative. I speak about these issues because these are personal issues being about the people who live in my community.
Things like Racism and what it is like living with it everyday.
I have spoken to union members about protecting our jobs (admail
carriers) and the need to work together. I have appeared a guest speaker in many different University classes and recently in South Africa talking about the many different isms and how to play a role in dealing with these issues.I have been a firm believer in people working for people no matter what sector of life they come from. Over the past ten years I have advocated for service providers such ad-mail carriers to join Canada Post Union,
Victoria Native Friendship Centre and Sandy Merriman House to join the BCGEU.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Victoria Cook Aid Society Sandy Merriman House June, 1995-Sept.2003
Duties: Dealing with up to 15 women in crisis, intake (including
documentation) , assessments, crisis intervention and counselling, refer to community resources as necessary, supervised cooking, housekeeping,laundry. Required to keep up detailed entries in log book, keep statistics and generate reports. Advocacy for residents.
PEERS June 1998-December 1998 (contract position)
Street Outreach Worker
Provided support through educational and practical health services to men and women active in the sex trade. Required excellent listening skills, sound judgement, detailed nightly reports, facilitating workshops, advocating for clients with police reports, hospitals, community Health Nurses, Emergency Shelter Services. Generating regular reports.
Ministry of Social Services and Housing/Advisory Council 1994-1996
Advisor for the Cabinet Ministry of Social Services and Housing
Member of a fifteen member panel that advised the Member of Legislative Assembly responsible for people living on income assistance in the Province of BC. Addressed solutions regarding the housing crunch and shrinking budgets of the province and to rectify systemic weaknesses. Responded to all public correspondence in a timely fashion after reviewing government legislation.
Canada Post 1993-1995
Delivered Ad mail to over 1300 mail boxes, sorting, bundling and
delivering multiple pieces of mail.
Nisika Community Services 1989-1991
Home Support Worker
Provided on going support for families in hardship with health issues, communication issues, issues with the Ministry of Child and Family or in need of respite care. Assessed and assisted children as their sole caretaker. Supervised children, all care needed including hygiene and meals. Conducted supervised Ministry of Child and Family visit with First Nations Families. I also did homemaking for First Nation’s families and people with physical disabilities. My job was to do cooking,cleaning, and making sure that clients took their medications.
Telemarketer 15 years
Have worked on and off as a telemarketer for various non-profit
organizations such as the Mother’s March of Dimes, Fire fighters Burn Unit and the Search and Rescue Association to solicit donations.
Housekeeper 3 years
Jolly Knight Motel and the Travelers Lodge. Cleaned 16 units in eight hours.
The World Conference Against Racism, Durban South Africa.
I attended the conference as a non-government organisation delegate, representing the Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition. I had the honour of meeting with Nelson Mandela in a small group during the conference. We had discussions regarding the survival of indigenous peoples.
1992-present Together Against Poverty
I have been actively involved with this organisation for the past ten years, two of those years as a vice president. The focus for this organisation is advocate for people on public assistance, employment insurance and tenancy issues. My personal goal as to why I have remained on this board is to help educate the public about the true depth of poverty and about the relationship there is between race and poverty. It is through this group that I learned how to address the government in manner that they the government would listen to us when they start making policy changes. While I have been on this board I was appointed a one-year term to be an active member on the provincial government’s Ministry of Social Services Advisory Committee (I can’t remember the date).
May 1991-1996 Victoria Native Friendship
Member of Board of Directors
The main focus here was to keep the centre open and find a new location downtown.
October 1995-1997 Victoria Street Community Association
Volunteer Advocacy for street people, provided information
conducted media discussions, letter writing for the red Zone and news media, making coffee, answering phones, cleaning the office and dealing with people in crisis.
It was here that I was able to live example and take the lead role and show people how to work their way of the streets as I had.
2004 Food Safe Certificate
2004 Election Canada Deputy Returning Clerk
2004 First Aid Level One
2003 Canadian Congress of Women Voter – Leadership Training
2003 Emergency First Aid
Work Place Hazardous Material
BC Federation of Labour & Canadian Labour Congress Pacific Region
2002 VI Health Authority Community - Mental Health Education
2001 Solution Focussed Counselling – Cool Aid Society
1997 Advocacy Training - TAPS
1993 Victoria Native Friendship Centre
1992 Capital Health Region Mental Health Services and Vancouver Mental Health Support Society
Victoria Street Community Association