COVID-19 boosters (3rd doses) now available seniors and immunocompromised

Booster vaccines available

COVID Booster Shots - 3rd dose

Booster COVID-19 vaccines (3rd dose) are now available to Stoney Nakoda members – either seniors living in long-term care facilities or those with immunocompromised conditions, where six months have passed since their second dose.

Receiving a third dose will boost immunity levels and improve protection for those eligible.

Immunocompromising conditions that qualify:

  • Transplant recipients
  • Individuals with chronic kidney disease who are receiving regular dialysis
  • Individuals in active cancer treatment (chemotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted therapies) excluding those receiving only hormonal therapy, radiation therapy or surgery
  • People taking medication for certain autoimmune conditions

In addition, mRNA doses (Pfizer and Moderna) will be made available to Albertans who are traveling to a jurisdiction that does not accept
visitors who have been vaccinated with Covishield /AstraZeneca or mixed doses.

Meet the Team: Home and Community Care

Home and community care

The faces behind the home and community care team bring years of collective nursing experience, a love of community and a pride in what they do to their roles with Stoney Health. The home care team seeks to help clients live as independently and safely within the community as possible. The team provides supplementary care and support offered by family and the community.

In this first part of a two-part series (it’s a large team), we feature four staff who exude pride in what they do and who they care and support. Read on to learn more about some of Stoney Health’s valued frontline staff.

AnneMalimban

Anne Malimban, Home and Community Care Manager

If asked to describe her role as a title of a book, Anne offers The many hats I wear as a home care nurse manager, explaining that as a home care nurse, sometimes you need to respond in ways that are unpredictable and unexpected. "Working in home care typically means you are providing services in the individual’s home where you become resourceful when faced with challenges. You have a lot of autonomy that enables you to develop stronger clinical skills...You make a greater difference in the lives of your client because you get to spend so much one-on-one time with the client and their family in the comfort of their own home where you can develop trust and rapport. You get to see the client in their environment and each visit can be as varied as the clients themselves which keeps me stimulated and make the job more exciting."

After immigrating to Canada from the Philippines when she was 10, Anne started her nursing career with a medical/surgical unit in Alberta Health Services. Drawn to the people and culture, eventually she made her way to Stoney Health where she's been for the past 10 years.

In her free time, Anne is kept busy with two school-aged children. Her family spends their time being active - hiking, camping, snowboarding, skating and a full range of outdoor activities. She firmly believes in self care and you can probably find her in the kitchen baking and decorating cakes when she's not enjoying the great outdoors.

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Melinda Hubbard, First Nation Client Liaison

Melinda lives at home with her husband, three kids (one out of the house), a cat and the promise of a new furry-four legged friend this fall joining their family. Born and raised in Fort McMurray, Melinda is proud of her Metis heritage.
She worked at SHS back in 2012 in various roles……clinic nurse, homecare nurse, diabetes nurse, then had a “midlife crisis” as some would say ( or what she fondly refers to as 'following her heart') and left for two years to study to become a butcher - a lifelong passion. It easily follows then that she loves cooking, baking, smoking meat, making bacon, hams - the list goes on. She is a foodie at heart and the staff based at Wesley Lodge benefit from her many culinary talents.
She loves her new position as First Nations Client Liaison, helping the community with varying requests and needs and collaborating with numerous organizations to get the best possible care for community members.

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Naomi Kaquitts, Health Care Aide

Naomi began her role with Stoney Health two years ago as a First Nations' cultural liaison and recently transitioned to a health care aide at the beginning of September. Naomi is the proud mom to two children and also a pet mom of one cat. Being with her family, binge watching TV shows, reading, doing bead work, sewing and traveling top her list of interests and things to do when she has free time.

Now that she works with Stoney Health, she loves having a chance to offer support and help to the elders and people of the community. As a Stoney Nation member, she speaks both Stoney and English fluently. Speaking Stoney plays a big part of her job and she thanks for family for speaking it at home every day when she was younger.

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Georgina Lefthand, Health Care Aide

Georgina's path to Stoney Health began with the gentle encouragement from her late Ena. When her mom was ailing, Georgina was there to help with her care. She watched her mom's home care workers enviously and recalls telling her mom how much she wished she could do that. Her mom responded, "You will one day when I leave (pass on). I will make sure of that."

Six months after her mom passed away, Georgina accepted a short-term contract with Stoney Health. She strongly believes that her late Ena made her wish come true. Now 17 years later she still serves her community and Elders with the same dedication and love for what she does.

Georgina is the second youngest of six and the daughter of residential school survivors. She is honoured to have grown up within a strict home environment and values her family's teachings. She is proud to be a single mother to three - one of whom also works for Stoney Health - and also a grandmother. She shares that her joy today comes from her family and watching them on their chosen paths.

KristaNelson

Krista Nelson, Home Care Nurse

One of two Newfoundlanders in home care, Krista graduated from nursing in the mid-90s and headed west to Alberta. She spent several years at Foothills Hospital before moving to Vancouver Island where she worked in home and long-term care.

Along with her husband and kids (now teens), she returned to Alberta in 2016 and started working in Morley. They've since added a few cats and a puppy to their family. Needless to say, there's not a lot of "Krista time" at the end of the day.

She credits Stephanie, also a home care nurse and long-time friend who she met during nursing school, for encouraging her to apply for a position with Stoney Health.

To her, "Morley is an amazing place to work and I love the diversity that home care provides. Each day brings something new and challenging."

Whole-heartedly believing she won the nursing lottery with the 'best job ever,' she loves working with the Stoney Nakoda people. She's always felt welcomed into their homes where she's met so many wonderful people over the past five years.

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Stephanie Shelstad, Home Care Nurse

The other Newfoundlander on the home care team, Stephanie reigns from Bell Island, a small island off the Newfoundland coast where boat is the only mode of transport to get in or out. She graduated from nursing in St. John's and moved to Alberta to pursue her career back in the late 1990s, working in maternity at Foothills Hospital and a short stint in Primary Care in Cochrane.

She joined Stoney Health as an opportunity to branch out and try a new area of nursing and loves learning about the people, hearing their stories and learning about the culture and language. She even will attempt a Stoney phrase now and then to make people giggle with her pronunciation.

Interacting with community members is what she enjoys most about home care. Helping others and making them feel better when their health isn’t the greatest and assisting them to access services to improve their wellbeing in the comforts of their own home also keep her motivated.

Stephanie is a baking enthusiast and loves making cakes, really ALL THINGS CAKE! When not covered in flour, she enjoys spending time with friends playing cards or chatting around a roaring fire surrounded by her husband, two step children and their twins. You know she's busy in her spare (if any) time.

In closing she offered, "Most of my career I thought maternity nursing was where all the fun was…then I became a nurse on a First Nation Reserve."

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Suzanne Sihikal, Home Care Nurse

Suzanne is an indigenous nurse who hails from Treaty 1 Territory. She graduated from nursing 33 years ago at the mere age of 7. 😉 She has spent most of her career in the great white north - the real north, way past Edmonton - sampling nearly every area of nursing before landing happily in home care.

With a passion for First Nations' health, Suzanne firmly believes in a holistic approach to wellness and health and loves seeing people in their own homes. She feels it is an honour to be part of their healing journey.

When she's not working, you can find Suzanne off hiking, biking, paddling or simply enjoying the outdoors. She claims that she will never be able to retire as her two young, very independent girls keep pursing biathlon at the national and international level, while also attending post-secondary school. She self-titled her autobiography Second chances, Third chances, Fourth Chances believing you can try to attain any dream possible. Getting up and continuing the race is just as important as winning.

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Natisha Snow, Home Care Nurse

Working as a home care nurse for Stoney Health Services and meeting Nation members for the first time or seeing them again after many years away have highlighted Natisha's return to work. She missed the humor, the laughs, and especially the language.

Now that she's hearing the Stoney language more, she's started to listen more, recognizing the importance of keeping the language alive with and for her children. She hopes to gain the community’s trust as she works her way from a new grad to an experienced Licensed Practical Nurse. She's passionate about her role here and hopes to make a difference within the community for generations to come. In her words, "If you had told me 10 years ago that I would come back to Mînî Thnî and work as a nurse, I never would have believed you. I left for Calgary back in 2011 for better opportunities and although it was uncomfortable being in a big city alone and I missed my family—I knew I had to tough it out."

She goes on further, "Growth is uncomfortable, it’s something you’ve never done before or worked towards because sitting and waiting for opportunities is easier. Starting off as a statistic (teen mom) to now is what drives me to go further and learn as much as I can." That’s why she would title a book about her journey as “Look at You Go” because it describes her current momentum.

Recently, she's become a car enthusiast and attended car shows/meets/races for the past two summers. Introduced by her husband, she's been obsessed ever since, saying "He is also a mechanic so If you’ve ever heard my little Golf roar to life at the Wesley Lodge well then you know it wasn’t my idea."

Watêjabîgê Youth Camp carries on Stoney traditional teachings

Watêjabîgê Day Youth Camp carries on valued hunt and harvest traditions

Throughout August 2021, Stoney youth (aged 12-24) engaged in a day camp organized by Stoney Health Service’s Iyarhe Nakoda Youth program. A program supporting Stoney youth identity through practices rich in culture and tradition. 

Hunting, harvesting and preparing the hunt were this year’s focus.  Youth, camp coordinators and volunteers set off to locations around the reserve to participate in the day’s featured event. Each day was unique but when possible featured valuable teachings and guidance passed along from Stoney Elders and knowledge keepers, including Chief Clifford Poucette (Wesley First Nation) and Chief Aaron Young (Chiniki First Nation).

The first few week was grounded in foundational teaching. Some youth attained their firearms license and safety training while others fished, learned archery and hand games. Presentations from special guests rounded out the week: Alberta Fish and Wildlife shared info on indigenous hunting rights on and off-reserve, supported by the RCMP, while Stoney Fire Department offered fire safety tips and ways to safely set up a smokehouse.

Once the youth had the basic knowledge, they spent just over a week building smokehouses. This involved cutting trees for poles for the smokehouse. Once they had cut and collected the necessary amount, the group built a smokehouse at several lucky homes around the reserve. One smokehouse took the group about three hours to build including stripping the bark and building the structure. The youth also spent an afternoon at the rifle range and for some this was the first time they had shot a hunting rifle. 

The third and final week built on all of the previous weeks’ teachings with hunts and harvests and concluded with the event most looked forward to – the feast! Some youth participated in hunting and one youth harvested their first kill. The remaining group harvested wild mint, picked cranberries and blueberries. The youth were taught to skin and butcher the deer and began preparing the harvest for the week’s big feast at which the community gathered to celebrate and share in the harvest. Check out some highlights from the camp featured in photo galleries below.

Îsniyes – thank you to all who participated – community leaders, Elders, facilitators, the local RCMP detachment, Stoney Fire Department and Alberta Fish and Game staff. Most importantly, a big shout out to the youth and their parents for their commitment and enthusiasm for the program and its teachings. We hope to see you at activities this fall and plan for next year’s camp!

Building a smokehouse

Preparing the feast: all hands on deck

A Tribute to Residential School Survivors

In tribute and support of residential school survivors

The alarming news confirming hundreds of unmarked graves at the former residential school on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation near Kamloops sparked outrage this spring. It also renewed trauma for First Nations’ survivors and families of those loved ones who never returned. 

Now months later, thousands of graves have been uncovered across Canada. More are expected as First Nations’ communities continue the discovery process and determine how best to honour the memory of those who died, as well as support survivors.

Cultural Liaison Jeanette Wildman thanks those attending the tribute and shares some of history of residential schools in the Morley area.
Elder Tina Poucette shares her residential school experience

Stoney Nakoda Survivors

In Morley, there were one residential school, one orphanage on Jamieson Road east of Morley and three day school buildings, one of which is now the site of the current high school.

Stoney Health cultural liaison and residential school survivor Jeanette Wildman met with Nation Elders to determine an appropriate way to help the community grieve and continue the healing journey. 

At the Elders’ request, a tribute ceremony was scheduled in late August in advance of kids returning to school. 

Nation members were invited to share in the sacredness of a pipe ceremony and smudge.

Following the healing prayer service, Jeanette hosted a small ceremony for the larger community reflecting on her own experiences and sharing some of the atrocities and abuse that have been shared with her from family and community elders.

Survivors share experiences. Offer ways to encourage healing.

Survivors were welcome to come up and say a few words. Elder Tina Poucette and Chiniki Councilor Verna Powderface reflected on their experiences and offered insight into the community’s pain and grief.

Elder Poucette shared her perspectives on how survivors and the community might move forward. “We need a lot of healing in our communities. The social problems. The addictions, family violence…all are because of residential schools. We need to heal somehow so can learn to move forward without bitterness so that we an learn to forgive what happened to us.” 

She went on to confide, “Personally speaking, I had to learn to forgive. Forgiving someone frees you from that bondage to that person.”

After providing a brief background into Nation members distrust of non-community members, Councilor Verna Powderface spoke directly to those non-Nation members attending and advised on how to work with and in the community. She noted that “we were taught that everything is connected. That is the teaching of our ways. We lost some of our connection to the universe after contact.”

“You need to understand that intergenerational trauma extends beyond survivors to include their children and grandchildren,” she offered. “Understand that First Nation’s people are not how we choose to be. This is how we were made to be [through contact and assimilation]”. 

In closing she offered, “Try to understand and do the best you can.”

With guidance from the community, Jeanette plans to present more residential school workshops and offer survivors the opportunity to tell their stories.

A community walk is planned for National Truth and Reconciliation Day on September 30. All are welcome!

Unity and healing mark ‘Walk to Remember’

Unity and healing mark 'Walk to Remember'

The weather held out providing a great scene for A Walk to Remember marking International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. The Mînî Thnî community gathered to remember those lives tragically lost due to overdose, and educate and build awareness about the drug epidemic facing the community. (Article continues below).

Over 70 people gathered at the Stoney Tribal Administration and listened as community elders and leaders relived their own experiences – often sharing memories of a sibling, a child or other family member who had tragically passed away. Leaders called for a grassroots approach and challenged all community members and organizations to work together to overcome the harmful effects of addiction and help those who feel alone and unable to seek the help and support they need.

“The amount of overdose deaths has been heartbreaking,” noted organizer Alanna Kaquitts who works with the crisis support team. “It’s important to continue educating all community members about reducing the stigma and promote healing. As well, we need to continually inform community members who use drugs that they are not alone. They’re loved and that there is help (if they want it).”

Help is available. Along with first responders (Nakoda Emergency Management and the RCMP), the Mînî Thnî Crisis Support team is available as a 2nd or 3rd crisis responder or offer preventative support grounded in cultural and traditional practices for Nation members.

Counselors are available to provide grief, addiction and substance use counseling and the medical team provides treatments such as suboxone to help manage addictions and free Narcan/naloxone kits to respond to an opioid overdose. Contact 403-881-3920 for information and support.

Our hearts go out to the family members who walked some clutching a photo of a loved one who had died due to opioid poisoning. Thank you for allowing us to share in your grief and pay tribute to your loved one’s memory.

Special thanks to our community leaders and partner organizations.

  • Wesley First Nation Councilors Krista Hunter and Hank Snow
  • Bearspaw First Nation Councilor Anthony Bearspaw
  • Partners from Nakoda Emergency Services, Fire and the local RCMP detachment for your support and assistance with traffic control and keeping our walkers safe on the 3.5 km journey to the Chiniki Community Kitchen
  • All other organizations and community members who participated

We pledge to work together to raise awareness and continue offering resources and support to the community.

 

Get Vaccinated

Get Vaccinated

After a few weeks of zero positive COVID cases in our community, we now have 6 cases. The need to increase our vaccination rate is more important than ever as there are reported cases of the Delta variant in Morley. Delta spreads easily between people and may lead to more serious outcomes than other versions of COVID-19. In order to protect ourselves and our community, we need to be fully vaccinated.

Vaccines gives us a high level of protection from serious illness and death from COVID-19 variants, including Delta. The more people are vaccinated, the less opportunity the virus has to spread and develop new variants.

 

Morley COVID Vaccination Information - August 2021

Our vaccination rate in Morley is very low in comparison to Alberta and Canada. Currently, nation members with ONE DOSE of vaccine is currently 63.9% and the goal is have at least 80% vaccinated with at least one dose. Only 17.5% of nation members between the ages of 12 and 17 have one dose. 46.4% of adults 18 years and older have one dose.

Nation members with TWO DOSES of vaccine is currently 46.6% and the goal is have at least 80% vaccinated. Only 10.6% of nation members between the ages of 12 and 17 have one dose. 36% of adults 18 years and older have one dose.

Encourage family members to get fully vaccinated.  

A Walk to Remember

A Walk to Remember - #EndOverdose

International Overdose Awareness Day

August 31, 2021
Join us to remember those we have lost to overdose and raise awareness about the epidemic affecting our community.
12 pm: Speakers, Lunch and Narcan Training
1 pm: Walk from STA Parking Lot to the Chiniki Community Kitchen

Please wear purple.
Call 403-881-2767 for information.

Residential School Children Tribute Ceremony

Tribute for Residential School Survivors

To honour and give respect to Morley Residential School survivors and those recently discovered in unmarked graves across the country.

Ceremony August 30
Pipe ceremony and smudge, starting at 12:30 pm
Welcome and speeches start at 1pm
Morley High School, southside (site of the former residential school)

Image credit: Andy Everson of the K’ómoks First Nation

Nakoda Head Start Open House

Nakoda Head Start Open House

Nakoda Head Start Open House

September 7, 2021
11 am – 1 pm
Head Start Building
Register, meet the staff, learning about the upcoming school year and other Stoney Health programs.
Contact 
Deanna Twoyoungmen @ 403-881-4200 for further details.


Mînî Thnî Crisis Support Open House

Mînî Thnî Crisis Team Open House

Come Out and Meet the New Mînî Thnî Crisis Support Team

Door prizes, live local band and lunch provided.

Postponed to October 14
Mînî Thnî Crisis Support Office, Chiniki College Basement

Read a little about our Mînî Thnî Crisis team members.

Questions or Concerns?
Contact Trevor Tailfeathers, Crisis Team Coordinator, 403-223-7871

Fitness Centre Reopens

Fitness Centre

Come Train With Us!

The Stoney Health Fitness Centre reopens to the community starting Monday, August 9.

Hours: 12: 00 – 4:00 pm
Open weekdays, except holidays
Bearspaw Youth Centre, 2nd floor

The Stoney Health Services Fitness Centre remains open and is unaffected by the latest public health guidelines announced September 15.

The guidelines state that “Indoor one-on-one training and solo activities are allowed with 3 metre physical distancing.”

The Fitness Centre has a maximum capacity of 3 people (plus 1 staff). Physical distancing is required at all times as well as continuous masking and sanitizing.

The Fitness Centre is open Monday to Friday from 12:00-4:00 and is open to all community members.

COVID Safety Measures in Place to Help Keep the Community Healthy and Safe

  • Reduced capacity. Limit of THREE (3) gym users at one time.  (+ 1 staff)
  • Masks required. Everyone must wear masks at all times. (Please consider low-intensity exercises.)
  • A COVID questionnaire must be completed prior to entering the gym. If you have COVID symptoms, please stay home and contact Stoney Health Services to get a COVID-19 test.
  • Space ventilation. Air conditioning or windows open depending on temperatures/air quality.
  • Hand sanitizer use and frequent cleaning/sanitizing of all equipment.
  • Bring your own water.
  • Change rooms are available for use.

Meet the Team: Mînî Thnî Crisis Support

Crisis Team Builds on Personal Experiences and Understanding to Support Community

The Mînî Thnî Crisis Team combines current and traditional 24-hour comprehensive crisis and rapid outreach services for the Morley community. 

Working alongside other Stoney Health departments and local first responders, the RCMP, the Stoney School Authority, Stoney Nakoda Child and Family services to provide mobile interventions, immediate safety and short-term support for individuals/families faced with challenging circumstances, such as family violence, grief and substance use. The MTCT support team has the knowledge and skills required to effectively assist individuals, families and community members impacted and affected. 

Trevor Tailfeathers

Trevor Tailfeathers, Crisis Support Lead

Trevor was born and raised on the Blood Tribe First Nations Reserve in Southern Alberta. He was an active member with the RCMP for fifteen years and later released on honourable medical discharge from duty. He has worked and developed strong working relationships with elders, teachers, and administrators at reserves in Hobbema (Cree), Gleichen (Blackfoot), Morley (Stoney Nation).

Trevor was a policy analyst at the Secwe̓pemc Children and Family Services (SCFS) for the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nations Reserve in Kamloops, BC. As a policy analyst, he applied for grants through Indigenous services Canada that focused on Indigenous health and health disparity, and has been involved in financial planning, forecasting, and reporting. He recently secured a $75,000 COVID-19 pandemic grant to address food security, internet, and mental health services to urban First Nations members and he has also advocated for system changes to enhance the way we service children and their families.

He is the crisis coordinator for Stoney Health Services where he provides rapid, effective responses to crisis situations in the community.

Alanna Kaquitts

Alanna Kaquitts, Community Outreach Liaison

Family is everything to Alanna Kaquitts as the oldest of six siblings and herself blessed with two beautiful children. She is all about SELF CARE and cites TV binge watching, blasting music in her car, travelling, exploring and adventure as her main ways to unwind.

She's held a number of administrative roles, including most recently with the Eagles Nest Stoney Family Shelter and Hobbema Dental and completed certificates as a health care aid and medical office assistant.

She's so excited to continue in her role as community outreach liaison where she'll combine her administrative and organizations skills with her love of meeting, connecting and working with people. She notes with pride how much she's grown professionally and personally in her role and is looking forward to what's next.

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Charlotte Sison, Crisis Intervention Social Worker

With her parents, sister and brother, Charlotte Sison immigrated to Calgary from the Philippines when she was a kid. Now she resides in a small town outside of Calgary with her partner, cat (shown on left) and dog and commutes daily to Morley.

Prior to joining Stoney Health, Charlotte worked for the City of Calgary facilitating afterschool programs for youth. She also worked as a child and youth counselor with Hull Services. A majority of her work experience comes from child protection work, as she spent the latter part of her career as a caseworker with Children’s Services.

Charlotte worked in Fort McMurray for a few years and started looking for new opportunities to elevate her career and bring her closer to her home and family in Calgary. She found that she had enjoyed both working in a rural area and her experiences working with Indigenous Peoples but wanted to build her skills working in the health/medical field. Timing was everything when she noticed the posting for a social worker with Stoney Health. She jumped at the chance as she felt it was a perfect fit for her next work adventure.

In her personal time, Charlotte works out and listens to vinyl records as her primary forms of self care. Family is everything to her and she naturally spends as much of her free time with them as she can. She's also a road tripper and enjoys hitting the local food hotspots when she's in the city.

Charlotte looks forward to getting to know members in the community, learning some of the language and being able to work collaboratively with the community and her team to advocate for and tackle the social issues that the Nakoda people face. She's already feels she's learned a lot, especially when it came to participating in pipe ceremonies and sit downs with Elders who generously share their stories. We welcome Charlotte's energy, talents and collaborative approach to the team!

Shylance Twoyoungmen

Shylance Twoyoungmen, Community Support/MTCS Mobile Worker

Pride in family is a shared theme across the Crisis team. Sharing her home with her partner and stepson, Shylance Twoyoungmen (prefers Shy) comes from a large family who tragically lost a brother recently due to illness. She is also a proud member of the two-spirit family in the community and is fluent in Stoney.

Maintaining an active lifestyle appeals to Shy. Getting outdoors, hunting, fishing and hiking - all top her list of hobbies. She also attributes sports and physical fitness to her determination, discipline and patience.

She's most excited about 'the mental and emotional challenges' of her role. Adding, "Being able to help my community and give support to the Nation. It's not enough to simply say 'I'm a great fit for the role,' I also see an opportunity to learn and grow these skills."

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Tara Glass, Victims Services Liaison

Tara Glass is the oldest of four kids and was the first in her family to move to Calgary. She's a mom to an energetic seven-year-old who fills up most of her free time outside of work. You can usually find them at park or hockey rink, exploring the mountains, swinging clubs at the driving range, or finding a camping spot near a beach where they can swim or paddleboard.

Tara is a recent graduate of Bow Valley College’s Justice Studies program and hopes to continue her education over the next few years to achieve a Bachelor of Criminal Justice. She's always had a passion to work in a career where she could help others and give back to communities. However, it wasn't until her 30s that she had the opportunity to go back to school and begin her career. She worked for a number of years for a sporting goods retailer before working at the Stoney Nakoda Resort & Casino for the past year.

It was the people she met and worked with at the Casino who inspired her to apply for her current role with Stoney Health. She is a mental health, women’s fertility advocate and a trauma survivor. She also loves a good podcast or audio book in her down time. She'd also be the first to volunteer to cook rather than do the dishes and clean up.

Tara was recently asked if she could write a book about her career to date, what would the title be? In her words, "The title that immediately came to my mind is 'Why I Spent Years in the Wrong Career and How it Helped Me Find Myself.'

Meet the Team: Environmental Health

Ensuring a safe, healthy water supply

Jerott Mark and Andrew Kaquitts, Stoney Health Service's environmental health technicians, assess a well spout on a Stoney property.

Environmental health technicians’ Jerott Mark and Andrew Kaquitts joined Stoney Health Services in late 2020 and began a several-months’ long water monitoring project, with funding provided by Environment Canada.

Stoney Health Services is taking drinking water samples from all homes on the reserve, which are then tested to ensure a safe, healthy community water supply. As part of the testing, Jerrot and Andrew also locate, assess and survey the homes’ cistern or well, and the septic field to determine future maintenance requirements.

Both technicians bring years of carpentry experience, a strong understanding of plumbing and water systems and importantly, a love of their community.

When asked what they hope comes from their work, Jerott spoke up, “to see water systems that need to upgraded get done.”

Andrew added, “Good clean, drinking water. I want better drinking water for everyone.” 

The crew expect to complete testing on the Chiniki First Nation (southside of the Trans-Canada Highway) this summer and plan to move  the homes on the centre and northside of the reserve this fall and early winter. Their work doesn’t depend on the weather – they are on the road rain, shine, smoky days or snow (yikes, let’s not mention that yet.)

Find out more about the environmental water monitoring project and check out the photo gallery for a sample of their workday.