Charmaine is the Community Health and Wellness Manager for the Squamish Nation. The entirety of her career has been focused on helping and healing Indigenous people. Charmaine draws upon her own experiences with intergenerational trauma to inspire the work she does today. Her lived experience helps her relate to the folks she works with.
Charmaine's Community Impact:
Charmaine is most proud of the work she does in the Indigenous LGTBQ2S+ community. She holds blanketing ceremonies for two-spirited youth in the Squamish Nation. The blanket is a symbol of comfort and safety in Indigenous communities. Participants are also given headbands, which are meant to "protect their thoughts". Charmaine even goes so far as to hand deliver ceremony invitations to everyone she knows to be two-spirited. Through her son's journey, Charmaine noticed the lack of resources and support for the Indigenous LGBTQ2S+ community. Her goal is to ensure that all Indigenous LGBTQ2S+ people receive the acceptance and support they need to thrive.
Mental Health in Charmaine's Life:
Charmaine believes the support of good people is the most important component of maintaining strong mental health. She leans on her ten closest girlfriends to support her when life gets tough. Charmaine is also incredibly committed to her sobriety because it keeps her relationship with herself and others strong.