What makes Fernie special to you?
Fernie is special to me because of what I have been able to do in this city. I have been able to parent my son just a few blocks away from his dad, which is why I came here. I have had the opportunity to develop myself athletically and artistically, and been able to follow many of my ambitions. I love my job at Interior Health leading healthy public policy work with local governments in the Kootenays. I love swimming early morning laps in the pool, playing in the mountains, being able to walk to everything I need, and I especially love the close connections I have with many wonderful people here.
What makes you proud to be Canadian?
When I think of Canada I think of our government system, because of my highly political day job. I identify less as a Canadian than I do as a settler woman living in traditional Ktunaxa territory. I live on stolen land and me and my ancestors benefited from having access to stolen land on the prairies. I think about our three levels of government here in Canada daily, and I remember it all started from the colonial worldview of conquest, superiority, and entitlement. But I love my work and I know I can make a difference. It is important to me that all young people living in this place get their needs met and have an equal opportunity to thrive, and my mission is to help make that happen. I think most of my fellow Canadians would agree that this is a priority, and that’s something I feel proud of.
What is your Fernie story?
I moved here in September 2008 from North Vancouver in order to close the gap between myself and my son’s dad. Co-parenting at a distance sucks! Coming to Fernie made all of our lives sweeter immediately. Living in Fernie was not a desirable option for me at the time because I didn’t have friends here or a job, but the terrible position my son was in broke my heart and compelled me to act on his behalf. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made, and now that life is so good I don’t know where I would go that could improve the situation!