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Meet The Team

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Janine Tallio is a Nuxalkmc women residing in the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh surrounding first nations people. Her traditional name is Xwnxwnm, which stands for hummingbird in her native language. She was born in Vancouver, BC, but spent her life residing in the beautiful territory of her coast salish people (Nuxalk Nation) in Bella Coola, BC. Janine has spent the younger part of her life committed to participating in many of the grassroots teachings handed down to her throughout here life. This taught her to be connected to the root of her nations ideologies. She is very well committed to changing the views that systematically and predominantly suppress the growth of her people. She brings a wealth of knowledge of her experiences surviving both on and off reserve. 

Janine would like to pay homage to her two beautiful children. She feels that without them, she wouldnt be where she is today. It was once said that by showing her children the love they deserve, she was "breaking many generational cycles," and she believes this to be very much true today. She prides herself in being a mother. She has spent the better part of her career working in the social housing sector. Mainly in the operations department that works closely with the vulnerable sector. It has taught her to be humble and greatful for where she is at in life, but also that there is work to be done. Especially since the majority of this population that are predisposed to disadvantages, are peoples of Indigenous ancestry. Her priority in life is to learn, grow, and commit to creating change for her people. She is very much doing that by committing herself to a post secondary education. Her goal is become an advocate for her people in the social justice sector, not just for her people, but for everyone.

Stutswiniitscw,

(Means "thank you" in Nuxalk)

Xwnxwnm 

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Justina Salas is an accomplished professional with over 18 years of experience in a diverse range of roles in the social work field. She was born in Winnipeg and raised in East Vancouver, and has devoted her career to serving and advocating for Indigenous, Latin American, and BIPOC communities in the Downtown Eastside and surrounding areas. Justina is a proud parent to three young people and a foster child who is her two-year-old grandniece, and her family is a constant source of strength and motivation for her. Throughout her career, Justina has held various positions, including Women's peer support, Aboriginal housing worker, Community living counselor, Resource navigator, Senior support worker, Board of director, Interpreter, Supervised access, Family home core Support, and Respite care for Women in addiction. In addition to her professional work, she participated in the woman's initiative project through the Mothers Matter Center, working alongside knowledgeable women from all over Turtle Island. Through this project, Justina learned how to develop a non-profit society using the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations with her sage sisters and co-founders. This experience helped create Sage Nation Society, a non-profit organization that serves vulnerable communities through research, partnerships, and dedicated service. Currently, Justina is studying in the Indigenous stream of the Bachelor in Child and Youth Care program at the University of Victoria. This reflects her ongoing commitment to serving vulnerable communities and advocating for their rights. Her network of services for vulnerable communities and organizations is a reflection of her unwavering motivation to help those in need. Justina believes in the power of collaboration to address the challenges faced by youth aging out of care and elders aging in care.

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Keanu Garcia Linsangan is a dedicated and compassionate individual born and raised in the Lower Mainland of Metro Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He has completed a diploma in community support and outreach and has since devoted the past eight years of his life to working in the non-profit sector. Throughout his career, he has acquired valuable skills and experience as a youth mentor, counselor and support worker. He has had the privilege of working with indigenous families and has served as a housing worker, family strengthening worker, and with the Aboriginal Family Healing Court Conferences. Keanu's background in mental health and addictions has enabled him to assist individuals and families to overcome significant barriers. He has worked with those grappling with addiction and homelessness, providing them with access to services and support to help them get back on their feet. Keanu is grateful to have been a part of their journey towards healing and self-empowerment. Keanu previously worked in restaurant management, where he developed a strong work ethic and a deep understanding of what it takes to run a successful business. He currently works alongside an exceptional team of individuals who share his vision of empowering youth, families, and communities. 

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Hello my name is Shae Midgley. I am First Nations from Treaty 8 territory. I work for Sage Nations Society. Working here will be my first steps toward getting my BSW in the future. Currently I do weekend respite and also a youth ambassador for Sage Nations Society. My passions include loving my cat, I also like to learn about native plants of the lower mainland and their medicinal uses.  

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Grace Dumas is an accomplished member of the Treaty 5 Cree Nation community, with extensive experience in youth leadership, community engagement, and volunteer work. Her spirit name, Peh Seh Toe Sew, translates to Twirling Wind, interrupted as the four corners coming together bringing strength. As a mother and auntymama , she has provided exceptional care and support to her own children and niece. Grace has served as a Youth Leader, Mentor, and Respite worker for Youth in Care, as well as a Resource Support Assistant for the Province of Manitoba, where she updated and maintained the Resource Centre and Resource Guide for Newcomers from rural communities. Her commitment to community development has led her to plan and execute numerous community events, facilitate monthly workshops, and volunteer at various organizations, including homeless shelters, food banks, health facilities, and animal rescue centers. Since relocating to British Columbia in 2016, Grace has worked with young people aging out of government care and volunteered with the Grass Roots Project FOSTER NATION. She completed the Women's Insight Project, which equipped her with knowledge about the 17 sustainable goals, project planning, project management, grant writing, and policies. Grace has also made significant contributions to the SAGE NATION SOCIETY, which focuses on supporting young people aging out and elders aging well in the community. Leveraging her experience in mentorship for foster kids, collaboration with friends, and partnerships and networking, she has been instrumental in driving the organization forward. Grace's unwavering passion for uplifting communities is truly remarkable. Her dedication to empowering youth and providing support to those in need is an inspiration to all who know her.

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Tansi,

My name is Adrian Levesque, and I am a Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer individual who has been working in the

nonprofit sector for over 4 years and working in the mental health field in an outreach capacity for

about 10 years. My journey began 10 years ago when I worked on the What’s Your Status campaign

through Vancouver Coastal Health. I was trained by Vancouver Coastal Health to be a peer tester for

HIV. It is here that I also started my journey in basic bereavement counseling and mental health

advocacy.

My family hails from the O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation out of South Indian Lake. I have spent the last

few years reconnecting to my Indigenous culture and helping other Indigenous peoples reconnect to

theirs as well. I have worked on the DTES in multiple SRO’s and have also worked as a housing worker,

family strengthening worker and youth coordinator in collaboration with multiple indigenous

organizations. I sit on multiple nonprofit boards and am active in multiple anti-racism, decolonization

and gender and equity committees.

Currently, I work as the Indigenous Outreach Coordinator for a small nonprofit. I utilize a harm reduction

approach with a focus on accessibility and I develop community and cultural programming for Queer

Indigenous youth and seniors. I also do a lot of community engagement and look for ways to compile

community resources to provide a wrap around service for any and all of my clients.

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Hello, my name is Emilie . I was born and raised in East Vancouver . Growing up in East Van, I have combined my cultural roots with a passion for giving back. Through volunteer work and community intiatives, I strive to create a positive change and uplift those in need. I currently work for the City of Vancouver in community services and with Sage Nation Society as Youth Ambassador. I aspire to pursue a career in the medical field, by combing my passion for healthcare and and dedication to those in need. In my spare time, I try and spend as much time as I can in nature & Camping, hiking, etc.) or with family and friends. 

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