Culture Blog

Lake Babine Community Member Starts Practicum with CSFS

Lake Babine Community Member Starts Practicum with CSFS

Dec 11, 2023
Category: General 

Kelly Tizya has been a CSFS practicum student in the Health Services department since September 2023.  Kelly is currently pursuing a degree in Arts with a major in First Nations Students at the University of Northern British Columbia.  Kelly has been applying what she has learned in the classroom to help young people access peer support and wellness services as part of her practicum goals. “What I'm loving about the First Nations studies program is the fact that it raises my awareness and broadens my perspective about our history. Being Indigenous, witnessing documentation in textbooks about the truths of my culture and history in an academic environment is so empowering,” says Kelly.

Kelly belongs to the frog clan of Lake Babine Nation and was raised in Burns Lake for majority of her childhood. Spending most of her teen years and young adulthood living in Vancouver, Kelly was exposed to both rural and city life.

“The difference between the city and rural life is clear. What I love about Burns Lake is the strong kinship, level of safety and the relationship the people have with nature. Vancouver has also its perks because there are lots of opportunities available. However, it was stressful to live that far away from family.”

Kelly currently works in two departments in Health Services.  The first being Foundry Burns Lake which is supported by Randi Mondor. Foundry unites multiple partner organizations to address the health and wellness needs of young people aged 12 to 24 and their families who live in the Burns Lake area. The second department is Health Promotions/Physical Literacy with Amy Merrit as the lead. The physical literacy program is designed to help encourage communities to start taking care of their physical health and finding innovative ways to use the land and its resources to help increase physical activity.

“The strength-based approach that Amy and her team uses is inspiring. The team spends time building relationships and earning the trust of community members - children, teenagers and even down to the elders. They develop a program based on the feedback collected and not what they think the community needs.”, explains Kelly. Using a strength-based approach to health and wellness is one of Carrier Sekani Family Services strategic priorities to supporting member nations on their journey to self-sufficiency.

She supports both teams in diverse ways by helping with administrative duties, research and data analysis, and these hands-on experiences are essential in bridging the gap between classroom learning and practical application therefore reinforcing her understanding of concepts. “I participate in meetings and listen in on how to develop new programs, process of getting funding and how to set up the right teams. I was also involved with planning for the groundbreaking event for Foundry- although I was unavailable to attend,” explains Kelly. At the end of her practicum, she hopes to gain exposure related to CSFS Human Resources procedures ranging from cultural safety, organizational structure in the child and family research departments, and event planning.

Kelly is in her final year in her Bachelor’s program, and after graduating her goal is to be admitted into the Masters of Education in Counselling this fall and to continue to improve on her skills to help empower communities and allies.

Mussi cho Kelly for your dedication to supporting Indigenous communities.


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Last modified: Wednesday 03-Apr-24 12:36:28 PDT