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Laura is Gitxsan from Gitanmaax, which is near Old Hazelton, in northern BC. Following a matriarchal clan system, Laura is a member of the Wolf clan. Her maternal grandfather was hereditary chief of the Frog Clan. Her maternal grandmother was the hereditary chief of the Wolf Clan. Cultural traditions and protocols and traditional governance all strongly guide her practice as a social worker.
Laura completed her Bachelor of Social Work Degree here in Kelowna in 1999. Immediately she took on the position of Executive Director of Independent Living Vernon (ILV), a disability resource centre for people with a variety of disabilities. In 2010, Laura completed her Master’s of Arts (Interdisciplinary Studies) here at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Her thesis was titled “A Longer Journey” An Exploration of Indidividuals’ with Disabilities Experiences of Employment Programs in Vernon, BC. The research highlighted the importance of connection and control within the realm of employment for people with disabilities.
While still working part time at ILV, Laura works at Splatsin Health Services, near Enderby BC. As the Health Lead, Laura oversees a team of social workers and clinicians to provide a range of culturally safe and trauma informed services for First Nations people.