In January 2022 IPS: Centre of Excellence in Community Education (IPS) hired three amazing new Indigenous Youth to join our team working on Business Development and Communications. Shae Zamardi left her position with IPS at the end of December 2021 to dedicate herself fulltime to her career in real estate. We are extremely proud of Shae and all her accomplishments and we’re grateful that Shae remains part of the IPS family.
As Business Development & Communications Coordinator, I want to thank our new team members, Christina, Jasmine and Latiesha for showing up and inspiring me to do my best work with you and for all of us. On behalf of IPS, I thank you for taking the opportunity to bring your perspectives and lived experience to the work we do to educate and support better outcomes for Indigenous children, youth, families and communities in B.C. and across Canada.
Latiesha Coulineur, IPS Indigenous Youth Engagement Facilitator
I am a Woodland-Cree from Canoe Lake First Nations, Saskatchewan where I lived the first nine years of my life. I moved to Victoria, B.C. at the age of nine, where I reside within the Lekwungen territories. I have always been passionate about working with Indigenous youth and helping to raise their voices in our society, where it can be hard for our youth to raise their concerns. With my own experience as a former child in care I am able to understand better what difficulties and hardships our youth face. In past years, before my employment started at IPS, I have involved myself with Indigenous youth activities like Gathering Our Voices (GOV), Leadership and Youth Council at Surrounded By Cedar & Family Servies. During the work period at Surrounded by Cedar I helped create a Youth Council where I worked as a Youth Council Administrator.
Some of the activities I enjoy doing are going for long drives around the cities on our beautiful Vancouver Island, reading knowledgeable books, watching sports, and playing games on my console. I also enjoy going for walks along the beach and hikes during nice sunny days.
Right now, my biggest goal is to help youth raise their voices and get them the best training and opportunities possible with the help of our great hard-working team at IPS
Christina Gosselin, IPS Indigenous Youth Communications Coordinator
A bit about myself, I am a Nuu-Chah-Nulth women from the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, and I have lived within the Lekwungen territories all my life. Two of the most rewarding jobs I have had the pleasure of working, prior to being employed at IPS, were with the district of Saanich in the Youth Centres facilitating after school programs. The other was not so much a job, but an opportunity to care for children, by contract through the Ministry of Child and Family Development. Being a former child in care, I was honored to use my lived experience and understanding to provide a safe space for the children and create ever-lasting bonds that I will cherish to the ends of time.
My current role with IPS excites me, being able to use my lived experiences and passions to connect with communities and youth, has always been important to me. I am always looking forward to each project and task. During my interview process, I realized that the organization’s values are aligned with mine to the core. Being welcomed into a workspace that allows cultural practices and activities makes me feel safe to be my true self. I also appreciate the warm welcome I received from each staff member that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during staff circles and meetings.
Now for some of my favorite activities, this includes skateboarding, longboarding and exploring trails and beaches. The number one activity that feeds my soul, is spending time with family and friends outdoors. I do find peace in drawing and painting as a way to bring what is floating in my mind onto canvas or paper (or any object that’s paintable, really).
Jasmine Kambo, IPS Marketing & Donor Program Development
From a young age, I’ve always had a strong sense of justice. I’ve always placed a high value on morals and holding society to a higher standard that I know we are meant to achieve. When I was young it was really hard for me to understand why people held hate in their hearts and in turn acted hateful towards other people when we’re all having a human experience, trying to survive and find our own sense of happiness and success. As an adult, I may better understand where these biases and divides stem from but it’s still hard for me to understand why people are desperate to hold onto values that don’t serve the greater good of society and are damaging to their wellbeing in the long run.
As a child I was involved in creating content for non-profit organizations that set out to lessen the divide. The point of what I created, in my mind, was to promote inclusivity and to create safety where others had not felt it before. I didn’t realize that as a child I was facing a system that ran so deep and so strong that not only did it affect my life, but my parents lives and generations before that. I am so grateful to have had this awareness from a young age that allowed me to see the world for what it is. It made me very clear from childhood what I felt my mission here is. I am still here with the same dream to help people heal. My number one goal is to help raise the vibration of this place that we were all dropped into without context and often without the support and guidance we need. To help those around me see the value in their personal power and experiences.