Board of Directors
JENELLE McMILLAN, BGS, ICAS III, Board Member, Métis Family Services
Current position: President of the Board
Native name: Gax la Gee Lax. Given to her through adoption at the Potlatch of Rueben Whonnock Sr. and his family from Alert Bay, BC. Jenelle carries three traditional names and continues to fulfill the responsibilities of each name.
Jenelle identifies as Secwepemc, Tsimshian, Métis with Coureurs des bois ancestry (Southwestern Quebec, Outaouais & Laurentides, Riverere du Nord and Vaudreuil-Sovlanges French Settlers), Scottish, Spanish as well as French.
Jenelle is of the Wolf Clan. She lives off grid, living off the land as well as returning to the land, more and more to follow her culture and traditions as taught to her through Elders. Jenelle enjoys arts and culture in her spare time such as brain tanning animals that they have hunted themselves, she uses the leather or rawhide to make moccasins, vests, bags, feather fans, beading, bracelets, drums and rattles, regalia, chockers, mask making and so much more. Jenelle attends cultural ceremonies and has been a dancer for 30+ years. Culture and spirituality are at the forefront of her daily living.
Jenelle has been working with our Indigenous people for over 30 years in many different roles, as a First Nation’s Support Worker, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Specialist, Educator and Trainer, Trauma Therapist, Chemical Addictions Specialist Level 3, Aboriginal Foster Parent and Knowledge Keeper. She has developed curriculum for Colleges and Universities throughout Canada. She worked in the Downtown East Side for approximately 20 years. Jenelle was also a residential firefighter as well as a trainer for firefighter’s, Level 1.
Jenelle developed and published educational resources for children, youth and communities. She is a National and International presenter having presented workshops throughout Canada, New Zealand, Rarotonga and the USA. She has been a board member with Metis Family Services since 2012. She is currently the President.
MARIA REED, Board Member, Métis Family Services
Current position: Vice President of the Board
Native name: White Hawk Woman, given to her by the grandmothers.
Maria’s heritage is Anishinabe from Red River Settlement on her father’s side, and Swedish on her mother’s side. Maria has been working with our Indigenous people for 20 years in many different capacities. She has held the Mètis seat on the Fraser Valley Aboriginal Health Council for 5 years and then went on to develop team building strategies and workshops for Seabird Island, and Mètis Family Services; while helping to create “Mission” and “Vision” statements. Currently, Maria is working with MCFD as an Elder in “Circle 5”, and taking on the task of helping Indigenous people.
Maria is a Certified Life-skills Coach and Human Relations Counsellor, a Certified Employment Counsellor, a Laser/Light Therapy Practitioner, a Nutritional Consultant, and has a Master Cannabis Certification and a Provincial Instructor Diploma.
Along with the above, Maria is a mother of two beautiful daughters and has also been blessed with a granddaughter. In her spare time, Maria enjoys watching her daughter play Fastball. She also loves to cook and enjoys migrating somewhere warm in the winter.
BLAIR HARVEY, Board Member, Métis Family Services
Current position: Treasurer of the Board
With a Bachelor of Arts and a Registered Social Worker, Blair has successfully worked for over 40 years in the Canadian and US Aboriginal/Native American community with community development; the creation of Aboriginal political organizations in BC; training alcohol and drug counsellors; managing a treatment centre; counselling, coordination, networking and collaboration among Aboriginal service provider organizations and agencies in Vancouver; and documentary filmmaking on such topics as alcoholism recovery, Native American traditional dance, FASD prevention, Native American history.
Blair’s current enthusiasms and passions are FASD education and prevention; delivering and constantly improving services in child protection, and on-going support for children in care and their families; support and services for youth dealing with FASD; improving and expanding policy.
DIANE MONDS, Board Member, Métis Family Services
Current position: Director of the Board
Diane is Métis on her Father’s side. Diane’s Father is Ojibway and French and is from White Earth, MN and Nova Scotia.
Diane’s studies and background is in Nursing (North Island College), Alcohol and Drug Counselling (Malaspina College) and Child Care (Douglas College). She has served over 50 years as a working professional and a member of the Metis community in the capacity of a Child Care Worker, a Program Director, a Nurses’ Aid, a Nurse in the RN Access Program and at the Royal Victoria Hospital; a Victim Services Coordinator, a Volunteer in various agency programs and projects at Metis Family Services. Diane is a MCFD Star Elder and Board Member.
Diane is also an enthusiastic maker of traditional pine needle baskets, medicine pouches and necklaces. She is a mother of 7 children and 3 step children; and has 24 grandchildren and
27 great grandchildren.