Relishing Teamwork and Family in the Circle

Frustrated with the stress of working in the public sector, Deborah Wilson-Green left her teaching job in 2013 to work on a contract basis as an Accreditation Coordinator and Facilitator at the Gya’ Wa; Tlaab Healing Centre, in Kitamaat, B.C. A member of the Haisla Nation, she has a Master’s in Special Education and is thrilled to put her knowledge and skills to good use working to ensure the organization meets the highest standards of quality.

After working in the public sector, Deborah is grateful for the positive experience of working for an aboriginal non-profit organization. “I am part of a team – we each bring our strengths to the table,” she explains. “I feel safe working here – I can ask for help when I need it without the fear of being ostracized.” Best of all, she adds, “I am making a difference with the people that choose to come here – we are part of a team that is tackling addiction – one of the hardest issues to deal with.”

Teamwork and a positive work environment are two themes that come up again and again when Wilson-Green talks about her job. “One of the biggest strengths of this workplace is its support and encouragement for a real healing environment,” she says. “I enjoy coming to work. I haven’t missed a day of work since I started. Here they care what’s happening in your life and there is a collaborative approach to finding solutions. It’s never, ‘Thou shalt do this’. Instead, we look at what’s best for the program. I’m happy here. I love what I’m doing and it shows not only in my work, but in my daily life, and this allows me to spend quality time with my family.”

So what are her recommendations for working with an aboriginal non-profit organization? “Get your education behind you. Look beyond the layers. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions and don’t come in with preconceived ideas,” she emphasizes. “Everyone has a story and a past. Go in willing to learn and contribute. Be ready to give and take.”