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OURTRIBE

Committed to the Cause, Ready to Help!

DEBRA
ABRAHAM

FOUNDER

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Debra Abraham, appointed to the Accessibility Committee of British Columbia is the founder of Unique Get Together Society (UGTS) and a woman of Caribbean, Cree and Sioux descent. Debra brings 20+ years of experience working in social services. With a track record of getting things done, she has spent time working in group homes, women’s shelters, detox centers, foster homes, and recently, she has had success working with children who live with autism and extra needs. Passionate about making a difference in the lives of others, she left the Ministry of Children and Family Development to start UGTS so she could offer her knowledge and experience to those who need the support.

CESAR
ABRAHAM

CO-FOUNDER

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It all started with doing behavior intervention over ten years ago while attending college. I started in group homes working with kids of various ages, cognitive abilities, and physical challenges. After approximately two years of this I began to also work with children and families both in their homes and in the community. At this time my mother was working as a social worker, and we would talk about the parallels in the challenges and obstacles we both faced in providing the best service we could to the kids we worked for. Out of this frustration UGTS was born. We continued to work for and with children and families with special needs however under our own banner and with our own principles. We began our flagship summer camp program, we were able to connect with families and kids on a level which we were unable to before, and ultimately, we were able to make a more meaningful impact. Over the years we have expanded and grown to multiple programs, and areas of need however my passion remains with working with young people, teaching and learning alongside them. I am proud to say that I played a small role those first years in getting our organization up and running and am blown away by the growth of the company and the amazing tribe members who have come aboard along the way. 

KELSEY
McGREGOR

DIRECTOR

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Kelsey McGregor has extensive experience in developing relationships with local community partners and organizations. She got her start working in writing and communications. As an individual who began her leadership journey on Parliament Hill, she also has extensive work in the non-profit sector including helping in an organization that repatriated human trafficking survivors. She oversees all aspects of our organization and continuously reviews things to ensure everything is up to date.

MARINA
GARMON

PROGRAMS & 
SERVICES GUIDE
 

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Marina is the Child & Youth Program Manager with Unique Get Together Society. Marina has a partner, and is very involved in her LGBTQ community. She brings with her 19 years of experience in the child and youth care field working primarily with at-risk youth and those with behavioral management issues. UGTS will be opening an inclusive childcare center in the Summer of 2022. Her views on childcare blend well with the center’s goal to meet each child’s needs on an individual basis. As the proud parent of an eight year-old energetic boy, and a 6 year-old introverted daughter, she understands the concerns of the parents entrusting the care of their children to others. She is committed to ensuring that the children thrive in the safe and enriching environment of Whole Child Childcare. Marina is grateful for the opportunity to lead the Fraser Valley Tribe, as they grow and support all members of her community.

IKENNA
EGBUJOR

ACCOUNTANT

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Ikenna Emmanuel Egbujor is a Chartered Accountant with close to seven years of multinational experience in financial reporting and analysis. I am from the eastern part of Nigeria. I am currently running an MBA program here in Canada.  

What makes UGTS special for me is their love, support and service for the underserved and disadvantaged, and how they confront racial and social inequalities in the communities through their support programs. Mother Theresa once said, “Love cannot remain by itself—it has no meaning, Love has to be put into action and that action is service”.

I am excited for the opportunity to make small contributions in my field towards the mission of the organization

HARLEEN
JHINGER

PRACTICUM SUPERVISOR
& RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

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Harleen is studying Indigenous Social Work and recently completed her practicum with UGTS. Here, she really enjoyed her experience and the opportunity to learn extensively about the organization. She is interested in social work research and is excited to work on developing this area of UGTS.

KORI
KILLBURN

TRIBE MEMBER

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Kori Kilburn, passionate and proud mother of 2 successful young adults attending university and a teenager in middle school. After nearly two decades of being a host mother to countless international students, she is delighted to be working together at Unique Get Together Society to see kids blossom and reach their potential, see them smile and light up!

ASIA
JACOB

TRIBE MEMBER

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Asia is a  college student currently enrolled in the child and youth care program at Douglas college. She is  passionate about her field of study, which allows her to support children and families in need. She looks forward to working with the team at UGTS and she is going to learn a lot from everyone. Aside from school, she has work related experiences working with children and youth volunteering for the Coquitlam summer camps. Asia has completed her first practicum at diversity community resources society, working with children experiencing challenges. She is excited to be working at UGTS as a one to one support for children, youth, and support families to achieve their goals.

RUKY
ABDULAI

COACH

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Ruky Abdulai fulfilled a life-long dream of coming to Canada to attend Simon Fraser University. She made the most of her experience, winning a record of 17 NAIA national Track and Field titles. She competed in the long jump at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing China.

CHRISTINE
LI-LEGER

MARKETING GUIDE
& WEB DEVELOPER

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Christine has been in the events and marketing industry since 2007; planning, designing, and executing many weddings, private, corporate, and fundraising events.   She hopes to add to the growth of UGTS; Passionate about making a difference, Christine approaches everything with kindness and understanding first.  Her passions include  all levels of design, exploring nature with her family, experiencing art & cultures, connecting with people, and helping those in need in her community.  She is grateful to be a part of the marketing  & web team and excited to contribute to the fabric of the Unique Get Together Society.

MAGDALENE
MANYI

ACCESSIBILITY COMMITTEE COORDINATOR

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Magdalene has 7 years of entrepreneurial experience founding and operating the Center for Empowerment of Females with Disabilities. She also founded Lead Disability Inclusive Society BC and was a member of a number of the leadership teams servicing Cameroon. She has been an International Conference speaker, is married, and a proud mother of two. She is an international conference speaker on disability and inclusive principles and practices and a Minister of the Gospel

.She is a strong advocate of entrepreneurship in the Black community in B.C., with a focus on people with disabilities, for them to become financially independent and community actors. Magdalene is excited to share her expertise and make a difference in the lives of individuals and families living with disabilities.

HOOMAN
KOUSHANFAR

FOOD SECURITY COORDINATOR

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Bio Coming Soon...

MATTHEW
QUENNEVILLE

TRIBE MEMBER

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Bio coming soon...

MARCY
NEUDORF

TRIBE MEMBER

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My name is Marcy and I was born and raised in the Fraser Valley and currently reside there.  I have been a Registered Nurse for the last 30 years. My passion is working with children and their families. I have worked in the acute care setting in many areas, most recently in pediatrics and the NICU. I love being able to assist families and teach them how to best care for their loved ones. I believe I have been called to advocate for those who have no voice.  I look forward to how I am able to use my gifts working with the UGTS team.  I am married with 4 grown children and their spouses. I enjoy time spent with my family, being in the outdoors taking in creation, volunteering at church, working in my garden and spending time with friends. 

MANUEL
PIÑA BALDOQUIN

INSTRUCTOR

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Manuel Pina B is an artist, pedagogue, and social and spiritual activist.  Manuel has taught art in the Department of Art History and Visual Arts at UBC for over 17 years. His work explores the relations of art+spirituality+technology as a key to elucidate present realities and challenges, and imagine new forms of life and Justice.

Pina was born in Havana, Cuba. Graduated as mechanical engineer in Vladimir, Russia, in 1983. Began exhibiting his art in 1992.

His work has been exhibited in the Americas and Europe including the Havana Biennale, the Estambul Biennale, Kunsthalle Vienna, Grey Gallery, N.Y., LACMA, U.S.A., Dorsky Gallery, N.Y., DAROS Museum, Zurich.

ALYSHIA
ROBERTSON

YOUTH WORKER

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Hello, my name is Alyshia!  I am 30 years old, and married with 3 beautiful children. I became a young mother at the age of 17 and went through many struggles and learning curves which helped me grow. I love children, and working with them. I’ve always wanted to be a counsellor or support worker because I am passionate about helping others. I love to cook and have a small home business where I cook personal meals for people around the Fraser Valley. I am super excited to be joining the UGTS team, and hope I can make a big impact on many lives along the way.

 CARLENE
LUCKE

TRIBE MEMBER

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I was raised on Haida Gwaii with a strong sense of community.   In 1987, I moved to the lower mainland and became involved in Community Services.   Early in my career I was focused on Mental Health Support and Advocacy for Community Social Service Workers across the province.  As time went on I was drawn to Youth Services. As a single mother of a soon to be teenager I decided to become a 5 bed special resource foster parent for 15 years, which allowed me the opportunity to see and take part in many different parts of the system our youth live in.   From intake to aging out; youth face so many barriers and obstacles in managing their way through.   

Building a strong sense of community is very important to me.   As we work together building strength and empowerment, change and benefit will come to our province.  As a grandmother now, it is even more important to me that we be the power of greatness and change.

OMID
ZADMEHR

VANCOUVER FOOD HAMPER DELIVERER

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Bio coming soon...

KAYLA
POLLOCK MCKENNA

GRANT & ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT

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 My name is Kayla and I am a student at Concordia University in Quebec. I’m currently pursuing a double major in English Literature and Irish Studies. Working with UGTS has been a meaningful experience because I know that what I do is creating a positive impact for a number of communities. I look forward to learning and growing alongside this organization. 

SHAWN
SHABAQUAY

ADMIN

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I recently graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with the Unique Getting Together Society (UGTS) to gain valuable experience in research and development, to learn new skills, and assist with preparing the Indigenous culture camps. I am Anishinaabe and my band affiliation is Wabigoon Lake (ON). In my youth, I was the Founder and President of the Indigenous Students Association (InSA) at UBC, during this time I helped facilitate various Indigenous cultural events. Outside of school, I studied psychology, spirituality, and existential philosophy. 

AJAY
SHARMA

TRIBE MEMBER

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Bio coming soon...

MICHELLE
BLACKBURN

INDIGENOUS OUTDOOR
PROGRAM COORDINATOR

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I am a Tahltan First Nations woman, and a descendent of the Crow clan and Eth Eni is thy great ancestor mother. Traditionally the Tahltan were nomadic, gathering at salmon runs in summer and dispersing to hunting territories in winter. I guess that ancestral spirit was born in me because I haven’t stopped exploring and finding healing when out in nature moving around in all seasons. 

 

Being out on the trails exploring the vastness of the backcountry since I was a young bare-footed girl I never failed to see that being outdoors, especially hiking, was enjoyed more by the more privileged in society. Unfortunately, there are historic and social barriers that made it feel this way.

 

The outdoors doesn’t only belong to all of us, but we can heal and thrive in it together, no matter what your level of experience is. 

SEAN
OLENIK

TRIBE MEMBER

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Sean is a recent highschool graduate who is going to attend the University of Regina for social work and to continue his football career. Sean finds social work rewarding and fulfilling as he likes to advocate for marginalized groups of people, in his free time he likes to hang out with friends, listen to music and watch movies.

AMANDA
GILLESPIE

TRIBE MEMBNER

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46yr old single mom to 5 kids and have 2 grandkids. 

I have a worked in the vulnerable sector and health care for over 20yrs. I am trained in mental health, drug addiction, safe injection, and an array of many other trainings. I started of my career path in 2000 when I took my Health care aid course because of year of taking care of my grandmother I loved the feeling I had to serve. While in my journey of Healthcare I started to take an interest in dementia and geriatric psychology patients and started to educate myself on mental health and the brain!  

This lead me into the field of addictions and safe injection sites on Vancouver Island were I was born and raised.  I grew up in addiction all around me and as a child never understood the world of addiction.  Then as an adult suffered my own demons when younger but managed to get out before getting to far lost in a world at the time I was happy to be in. I have had the privilege to work in several areas of the vulnerable sector from Outreach to Transition homes to group homes and 1 on 1. I love the challenge of this sector and love the difference, no matter how small I get to make in this field of work. I am happy to have joined the UGTS Team and look forward to all the greater good I get to be a hand in.  

BRANDON
PETERS

YOUTH WORKER

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My name is Brandon Peters, and I am a first nations native from St’at’imc territory. I was living in Vancouver for a few years but settled in Kamloops after that . Over the years I’ve performed in many different communities on my music journey and recently started doing motivational workshops for the youth. Attending a self-development program in 2017 helped me realize that I’m passionate about helping other people find love for themselves as well as their dreams. I’ve coached at a program called choices as well as their teen camp and I’ve also done some volunteering at a youth group here in Kamloops. I look forward to meeting new people and learning more about the culture on this journey. 

TEAM
MEMBER

ROLE

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bio

JENNIFER
APEDAILE

IFOT THERAPIST

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Hello, my name is Jennifer Apedaile.

I acknowledge that I am a settler learning to be a good guest on the unceded territories of the Coast

Salish, Nuu Chah Nulth, Kwakwak'wakw, Stl'atl'imc, and Nlaka'pamux.

I am grateful to my teachers, children, and to the elders who guide and support me. I am loving, careful, and respectful.

For over twenty years prioritizing folks, families, and communities who live with the impacts of trauma,

I am rooted in the Land, trust Life’s cycles, and empower holistic health and wellness through the

wisdom of the body.

NICOLE
DEUTSCHER

TRIBE MEMBER

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Bio coming soon...

KERRY 
FELLETTI

TRIBE MEMBER

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Bio coming soon

AMY
SPINKS

TRIBE MEMBER

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I am a Mom, a partner and a proud woman of indigenous decsent. I have spent most of my life doing the same mundane 9-5 desk thing, to provide for my family. Throughout the pandemic, I have taken a closer look at my life, and the world around me. I have done some work on my own trauma, and have decided that it is time for a change. I wanted to find something that made me feel that passion in my soul, and that made me look forward to going to work every morning. I wanted to find something that would allow me to give back to my community, and connect with my indigenous roots.  Food offerings are an important part of my culture, and I find pride and joy in being able to package these offerings with love and compassion, then to be able to hand deliver these offerings to the families in need, in my community. I am grateful to be a part of this tribe, and  that my children witness my pride and love of a new path and career. 

STACEY
GALLAGHER

 

WARRIOR PROGRAM 
COORDINATOR

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Aaniin Boozho, my dear relatives, my name is Gitchi Makwa, Makwa Indodem, Anishinaabe Stacy Gallagher. I’m a 60-year-old male born on these unceded Coast Salish territories. I follow the matriarchal grandmothers of Serpent River, Ontario, where my mother was born. As a good relative, I’m to behave according to the grandmothers’ teachings and natural laws. I’ve been given the great responsibility to care for the people, meaning my life is no longer mine but I follow the original instructions through the blood memory of my ancestors. I serve the people as a firekeeper. I conduct purification lodges (sweatlodges), letting go ceremonies, and carry an opwaagan/pipe for the people. Also, I participate in Sundance ceremonies and Chibay (ghost dance). I’ve worked as the Native Liaison officer at Surrey Pre-Trial, and worked with youth in care as well as aging out. Over the years, I’ve facilitated programs with Together We Can, a recovery house for Indigenous men, performed ceremonies with UNYA, the Urban Native Youth Association, and Youth Co’s street kids programs. I’ve also worked for ACCESS. I have suicide prevention, mental health and addictions training. I volunteer with the Native Friendship Centre, Moosehide Campaign, and work with the elders. Most of all, I’m a land and water protector.

 

Chi-Miigwetch, all my relations,

 

 

Stacy Gallagher

NEVADA
OUELLETTE

PROGRAMS & SERVICES
COORDINATOR, ALBERTA

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Nevada is a mixed background Otipemisiwak (Métis) and member of the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA). She is our Program and Services Coordinator in Alberta and is also a co-founder, educator, and consultant with the Collective Wellness Pow Wow.An old-style fancy dancer, she holds a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and is a trained Indigenous Focusing-Oriented Therapy (IFOT) therapist.

SHELBY
BROWN

TRIBE MEMBER