Marie is of Saulteaux, Sioux and Ukrainian ancestry from beautiful Treaty 4 lands in Saskatchewan. She has been a grateful visitor on Coast Salish territories her entire life. For the past 25 years Marie has lived on the unceded, traditional, occupied territories of xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Marie is a social worker, counsellor and educator. She joined the School of Social Work as an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Educational Leadership Stream in July 2018. She teaches in the BSW and MSW programs in Indigenous focused courses, interpersonal communication skills, group work skills and integrative seminars for field placements. She is the Indigenous student advisor and is active in Indigenous initiatives to further reconciliation, Indigenization and decolonization in the School of Social Work.
Marie started working at UBC in February 2014 and worked in several areas prior to her current position. She was an Education Coordinator in the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health and managed the Summer Science Program and assisted with the administration of the Aboriginal Health and Community Administration Program (now called Indigenous Health Administration and Leadership Program). She was in the position of Aboriginal Student Community Learning Experience Coordinator in the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences and was responsible for Indigenous focused community placements in a required graduate level course. Marie also worked as a counsellor in Counselling Services providing services to the general student population. In addition, she worked as a field education coordinator and as a sessional instructor in the School of Social Work.
Her career in social work started in the 1980s with a Social Service Worker Certificate from Camosun College after which she then pursued a Bachelor of Social Work degree from UVIC followed by a Master of Social Work degree from UBC. She is a Registered Clinical Social Worker. Marie has worked in mainstream and Indigenous programs in direct practice and leadership positions in areas including Indigenous healing and wellness, Indigenous family preservation, violence against women, medical social work and community criminal justice. Marie has a counselling private practice and has focused on providing services to residential school survivors, intergenerational survivors and others impacted by past and current colonization. Her work has included providing counselling services at national and local Truth and Reconciliation Commission truth/statement gathering and healing events, throughout the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement Independent Assessment Process (IAP) for legal compensation, at a Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation community engagement event and at community sessions for Day School claimants.
Marie’s recent branching out in her career to academia is propelled by a desire to create and nourish pathways for the strength, resiliency, beauty and wisdom of Indigenous peoples and the truth of their lives to be seen and upheld. Her longstanding commitment to work towards meeting the demand for more Indigenous social workers is also at the heart of her work in the School of Social Work.
Areas of Scholarship and Practice: Indigenous healing and wellness; violence against women; clinical social work.