Originally from Northern Manitoba, Jo-Anne has been in the Nistawoyou region for 15 years. A Metis woman with strong ties to the Red River region, her ancestorial families include midwives and medicine knowledge keepers from the Flett’s, Richard’s and Chartrand’s. With 27 years of experience in the fields of Child and Youth Care, Child development and the last 17 years in on reserve addictions and mental health programming, she is committed to furthering awareness of the Intergenerational impacts of colonization, changing systems of oppression and advocating for Indigenizing and decolonizing programs that serve turtle island. In her spare time, Jo-Anne can be found cooking for friends and family, enjoying the outdoors paddle boarding, hiking, running in the summer months, canning in the fall and just as her Muskwa spirit guides, hibernating all winter.
Chris is the Assistant Director with Wood Buffalo Wellness Society. He is a proud member of Fort McMurray 468 First Nation. Chris has over 10 years experience working in the non-profit sector with a focus on Indigenous Housing, Culture, and Advocacy. Chris has led a number of projects in the Edmonton area and has now returned home to Treaty 8 Territory to continue his work in providing innovative services to vulnerable individuals.
Jolene is the Administration Manager at Wood Buffalo Wellness Society. Originally from small town BC, she moved out to Fort McMurray in 2013. Not long after arriving Jolene began working in Radio Sales, this opportunity introduced her to the community. It was from there that her passions for social profits and strengthening the community started.
Jolene loves to travel the world and takes every opportunity to learn and understand new cultures. She is a certified yoga teacher, and loves practicing mindfulness. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, testing new recipes that her husband cooks (she loves to eat, but can’t cook to save her life) and spending time with her family, pets and friends.
Mark Amy Team Lead
Cassie is the Team Lead at the Mark Amy Treatment Centre and has been with the Wood Buffalo Wellness Society in a variety of capacities, since August of 2018. Cassie humbly acknowledges her privilege as a visitor to the Treaty 8 territory and a guest to the surrounding communities. She works diligently at connecting with various Knowledge keepers, Elders and Community leaders to ensure all efforts are being made in decolonizing her own practice and expanding her capacity, as she passionately continues to work in Indigenous Service delivery.
Cassie is originally from Ontario, was raised in Manitoba, spent summers and holidays with family in Saskatchewan and now calls Alberta her home; a Prairie girl through and through. She is most often found enjoying any number of outdoor hobbies including fishing, kayaking, hiking and hockey. Cassie completed her second education in the field of Addictions and Community Development in 2011 and has been working in the field since, in a variety of capacities and organizations.
Punnya Selvaraj, MBA/BBM
Community Services Team Lead
Punnya Selvaraj is the team lead at Wood Buffalo Wellness Society. They have been working with the agency in various roles since last 2 years. They are committed to helping clients overcome homelessness, mental health issues, addiction and other stresses that effect all of us at some time in our lives.
They are originally from India and calls fort McMurray their home since 2016. outside work they enjoy reading, spending time with their family and cat (Autumn).
Punnya holds a master's dual degree in human resources/marketing (MBA) from Bangalore university and Bachelor's in business management.
Tawâw Program Manager
Kayla loves to be on the land and spending time building relationships in the community. She is passionate about healing. Her passion is infectious which makes her a strong advocate for our community. She is a versatile member of our team; everything she does is done with love.