Stó:lo from Sts’ailes Nation and Tsimshian from Metlakatla Nation, Francine values and upholds the cultural teachings she has learned from her Indigenous family. Francine’s desire to support First Nation families and communities through the impacts of colonialism, assimilation and displacement from their traditional territory has brought her to a diverse career in mental health, traditional medicine, business and cultural tourism.
Francine’s early career started in Fiji working with Wainimate, a traditional women’s medicinal organization, documenting traditional medicines in partnership with the University of the South Pacific. Following the footsteps of her Aunty Gwen, Francine is most proud of founding the Semoya Dancers, a traditional group that shares the Stó:lo culture and history through song, story and dance. With her husband, children, nieces and nephews, this renowned group performed at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, was showcased at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford B.C., and was also featured in film and publication Man Turned to Stone: T’xweláte.
Francine currently works with the Thálé:ylexw awtxw Foundation, The House of the Life Givers, a grassroots Stó:lo womxn’s group with a purpose to support the growth and empowerment of Indigenous womxn in S’ólh Téméxw, the Stó:lo traditional territory. This foundation strives to create opportunities for Indigenous womxn to share their knowledge and experiences, re-connect to land-based healing and build relationships with one another. Francine also works with Sacred Circle, supporting their vision for a healthcare system that honors Indigenous knowledge and ancestral traditional medicine. As an advocate for the rights of Indigenous people, Francine’s considers her work with Sacred Circle one of the most powerful ways to support First Nations people in preserving their traditional knowledge, promoting cultural healing practices and reconnecting to their traditional territories.
Defining moments in her career include volunteering with the suicide crisis line, owning and managing several businesses in the Stó:lo territory, supporting First Nation community business development with Indigenous Tourism BC, and supporting children and families at the Stehiyaq Wellness Centre, a residential facility for at-risk Indigenous youth. Francine was recently featured in Lllahee: Water, a video sharing about the power of water as a healing medicine. Francine holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and anthropology from the University of British Columbia and was the valedictorian of the Ch’nook Indigenous Business Program from the Sauder School of Business.
Sacred Circle https://www.sacredcircle.ca
Thálé:ylexw awtxw Foundation, The House of the Life Givers
Indigenous Tourism BC https://www.indigenousbc.com/corporate
Lllahe: Water https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEvwtx6U-XA
Man Turned to Stone: T’xweláte. http://www.srrmcentre.com/StoneTxwelatse/07Introduction.html