Samantha joined the Representative’s Office on Aug. 31, 2020 as Deputy Representative of Advocacy and First Nations, Métis and Inuit Relations. Samantha is of Cree and Scottish ancestry and brings more than 20 years’ experience in a wide array of service areas. Her extensive experience working with First Nations, Métis and Inuit children, youth and families in respectful and meaningful ways gives her deep and valuable knowledge into Indigenous child welfare in B.C.
Prior to this position, Samantha was Deputy Director of Child Welfare, Aboriginal Services Branch at the Ministry of Children and Family Development. In this position, Samantha demonstrated leadership in her work with MCFD Executive to transform Indigenous child welfare. She was also the Executive Director at Xyólheméylh (Fraser Valley Child and Family Services) where she spent years advocating for systemic change to ensure better outcomes for Indigenous children and youth and was instrumental in the creation of a youth-led advisory group and annual gathering – the Visions and Voices Forum for Youth in Care.
She has been on the front lines of social work in communities around B.C. including Williams Lake, Kamloops and Prince George, and has done therapeutic work both with people experiencing addictions or substance misuse issues, and with children and families experiencing family violence.
Samantha was also a member of the Tri-partite Working Group – a subcommittee for Indigenous child welfare practice reform in B.C.