Loving our children by protecting their wellbeing and building healthy families
Nxwezil̓tems is the Ucwalmícwts word that means, “We love our children.” Nxwezil̓tems is not only the name of SSHS’s newest program; it is also the foundation of the program’s work. Loving SSHS’s youngest members means ensuring their health needs are addressed, and their families are preserved and given the tools for success.
This self-referred program, established in 2019, provides one-to-one support, as well as groups and workshops for children and families. Recognizing that secure community connections are essential to good health, Nxwezil̓tems grounds its activities in Stl’atl’imx culture, looking to the past to create a strong future.
Cultural and spiritual support
Nxwezil̓tems Services Forms
The following forms can be downloaded, filled out and submitted online or printed out.
Family Preservation & Acting Nxwezil̓tems Team Lead
Jessica Parker joined the Nxwezil̓tems team in 2019.
Jessica graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Social Work with a specialization in the area of child welfare. Priors to joining SSHS, Jessica worked primarily with underserved urban youth in Victoria BC. There, she worked as a youth withdrawal counsellor at a residential detox facility, as well as a youth outreach counsellor at both an emergency shelter and drop-in youth centre.
Jessica found a passion for family-related wellness Acat the residential detox facilities, as she saw the strength of each family played a significant role in the success of the youth throughout their addiction and wellness journeys. Family-based assessments, interventions, and goal planning were vitally important to this work. As a result, family preservation naturally became an area of interest for her.
Jessica is dedicated to re-strengthening the individual and increasing the collective wellness of each family member with the aim of family and community unity.
Qaq-wan/ Christopher Thomas Wells
Cultural Family Worker
Qaq-wan/Christopher Thomas Wells joined the Nxwezil̓tems team in2019.
Qaq-wan is a member of the Líl̓wat Nation and a part of the St’at’imc Nation. His clan is the Grizzly Clan and Black Bear Clan.
He is one of the spiritual leaders for the St’at’imc First Nations and conducts ceremonies throughout the territory. A lead singer of the St’at’imc songs, Qaq-wan is a world-renowned dancer and performer. He has travelled across North America and overseas to perform on many occasions. Additionally, he had had the honour of serving the Líl̓wat Nation asa council member for two terms.
For the past 11 years, he has worked as a cultural teacher and outreach worker in the local school system.
As the Nxwezil̓tems Cultural Family Worker, Qaq-wan is committed to bringing culture and healthy ways of living to the Lower Lake communities and N̓Quatqua. Passing on all the rich knowledge he has gained over the years from Elders and spiritual leaders, past and present, is his sole purpose in life.
Family Support Worker
Tari Minniti joined the Nxwezil̓tems team 2019.
Tari brings considerable social work experience to the position, having been the coordinator for child and family services for Líl̓wat Nation. While working for the nation, Tari took on a variety of roles including Family Preservation Worker, Family Support Worker and FASD Keyworker.
She brings a collaborative approach to her work and is committed to forging robust connections within the SSHS member communities and its teams.
Originally from Ontario, Tari and her two children have called Pemberton home for the past 16 years.
Name is Rikki Ducharme, I am a member of Snuneymuxw First Nation (Nanaimo) where I was born and raised. I moved to Líl̓wat in spring 2018 and I have been in the role as Nxwezil̓tems Child, Family Services Manager since January of 2019.
I graduated with my Bachelors of Social Work from Vancouver Island University and studied Indigenous Studies. I am passionate about communities reclaiming their traditional parenting methods. It is my belief that every Indigenous family across North America is taking steps to break the cycle of colonization. I am honoured when community members trust me to be apart of their journey and to walk with them.
If you are curious more about our program please reach out, via our work contacts. Or if you see us in your community drop by and say hello.
Please note: Rikki Ducharme is currently on maternity leave. Jessica Parker is currently Acting Team Lead.