“Indigenous community becomes a Story that is a collection of individual stories, ever unfolding through the lives of the people who share the life of that community. This large community is always a living and animate entity, vitalized when it is nourished through the attention of its tellers and its listeners. When a story finds that special circumstance in which its message is fully received, it induces a direct and powerful understanding: this becomes a real teaching.”
Gregory Cajete, PhD, Indigenous Scholar and
Author of Look To The Mountain
M.Ed., CPCC, ACC
EDUCATOR, FACILITATOR & CONSULTANT
NEUFELD INSTITUTE FACULTY
OWNER OF KWEYKWAY CONSULTING
Denise Findlay is a bi-cultural person of Indigenous Coast Salish and settler ancestry, proudly belonging to the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), who has dedicated the last 20 years to travelling throughout British Columbia and across Canada working exclusively in Indigenous communities facilitating processes focussed on collective healing. Denise’s work is strongly focussed on de-centring experts where child and youth mental health his concerned and restoring dignity to the role the natural kinship circle plays in providing care to Indigenous children and youth. Denise is responsible for leading the development and implementation of an innovative Provincial program called Gathering Our Medicine, in collaboration with community-based Advisory and Working Groups. Gathering Our Medicine provides an innovative, cross cultural framework that empowers communities to see themselves and their placed based ways of knowing and being as the best medicine for children and youth. The program respectfully and wisely de-centres mental health experts, re-orienting them as facilitators who walk alongside families and communities restoring dignity and confidence to the role of raising and caring for children.
Denise is currently undertaking a PhD. in Philosophy of Educational Practice and Theory at Simon Fraser University and was awarded a Social Sciences Humanities Resource Council Scholarship (Canadian Graduate Scholarship) for her ground-breaking research. Denise’s research focus is on intersecting knowledges emerging from the fields of attachment theory, and developmental and affective neuroscience with Indigenous wisdom traditions and how cultural places-based knowledges most naturally support healing, recovery and development across the life span for Indigenous families and communities. Denise longs to disrupt the status quo and affect sustainable change in the way mental health services are delivered in community settings to families impacted by colonization and intergenerational trauma.
Denise has spent countless hours facilitating group processes in response to social issues rooted in intergenerational trauma and colonization. Denise holds a Master of Education from Simon Fraser University focusing on Contemplative Education and is on Faculty with The Neufeld Institute where she specializes in Developmental Attachment Theory, Trauma, and Resilience. Denise is a certified BC Provincial Post-Secondary Instructor and Professional Co-Active Coach with advanced training in Process Psychology and systems work.
Denise has vast experience working in community and training Educators, Parents and Parent Groups, Social Workers, Early Childhood Educators, Mental Health Practitioners and other Helping Professionals.