womens counselling

The services of the Women’s Counselling Program are free, confidential and inclusive. The program provides individual, group/circle counselling, and workshops to women 19 years of age and over residing in the south-end island communities of Haida Gwaii.

The services are available to women impacted by violence – whether presently or historically – such as childhood abuse, sexual assault, violence in relationship or other forms of abuse. In her 40 years of experience working in this field Nell-Anne Toegel has dealt with a variety of issues of violence. Those encompass, subtle to overt: emotional, verbal, economical, sexual, and spiritual abuse – besides physical abuse.

Her counselling approach is trauma-based as the effects of these abuses can resonate throughout a woman’s life.


Examples of Program Activities

  • Individual counselling that is functioning at full capacity
  • “Bill C-31: A Circle for Women Impacted by the Indian Act and Related Trauma”, a part of the Women’s Counselling programming that was co-facilitated with Susan Gladstone from the Skidegate Health Centre for two years.
  • “Conquering Our Critical Inner Thoughts”  a workshop, co-facilitated with Laurie Husband from Northern Health
  • The Creative Zone took place from September 2006 to 2012, every Wednesday evening from September to the end of May at the Skidegate Health Centre. This circle gathered community members to break the isolation and socialize while crafting: mainly beading, making dancing aprons, ceremonial blankets etc. After those six years, the participants’ needs moved towards workshops rather than ongoing weekly meetings. In October 2014 a workshop was held dedicated to making high-topped moccasins, and another co-facilitated with Dolly in February 2015 for weaving a Ravens’ Tail pouch.
  • “Inter-generational Trauma” with Sandra Dan from Old Massett
  • “Boundaries group co-facilitated with Sheyla Ventura in the fall of 2021”
  • “Conquer your Critical Inner Voices” facilitated by Sheyla in the spring of 2022
  • Sheyla can assist with forms and applications such as income assistance, Persons with Disabilities, and CPP-Disability


To ensure the program services are relevant to the community, Nell is always willing to discuss projects, circles, or workshops that would respond to a community need.

Program Coordinator – Nell-Anne Toegel

I was born and raised in Egypt. I had the honour of acquiring a new family by being adopted into the Naa’Yuu’ans Giddins clan in 2010. My Haida name is Guudang.aay Yuu’an Jaad.  I graduated from McGill University with two degrees (Psychology and Social Work). I also lectured at two schools of social work for seven years and supervised social work students for nine years. I have been working with women impacted by violence since 1982 and have been the Women’s Counselling Program Coordinator and Counsellor at the Islands Wellness Society since 2005. I have loved photography since my teens (I dreamed of being a photo-journalist then) and have a passion for well written fantasy books dealing with magic.

For more info please email or call Nell at 250-559-8828 or womenscounselling@islandswellnesssociety.com.


evilpatrickWomen’s Counselling