IWS was formed over 30 years ago. The society has undergone some name changes along the way but we have worked to stay true to our roots and continued to strive towards our mission statement: to provide a variety of services in a safe and supportive environment. These services help to promote empowerment, overcome trauma, address violence, promote equality and enrich the lives of children and families on Haida Gwaii.
It was all started back in 1983 by a small group women who gathered on a regular basis to address the main issues that they were facing at the time. This group quickly became a Society, in order to be eligible for Women’s Centre funding. In the early 1990’s policies, consensus decision-making, mission statements and Women’s program funding were the main topics on the agenda.
Over the next two decades, the Society grew by adding the Victim Assistance Program, the Women’s Counselling Program, the Outreach Program, the Child Care Resource and Referral program and then the Children Who Witness Abuse Program.
In 2013, we embarked on a new adventure as Islands Wellness Society and celebrated thirty years of offering services on Haida Gwaii. We unveiled our new hummingbird logo, and have been working towards being a resource organization for all families in our communities.
Consider joining our board of directors. More information on the application process is available by contacting any of the directors below or the Administrator.
Board of Directors
Our board of directors, like our organization, is an evolving group. All members have a keen interest in seeing IWS progress and move forward into a more dynamic organization to support the families and communities of Haida Gwaii. Their interest and volunteer status shows their commitment to ensure that Provincial funds are stretched to cover every possible aspect of our island’s families. If you are interested in joining the board at IWS, we would love to hear from you!
Our wonderful, amazing, talented, and inspiring Board of Directors currently consists of:
Amy joined the IWS Board in 2018. She has been a Policy Wizard, working hard to fine-tune our policy documents. She can most often be found at the Xaayda Gwaay Ngaaysdl Naay Haida Gwaii Hospital and Health Centre as one of the Registered Nurses. But if you look closely, she can also be spotted around town riding a bicycle or kayaking in the inlet.
Amy’s photo here
Jenn is our longest standing Board member at the moment and brings to the team a great love for the community of Haida Gwaii. She has travelled overseas, worked for the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society, the Haida Gwaii Museum, The Local Food Pantry (South) and is now the Executive Director of Mount Moresby Adventure Camp. In addition to this role, she is also a facilitator with Co+Host. Her expertise in project management and strong and gentle leadership qualities make her an excellent addition to our team. She can sometimes be spotted running a casual marathon and hiking Spirit Lake all whilst spreading joy with her bright smile.
Leslie has worked and volunteered for non-profit societies on Haida Gwaii for over 30 years. She brings her sense of humour along with her skills of financial administration, board process and diplomacy. She has been involved in Island politics and community planning for many years, including serving two terms on the Village of Queen Charlotte Council from 2008 to 2014. Leslie’s enjoying moving into her role as an elder. Her support of IWS goes back to the beginning and she’s honoured to be part of the team today.
Lindsay joined the IWS board in 2015. She comes to the team with a background in non-profit management and community engagement, and she has worked with community-based organizations across the Americas and Africa before starting her life on Haida Gwaii. Lindsay works as a Healthy Settings Advisor with the Population and Preventive Public Health team – and when she isn’t working, she can be found hiking and foraging food with her daughter, partner and dogs.
Administration is the support system of the programs at Islands Wellness Society. Our Administrator is responsible for the behind-the-scenes activities, our good standing with the Ministry, and ensuring that the lights are turned on, the door is open and there are happy people on the inside to help you with whatever you need.
Meghan Cross (until September 2020)
Meghan joined the IWS team in April 2019 as the interim Financial Coordinator and Program Support for IWS. She brings a wealth of organizational experience from her diverse professional background in non-profit program coordination, business development and project management. She works hard behind the scenes to ensure all the IWS programs run smoothly and is a consistent friendly face to welcome folks into the building. When not at IWS, she can be found teaching yoga classes at Sun Studio and enjoying local basketball! You may even catch a glimpse of her hiking in the forest or in the water on her surfboard.
Shani Goetzinger (on leave)
She feels lucky to be a part of the IWS team and a resident of Haida Gwaii!
Shani’s photo here