Kelly Brownbill's spirit name, Wabunnoongakikwe, means Woman Who Comes from the East and she is proud to be WabizhashiDodem, Marten Clan. She is a member of the Flat Bay community of the Mi’kmaq Nation in Newfoundland. She currently lives near Barrie, Ontario and has been an active member of the Aboriginal community in this area for the past 20 years.
Kelly has been married to Austin Mixemong for 20 years, and they are happily sharing their life with their daughter, Bailey. Learning how to be a mother under Bailey's capable tutelage has been the most powerful experience of her life.
One of Kelly's areas of interest is the recruitment, employment and retention of Aboriginal persons working in non-Aboriginal organizations. Having been employed in a human resources capacity for a decade, Kelly had opportunity to identify first hand the challenges faced by Aboriginal employees and non-Aboriginal management. She addressed these challenges through the development of tools and resources that effectively harmonized working relationships and enhanced employer/employee relationships. One such resource that she developed was the “Wellness and Work, Employment Assistance Programming in Canada” article, published by Canadian Scholars’ Press.
Kelly believes that enhanced knowledge is the key to successful Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relationships, whether it be employee/employer relations or in collaborating with Aboriginal communities and organizations. She believes that it is important to provide balanced understanding of historical issues and is adept at enhancing the learner’s knowledge in a manner that utilizes humour, kindness and compassion. It is important that workshops and seminars are tailored to the unique needs of each audience and Kelly will work with her clients to ensure that the key goals and objectives are met. She has experience working with federal and provincial government employees, on and off-reserve communities and a wide variety of other service providers. Regardless of who the client audience is, Kelly respects the wisdom and vision of the Elders which is at the core of all training she offers.
She has conducted countless cultural awareness training sessions across a broad range of service sectors. Key staff from both the provincial and federal governments have participated in Kelly’s training as have numerous front line service providers. She has also worked with Aboriginal communities, both on and off reserve, to develop healthy agency models and to further develop counseling skills with Aboriginal clients.
Kelly honours the wisdom and vision of her elders, both here and in the spirit realm, and acknowledges their guidance. She continues to seek their assistance with her ongoing journey.
- Contributing author, Wellness and Work, Employee Assistance Programming in Canada
- Contributing author, Responding to the Oppression of Addiction: Canadian Social Work Perspectives, Second Edition
- Trainer/Facilitator, Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy, 2011-13
- Coordinator, 45th Annual Institute on Addiction Studies, July 4-9, 2004, Barrie, ON
- Coordinator and Supervisor, Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellness Conference, 2007, Toronto, ON
- Lead Coordinator, Aboriginal Health Conference, 2008, Barrie, ON
- MC, Native Women and Wellness Conference East, 2004 and 2005, Huntsville, ON
- Key Note Address, Aboriginal Awareness Week 2010, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON
- Presenter, Creating Wellness in the Workplace;An Aboriginal Approach to Human Resource Management , Wellness & Spirituality Conference XIII, Tucson, AZ
- Certified Level One Practitioner- Emotional Freedom Technique
- Featured speaker, Social Work Day, University of Western Ontario, London, ON
- Guest lecturer, Department of Social Work, University of Western Ontario, London, ON
- Guest Lecturer, Addictions Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
- Board Member, Addiction Studies Forum Inc.
- Board President, Enaahtig Healing Lodge and Learning Centre
Native Way training
Historical Trauma in First Nation Communities
How to More Effectively Work with Aboriginal Clients
Vicarious Trauma: Caring for the Caregiver
A Native Perspective on Cultural Diversity
- Front line addiction workers,
- Ministry of Children and Youth Services Youth Justice employees
- Canadian Forces personnel,
- Revenue Canada employees,
- Ministry of Community and Social Services,
- Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services,
- conference delegates – Aboriginal Health Conference,
- Children’s Aid Society,
- children’s mental health organizations