I grew up in Hawk Junction, Ontario with my parents Cecile Soulier and Harold Armstrong (WWII), four siblings and a huge extended family of relatives and friends. We all worked hard to help contribute to the family’s livelihood and growth.
After becoming a wife and a mother of two, education fell low on my priority list, and my focus shifted to service work to help support my family. Education was never far from my mind and in 1995 I received my high school diploma – 20 years after dropping out. A diploma in business administration and several certificates related to nursing, quality, communication, occupational safety, strategic planning, and philanthropy followed.
After several years of living in Sault Ste Marie, my family and I returned to our hometown, there a job posting for a housekeeper at Lady Dunn Health Centre caught my eye. I was hired and during this time there were many transformations taking place in health care. It wasn’t long before my education and skills landing me a career in nursing, administration, and philanthropy that lasted 16 years.
I began work as the Executive Assistant to Chief and Council at Michipicoten First Nation. I worked alongside chief, council, staff and the community at large as a vital team member. I spoke to countless citizens by phone, reconnected with many of my relatives and met a lot of people at our citizenship meetings in both the Soo and Sudbury. It was a very rewarding and enlightening experience where I learned a lot about my First Nation and gained a new appreciation for our culture and Mother Earth.
I now work for Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services as an Integrated Care Manager, where I lead a dedicated care team that provides primary health services to on-reserve community members through community-based health centres, and to the urban indigenous population in Wawa, Chapleau and locations on the north shore.
In the administration and political realm, I have seen how Michipicoten has changed the way they do business; there is transparency, accountability, and open communication.
Michipicoten has made remarkable progress and transformation by capturing potential and meaningful economic opportunities in the treaty and territory areas with a goal to lessen the dependence on government funding.
It’s very exciting times and I’m glad to be involved at this level to help move priority projects forward. As a council we need a blend of people who are unified and bring different experiences and fresh perspectives required to make the necessary decisions for the benefit of our citizens. Decisions that are vital for leading Michipicoten through the 21st Century.