First Nations Health Directors Association

Member Spotlight

Rosemary Stager

Rosemary Stager is the recipient of the 2016 Inspiration Award for “Grounding Work Within Culture and Tradition.” Originally from Lil’wat Nation, Rosemary has held the position of Health Director at Southern Stl’atl’imx Health Society (SSHS) for the past two years, where she serves the four Southern Stl’atl’imx communities. As her nominating colleague notes, “Rosemary’s commitment to ensuring that all SSHS staff embrace culture and tradition is a wonderful foundation for our daily work and provides us with a way of learning and sharing opportunities for growth.” In just two years, Rosemary has overseen a number of innovative wellness initiatives—always grounded in culture. One of the most popular projects that she’s worked on is a men’s health group, which holds regular outdoor meetings. At these gatherings, men from Southern Stl’atl’imx and their surrounding communities share teachings, hold health interventions and support each other to reconnect with their land and cultures. Another of Rosemary’s major achievements is SSHS’ upcoming move to a new building in Mount Currie that is wheelchair accessible and includes an updated kitchen for hosting canning and preserving programs as well as nutrition sessions for diabetics. “My grandmother was a health director back in the day, in the more traditional sense—she was a midwife and medicine woman. She told me stories,” says Rosemary. “Just being exposed to what I know we were like before contact, what she taught me. We were about self-care and prevention and love for families was a big part of our lives. I would really like to see our communities get back to traditional wellness and change our story now.”