Rosemary Stager is the recipient of the 2016 Inspiration Award for “Grounding Work Within Culture and Tradition.” Originally from Lil’wat Nation, Rosemary held the position of Health Director at Southern Stl’atl’imx Health Society (SSHS) for many years, where she served the four Southern Stl’atl’imx communities.
Her nominating colleague noted, “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 oversaw a number of innovative wellness initiatives—always grounded in culture. One of the most popular projects that she 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’ 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.”
Rosemary stepped down as a Health Director and FNHDA Board Member in late 2021 but we would like to extend our gratitude for her work and commitment to wellness.