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Maria Swain

Indigenous Peoples

Trainer, Facilitator and Healing Consultant

Maria is an experienced project coordinator, trainer and facilitator specializing in economic development, social services and counseling for creating healthy and flourishing First Nations communities. As an engaged community member of Grassy Narrows First Nation, Maria is committed to action-oriented advocacy and research for Anishnabe communities, Women’s organizations and Band Councils.

As a Consultant for Grassy Narrows First Nations on economic and employment training programs and community development issues, Maria ensured team collaboration in developing an innovative human and community resource database that identified existing community economic assets and employment skills as well as new programming areas for community-based economic development. Located as part of a larger regional and national approach, together with a participatory community-based needs assessment for capacity building, Maria was responsible for adapting and evaluating an employability readiness program first developed in Nunavut for potential regional expansion into a further 23 Anishnabe communities in Treaty # 3.

Maria’s experience with treaty and local governance inside First Nations communities has lead her to assist in negotiating resource agreements, developing partnerships with external local employers, and continuing to work on the Process Agreement for government-to-government relations between Grassy Narrows and the Government of Ontario.

Creating, sustaining and supporting community capacities have been key components of Maria’s approach to building healthy Indigenous communities. Recognizing the histories of collective grief, Maria brings pro-active healing counseling to supporting families in crisis to create healthy self-directed initiatives, including both protecting Anishnabe children and Anishnabe woman traumatized by domestic violence and developing initiatives to counter the cycle of violence in their lives.

Maria approaches her work through personal professional experiences and specialized training and Certificates in Restorative Justice, First Nations Counselling, Child Protection, Grief Counselling and Domestic Violence Prevention.