Pankwa’las (Ruby Peterson) is Namgis, from Alert Bay BC, where she works as a counsellor. Ruby has a Masters of Education in Aboriginal Community Counselling. She has over 17 years experience working with community effects of Residential schooling and colonization in Aboriginal communities, which is also a part of her own healing story. Her counselling focus is largely on trauma, grief and abuse, with special interest in the legacy of intergenerational trauma, abuse suicides and addiction. Her experience includes work with street entrenched youth, as a community social worker, teaching cultural sensitivity to Ministry of Children and Family workers; support for families developing stronger relationships with children; and managed a Residential School community healing project. Her education and experience has influenced her passion to emphasize the restoration of Traditional Knowledge (TKn) of Aboriginal people in healing practices.
Her research interests include: community needs for Gwa’sala-‘Nakwakda’xw; womens health; community participatory research; connecting culture, health practices and awareness in community. Currently she is developing a more Indigenous Centred counselling and healing practices research project, which includes and honours Kwakwaka’wakw teaching and healing practices as well as western counselling practice.