Gathering Our Medicine
Meet the lead facilitation team who are delivering Gathering Our Medicine training,
DENISE FINDLAY & MARLA KLYNE KOLOMAYA
Denise Findlay is a bi-cultural person of Indigenous Coast Salish and settler ancestry, proudly belonging to the Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), who has dedicated the last 20 years to travelling throughout British Columbia and across Canada working exclusively in Indigenous communities facilitating processes focussed on collective healing. Denise’s work is strongly focussed on de-centring experts where child and youth mental health his concerned and restoring dignity to the role the natural kinship circle plays in providing care to Indigenous children and youth.
Denise is responsible for leading the development and implementation of Gathering Our Medicine, in collaboration with community-based Advisory and Working Groups.
Denise is currently undertaking a PhD. in Philosophy of Educational Practice and Theory at Simon Fraser University, and was awarded a Social Sciences Humanities Resource Council Scholarship (Canadian Graduate Scholarship) for her ground-breaking research. Denise’s research focus is on intersecting knowledges emerging from the fields of attachment theory, and developmental and affective neuroscience with Indigenous wisdom traditions and how cultural places-based knowledges most naturally support healing, recovery and development across the life span for Indigenous families and communities. Denise longs to disrupt the status quo and affect sustainable change in the way mental health services are delivered in community settings to families impacted by colonization and intergenerational trauma.
Denise has spent countless hours facilitating group processes in response to social issues rooted in intergenerational trauma and colonization. Denise holds a Master of Education from Simon Fraser University focusing on Contemplative Education and is on Faculty with The Neufeld Institute where she specializes in Developmental Attachment Theory, Trauma, and Resilience. Denise is a certified BC Provincial Post-Secondary Instructor and Professional Co-Active Coach with advanced training in Process Psychology and systems work.
Denise has vast experience working in community and training Educators, Parents and Parent Groups, Social Workers, Early Childhood Educators, Mental Health Practitioners and other Helping Professionals.
Marla Klyne Kolomaya is a certified counselor and parent consultant offering services for families struggling with making sense of often perplexing behaviours commonly seen in children and adolescents. Marla specializes in providing consulting and professional development for parents, educators and helping professionals who are yearning to make sense of the kids in their care.
After spending several years as a counselor within the education system, relishing in supporting students and their families with a developmental-relational model of building relationships, Marla made the decision to transition into private practice while completing an internship with Dr. Gordon Neufeld – a foremost authority on child development and a leading interpreter of the developmental paradigm.
Marla now serves on the faculty of the Neufeld Institute and has returned to her roots, supporting families within community through the Gathering Our Medicine model, and it is a most natural fit. She is eternally grateful to Dr. Gordon Neufeld and Denise Findlay for their teachings and wisdom. Marla approaches her consulting and teaching work rooted in the understanding that every child and adolescent has a unique capacity to flourish and reach their full potential when the conditions for this unfolding are provided for and supported.
Marla proudly descends from both French and English Metis ancestry and lives in the beautiful northern Interlake of Manitoba on a small cattle ranch. Her most treasured roles are partner to her husband Scott, Auntie to her nieces, nephews, and godchildren, as well as daughter, sister, & friend.