Meet Our Founder

Jackie DeCoteau-Gill
Founder & CEO

Jackie's Story

As an indigenous woman growing up in Edmonton, I have been helping people transition to the spirit world from a young age. My ACEs score growing up was a 9/10 and I witnessed many relatives pass away, being involved with end of life care work from such a young age has given me insight to the care needed as indigenous for indigenous. Providing wrap around complex family care has been a part of my journey before I knew what that term actually meant. Approximately five years ago, I started to reconnect to my indigenous heritage in my role as a support worker in an indigenous hardest to house facility, through this work my passion for serving my people was reignited. While working at that facility I was able to be able to sit with residents while they were transitioning to the spirit world. In this important work, I utilized my training in reiki energy to assist in comforting those transitioning, who weren't able to be surrounded by family or friends, due to the effects of generational trauma we face as indigenous people.

Since then, I have delved deeper into connecting back to the culture that I wasn’t able to partake in as a young person due to the detrimental the effects of colonization. I've invested in my own healing through traditional ceremony and attending therapy regularly. To support my dream of opening Kokums Helper Society, I earned a certificate as a End of Life Doula with Douglas College and attended a year long 13 Moon Journey into Doula Work mentorship with Kihew Awasis Wakamik. These learning opportunities gave me both the traditional and western knowledge to help support indigenous families from birth to death and allowed for immersion in community and ceremony teachings with Elders and Knowledge Keepers. I have also attended an Indigenous Women’s Leadership Training with Indigenous Leadership Development Institute Inc., as well as the Truth and Reconciliation through Right Relations program through the Banff Centre for Art and Creativity. Being immersed in indigenous practices has grown my skills and inner wisdom to prepare me to care for our relatives in a good way, that is trauma informed, culturally relevant, and now act as a bridge between traditional rites of passage and western practices.