Social and Health Department

The McLeod Lake Indian Band Health Team continues to be honoured to work on your behalf by providing quality services to the proud members of the Tse’Khene Nation.



Healthy People, Connected Families, Vibrant Community


Strengthening the Health and Independence of our Children and Families through effective intervention, education and support services.


“Making sure the Footprints we leave behind are Ones our Children will be Proud to Walk In.”

The Health and Social Services department is the largest department in the McLeod Lake Indian Band Organization. The department currently has 12 employees who work to make a number of programs and services available to our members on and off reserve. Health and Social Services department programs and services are funded through proposals, grants, and funding from Health Canada and Indigenous Northern Affairs Canada.  

The Health and Social Services Team strongly believes in the unlimited healing potential of the Tse’Khene People, and we encourage and celebrate helping one another and supporting each other as we grow a stronger community. Our Health Team strives every day to offer our services with Kindness, Respect, Professionalism, Compassion and Understanding. Our goal is to offer every service we can to support the McLeod Lake Indian Band members on their healing journey to becoming their best selves. If you have any suggestions for workshops or programs, please share them with one of our staff, and we will be happy to look into making it happen.  

Phone: 250-750-4415
Fax: 250-750-4420

Health Manager
Meaghan Van Somer

Clinical Supervisor
Chris Branigan

Kids at school

  • Peter’s Pantry in Mackenzie (please call Allison to make arrangements):  During COVID 19 Pandemic, the Health Department will not be transporting clients; clients are required to provide a copy of their care cards to Allison Webster the Friday prior to the next Peter’s Pantry pick up dates, and hampers will be dropped off at the client’s home on the afternoon for the Peter’s Pantry pick up date.  Next dates are September 19, October 20, November 20 and December 16. 
  • Medicine Walk: 9am and 1pm, every Thursday….leave from the band hall.  contact Deborah or Allison for more information.  If you are in need of soap berries, muskeg tea, willow for pain relief… Please contact Deborah or Allison.  
  • Reiki and Theta Sessions: By appointment only… please contact Kim Harmison.  Sandra Ware will be in the community from August 31, 2020 to September 4, 2020, sign up sheets will be on the door of the Healing Room. 
  • Raynor Massage, Reflexology and Aromatherapy: By appointment only… please contact Maria Orcherton.  
  • Prescription pickup: Every Tuesday… If you need your medication picked up, please contact Allison Webster before 4 pm on Monday.  Medication will be picked up on Tuesday and delivered to you the next day.  Please note… the Health Department will not pre-pay fees for medication.  If your Medication has a fee, please arrange with Allison the payment for medication before the Tuesday prescription pickup.
  • Community Nurse visits: Every other two weeks on Wednesdays, next date August 26, 2020.  Please contact Allison Webster if you need an appointment.
  • Parent Support Group (Parent Circle): Wednesday’s at 1pm… NOTE:  due to COVID 19 health regulations and distancing requirements, this support group has been postponed until further notice.

Jordan’s Principle

Jordan’s Principle responds to unmet needs of First Nations children no matter where they live in Canada.  Different levels of government fund different services for First Nations children. As a result, it can be hard to figure out how to access necessary products, services and supports.  Under Jordan’s Principle, we can:

  • inform families about the help available for their child and how to access it
  • coordinate access to products, services and supports
  • provide funding when it’s needed to make sure products, services and supports are accessed without delay

Please contact Allison Webster for assistance with applications for Jordan’s Principle.

Learn more

First Nations Health Authority Medical Travel

Prince George off reserve members

Effective April 1, 2018: First Nations Health Authority will be delivering patient travel services for all non-Carrier Sekani Family Service clients living off-reserve in the Prince George catchment area.  Please Contact Allison Webster if you have any questions.

Learn more


Transformations retreat is a four-day process that was created by Thomas Morris, that addresses the needs of First Nations persons. This program honors the traditions of the past with drumming, dancing, singing, smudging and walks on traditional lands. These are all ways that we integrate the process into traditional culture. At the same time, it empowers participants to create and embrace a healthy view of the future.

From the start of the program a safe place is created for participants to be open and honest and to experience themselves and community in new and transformational ways. Transformations Retreat is a gentle path towards healing and connection.

McLeod Lake has had many band members and staff members complete this program and we have had many success stories of healing and growth.

The Health Team would like to strongly encourage all McLeod Lake band members to take advantage of this amazing program. Program seats and fuel allowance is provided. The program is held at Ness Lake Bible Camp, which is located approximately 30 minutes west of Prince George B.C.

If any band members are interested, please contact Phyllis Maher, Addiction Counselor at the band office (250) 750-4415 ext.266. Feel free to check out the Transformation Retreat website for more information. Website address is

Upcoming Transformations Program Dates:

  • September 21-25, 2020
  • October 19-23, 2020
  • November 16-20, 2020

Learn more

First Nations Health Authority and Blue Cross Transition for Health Benefits

Do you know what medical supplies and equipment that BC First Nations Health Authority in partnership with Blue Cross covers?  You might be surprised how much out of pocket expenses could be saved by reading what is covered.  Some such covered expenses are: walkers, bath chairs, blood pressure monitors, nipple shields/ breast pumps, orthopedic shoes,  canes/winter cane tips and more.  Some things have price caps for specific amount of years.  This is a First Nations Health Authority program provided through Blue Cross, although feel free to contact Allison the CHR to help guide you through the process if you have any questions on how to obtain anything listed in the approved list.

FNHA website

Department Staff

Meaghan Van Somer

Health Manager
Meaghan Van Somer

Clinical Supervisor
Chris Branigan

Counselling / Emotional Support: Counselling and emotional support are provided on a  regular basis to the McLeod Lake and Prince George MLIB residents who may have concerns or challenges with substance abuse, grief, loss and/or how to develop healthier relationships. 

Parent Support: A regular parent support group called ‘Parent’s Circle’ has been started. The Parent’s Circle is a space for parents/caregivers to share challenges and successes in parenting, and there are videos available to watch that showcase indigenous parenting principles and strength-based parenting. 

Dudes Club: Dudes Club is a peer mentoring support service in McLeod Lake. Activities are held in the evening, and in the evenings. Men can come to the band office and enjoy a movie night, meal, poker nights, woodworking/construction and other activities they enjoy.

Maria Orcherton

Indigenous Counsellor
Maria Orcherton

Elder’s support at Golden Eagle Nest Complex:  home visits, activities to improve cognitive functions, mental health discussions, and outdoor activities to improve mobility and strengthen the mind.  

Mackenzie Secondary School Counselling for MLIB Youth:  Once per week, attend the school to support youth in youth-centered approaches to health, safety and future plans.  

Raynor Massage: The primary goal is to relieve a person of residual tension/muscle tightness in an area of the body (caused by physical or emotional stressors) that can lead to a blockage or disruption in the flow of vital energy.  

Reflexology: Application of pressure on the reflex points of the feet and hands to trigger the natural healing mechanism on the body. Reflexology improves blood circulation and improves body health conditions, and well-being. 

Aromatherapy: Applying essential oil to the body to soothe anxiety, panic attacks, depression, PTSD, trauma, insomnia, stress, autism and pain management.

Kim Harmison

Social Development / Emergency Management
Kim Harmison

Jurisdiction Coordinator
Laura Johnson

Hello, my name is Laura Johnson. I am originally from the Tsimshian Band in Port Simpson; I am part of the Killer Whale Clan. Currently, I live in Mackenzie with my partner, an MLIB member. We have a cat named Church and a dog named Cedar. I enjoy good food, laughing, and fry bread.

I have been in the social work field since 2016. My areas of experience are working with Indigenous peoples, high-risk/ marginalized peoples, addiction, and mental health counselling. I have had the privilege of working with many Indigenous communities in Central BC. My passions are the power of community, inclusive culture, and mindful healing. With this mind frame in place, I have gained much experience in terms of work and personal growth.

I want to express how grateful I am to be welcomed onto this land. I am excited to learn and grow alongside the community.

Community Health Representative
Deborah Prince

Deborah Prince is a Tse’Khene Carrier woman from the McLeod Lake Indian Band, granddaughter to the late Anne (nee Solonas) and Andrew Prince, and daughter to Doris Prince. Deborah is mom to two beautiful daughters, Samantha and Skylar, and Atsoo to Talon, Miigwan, and Star.

Deborah has made her home in her community of McLeod Lake since 2014, after being raised with her family on Vancouver Island, in a small community north of Campbell River named Woss Lake.

Deborah has worked at MLIB since September 2012 and has fulfilled a number of roles including the Manager of Lands Referral Office, Human Resources Director, Store Manager for Tse’Khene Food & Fuel Ltd., the Business Development Officer for the Tse’Khene Community Development Corporation, and the Land and Culture Planner in the past two years.

Since May 2022, Deborah has happily worked as the Community Health Representative (CHR). In her role as CHR, Deborah is part of the Health Team responsible for participating in the delivery of high standard community health, treatment, and programs in order to provide quality health prevention and treatment in our Tse’Khene community.

As a member of the Health Team, Deborah facilitates communication between patients, families, the community, and health care providers to ensure they are receiving appropriate care.

Deborah is a firm believer in the resilience of her Tse’Khene people and all Indigenous peoples. It is her love for her family, people, and community that have brought her home to her grandparents, Ancestors, and Traditional Territory, home of the Tse’Khene People of McLeod Lake.

Drug & Alcohol Counsellor / Supervisor
Phyllis Maher

Social Worker / Child and Youth Counsellor
Saje Francis

Saje wears many hats in her position with MLIB. As the Child and Youth Counsellor, she helps children work through any issues that may arise. She acts as a referral source for the school, families, and community, and does one-on-one counselling at Morfee Elementary, Mackenzie Secondary, and within McLeod Lake and Prince George.

Saje’s main goal in this position is to help youth learn to cope with a wide range of emotional and psychological difficulties, including anxiety, depression, stress, loss, and grief. She has put on workshops for youth about these concerns as well.

As a Social Worker, Saje is on the work team for Whes’ke’ghe, helping prepare MLIB to take over their own child and family services. She provides support, therapy, and advocacy for the families of McLeod Lake and Prince George, and works with them to grow their skills. Saje also assists families with crisis intervention, activity planning, and ensuring the health and safety of children and parents.

Shawna Harris

Child and Youth Counsellor

Dana’Chea and Hello!

My name is Shawna Harris. I am part of the Nłeʔkepmxc Interior Salish Peoples of the Lower Nicola Indian Band (more commonly known as Merritt, BC).   

I have had the privilege of serving students from all socio-economical contexts and circumstances for many years within the education system in Mackenzie, BC.  At the forefront of my practice, I worked alongside the McLeod Lake students and their families; supporting their social-emotional wellbeing and building authentic and trusting relationships.  Through this meaningful work I have had the honour of learning small pieces of the Tse’Khene Peoples beautiful culture and language, and am very appreciative to continue serving their children and youth within the McLeod Lake community!

Being adopted at the age of two, left me severed from my Indigenous community and culture, with no real sense of pride within myself—or identity as a First Nations person.  My lived experience has made me aware of how important it is for young people to be culturally connected to their heritage and community in order to thrive and succeed in all aspects of their lives.  Which is why I will continue to empower and engage children and youth to always stand tall and be proud of who they are!

Working within, and sometimes against, a colonial education system has given me the courage to find my voice and advocate for equitable services/resources; always from a trauma-informed approach.  I am continuing my education, working through a Social Work degree program at NVIT.

I look forward to meeting every single person in the community, and if you see me out and about, please stop and say Danachea! I’ll be the one chasing after the kids or riding on the back of one of their bikes 😊

Flower with a bee on it

Home Support Worker
Norm Strand

Norm provides home care to our Elders and disabled persons here in the Community. This includes general housekeeping, personal hygiene and meal preparation as necessary. You will often find Norm at one of our Elder’s homes, making a meal or helping them to organize or clean their homes. He delivers meals on wheels to clients and members who are in need of the service… and often finds himself splitting wood and bringing it in for the people he helps. Norm also does water testing in our community.

Grant and Proposal Writer
Jo-Anna Johnston