My name is Christine Thompson and I am member of the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc. My parents are Brian Tronson and Wendy Hand. My late paternal grandparents are Robert Tronson from the Okanagan and Christine Tronson nee Larue, member of Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc. My maternal grandparents are Shirley and the late Robert Hand who are of European decent.
In 2010, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University (TRU) with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology. After graduating, I was offered a placement as an intern with the Provincial Government in their Aboriginal Youth Internship Program (AYIP). My year as an Aboriginal youth intern was filled with many opportunities that was both challenging and rewarding. I believe that the overall goal of the internship program is to support youth in their leadership skills and abilities. For many interns and myself included, the program provided various opportunities to grow on an intellectual, personal and cultural level. For example, in my own work with the Voices of Experience (VOE) Panel I was able to provide opportunities to empower Aboriginal youth in care to reclaim their cultural identity. It was through my experience as the Regional Aboriginal Youth Engagement Coordinator that I found myself on my own journey. While I was an intern, I was able to learn valuable skills on proposal writing and was evident as I was also able to secure on-going funding for the VOE Panel, where I continued to work for Ministry of Children and Family Development before I was offered a position in my community.
In 2011, I began working for Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc, as the Aboriginal Justice Worker, in which I worked as a delegated Probation Officer. I also provided assistance to Linda Thomas who was later appointed as a Provincial Court Judge in 2018, in establishing the Cknucwentn First Nations Sentencing Court. Kamloops Cknucwentn First Nations court is a provincial sentencing court that has been operating since 2013. Before the First Nations Court opened in Kamloops, court lists were overrepresented by Indigenous people who came into conflict with the criminal justice system. It was Linda Thomas determination, the support of Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc Chief and Council and the Provincial Court that worked collaboratively to create a First Nations court in Kamloops. In addition, I worked as a liaison on the Community Tripartite Policing Agreement. While I was the Aboriginal Justice Worker for my community, I was involved in numerous councils and committees with the purpose of providing better services to Indigenous people who become conflicted with the criminal justice system. My highlights in my role as the Aboriginal Justice Worker were working closely with Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc leadership and the Aboriginal Community Justice Council which included the Elders who provide recommendations to Cknucwentn court.
In April 2016, I was offered a Project Coordinator position in the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc, Corporate Department. I coordinated numerous project activities, potential contracts and worked as a liaison with external agencies and organizations. I was responsible for ensuring the overall purpose, goals and objectives of each project assigned were completed within project timelines and budgets. My primary job responsibilities included coordinating Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc efforts with the proposed expansion of Trans Mountain Pipeline. I was involved with a Joint Implementation Committee, alongside Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc Chief and Council and the Chief Executive Officer. While working as the Project Coordinator I worked in collaboration with several different managers and employees from the organization to explore opportunities and form meaningful business partnerships.
I have been working for Correctional Service Canada (CSC) since 2017, as the Indigenous Community Liaison Officer (ICLO) for the Kamloops Parole office. In addition, I have been fortunate to be provided with acting assignments as a Parole Officer. In my position as ICLO, I have developed effective partnerships in the community including remote First Nation communities with a goal of building partnerships with CSC. The work that I have completed has been rewarding, as I have been able to work with organizations to develop partnerships, through which Indigenous offenders are provided with traditional teachings, attend workshops and participate in ceremonies. In addition, I have been able to establish and maintain relationships with agencies who have assisted in providing support to ensure Indigenous men and women returning to community are successful upon their reintegration.
I am grateful to the opportunities that have been available that have shaped my career since graduating from Thompson Rivers University. I am mindful that I have some great mentors in my life who continue to challenge to me. The work that I have been able to do with Provincial and Federal Corrections has been challenging at times, however I am grateful that it has been rewarding.