This position is funded by the Local Journalism Initiative
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background.
I started my broadcasting career after graduating from Columbia Academy in Vancouver by moving to Chetwynd, British Columbia and worked as an afternoon radio host and taught broadcasting to high school students and volunteers. I’ve worked in broadcasting for 16 years mostly as a radio and television host/news reporter and in 2011 I worked as a National TV Anchor for APTN National News. After working in news I took an interest in Social Media and eventually launched an online channel for unrepresented Canadian women, called the Women’s Online Network and discovered a passion for Online Independent Media and went on to help assist in launching more online community channels. Which is what brought me to SPIN today, I’m a huge supporter of Independent and Community media.
2. What are some of your passions and hobbies?
I have a Karelian Bear Dog (Abigail) and I love going hiking and exploring nature with her. I enjoy playing tennis, skiing, and the occasional round of golf, although I am terrible at all three sports. I enjoy listening to podcasts ( I recommend, Create the Love) and reading, I’m currently reading Joy at Work: Organizing your professional life by Marie Kondo (yes, from the Tidying up show on Netflix) and yes, I love cleaning and organization in which I also do for my friends.
3. What is your connection to the Sun Peaks and why are you excited to write about mountain communities?
After frequent visits up to Sun Peaks from Kamloops and seeing an opportunity to volunteer with Adaptive Sports Sun Peaks, I decided to go through the process of becoming a ski instructor for the organization. It was an amazing opportunity and I loved getting to know the students, board and volunteers. It is an experience I’ll never forget and hope to do again! I have spent most of my life venturing into the mountains and exploring, and I love that I have an opportunity to write about it.
4. What are some of the topics you are interested in covering during your time at SPIN? What impact are you hoping your work will have on the community and region?
The topics I’m most interested in covering are, housing shortages and general affordability; environment technology, Indigenous rights and perspectives, Indigenous women’s issues, health care and mental health resources for residents; and support for entrepreneurs, small businesses and Indigenous tourism operators. I hope my work will impact the community by helping to initiate new ideas, for others to speak up and share their stories, and to open more dialogue with the surrounding indigenous communities.
5. What do you want our readers to know about you?
I am Metis-Cree, and advocate for Indigenous women’s issues and disability rights. I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease when I was 24, which caused uncontrollable dizzy spells, although they have subsided in my late-30s, I am hard-of-hearing and use two hearing aids that help me to better communicate. As an Indigenous woman with a disability I have never let this get in my way of following my dreams. Although cliché to say, I genuinely believe in the phrase “Don’t give Up” because it’s true.
6. What’s the best way for readers to get in touch with you?
You can email me at [email protected] or by phone (877) 258-7783, ext: 102 of (778) 765-1823 and you can follow me on Instagram at @dana_shelene