Thomasina Phillips is Kanien'kehá:ka, a member of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawà:ke, where she was born and raised. She has been working and residing in Tio'tia:ke (Montreal) for the past several years. In her role as a mental health worker, she works with student services leadership, clinicians, and students to deliver appropriate care to McGill’s Indigenous student population, and promote the healthy development of students by fostering and building networks and relationships within and external to McGill’s support services.
As Interim Manager at First Peoples House, she aims to foster a sense of connectedness and belonging for McGill’s Indigenous student population, particularly during this COVID era. If students cannot be on campus, her goal, along with the rest of the First Peoples House team, is to bring the best of the McGill experience to Indigenous folks in their homes and communities. She aims to provide students with opportunities for social connection and cultural activities. She will continue to provide mental health support to Indigenous students. Her goal during this pandemic era is for First Peoples House to be responsive to the unique needs and challenges of students.
Thomasina keeps ties to her family circle and larger community in Kahnawà:ke. She has spent many years developing and practicing traditional skills such as raised-style Iroquois beadwork, moccasin making, parfleche, leatherwork, and fan making. She has been designing and making contemporary pow-wow style regalia for the past 5 years. She began dancing jingle with her young daughter as part of her personal wellness journey and as a means of honoring her value of helping others through the healing power of dance.