Karen English is from the Piikani Nation, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy, which is located south west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Karen received her Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Calgary in 2000 and received her Life Skills Coaches Training in 2003. Her life’s work has been working with Aboriginal children and families within many communities. This has enhanced her ability to implement and develop her career in many areas within the Human Services Sector.
Being “results” focused in her career, Karen has 26 years of experience in frontline, management and leadership roles within the Human Services field. Her compassion and dedication to creating unity and collaboration has brought her to this point in her journey as a consultant. She continues to work towards successions that unite agencies, governments and ideas to create effective outcomes.
Karen is the first “free” generation in her family after her ancestors signed the Treaty #7 in 1877. After signing the Treaty, her people were placed on reservations and were not allowed to leave without written permission. Her mother, father, grandparents and great grandparents were Residential School survivors. Karen’s grandparents have been an integral part of her life. Currently, Karen’s grandmother Louise English is a respected elder from the Piikani Nation who is utilized throughout southern Alberta for her knowledge and wisdom. Her great grandfather Charlie Crow Eagle, Piikani Nation, was known as a medicine man and ceremonialist. His wife Alice Crow Eagle never knew how to speak English and never attended residential school.
Karen has overcome many personal traumatic experiences throughout her life and has been able to see past the trauma. She believes these experiences have motivated her to want to be part of a solution that can help Indigenous people reclaim their place here in Canada. Karen has spent a lifetime wanting to be a role model in creating a life of possibilities. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work and continues to work within the systems to create more grass roots and holistic ways of working with Indigenous families and communities.
On April 28, 2015 Karen’s most traumatic experience occurred when her Niece and Nephew were both brutally murdered. This horrific tragedy was very devastating for Karen and has motivated her to want to continue to find solutions so that tragedies like this are no longer outcomes for Indigenous families. Karens dream was to encourage that all children are safe and free from harm and that every child grow up in communities that care. Karen’s plan is to provide workshops and training sessions that help enhance knowledge about Indigenous people. She will also be conducting a conference called “Children are our Sacred Bundle”. She will continue to contribute ways of building a better Canada for Indigenous People.