Julie Francella is a First Nations artist, as well as a mental health counselor and advocate. Ogichida Waawaashkeshi’kwe is the name given to her by her First Nation Elders. It means Brave Deer Woman. She has worked with vulnerable populations in various settings (nationally and internationally) for over 25 years. She is a former Domestic Violence Centre Executive Director, author, advocate, speaker and currently a clinical caseworker at a residential treatment centre in Saskatchewan Canada where she works with youth with complex trauma histories. Prior to her current work in Saskatchewan, she worked with charitable organizations in Switzerland, refugees in Canada, and impoverished indigenous populations in Mexico. Julie lived in Mexico for a few years. She is the founder of a community outreach program and routinely speaks on the subject of domestic violence. She is also a survivor of an unspeakably violent 14 year marriage to a former police officer who is currently serving a life sentence in prison for child rape and first degree murder.
Julie has made a life-long commitment to educate the public as well as improve the quality of living for families touched by trauma and domestic violence. The majority of her time is spent working with Indigenous / First Nations people.
Creative endeavors have always been her passion.
Julie is not really limited to the fields of mental health and art; she was the break-dancing champion in grade 7, voted most likely to win the Nobel Peace Prize in high school, and to her knowledge still holds the record for most free throw baskets made in the Annual Basketball derby in her hometown near Batchewana First Nation # 52 and Garden River First Nation. (True story)
brb, need to get some coffee.... ☕️