Youth Coordinator

Claire Antoine

Born Claire Beaulieu on her family trapline at Gravel Point NWT, a Woodland Cree/Dene Metis, descendant of Francois Beaulieu II – founding father of the NWT Metis. Claire grew up in Fort Smith, NWT. She is a survivor of the Sixties Scoop from the age of 4, bounced from foster home to foster home, and eventually at 16 years of age Claire moved back home to her parents on the trapline. This is where Claire was able to reconnect to her culture and traditions, learning the ways of life on the land. While living on the land, Claire learned how to hunt and trap. She learned of different medicinal and edible plants, roots, trees, and berries local to the area. As a student working for Parks Canada with the Naturalist Department, Claire was able to learn more of the local plants and their traditional uses. During her younger years, the local school in Fort Smith NWT offered teachings from local Dene and Cree Elders. They shared their knowledge on beading, sewing, fish scale art and moose hair tufting with the students. They also had a program called “Outdoor Education” run by two grade 7 teachers who combined science & land-based teachings, one of which was the use of wild edible local plants. In 1994 Claire with her husband and children moved to a small reserve belonging to Mikisew Cree First Nation, within Wood Buffalo National Park on the banks of Peace River, Peace Point AB. Here they lived a traditional lifestyle in a log house heated by wood stove with no indoor plumbing. They hunted, trapped, fished, and gardened. Home schooled her children while running a small convenience store out of their home, also selling baked goods, crafts and providing information to tourists. In 2002 Claire and her family moved to Fort Chipewyan AB for 2 years. Claire and her children then moved to Fort McMurray AB in 2004. In the 18.5 years in Fort McMurray, Claire attended Keyano College and worked in various businesses and organizations throughout the years.

Claire became involved with the Friendship Centre in 2014 – 2015 eventually taking on the position of Youth Coordinator, a position she shared with another co-worker at the time. Today Claire is full time Youth Coordinator at Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre. Through her role with NAFC, Claire plans and implements workshops and programming for the youth of our region. She loves working with youth and passing on her knowledge. Claire is also a self-taught artist who loves crafting with recycled materials.

Thank you to all generous donations, sponsors and partnersships provided in support of our programs and events.