Indigenous Blessing from the Local Elders
My name is Karen Moraes. I am a dual citizen of both the USA and Canada. I am 1/2 Tsimshian, 1/4 Haida and 1/4 Yupik Eskimo. I was born and raised on a small island community called Metlakatla, Alaska. I moved to Canada in 2006 from Seattle, Washington. I worked there in Seattle hospitals for 20 years managing hospital laboratories. I graduated in 1991 from the university of Washington-Seattle with degrees in laboratory medicine, social psychology, and medical microbiology. I accomplished this five-year program in 3 1/2 years.
I made my move to Canada with my family which included five of my 7 children at the time. In January 2017 I was hired by the Township of Langley as a recreation attendant/cashier and also hired by the lower Fraser Valley aboriginal society as an office coordinator. The Summer of 2017 I made up “hygiene bags” to hand out to the homeless that included everything one needed to shower and a photocopy of a township of Langley Rec pass card for a shower.
In November of 2017 was awarded the Canada 150 award for all the volunteer work that I do in Langley with the homeless populations. That same month I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Having lost most of my highschool graduating class and many family members, I decided to start living healthier and encourage others to do the same. By January 2018 I had lost 40lbs! Feeling this new freedom from my weight, I signed up and became 1 of 30 runners representing the Township of Langley in the Vancouver Sun Run 10K race. This is when many positives things began happening in my life!