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Impact: With Angela Ross

Meaghan Szapk
BY Meaghan Szapk
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Angela Ross is an Addictions Counsellor at Mark Amy Treatment Centre, a program of the Wood Buffalo Wellness Society.  During a recent interview with Russell Thomas, Angela discussed the journey that brought her from her career as a Millwright to her current position. 

After more than a decade in industry, Angela Ross decided to pursue a new career path. This journey ultimately led to her current position as an Addictions Counsellor with Mark Amy Treatment Centre. 

“First when I started to consider a career change, I started just doing some volunteer work around the community,” said Angela. 

At the same time, Angela began taking free courses offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association where she discovered a course for an Indigenous Addictions Counsellor.  

“I travelled [to St. Albert] to go to school for a year and I learned so much.   It was a wonderful experience and that’s where my true awakening came about.” 

Following that, Angela continued her education by obtaining both a Social Work Diploma and Degree. 

“As I continued to learn more it increased my passion, and I continued to get the education I needed to be in a position where I can help as many people as I can.”

Growing up in an indigenous family, Angela experienced a lot of intergenerational trauma, which she was able to better understand as a result of her schooling. 

“Having grown up that way I learned a lot of lessons, and in my education I learned a lot about myself and the effects of intergenerational trauma,” said Angela.  “I just started to feel a really deep connection with wanting other people to know because I’ve always felt that knowledge is power.  And once you have this power you’re able to do something with it.” 

Angela says she is grateful to have had the awakening experiences she did. 

“I am really thankful to have had the opportunity to have my mind opened that way,” said Angela.  “To be able to learn what happened, process those feelings of bitterness or anger or hurt and pain, and be able to flourish with those and to use them in a positive way.” 

Although her experience was a personal awakening, Angela credits her many mentors for having positively impacted her journey. 

“A lot of my teachers and the instructors I had met would have been the initiators of my journey.  There were very strong indigenous women, they guided me and encouraged me, and it really empowered me to continue on my journey.”

Now an Addictions Counsellor at Mark Amy Treatment Centre, Angela shares what she enjoys about working at the centre. 

“I think that we provide healthy, strong services to the people in and outside this community,” said Angela. “When you’re able to pull up at work and be happy to be there, it really reflects on the happiness of your life and the fulfilment you get out of your position of employment.”


IMPACT is a collaboration of The United Way of Fort McMurray, FuseSocial, Shaw TV Fort McMurray and 91.1 The Bridge.  It is heard on Tuesdays at 10:30 am. It is rebroadcast on Shaw Cable 10.