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WHO WE ARE
OUR WORK, OUR PEOPLE
The Forge opened on June 7, 2017 and is a partnership between the City of Fort St. John and the Community Development Institute (CDI) of the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). We work with governments, First Nations, industry, business, and community and non-profit groups. Our role is to facilitate discussions and support the generation of ideas and partnerships that will help grow and diversify the community and economy of Fort St. John and area.


OUR PEOPLE


CDI Co-Director
Marleen is the Co-Director of the Community Development Institute at UNBC and an Adjunct Professor in the Geography Program. Marleen is the founder of the Leaders Lab and The Forge, two programs for community and economic development and transition in Fort St. John, BC. Marleen's research interests lie in the areas of regional development and multi-sectoral collaboration. Her other current work includes research to assess how well housing stock in rural Canada meets the current and future needs of the population and developing options and policy recommendations for housing infrastructure renewal. Marleen is also working with the BC Ministry of Agriculture to enhance market opportunities for northern BC agrifood producers and improve food security for the province of BC. Before joining the CDI, Marleen served on the executive team of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and on the regional executive for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Marleen has also served on the Board of Directors for BC Housing and several non-profit organizations. Marleen comes from a pioneer ranching family and was raised in a small town in southeastern Alberta.
Research Associate
Leanna is a recent resident of Fort St. John. She has an MA in Environmental Policy from Memorial University and a BA in Architecture and History from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the Community Development Institute, Leanna was a Trainee and Research Assistant with the On the Move Partnership, studying the impacts of work-related mobility in Newfoundland and Labrador communities. As a member of the CDI/Forge research team, Leanna is responsible for data recording and management. She enjoys painting, hiking, and gardening in her spare time.
Research Associate
Sally is a recent resident of Fort St. John. She has an MA in Environmental History from Memorial University with a focus on Arctic mining history and regulation. She has a BA from St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico in philosophy and comparative literature. Prior to joining the Community Development Institute, Sally was a research assistant with The Firelight Group consultancy in Vancouver and specialized in environmental assessment and Indigenous consultation. Sally is responsible for data coding and management for the CDI/Forge team. She enjoys running, reading, and playing with her dog Yuki in her free time.
Research Associate
Ching moved to Fort St. John with her family from the Philippines in 2012. She has worked in banking and finance, marketing, human resource, hotels, and ran her own business. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Development and is presently taking a certificate program in Community Economic Development (CED) through Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Her work for The Forge and Community Development Institute focuses on day to day operations and organizing meetings for current research projects. She enjoys volunteering for her community, travelling with her family, camping, photography, gardening, and cooking.
Research Associate
Carlos is a Social Work student at Northern Lights College, and has been deeply involved with the community of Fort St John since moving to the North in 2014. An active volunteer, Carlos hopes that his practicum at The Forge will give him the experience and knowledge he needs to help build stronger communities and deeper networks. When not at The Forge, he can be found at the Fort St. John Library, drinking inhuman amounts of coffee, or teaching people how to play Dungeons and Dragons.
Research Associate
Aliya Jackson is a new resident of Northern BC as of 2017 — choosing to move out of the Lower Mainland to experience the sense of community and quality of life for which this region is so well known. Her background in fundraising, event planning, and administrative operations lends support to meeting the economic and social needs of northern BC communities through the Community Development Institute. Aliya is excited for this fresh start and looks forward to learning to embrace activities based in snow, grow her own edible garden, and take in the beauty of this part of our province!
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Energizing our Future
September 21, 2019
Energizing our Future Fort St. John Social and Economic Development Frameworks Community Open House You're invited! Stay for 2 minutes or 2 hours, it's up to you.  Highlights: ...

Energizing our Future
September 20, 2019
Energizing our Future Fort St. John Social and Economic Development Frameworks Community Open House You're invited! Stay for 2 minutes or 2 hours, it's up to you.  Highlights: ...

Energizing our Future
September 19, 2019
Energizing our Future Fort St. John Social and Economic Development Frameworks Community Open House You're invited! Stay for 2 minutes or 2 hours, it's up to you.  Highlights: ...

Energizing our Future
September 18, 2019
Energizing our Future Fort St. John Social and Economic Development Frameworks Community Open House You're invited! Stay for 2 minutes or 2 hours, it's up to you.  Highlights: ...

Your Voice: Seniors in Fort St. John
June 19, 2019
Join other Fort St. John residents for a small group discussion, facilitated by the CDI team.  Share your experiences, ideas, concerns, and hopes for seniors in Fort St. John. Anyone 18 ...
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Located in the City of Fort St. John's Passive House, behind the old fire hall.
9904 94th Street, Fort St. John, BC V1J 1T4 · 250-261-9917 · cdi@unbc.ca · facebook.com/TheForgeFSJ

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