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Photo Paulette DeKelver


Our stories inform what we bring into conflict and dispute. They connect us and make us who we are. They are also often deeply embedded in the conflicts we find ourselves in. 

I am deeply curious about our stories, individually and collectively. In the past, we can see threads of our present, and opportunities to shape our future.

Stories embody goals and obstacles, express expectations and needs. When parties are in conflict, often the core of the conflict relates to what the parties really want and may not be able to express.

Understanding one's story helps unearth wants and interests and bring these to the surface to be resolved. I believe in sharing with you my story and aspects of how that informs my practice of mediation and conflict resolution.

My story of resilience and capacity to grow and overcome is baked into my DNA.

My grandparents were pioneers in the interior of BC. Frank and John Ronacher came to Canada from Austria and settled in the area around Clearwater, BC. With Marion Byrd, the family were avid ranchers and sheepherders. Ida and Emil DeKelver settled in the Clearwater area in 1959 and were homesteaders, sheepherders, and trappers before becoming renowned hosts for local tourism. 

A fierce sense of independence and self-reliance is common to many people I have worked with over the years. Entrepreneuring and labouring have been in the marrow of my family for generations.



In 1967 my grandmother, Ida DeKelver, walked 1,400 km from Clearwater, BC to Wadena, SK tracing the path of the Overlanders west to the BC Cariboo gold fields.


Ida especially loved talking about Catherine Shubert, the lone woman among the 1862 Overlanders, a group of 150 settlers who traveeled from Manitoba to BC following the Cariboo Gold Rush. She was a mother of three children (5, 3, and 1) and gave birth to a 4th child along the way. 

Click Catherine Schubert for more information. 

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