Naʔaaʔaqs (woman who listens) is the name given to Sheila Charles by her Uncle Ben Nookemis. She currently lives in Port Alberni. Her parents are Uchucklesaht Tyee Ḥaw̓iiḥ Clifford Charles and Rose Charles (Nookemus). She grew up in Bamfield on the Coast Guard base where her dad worked for 37 years. She spent a great deal of time in Anacla visiting with her Nanny Mable (Johnson) and Grandpa Edward Nookemus, growing up alongside her cousins.
She also spent time in Ditidaht with her grandparents Martin and Cecelia Charles (Tate is her nannies maiden name). She enjoyed the teachings and values that her grandparents instilled in her. She has been able to take those lessons and make them a part of who she is.
Her first big job was working for the federal government, Parks Canada on the West Coast Trail. After five years at the WCT, she transferred over to the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. After 14 years, she left after realizing that if she wanted to work for a government she would rather it be her government and her people, Huu-ay-aht.
During her time employed by Parks Canada, she traveled extensively. She has been to Costa Rica six times as she has friends that own a resort in the jungle. She has looked after friends’ children in Japan. She visited friends in Indonesia, Spain, Gibraltar, Australia, Mexico, Texas, Panama and the USA. In Florida, she got stuck in Hurricane Floyd – what an experience that was. She has been up to Alaska and over to Ottawa and Hawaii. She still gets the travelling bug, but tends to be close to home these days. Her family, friends and homelands are her world.
She is the chair of the Cooperative Management Board (CMB) where we work with Parks Canada protecting and preserving our traditional land along the West Coast Trail and over to Keeha and Kii?xin.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact her any time on her cell 250-735-3552 or email firstname.lastname@example.org