About TCS Workers

MacDowell Lake TCS Project Manager

Boozhoo, Anii, Wachiya,

Thank you for showing an interest in the more human and personal component of the TCS Program.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Verlin Lloyd James, McDowell Lake First Nation. I am the skipper of the TCS team.

I am an old bachelor of thirty-one years. I was educated at Pelican Falls First Nations High School. I am a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a BA in Classical Studies. Prior to joining the Tobacco Control Strategy, I studied project management at the University of Winnipeg Department of Continuing Education. Basically I'm a guy who likes to learn and study.

I have three siblings; two older sisters, Lois and Melanie and one younger brother, Reuben. I also have three nieces and six nephews, these are my sisters' children. My parents are Eli and Laura James, my grandparents are Aglaba (Agrippa) and Emily James, and Steven Oombash.

Facts that people usually don't know about me are: I compose epic poetry, I am a sculptor, and at one time, I served in the Marines as a rifleman in a rubber boat and cliff assault company...

My focus in the Tobacco Control Strategy resides in prevention and being supportive of those willing to quit smoking or to quit using nicotine products. Tobacco was, and should be, regarded as something sacred and cultural, and as such the nicotine enriched tobacco today is different as a wolf is to a pitbull. One is natural, while the other is abnormal.

Nevertheless, even though I could write more, it is better if I stop and let you learn more about the other TCS team members.

Verlin Lloyd James


Deer Lake TCS Coordinator


My name is Joyce Meekis, I am the Tobacco Control Strategy Coordinator for Deer Lake. So far, I enjoy working with the TCS.

About me, I am the mother of five children, before this job, I had been a stay-at-home mom for a number of years. Part of the reason besides loving my children had to do with my second youngest child. Cody, though beautiful, was born with encephalitis. He was diagnosed with this condition when he was one and a half years of age. My son is fourteen now and resides in Winnipeg. Before I began working with the TCS my family lived in Winnipeg from December 2005 to Fall 2007. My reason for living there had to do with my son's medical condition, he had been medivaced out of the community many times before.

When my family moved there, at first it was difficult, nevertheless I worked in the city until my children wanted to move back home to Deer Lake. The hardest difficulty I faced was not moving there but when my son moved into his care home. After years and years of looking after my special son, being suddenly apart was heart-breaking. To keep busy, when I returned to Deer Lake. I applied for jobs until I was hired as the TCS Coordinator.

My work with the TCS is enjoyable, especially doing the surveys and questionnaires with the Elders. Just hearing their stories and how they quit. I, too, am proud to say that I quit smoking for over a year and that I gave my life to Our Lord.

About my family, my oldest son has a son of his own, I guess that makes me a grandmother. I also have a daughter who is in high school in Sioux Lookout. I have five sisters and three brothers. My mother when home to Our Lord, December 8, 2005. My father is still here with us. I was born in Garden Hill, Manitoba, my husband is from Deer Lake. In fact, I was married here.

The first week of April is my last week as the TCS Coordinator, I am grateful for this opportunity, though there were times when I didn't know what I was supposed to do. But, I always asked Our Heavenly Father for help and guidance and everything would just fall into place. I am thankful for the people I work with at the Health Office, I enjoyed their company.

God bless you all, maybe someday I'll write more stories about myself ...