General Manager, Skigin-Elnoog Housing Corporation
Christin (Tomah) Swim is a member of the Maliseet band of Woodstock First Nation who has lived off reserve since her youth. In 2008, she began working at Skigin-Elnoog Housing Corporation, a non-profit housing society that in 2018, owns or manages nearly 400 units of social housing across New Brunswick. Skigin-Elnoog delivers numerous renovation/repair programs to the off-reserve aboriginal population of N.B. Christin started her career with Skigin-Elnoog as the Coordinator for the CMHC award-winning Off-Reserve Aboriginal Homeownership Program. This program is an innovative approach which allows for moderate income Aboriginal families to achieve first time homeownership.
While working full time and raising her young family of five children with her husband Matt, Christin graduated from St. Thomas University in 2015. In 2017, she was promoted to General Manager of Skigin-Elnoog.
Christin also sits on various boards and community groups including Fredericton’s Affordable Housing Committee, CHRA’s Indigenous Caucus Working Group, New Brunswick Non-Profit Housing Association, and has been involved as team manager with the Fredericton Youth Hockey Association for many years.
What are you most proud of professionally? And who or why?
I’m most proud of graduating from University in 2015 while working full time and raising my young family. It was pretty challenging but certainly taught me a lot about myself. I am also very proud of the team we have at Skigin-Elnoog; all of the staff and board of directors are passionate about the work we do and the people we serve.
What’s your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?
I feel that our youth are always our biggest opportunity as they are our future. We need to invest in them when they are young.
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
When I began my career at Skigin-Elnoog Housing Corporation I was young and inexperienced. I really didn’t understand social housing to the extent that I do now and it showed when I had my first evaluation. I wasn’t accustom to not performing well on evaluations and the criticism that I faced was unexpected, even though it shouldn’t have been a shock for me. I took that criticism well and realized that I needed to try harder to be more understanding and less critical of people’s situations. Our job is not to judge but to encourage and support our people. I think this was a pivotal time in my career and it really shifted my focus.
What’s your favourite or most read book or podcast?
I really enjoy TED talks and never have an issue finding one that is relevant to my personal or professional life.
What’s your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?
Communication is essential. The uncomfortable truth is that I wasn’t as good at it as I had previously thought so it’s something that I have committed to deliberately work on.
Who’s inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?
I have a long list of people that have inspired me as I work with a lot of other non-profit organizations in New Brunswick. Quite frankly I am in awe of the passion we have for our people and our programs in this Province. I am also in awe of how resilient the people we serve are; many of them face adversity on a daily basis and still overcome so many barriers, we can learn a lot from each other.
What would you have done differently?
Actually there is nothing I would have done differently. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I may not be doing what I am today if I had made different choices.
Manager, Advocate, Hockey Mom, Rugby Mom