Harvesting Happiness on Traditional Lands

Amy Frank
About the author : Amy Frank

General Manager, Seniors — Sodexo Canada

Published on : 11/25/22
  • I am grateful to live and work in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, known as the “Land of the Living Skies,” in the heart of the beautiful Canadian prairies.   

    Imagine a bright blue sunny sky and fields of canola and barley that stretch across the horizon, where beautiful sunrises and sunsets happen every day. This scenic landscape is the traditional lands of the Cree and Metis People, and we are privileged to live, gather and work here today.

    It’s a point I make often with the 170 residents at Trinity Manor at Stonebridge, a senior living community where I am the general manager. 

    Many of our residents have backgrounds in agriculture, farming and life in rural Saskatchewan.  The residents enjoy talking about the crops, fields and weather conditions. I’ll say, “The farmers are going to have a great day in the fields today,” and that brings a nod and a smile to their faces. Or I’ll point out that the barley in their soup is locally sourced, and that brings them a little bit of joy.

    Building Community 

    Fostering a sense of community is the most important part of my job. And often, that happens around a meal. Nothing gives me greater fulfillment than seeing a resident enjoying a meal in the dining room and maybe enjoying a bit of a laugh. That’s a good day for them, and it’s a good day for me too. 

    This became even more important over the last two years. Because of the pandemic, visitors and socialization were minimized, so the human connections formed between residents and our 50-member team were essential. 

    In addition to culinary services, we provide facilities maintenance, housekeeping services and front desk support. We can have a true impact on the quality of life of our residents, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

    Learning from the Past 

    I joined Sodexo and Trinity Manor six years ago as the chef manager, and within six months I was promoted to general manager. I felt prepared to take on this additional responsibility because of my previous experiences — my background is in the culinary arts, and I am a Red Seal certified chef.  I’ve learned a lot about management and building community from my work in the cruise industry, a university and a remote site. 

    Advocating for Reconciliation 

    I developed a better understanding of the history of Indigenous people in Canada at that remote site. 

    I had been placed in their community to provide services after their homes had been flooded and destroyed. It was a turning point for me. Because of that experience and all that I learned, I feel a responsibility to implement the recommendations set forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in all areas of my life, both personally and professionally.

    Now that I’m with Sodexo, I can continue my work toward advancing reconciliation as part of the company’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). That is important to me — to work for a company whose values align with my own.

    Ultimately, that’s my advice to those seeking a career in healthcare. Do what you love and what brings you a sense of purpose. It all starts with the heart — follow your passion and success will come to you.  

    Learn more about careers in Sodexo Healthcare.