Meet the therapists of Siksika Mental Health Services

The role of a therapist is to jump into the client’s world, and support them in walking out towards healing.

Therapists don’t give advice, because this would require them to base their input on their own experience. Their role is to support a person through their experience, and journey with them towards healing

Meet some of our Siksika Mental Health Therapists!

Maria Red Gun – Registered Provisional Psychologist/Mental Health Intern

My name is Maria Red Gun, I am married to Preston Red Gun for 14 years and have one son. I graduated with my BA in Psychology and double majored in Native American Studies at the University of Montana in July 2015. I graduated with my Master of Counselling in Psychology May 2022 at Yorkville University, New Brunswick.

My experiences include working at Henry Three Suns Child and Youth Society as a child and youth support worker, worked with Addiction as an addiction case worker and Matrix Facilitator. Now, I am a registered Provisional Psychologist working as a Mental Health Intern as a therapist. 

I pursued a career in psychology because human behavior had always been an interest of mine and at first, I just wanted to focus on Native American Studies, however mostly picked psychology classes in my undergrad and the advisor talked me into applying to their Psychology program. I also have family members who also pursued the direction of Psychology, and it just became a great interest to me.

I have worked here at Siksika Health since January 2020 as an addictions case worker and now as a therapist.  We have an amazing team that will go above and beyond to support each other. I believe to have a healthy team it goes a long way because if we’re supportive of each other it makes a huge difference when working with the community, especially when it comes to our own mental health and the mental health of the community.

Dr. Michele Fercho – Registered Psychologist

I have been a psychologist for 21 years. I have worked at many places, but working at Siksika is my favourite by far. I have two children who are currently in University in Victoria, and when they are away, it is just me and my dog, but he is very good company! I love to hike, ski in the winter, and be active outside. I am currently taking hip hop lessons and love to do yoga.

I have always been curious about people and what makes them tick. Luckily, I was able to translate that into a career that I love. Plus, it is always a bonus to witness people healing. and feeling better, that is one of the best things about psychology.  Siksika Mental Health is safe space, we work hard to protect privacy and confidentiality. And we are trained to help people manage anxiety, depression, to heal and resolve trauma. Reach out, we are here!

Dr. Bob Pogue – Registered Psychology

Oki my name is Dr. Bob Pogue and I have been a practicing psychotherapist and counsellor for 25 years.  I have a private practice in Calgary and have also been working at Siksika Nation for close to 8 years. In my position at Siksika, I primarily work with adults and couples and I am drawn to working with trauma, anxiety, depression, emotional regulation, and anger management.  I am married and have two adult children.  In my spare time I enjoy woodworking, renovating my house, and going for walks and hikes with my wife. 

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with the way our minds work and how at times our minds fool us into patterns of thinking and behaving that are unhealthy or even harmful, and yet we take the unhealthy direction over a healthy one. For equally as long, I have also been fascinated by carpentry, welding, electrical and pretty much everything related to building construction.  Because of this interest I pursued a degree in Engineering and then worked as a petroleum and pipeline engineer for 10 years. After dealing with a difficult divorce and a personal battle with anxiety and depression, I left my engineering career and pursued a Masters degree and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.  Eight years ago the Siksika Mental Health team consisted of three therapists and a waiting list that was at least two to four months long.  Now we are a team of 12 clinicians, all with different skills, backgrounds and training and we now have the ability to treat all ages and pretty much all problem areas. 

Deb Nunziata – Registered Psychologist

I do provide counseling in my private practice but for Siksika I conduct psychoeducational assessments. My primary role is the Student Services Coordinator for Golden Hills School Division. I am a teacher and a registered psychologist with over 30 years of experience.

As a special education teacher I realized that many children have mental health problems that are barriers to their learning which is why I returned to university and completed a Masters in Educational Psychology. For the past 3 years, I have worked with Alberta Health Services as part of the creative team to develop a Mental Health Literacy resource for elementary-age children.

I feel it is important that everyone understands that we all have mental health and that there is a difference between mental distress, a mental health problem, and a mental disorder and that using the right language to talk about mental health is critical. Mental health literacy can help reduce stigma and encourages help-seeking behavior. What is good for our body is good for our brain so sleep, exercise, nutrition, and social connection are essential to good mental health.