Emmy Manson, one of VIU's Indigenous Education Navigators, believes education is "our new way of creating community warriors."

March 8, 2018 - 4:30pm

Emmy Manson, who became a Snuneymuxw First Nation Councillor on February 2, is proud to be living, working and raising her family in her territory. After receiving her Human Services Worker Diploma from VIU in 2002, Emmy went on to complete her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria (UVic). After working in the mental health field for seven years, she returned to UVic to do a master’s degree in social work. Last year, she was hired as one of VIU’s Indigenous Education Navigators to provide outreach to prospective and current students from regional Indigenous communities. Through this job, she continues her passion for helping others achieve their full potential and addressing trauma in Indigenous communities.


What does your job as Education Navigator entail?

The learning partnership VIU has embarked on with funding from Mastercard Foundation and Rideau Hall Foundation aims to remove barriers to accessing education for Indigenous learners. As an Education Navigator, I help new students wanting to attend VIU get what they need to get here, and I support students who are already attending VIU with all aspects of their student and personal lives. My goal is to help them move through their programs to graduation and then employment. I work directly with Indigenous communities to share information about VIU and how to support community members who want to make the transition to post-secondary.


You were recently elected a Snuneymuxw First Nation councillor. What do you hope to accomplish in this role?

I will bring an open mind and open heart to work as one leadership table to lead governance of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. I am passionate about health and wellness and also education. I will also be listening to my citizens and will bring their voices forward. I will ask the critical questions and use the skill set I learned in university and in my work life, balanced with my cultural teachings.


If you could do something different, what other profession would you do?

I love to travel and see the world, so maybe a pilot or CEO of Disney or both. I love doing service work that benefits my people and find much joy in supporting people to become their best.


What trait do you most admire about yourself?

I am passionate about sharing kindness. I am very open to being vulnerable as my history is one where we blocked our feelings of hurt and in some cases our love for one another. I also take good selfies and I am funny.


One of VIU’s values is access to education. What does this mean to you?

To me it means that regardless of race, religion or socio-economic status, if you would like to learn and enhance your skill set with the help of a post-secondary education, you can find the supports needed to do so here. My grandmother and father both went to Residential School and I am a first-generation university graduate in my family. I value education and feel that it is our new way of creating community warriors.

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Tags: Indigenous | Reconciliation | VIUPoints

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