Vanessa is a proud member of the Musqueam Indian Band and her family lineage comes from the Campbell and Point families. Mentored by strong Musqueam women, Vanessa was taught the importance of traditional values and principles. She takes great pride in the rich culture of her people and has committed much of her time as a young adult to working with and mentoring youth in her community. She is dedicated to being an agent of positive change and is a role model for the next generation of strong Musqueam youth.
Vanessa spent 7 years working with First Nations communities across Canada supporting the training and implementation of community-driven, culturally relevant programming, based in the holistic understanding that a strong sense of cultural identity is the foundation for success.
The launch of her career in Language revitalization began in highschool when she enrolled in the UBC First Nations and Endangered Languages Program. After completing 2 years of the Salish Language hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ courses her leadership skills were recognized by UBC and she began working for the FNEL program.
Ten years later, her passion for the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language and the FNEL Program remains strong. She is now also working in the Musqueam Language and Culture Department to revitalize the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language and she sits on the Musqueam Cultural Committee and the Inter-Community hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ Revitalization Committee.
Vanessa is committed to her community and her language and actively continues learning hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ through research and recordings of her ancestors.