Who we are!

'Su' luqw 'a' Community Cousins are Aboriginal Students attending Vancouver Island University. As mentors, the cousins work together as a team and put our ideas together to bring events and programs to the Aborginal student community! 'Su'luqw'a' are passionate about health, wellness and culture. We join the program with intentions to support Aboriginal students, create a sense of belonging, take part in skill building workshops, and to have fun!

Patrick Aleck (Xwaluputhut)

Patrick AleckI am Xwaluputhut   I am proud to be from  Stzmin’us  First Nation and Penelakut Island. My objective as a young indigenous man is to be a voice and to make a difference in the community. In the near future I plan to move mountains at Vancouver Island University and take courses that will build my skills in working with others and helping others. My first goal is Arts One: First Nation studies to learn the history of what happened with in Indigenous communities. I would also like to take a community support program to learn skills in working with others. 

Buster Bell

Buster BellIt has been a long Journey, but it has been worth it. I am here working on my my degree, continue my education, and being the best possible role model for my son. I have been raised in a traditional sense, by my Nonnie. I have learned a lot from her, she was a great role model in my life.

Richard Charlie

Richard CharlieMy name is Richard Charlie (S-Kwalex Tun) and I am from Quw'utsun Tribes. I am currently doing upgrading to get into the Fisheries and Aquaculture Program. I have been a Community Cousin since the spring of 2014. I recently participated in Tribal Journey and paddled with the VIU Tribal Journey Family for the first time. I like to hunt and fish and go back to my home territory as often as I can. I have been sober for two and a half years and facilitate a men's group. I like to share my story in hopes that it encourages others to pursue their dreams and goals.

Evangeline Clifton

Evangeline CliftonMy name is Evangeline Clifton, my traditional name is Hayałilaǧa ("Setting things straight"), and I am a member of the Heiltsuk Nation. My family, my Husband and our five amazing kiddies, and I relocated here just over 3 years ago and to this day we know we made the right choice.

I'm a second year tourism student with a goal of achieving the Bachelor of Tourism Management Degree, I am also a recipient of VIU's Adventure Tourism and Recreation Certificate. Finding the balance between home, education, and work hasn't been the most attainable, but I have to say... becoming a Cousin has definitely contributed to making this path a lot more easier, I look forward to the next couple years here on campus.


Sara Daigle-Stevens

Sara Daigle-StevensHi! My name is Sara Daigle-Stevens and my First Nation’s names are Yamu-Akith-Nuhu (spelt phonetically and means Smoking Star) and Kwik-Ga (which means Nobel Eagle Woman). I have two first nations’ names because one is maternal and the other paternal (go figure, eh?). I am part Kootenay (maternal), Kwaguilt (paternal), Haida Gwaii (paternal), French (paternal), English (maternal) and Hawaiian (paternal). I am thankful to the Snuneymuxw Nationfor allowing me to live, love, learn and laugh on their territory. I have a number of passions, and one of them being learning about my culture and history. I love and I am filled with so much gratitude that our university has such a strong cultural back ground. I am grateful for this university for the willingness to integrate indigenous principals, it is so cutting edge, and this is something we should be proud of as students and faculty.

Sara Fulla

Sara FullaSara PetersonI was born and raised in Alert Bay, B.C. I come from the Namgis First Nations, which is a tribe within the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nations territory. I am in the Recreation and Sport Management diploma program and will continue my education to achieve a Bachelor of Tourism Management, majoring in Recreation. I would like to pursue a minor in First Nations studies.

My goal as a Community Cousin is to provide Aboriginal students on campus with guidance and support. It is important to create a welcoming atmosphere for those who are still transitioning and bridging into University.

Natalie Johnson

I am a 2nd year Child and Youth Care student. I am from Esketemc First Nation in the Secwepemc Territory; as well as from the Statlimc Territory. I have been a member of the 'Su'luqw'a' Community Cousins Mentorship Program since 2015, as well as being an advocate for my community here at Vancouver Island University. I find my peace in community involvement and spending time with my extended and immediate family. My time at VIU has helped me to recognize the importance of community and my personal abilities for self enhancement. If I was able to give words of advice to my first year self, I would remind myself that life is a journey worth making mistakes in. Through our mistakes we are able to learn the most valuable lessons of all.

Betty Knighton

Betty KnightonMy name is daaqwyii (sunshine) aka Betty Knighton. I am registered with Ditidaht First Nation, and have family ties to Alert Bay (Mountain Family), Tseshaht First Nation (Watts Family), and Duncan Tribe (Modest Family).

I started attending VIU September 2014 in the EXPO program (exploratory studies) with the intentions of registering in the Bachelor of Business Program, Accounting Major. I completed my first year of business (30 credits = Certificate), and decided the business program was not for me. By socializing with numerous students and hearing about programs I decided to enroll in the Child & Youth Care program (CYC). This program starts September 2015 and I will graduate June 2018.

My home life consists of raising two children ( 8 & 4 ) and having meaningful conversations with my roommatewho is also attending university. I enjoy socializing and can always be found at the Shq’apthut – A Gathering Place: Services for Aboriginal Students Centre (BLD 170).

The 'Su' luqw 'a' Community Cousins Aboriginal Mentorship Program has provided training, supports, and numerous opportunites to be out in the community. I enjoy all the opportunities that this program has to be of service to strengthen our communities.

Katherine Legrange

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, I officially moved to British Columbia in 2012. I have two daughters and one son, as well as two grandsons. My teachings are rooted in the Northern Cree of Manitoba, and I am completing a Bachelor of Business Administration. My work experience includes Clerical, Retail Management, and Social Services,and it was my work with First Nations families that ignited my passion for social justice. My long term goal is to continue working in our communities inempowering our people to accomplish self-governance.

Charlotte Nelson-King

Nts lha Mukusmakana wiclhh wa tcamatlhts alh Nuxalk, Nuxalkmcts. Tic ta staltmc Lhalyam
 ti mants, Heathet King its'ik tsi stants.
 "My name is mukusmakana, I am nuxalk, I am the daughter of Charles Nelson and Heather

Lacey Perrault

Hi my name is Lacey Perrault, I am from the Namgis First Nation, located in Alert Bay, BC.,which is a tribe within the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nations. I am also connected to the Tsimshian First Nation from my mother. I am 4th year Bachelor of Education. My future goal is to work for the government in Aboriginal Education. I am a new member of the program and already it feels like family. This program serves to offer support to Aboriginal learners, and provide opportunities to be role models within the community and to other students. My goal is to be as open and willing as I can and cherish every opportunity this program provides me.

Stikia Reid

Stikia ReidHi, I'm Stikia Reid. I am a Community Cousin as well as the Intercultural Program Assistant in the residence at VIU. I have liked in the Yukon my whole life and I am a proud Qualicum and Gitxsan First Nation.

Sheena Robinson

Sheena RobinsonMy name is Sheena Robinson and I came to VIU in September 2015 after a six year hiatus from my post-secondary education. My goal is to complete a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in First Nations Studies and a minor in Creative Writing. I joined the Community Cousins team in March 2016. I am a Heiltsuk woman from Bella Bella, BC though I was raised in the urban setting of Vancouver. I also lived in Bella Coola for three years and the Gulf Islands for a little under a year before coming to Nanaimo. I am thankful to the Snuneymuxw Nation for allowing us to live, laugh, love, and learn on their territory. It is my hope as a mentor that I will provide guidance and support for Aboriginal students as they proceed on their own educational journeys. I had previously dropped out of college because I didn’t feel I had much community support at my school, so my goal is to show anyone feeling this way that there is a strong support network for them here at VIU. Sheena Robinson

Sheldon Scow

Sheldon ScowI am of Dene / Kwak-kwak-wka descent. I am in the Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies program and have been involved in 'Su'luqw'a' since 2015. The program provides me with a supportive community I've never experienced before.

Ryan Van-Haastert

I am of Cree ancestry and from Saskatchewan. I am in the BAchelor of Arts in First Nations Studies program and have received a Social Work Diploma from Vancouver Island University. I will be continuing my studies and applying to the Masters in Community Planning Program. I am a father of two boys and enjoy spending time outdoors. My journey at the beginning was challenging as I was switching from a trades program to an academic program. What helped me during this time was the support that I received. Through education I have been able to find my identity.

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