Elder Jessie Nyberg retires from HELP Aboriginal Steering Committee

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Jessie Nyberg has retired as Elder of HELP’s Aboriginal Steering Committee.  It has been such an honour to work with her over the years and we will miss her wisdom and leadership greatly. 

Jessie has been a member of our Aboriginal Steering Committee (ASC) for over fifteen years. Recruited by Clyde himself, she has been an integral member of HELP from the beginning. Her commitment and dedication have been awe-inspiring. She has brought her passion for cultural safety to all of HELP’s research tools, implementation, and knowledge translation.  Her care for all Indigenous children and families has inspired us, and she has always reminded us that many are living away from their home communities in urban areas. Her knowledge has helped to guide HELP to where we are today. 

In addition to her role as the ASC’s Elder, Jessie has previously been involved with the Vernon First Nations Friendship Centre, School District 22’s Targeted Funds Committee, the Okanagan Aboriginal Health Research Action Group, the Vernon Urban Elders Group, and the First Nations Health Curriculum Advisory Council of UBC Okanagan. Jessie is currently on the board of directors for the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, is an Elder for Suxkenxitelx kl cecamala, Aboriginal Early Years Table (Kelowna), an Elder advisor for a UBCO research project on diabetes and obesity in Urban Aboriginal Peoples, and an Adjunct Professor at UBCO. 

Jessie received the BC Aboriginal Childcare Society’s Aboriginal Child Care Award (2007). She was instrumental in the development of a Primary Care Centre in Vernon and is co-author of Silencing of Voice, an Act of Structural Violence, which was published in NAHO’s Journal of Health (2008). In 2012 she was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to and advocacy for Urban Aboriginal People. In 2014, along with colleagues at UBCO, she won the International Journal of Health and Wellness Award for Excellence for research about social justice and health equality for Aboriginal women. In 2015, she co-published Herstory a book on survivors of Residential School – in their own words. 

On behalf of everyone at HELP, thank you Jessie for all of your years of service and for your inspiration toward a better world for children - not just at HELP but across the province and across the country. Your knowledge and passion around building stronger families and communities has been deeply appreciated by us all. You will be missed. 


Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Director
Pippa Rowcliffe, Deputy Director