Jessie Nyberg is a Shuswap Elder registered to the Canoe Creek Band and currently lives in Kelowna. Her Shuswap name, Busy Ant, was given to her by her grandmother when she was just one year old because she did not like to stay still and kept very busy. Jessie is a wife, mother of two, and grandmother of three. After practicing for 45 years, she is also a retired registered nurse, with a Bachelor of Science Degree.
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 Aboriginal CATCH (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.
Jessie remains very passionate about cultural safety and is frequently invited to do presentations to community groups.