Elders in Residence

Elders in Residence are available by phone or email, see below for contact information.

Elders in Residence are an important part of NIC’s college community. They support Indigenous students enrolled in courses and programs at the college and act as liaisons with First Nations communities. They’re also available to staff and students interested in Indigenous culture or in need of guidance. Elders participate in classes, take leadership roles in ceremonial matters, and provide curriculum support. All students are welcome to consult the Elders in Residence for support and guidance. If you live outside Campbell River, Port Alberni, Port Hardy and the Comox Valley and would like to connect with an Elder, please contact an Indigenous Education Navigator for more information.

Meet the Elders

Daryle Mills
Daryle Mills, Campbell River campus
If you want to meet with Daryle, please connect with him by phone or email to arrange.

Daryle is of Cree, Dene, Stoney and Irish heritage. He participates in local cultural events and activities, where he shares his cultural background and Cree and Lakota teachings. His family is from Fort Chipewyan, north of Fort McMurray on Lake Athabasca, where he is known by his Cree name of Tipiskowpisimwikimusqua. A former millwright and trades person, he has provided social services and youth support for the last 16 years.

June Johnson
June Johnson, Campbell River campus
If you want to meet with June, please connect with her by phone or email to arrange.

June’s traditional name is ‘Um’agalis. She is from the Wewaikai Nation, Cape Mudge, the daughter of Charles and Elizabeth (Dick) Peters. She is an elder in the community, the mother of two and grandmother to six. She completed her Developmental Standard Term Certificate in Language Revitalization at UVic in 2009, going on to teach Liqwala/Kwak’wala language and culture in SD 72. She believes that teaching and learning together foster a sense of pride and belonging. As coordinator of the Ligwiltach Elders and Youth Culture Group, she teaches youth the cultural protocol of the Big House and traditional dances. She also teaches First Nations traditional plants and medicinal workshops, blanket making, traditional food cooking and cedar weaving.

Fernanda Paré
Fernanda Paré, Comox Valley campus
If you want to meet with Fernanda, please connect with her by phone or email to arrange.

Fernanda’s traditional name is Nagega, and she is of Kwakwaka’wakw, Namgis, K’ómoks and Carrier Sekani ancestry. She makes traditional button blankets, attends numerous potlatches, and believes we must practice and live by our traditional ways with honour and dignity. She has worked as an administration assistant with the City of Toronto’s Finance and Land Use Planning departments. Fernanda and her husband have one son and five grandchildren, and they reside on traditional territory in K’ómoks.

Evelyn Voyageur
Dr. Evelyn Voyageur, RN, BScN, PhD, Comox Valley campus
If you want to meet with Evelyn, please connect with her by phone or email to arrange.

Evelyn is of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation, of the Dzawadainox tribe. She speaks Kwak’wala fluently. She has worked in hospitals and communities in Alberta and BC, as well as taught and developed nursing curricula at UVic and NIC. Evelyn counsels survivors for the Indian Residential School Society. She has received many awards for her contribution to Indigenous nursing, including becoming one of Health Canada’s First Nation and Inuit Branch’s first recipients of the Award of Excellence in Nursing.

Wilma Gus
Wilma Gus, Port Alberni campus
If you want to meet with Wilma, please connect with her by phone or email to arrange.

Wilma is a member of the Tseshaht. She lives and works in the Alberni Valley, in her traditional territory, as her family has for generations. Wilma has worked with children, youth, adults and elders, taught in elementary school and at the University of British Columbia, and has worked for the Ministry of Advanced Education. Wilma has worked at NIC since 1993, and now as Elder in Residence, she pursues her commitment to promoting student success and works as a team to help students achieve their educational goals.

Retired Elders

Jane Jones
Jane Jones, Port Alberni campus

Jane is an Elder from both the Nuu-chah-nulth (Tseshaht) Nation and the Kwakwaka’wakw (Mamalilikulla) Nation. She has over 41 years’ experience working with Indigenous students from preschool through to post-secondary, and she is very proud of the work she began in the early 1970s to develop and open the Kwak’wala preschool in Campbell River, which sparked further work to include Kwakwaka’wakw culture and language into the school district to the grade 12 level. Jane also served as the Cultural Coordinator at Haahuupayuk School in Port Alberni, where the first structured Nuu-chah-nulth language lessons were delivered and continue today as a foundation for the school’s K-7 curriculum.