Writing Mentors

The Writing Mentors program supports current undergrad First Nation, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) students in their academics, in particular their writing skills. Every student has resiliency and the drive to succeed — the Writing Mentors provide the guidance and positive reinforcement to encourage this success. 

The First Nation, Metis and Inuit​ ​​Writing ​Mentors will be assisting students​ ​​with their course writing in a variety of disciplines. Mentors will be available in the Aboriginal Student Services Centre during their specified times below. 

Meet Our Mentors

Photo of writing mentor EvansAmanda Evans

Hello, my name is Amanda Evans. I'm a Métis woman and a master’s student in the Department of Sociology. My father was a soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces so my family and I (mother, two sisters and brother) have lived across Canada. ‘Home-base’ though is the land between Edmonton and Cold Lake.

I began school at Grant McEwan Community College in my mid-twenties where I studied design. After that I worked as an architectural technologist for a small company here in Edmonton. Two years later a combination of itchy feet and a curiosity to learn how people see their environment drove me to take a BA in sociology and community design at Dalhousie University in Halifax. During my undergrad I realized my ambition to go further in my studies despite the fear that no one in my family had ever gone to university. I’m now a second year grad student and currently contemplating doing a PhD. 

I’ve always loved writing, both academically and creatively, and always strive to be a better writer. The most valuable thing I’ve learned about writing is that it’s a process and it always turns out better when others are included in that process.

Amanda will be available Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., starting September 14, 2016.

Photo of writing mentor KarenKaren J Pheasant-Neganigwane

Ahnii/Boozhoo/Tansi/, my name is Karen J Pheasant-Neganigwane and I am a First Nations member of Wikwemikong/Manitoulin Island, Ontario. I have 3 amazing adult children, and blessed with 7 grandchildren from a one year old to a 14 year old. When I did my Master’s degree a couple of years ago, I put my dance on pause, but realized how grounding my dance life is for me. I am a Jingle Dress dancer for 25 years+, before that a shawl dancer.

Prior to coming to the University of Alberta, I earned an income as a writer, where I had my own column with Anishinabek News (Ontario) and a few other magazines. Today my writing focus is in preparation of completing my PhD.My kids tell me that people asked, “What is your mom studying?” I’ve told my son to tell them “Red Power,” more recently I’ve changed that to Indigenous Intelligence. I truly believe our people are blessed with immense intelligence but colonization stifled it. I welcome and feel honoured to join the ASSC team to assist our undergrad students to seek their best!

Karen will be available Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., starting September 7, 2016.

Photo of writing mentor KareyKarey Thomson

Hi, my name is Karey! I'm a Metis student from Edmonton. The main points you need to know about me are that I make lame jokes, I love my cat (his name is Pickles), and I love food. I decided to become a mentor because I like helping people figure stuff out, and I like writing. I find the process of writing to be rather challenging, but I also really enjoy it because I've found some strategies that help me. I think it would be really fun if I could help other people find strategies that work for them. As far as my credentials go, I have a B.A. in Classical Studies from the U of A and I'm currently working on my M.A. in Classical Archaeology. I'm primarily an historian, but I can help out with writing in any subject.

Karey will be available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m., starting September 13, 2016.