Virtual Indigenous Science Experience

Thank you to all students that attended VISE 2021, check back to apply in 2022!


About VISE:

The Virtual Indigenous Science Experience (VISE) was created in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program was made to replace the CEIH’s long running Summer Science Program. In 2020, VISE took place online (mostly through Zoom), and high school students from grades 8 to 11 participated in workshops centred around science, math, engineering, midwifery and more. They also participated in daily talking circles with Elders and learned about the Indigenous faculty, presence, and work at UBC. VISE has returned for 2021!

Who is VISE for? Indigenous students entering grades 9 – 12 in Fall 2021

When is VISE? July 19th – July 23rd 2021

Where is VISE? Online via Zoom

Is there a cost? No, VISE is free to attend!

Feel free to get in touch with our team if you have any questions or comments at





VISE (Virtual Indigenous Science Experience)

Please find below the Virtual Indigenous Science Experience resources from all the 2021 workshops/sessions and check out the fabulous collage that celebrates and joins all the participants, elders, mentors, facilitators & volunteers from VISE.

Virtual Indigenous Science Experience

Our Logo

Our beautiful logo was designed by Michelle Stoney a Gitxsan/Cree First Nations Contemporary artist. The 3 elements in the design include the feather, the mountain, and the salmon.

The feather represents peace, honour, resilience, and connects VISE with Summer Science.

The mountain represents foundational knowledge and the land/space which we greatly appreciate being a part of. This mountain, in particular, is called Stekyoden which is Gitxsan meaning "stands alone".

The salmon represents the knowledge Elder Gerry shared with our team and many others. Salmon are determined and strong, they will do anything and work extremely hard to get up rivers where they need to be. Elder Gerry says, "Be like the salmon, they never give up. Follow their example, be determined and work hard to achieve your goals".

Michelle Stoney a Gitxsan/Cree First Nations Contemporary artist

Artist Biography

I create art because it’s a way for me to connect with my culture. My inspiration comes from my late grandfather, Victor Mowatt. I use Northwest Coast form line in every work I accomplish. My goal as an artist is to create unique First Nations art. My work signifies the past, present and future. I take pleasure in trying to produce something that has never been done before.

My mother is Gitxsan and my father is Cree. I was raised in the Gitxsan tradition my whole life. Being raised by a single mother, I never had the opportunity to learn my Cree culture. While studying at Emily Carr University, I took the opportunity to research Cree artists and incorporate some Cree influences into my work. The form line is taken from my Gitxsan heritage; the bright colors and black outlines are taken from my Cree heritage. By incorporating two distinct First Nations’ cultures, I feel that I am contributing positively to the future of First Nations’ art.

I was raised in the Gitxsan territory, in the house of Delgamuukw. I work mainly in the medium of acrylic painting and metal sculpture. I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2012 and was awarded the YVR Art Foundation award in 2009. With the teachings of my late grandfather, Victor Mowatt, I moved back to my community and I am currently working on a mountain series of Stygyoden (Roche de Boule) as well as teaching my style of painting to the surrounding villages.

For more information please visit: Michelle Stoney's website and be sure to follow her on Facebook, and Instagram.

Indigenous Elders

Pamela Barnes and Grouse (Wilfred) Barnes 

Pamela Barnes, is a syilx educator/ knowledge keeper and member of Westbank First Nation. Her traditional syilx education is a lifelong journey starting with her great-grandfather Mickey Derrickson and other family and community knowledge keepers. In true syilx tradition she strives to educate and mentor the next generations in all the work she does. Pamela’s academic background is in Aboriginal government. She is one of the founders of Sensisyusten School and currently sits on the board. She has an extensive history of serving on numerous committees and councils for School District 23 and Okanagan College. Outside of education, Pamela serves on various committees, such as Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council and WFN Community Consultative Group which works with the local RCMP.

Grouse (Wilfred) Barnes, is a syilx knowledge keeper and member of Westbank First Nation.  As one of the few fluent nsyilxcn speakers he is dedicated to preserving and revitalizing the language. He serves as an Elder in Residence at Sensisyusten House of Learning, School District 23, and Okanagan College. Grouse is a member of the Okanagan Nation Alliance Critical Response Team and serves as a Spiritual Care Provider at Kelowna General Hospital. He also works with the Okanagan Nation on traditional lands management.

Grouse and Pamela Barnes are Adjunct Professors at UBCO School of Nursing. They are Honorary Fellows at Okanagan College and facilitate cultural teaching in partnership with Kelowna Heritage Museums, the Kelowna Art Gallery, Rotary Centre for the Arts and Regional Parks.




Marcel Gagnon

Marcel Gagnon is a member of Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and belongs to the Beaver Clan. Marcel grew up playing music in his youth, and is now an accomplished musician with four studio albums, and 2 Juno nominations. He has also worked extensively in the corrections system, and is the University of Northern British Columbia’s elder-in-residence. This past June, Marcel’s phenomenal work was further recognized with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from UNBC.






Chloe Erlendson a Recruiter Advisor for Indigenous Students at UBC 

Chloe Erlendson has a Bachelors of Arts in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and is a Recruiter Advisor for Indigenous Students at UBC. She has 5+ years of working with both prospective and current Indigenous students at the two UBC campuses. Chloe is Red River Métis from Manitoba, an alumna of the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program at UBC Vancouver, and an avid beader.











Dominque Joseph an Indigenous Student Ambassador 

Facilitator: Virtual Tour

Hello everyone!! My name is Dominique or Dom, and I am Métis from Quebec. I grew up in Squamish and moved to Vancouver for high school, I chose UBC because it is still close enough for me to see my parents on the weekend but far enough away that they won’t be popping in too often!! Currently, I am in my second year in the Faculty of Arts, majoring in Psychology. I have been an Indigenous Student Ambassador for the past 2 years, and I hope to see you soon at one of our tours so we can connect and talk a bit more about what it’s like to be an Indigenous UBC student on the Vancouver campus!









Ceci Raweater an Indigenous Student Ambassador 

Facilitator: Virtual Tour

Oki, my name is Cecilia but I prefer to be called Ceci. I am Blackfoot from Siksika Nation, Sto:lo from Skwah First Nation and Latina from El Salvador. I am in my second year in Arts, majoring in First Nations and Indigenous Studies and minoring in Law & Society. Once I graduate I plan on attending Law School. I have been an Indigenous Student Ambassador with Dom for the past 2 years now and we are both so excited to host you virtually for the Indigenous Vancouver campus tour! I cannot wait to meet you and show you what the beautiful campus has to offer Indigenous students. I hope to see you there!!





Danilo Caron an Indigenous Student Engagement Coordinator at UBC Engineering Student Services

Facilitator: Engineering Workshop

Danilo Caron was born and raised in Kamloops, BC where he completed the Thompson Rivers University engineering transfer program before finishing his civil engineering degree at UBC. In May he started his Masters of Applied Science in Civil Engineering here at UBC. Civil engineering is simply an extension of his previous life as a masonry contractor and he likes how it takes so many people with different talents to build the world around us. Being of mixed European and Ojibway ancestry, he has roots in Castelfranco, Venato, Italy and the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation in Ontario. He lives in family housing at UBC with his wife Jewell and daughter Cicada.





Alex May a PhD Student with the Department of Physics & Astronomy

Facilitator: Physics Workshop

Alex is a graduate student at UBC who does research in theoretical physics, specifically in quantum gravity and quantum information theory. He grew up in Langley, where he went to Brookswood Secondary and used to attend Saturday morning lectures at TRIUMF. He did his undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics at McGill University in Montreal, where he first began doing research during his summers. His research involves understanding black holes, and how spacetime and quantum mechanics are related to each other. He is in the last year of his PhD and is starting a post-doc at Stanford in September.





Theresa Liao a Communications Coordinator for the Department of Physics & Astronomy 

Facilitator: Physics Workshop

Theresa Liao is the communications coordinator for UBC Physics & Astronomy. She oversees the department's outreach program, offering workshops and activities for K-12 students. This year, she transitioned several in-person outreach activities to virtual platforms, and developed hands-on activities that students can do using materials available at home.






Caterina Marra a Culture and Diversity Research Assistant with the Canadian Brain Research Strategy 

Facilitator: Neuroscience Workshop

Caterina Marra’s maternal family is Musqueam and paternal family is Italian. In early high school she developed a passion for health which drove her to pursue a bachelor of science in Global Resource Systems with a specialization in health and nutrition. She is the Cultural and Diversity Research Assistant for the Canadian Brain Research Strategy (CBRS) where her role is focussed on increasing diversity in the field of neuroscience.





Ashley Lawson a Knowledge Translation and Communications Specialist for the Canadian Brain Research Strategy 

Facilitator: Neuroscience Workshop

Coming from a non-academic household, Ashley pursued University thanks to her deep curiosity about the world around her. Going on to earn a degree in Psychology and Biology, she uncovered a passion for neuroscience, which lead to her involvement with the Canadian Brain Research Strategy (CBRS). Ashley acts as the Knowledge Translation and Communications Specialist for the CBRS, meaning she loves to learn and share information about brains! She hopes by the end of the workshop you start to see what appeals to her about the grey lump between our ears.





Rachel a Bachelor of Arts Graduate in Honors Geography at UBC

Facilitator: Computer Science Workshop

Hi my name is Rachel! I am (sort of) from Vancouver but grew up internationally. When I was at UBC I studied Honors Geography. I really like being outdoors and going on evening bike rides! A cool STEM fact that I love is babies have more bone than adults. Crazy!







Jaisy a Biology Student at UBC

Facilitator: Computer Science Workshop

Hi my name is Jaisy! I was born and raised in Calgary, AB until I moved to Vancouver in 2017 to study biology at UBC. Some things I'm passionate about would be drawing/painting, and music! I love to sing (in the show, car, basically whenever possible), and right now I am learning the piano, ukulele, and melodica. One really cool STEM fact that I love is that the space in between the eyebrows actually has a name "glabella"! The word is derived from the latin word glabellus, which means smooth.







Facilitator: Computer Science Workshop

Hi my name is Allie, I am from Tsawwassen First Nation, and at the moment I am studying how the past informs our thoughts today. I am really interested in how people learn, and eventually use that knowledge to help teach people. One really cool STEM fact I know is that when engineers graduate they receive an iron ring.







Miranda Kelly a Full Spectrum Doula, Child Birth Educator, and an Indigenous Health Consultant

Facilitator: Doula Workshop

Éy swáyel. Tilyen tel skwíx. My name is Miranda Kelly, and I proudly carry the ancestral name, Tilyen. I am of Stό:lō and mixed settler ancestry. I was raised in my home community, Soowahlie First Nation and have kinship ties to Cowichan, Snuneymuxw, and Sumas First Nations. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of Victoria, and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of British Columbia. I am a mother, auntie, doula, and advocate for reproductive health. My career goal is to create a better world for our children and grandchildren through principles of Indigenous wellness and decolonizing approaches. I currently work with Vancouver Coastal Health as the Director, Indigenous Women & Family Health.
One cool STEM fact is that the uterus expands from the size of a pear to the size of a watermelon during pregnancy!









Nolan Chem a Medical Student at UBC

Facilitator: Medical Workshop

My name is Nolan Chem, I am a member of the Metis Nation of British Columbia. I was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB and moved out to Langley, BC with my family for highschool. I completed my undergraduate degree in 2017 at UBC in Sciences. Before starting my medical degree, I worked at BC Children's Hospital Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Research Facility helping out with research in concussions, epilepsy and pediatric strokes. In 2018, I started my medical degree at UBC in the same class as Keegan Marchand and will be graduating in 2022. I love to mentor and teach science and medicine to indigenous students. A lot of my extracurricular time goes towards working with indigenous youth. For fun, I enjoy cycling around Vancouver, playing hockey, and spending time with my friends. I look forward to meeting you all!


Keegan Marchand a Medical Student at UBC

Facilitator: Medicine Workshop

My name is Keegan Marchand and I am a member of the Syilx Nation. I was born and raised in the territory of the Secwepemc Nation, in Kamloops. I studied Physiology at McGill University, before coming back west to pursue Medicine at UBC. I am now in my third year at UBC Medical School. I have a special interest in both Indigenous Health and Global Health, and have been involved in a number of community-based projects that focus on these areas. In my free time, I enjoy overnight hiking trips, skiing, running, basketball, and spikeball. In the future, I hope to pursue a career in Family Medicine, where my ultimate goal is to open an on-reserve, primary care centre to serve Indigenous communities.







Connor Keane a Medical Student at UBC 

Facilitator: Microbiology Workshop

Connor is Mi’kmaq and grew up in Kelowna, BC. He and his family later moved to Surrey where he completed high school and studied Microbiology and Immunology during his undergrad at UBC. Connor studies B lymphocytes (a type of immune cell) at the Gold Lab and will be starting his first year of medical school at UBC in August. He is currently co-president of UBC’s AISES chapter and is passionate about encouraging and supporting Indigenous students in pursuing post-secondary education in the STEM fields.






Georgina Barbour a RPh Adjunct Professor at UBC

Facilitator: Pharmacy Workshop

Georgina graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador School of Pharmacy in 2017. She is an adjunct professor with the UBC Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy program and works part-time as a community pharmacist in Yaletown, Vancouver. Georgina is passionate about pharmaceutical care, education and mentorship.






Colleen M. Brady a RPh Associate Professor of Teaching at UBC

Facilitator: Pharmacy Workshop

Colleen is a pharmacist who teaches and coordinates a third-year pharmacy practice course. She has been a faculty member at UBC for 26 years. Her areas of interest are in community practice.





Jon Grosshuesch a RPh Lecturer at UBC

Facilitator: Pharmacy Workshop

Jon graduated from the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2016 and joined the Faculty in 2018. He is a lecturer and teaches pharmacy practice and administration of injections in the Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy program. Jon is a community pharmacist and also teaches an introduction to pharmacy management course at VCC as part of their Pharmacy Technician program.







Lia Hughes an IA Administrative Manager for the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC

Facilitator: Pharmacy Workshop

Lia graduated from the University of Victoria with a BSc in biology and has been working with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences as the IA Administrative Manager since 2013. Prior to joining the Faculty she worked as a Pharmacy Assistant. Her areas of interest are in assessment design and implementation.





Tony T. Seet a RPh Associate Professor of Teaching at UBC

Facilitator: Pharmacy Workshop

Tony graduated from the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1999 and joined the Faculty in 2009. He is an Associate Professor of Teaching and teaches pharmacy practice in the Entry-to-Practice Doctor of Pharmacy program. His research interests include teaching pharmacy students using authentic simulations. Tony works as a part-time community pharmacist in Richmond.






Kyla LeSage a Land Based Academic and Regional Outreach Coordinator

Facilitator: Dechinta

Kyla LeSage is Vuntut Gwitchin from Old Crow, Yukon, and Anishinaabe from Garden River, Ontario. She grew up on Chief Drygeese Territory in Yellowknife, NT. Kyla is a Dechinta alumni where she received credits towards her UBC Degree in Political Science and Indigenous Studies. She now works full time for Dechinta as the Land Based Academic and Regional Outreach Coordinator.









Justina Black a Land Based Youth Programmer and Community Outreach Coordinator

Facilitator: Dechinta

Justina Black is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, born and raised in Yellowknife NWT. Her grandmother was Tłı̨chǫ Dene, and her grandfather was Tetsǫ́t’ıné Dene. They were raised in hide tents in the thick boreal forests that blanket over Denendeh. She has spent the majority of her life involved in land-based education, having attended the community school of Ndilǫ. Justina is passionate about learning from elders and knowledge holders to pass on the teaching to youth who she engages with in the Dechinta community.






Mikayla Pachkowski a PhD Student in Clinical Psychology at UBC

Facilitator: Psychology Workshop

Hi my name is Mikayla! I am currently a graduate student in Clinical Psychology, which means that half my time is spent doing research, and the other half working with clients. The fact that I get to be both a researcher and clinician is one of the things I love about clinical psychology. Outside of work, I am usually hanging out with my (noisy!) cat or exploring new cycling trails.









Our Team

Kerri Jesson

Program Manager, Virtual Indigenous Science Experience

Kerri was born in Prince George, BC on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh. From there, her family moved to the Lower Mainland, where she grew up spending as much time as possible outdoors and in the mountains. She is Métis on her maternal grandfather’s side and British on her father’s side. Kerri holds a Bachelors of Business Administration (with honours) from Simon Fraser University, and worked for several years in the fast-paced tech world as a marketer and content creator. However, in pursuit of a career that allows her to directly impact others, she began studying science at the University of British Columbia. Her long-term goal is to work within the healthcare sector, to promote equitable health care access and health and wellbeing initiatives that reduce the risk of chronic diseases. As someone who is extremely passionate about life-long learning, Kerri is hoping that the Indigenous youth who enter VISE leave the program inspired and empowered to build the career that they want.

Email: | Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers

Josie Duncan

Program Coordinator, Virtual Indigenous Science Experience

Josie was born in East London, South Africa and moved to BC with her Canadian parents at age three. She is a member of the Xatśūll First Nation located on Secwépemc traditional territory near Williams Lake and has Scottish and Lithuanian background on her father’s side.  In spring 2019, Josie graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Major in Biology through UBC. Her goal was to pursue a career in providing holistic, culturally-affirming health care and to integrate traditional ancestral knowledge in Western models of practice. Fortunately, she was accepted into the UBC Bachelor of Midwifery Program in 2020 to fulfill these goals. During her first year, Josie has become the co-Indigenous representative for the Midwifery Students Association Executive Board. Currently, her roles are focused on advocating for equitable admissions, developing research, and supporting current BIPOC students through anti-racism initiatives.

Email: | Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers

Olivia Baptiste

Work Learn Project Assistant, Virtual Indigenous Science Experience

Olivia is Tsilhqot’in and Secwépemc from Xatśūll First Nation, near Williams Lake, BC. She grew up and attended school in Quesnel, BC on the traditional land of the Tsilhqot’in, Dënéndeh, and Dakeł Keyoh First Nations. After high school, she moved to Vancouver to pursue an undergraduate degree at UBC with a major in biology. Olivia is the co-president of the UBC’s chapter of the Canadian Science and Engineering Society (.caISES) and has helped plan STEM outreach and networking events for Indigenous youth and university students and has traveled to Saskatoon for the AISES in Canada National Gathering. She is looking forward to creating a fun and interactive program for Indigenous youth to help grow their passions for STEM. In her spare time, Olivia is usually seen running, playing volleyball, or hiking.

Email: Preferred pronounsshe/her/hers

Ceara Claridad

WorkLearn Project Assistant, Virtual Indigenous Science Experience 

Ceara completed her B.A. in Psychology at the University of British Columbia, focusing on mental health advocacy and special education. She has been involved with various initiatives to promote the Indigenous and Asian-Canadian cultures and has worked extensively within assisted living facilities for residents with Alzheimer’s Disease. As a second-generation Filipina-Canadian, Ceara hopes to continue working with marginalized populations to share their unique stories and break the barriers placed on these demographics through access to education and health care opportunities.

Preferred pronounsshe/her/hers

Zach Bryce

WorkLearn Project Assistant, Virtual Indigenous Science Experience

Zach is a Metis (Cree) person with Metis on his mother’s side and Scottish and German ancestry on his father’s side.  He was raised in Delta, B.C. which is on traditional xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Tsawwassen First Nation lands. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Human Geography and a minor in Geographical Information systems (GIS).

Zach hopes to become an urban designer and planner in the future. He believes that a person’s relationship to their environment plays an important role in their well-being. Since Indigenous people’s needs typically have not been considered in city design and development, he feels that the design of cities can improve upon creating a supportive environment for Indigenous people. To help address inequalities that indigenous people face, Zach would like to include input from Indigenous people in the design and planning of cities.

Zach is excited to be a part of the Virtual Indigenous Science Experience team (VISE). He is excited to be connecting with the Indigenous community at UBC, as well as connecting other Indigenous students around the province to UBC’s community.

Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

Teah Bryce

WorkLearn Project Assistant, Virtual Indigenous Science Experience

Teah Bryce, who is of Métis Indigenous ancestry, was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan but has grown up and lived in Delta, British Columbia for most of her life which is on the traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Tsawwassen First Nation Peoples. She is currently studying Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Science at UBC, with the hopes to one day pursue a career in the medical field. Teah has recently been volunteering her time to help work towards decolonizing education and indigenizing the UBC curriculum. She is looking forward to helping make the transition from high school to university a more inclusive experience for Indigenous students. She believes that the Virtual Indigenous Science Experience will allow her to provide a welcoming space for Indigenous high school students to ask questions, have fun and learn about culture and science!

Preferred pronounsshe/her/hers









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UBC's Indigenous Digital Resources & More

Since we’re all Zooming these days, why not add a bit of MOA to your next virtual meeting? Change up your background and have your next gathering against the stunning backdrops of MOA’s iconic Great Hall and museum grounds.  Selected five of our favourite MOA Virtual Backgrounds so you can imagine/foresee yourself at the Museum of Anthropology. You can also download and print these MOA Textile Colouring Cards, which feature patterns from textiles in the MOA Collections. We all need some soothing activities right now! Speaking of soothing activities, Home Rhythms with MOA is a new music lesson series offered to people of all ages. Hosted by MOA Public Programs Assistant and music teacher, Olivia Shaw, these educational videos demonstrate the process of building collaborative music at home. In the video below Olivia Shaw and Balam Axayacatl Santos Antonio, an Indigenous from the Nahua people of El Salvador, teach us to make a collaborative song using only body percussion and vocals.

UBC’s Xwi7xwa Library is developing its collection of music by Indigenous artists. The library has been focusing efforts to acquire recordings made by current musicians and recordings of publicly available traditional materials. Music is embedded in many Indigenous cultures as a way of transmitting language, history, and cultural traditions. The collection provides immense value for scholarly research and it is meant for enjoyment that could even spark interest in language revitalization and preservation. It allows library users to access album art and read liner notes, which often provide significant information about the music. Tamis Cochrane, Xwi7xwa library’s Access Services Assistant created a playlist from the collection. Listen to the Spotify playlist below!