Vanessa Brousseau

North Bay, Ontario
Inuk and Ojibwe

Taking care of her mental and spiritual health has helped Vanessa be resilient despite the losses she and her family have faced because of colonialism. She takes pride in surviving and thriving and is continually working to understand and reclaim her identity.

An Inuk and Ojibwe woman raised in Northern Ontario, Vanessa developed strong connections to the Treaty 9 teachings and traditions because of her mother’s community work and role at the Friendship Centre. She has passed this passion for culture on to her sons and continues her own journey to connect with her Inuit culture. 

“I smudge every day. The smell grounds me and makes me feel I’m safe. Our ancestors fought really hard for it and it gives me strength. And now, I love working with sealskin, I find it very healing and therapeutic. I’m proud to work with it and I’ll be working with Sealskin for the rest of my life.”

Having a sister who is among the Missing and Murdered, and a mother who experienced forced sterilization, Vanessa has taken to TikTok to support the MMIWG2S community and share the truth, knowledge and Indigenous culture. “I want Indigenous women to be treated better, to have a voice and to have their rights protected. That’s why I do all this.”

Ready to learn more?

Hear More Stories