Vanessa is Ojibway and a member of Berens River First Nation, Manitoba.
For over 25 years Vanessa has owned and operated her own management consultancy firm specializing in integrating Indigenous knowledge in proposals, program development, current state community assessments, strategic planning, board development and governance, national First Nation health certification and advising on policy, by-laws, and organizational development.
Vanessa has built and developed strong relationships with key national and provincial stakeholders that have resulted in effective and successful partnerships. Her programs and partnerships have won an international award, as well as national and regional recognition. Her expertise in designing and developing training to employment programs for the Indigenous market has totaled more than 350 successful programs across Western Canada.
Vanessa has Co-Chaired the national "Federal Program Development Improvement Working Group" for the Indigenous Skills to Employment Training Strategy (ISETS). She is currently Vice Chair of the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce. She worked on the development of the Manitoba Indigenous Tourism Association (MITA), and the National Métis Veterans Association (NMVA). This Association development includes governance, business and operational planning, membership drive, revenue generation plan, and first annual virtual summit.
For the past four years Vanessa has project managed a long- term Indigenous Health Partnership that will develop approximately 90 nationally licensed Emergency Medical Responders from 15 northern Manitoba First Nations and deliver fully equipped On Reserve Non-Ambulance Transport Vehicles for each of the 15 First Nations.