Jacylin (Jace) Meyer

Jacylin Meyer
Jacylin Meyer

Category: Indigenous Community Alumni Awards

Name: Jacylin Meyer

UVic degree and year: Bachelor of Education, 2011             

Current hometown: Uninvited guest on lək̓ʷəŋən speaking people's territory.            

Birthplace: Peterborough, ON.

Jacylin (Jay-see-lin) Meyer was given a difficult name by her mother so that she would learn to use her voice, but you can call her Jace. She is a Métis mother, social entrepreneurship educator and public speaker currently living on the territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples. Meyer serves her community as a director for the Victoria Native Friendship Centre and the Indigenous LIFT Collective. Meyer is a strategic advisor for the Founders Fund and Sage Initiative, helping to diversify entrepreneurship and venture capital. Meyer was recognized in 2019 as a BMW World Responsible Leader. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @JaceActually to see her obtain her pilot's license and launch a benefit company in 2022.

Q: What was the moment you realized your career calling?

JM: I knew I wanted to transform education since Kindergarten. There wasn't enough diversity, love, or kindness in the Catholic school I attended to create the conditions I believe all people need from a learning experience. While I didn't stay within the classroom walls as a teacher, I've dedicated my time and energy to co-creating educational experiences where people experience belonging without bounds and aren't afraid to fail in their pursuit of self-actualization.

Q: What is your favourite memory of being a student at UVic?

JM: Realizing I could also work here! I didn't realize how transformational it would be, but my time serving as the Camp Coordinator for Science Venture redefined my career trajectory. I unlearned what K-12 taught me science was, fell in love with the time we spent in community with T'Souke, Tsyecum, and Tsawout, and became the biggest nerd!

I carry huge gratitude for Melisa Yestrau, who hired me into the role, and for all the campers, instructors, and faculty whose research inspired me along the way. So many incredible humans gravitate to this campus and offer what they know to the youth in our community. Having worked with 32 other universities across Turtle Island, I can attest to how unique this is to UVic. It's ever cool to see how many campers and instructors are returning as staff and faculty. The infinity loop continues! 

Q: Many people are not following one career for life. What other work might interest you in the future, even as a hypothetical?

JM: I've never placed too much emphasis on my title; as a shapeshifter, I've learned that my title and the company I work for might need to change, so I've given myself permission to redefine myself as often as necessary in order to thrive. In 2022, I'll complete my pilot's licence and launch a new company, just to keep proving that to myself. My biggest dream is to host my own TV show, so I'm keeping space in my heart for that.

Q: What is your advice to younger people entering your line of work or who feel lost or confused about their future?

JM: Believe in the Consequences of Your Actions: #COYA. Everything we do leads to an outcome. If *you* believe in your actions, and put enough of them down— eventually you'll find yourself inching ever closer to your dream. And if you're like me, you're more afraid to succeed than fail, so you might as well give yourself permission to take as many small and messy steps as possible in life. If you're brave enough to do that, remember to celebrate that you did and share the experience with as many people as possible. 

Q: The pandemic has come with lessons for many of us. What is something you learned that you will carry forward with you?

JM: I used this global crisis as a wakeup call. In 2019, I got real with my body, mind, heart and spirit and began a healing path in search of balance and joy. Before the pandemic, I lived on a plane and travelled globally as an entrepreneurship educator and Indigenous advocate, but at the expense of my wellbeing and time with my little girl. I realized that working for the next seven generations at the expense of this one will never be good enough for me. My new measure of success is: are we experiencing joy together? That’s the sovereignty I’m after and that requires daily self-determination.  

Q: What do you hope you and your work will ultimately contribute toward a better future for people and the planet? 

JM: Everyone is precious and gifted. I hope by co-creating with me, folks are inspired to love themselves out loud and share their gifts with the world. I dream of a future where my daughter is surrounded by a safe and loving community that prioritizes our relationships with one another and Mother Earth above all else. 


For the full list of 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, click here.