Nella Nelson: Distinguished Alumni Award recipient










Nella Nelson is UVic Libraries' 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient

Nella Nelson, Klaapalasugwela/Maxwagila, is a Kwakwaka’wakw teacher, leader, mentor, advocate, mother, and grandmother. Born within the ‘Namgis Nation of Alert Bay, BC, Nella is a member of the Tsawataineuk Nation at Kingcome Inlet. In 1972, Nella moved to Victoria to study at Camosun College and soon transferred to UVic to pursue studies in Anthropology and then Education (BA ’77 and BEd ’79). Upon graduation, Nella began a lifelong career as a teacher with the Greater Victoria School District working as a high school history teacher and counselor for ten years at S. J. Willis Junior High, Central Junior High, and Victoria High School then becoming the District Coordinator for the Aboriginal Nations Education Division in 1988. For decades, Nella and her husband Alex have unceasingly opened their home to dozens of young First Nations people from their home communities, providing lifelong friendship and support. In June 2018, Nella will retire after over forty years of ground-breaking and thriving educational leadership within Victoria and throughout the province. Nella’s passion for Indigenous culture, commitment to education, and dedication for social justice exemplify UVic’s values of community enrichment, innovative learning, and engaging leadership and making her a most deserving recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award.

Join us for our annual celebration recognizing and honouring Distinguished Alumni Award winners chosen from the faculties, UVic Libraries, and Continuing Studies. 

Tuesday Feb. 5, 7:30 pm, Songhees Wellness Centre

Registration required, free