Writing Mentors

The Writing Mentors program supports current undergraduate First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students in their academics, in particular their writing skills. Every student has resiliency and the drive to succeed — the Writing Mentors provide the guidance and positive reinforcement to encourage this success. 

The First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Writing Mentors will be assisting students with their course writing in a variety of disciplines. Mentors will be available in the Aboriginal Student Services Centre during their specified times below. 

Meet Our Mentors

Photo of writing mentor EvansAmanda Evans

Hello, my name is Amanda Evans. I'm a Métis woman and a master’s student in the Department of Sociology. My father was a soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces so my family and I (mother, two sisters and brother) have lived across Canada. ‘Home-base’ though is the land between Edmonton and Cold Lake.

I began school at Grant McEwan Community College in my mid-twenties where I studied design. After that I worked as an architectural technologist for a small company here in Edmonton. Two years later a combination of itchy feet and a curiosity to learn how people see their environment drove me to take a BA in sociology and community design at Dalhousie University in Halifax. During my undergrad I realized my ambition to go further in my studies despite the fear that no one in my family had ever gone to university. I’m now a second year grad student and currently contemplating doing a PhD. 

I’ve always loved writing, both academically and creatively, and always strive to be a better writer. The most valuable thing I’ve learned about writing is that it’s a process and it always turns out better when others are included in that process.

Amanda will be available Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 1 - 5 p.m.

Photo of writing mentor KarenKaren J Pheasant-Neganigwane

Ahnii/Boozhoo/Tansi/, my name is Karen J Pheasant-Neganigwane and I am a First Nations member of Wikwemikong/Manitoulin Island, Ontario. I have 3 amazing adult children, and blessed with 7 grandchildren from a one year old to a 14 year old. When I did my Master’s degree a couple of years ago, I put my dance on pause, but realized how grounding my dance life is for me. I am a Jingle Dress dancer for 25 years+, before that a shawl dancer.

Prior to coming to the University of Alberta, I earned an income as a writer, where I had my own column with Anishinabek News (Ontario) and a few other magazines. Today my writing focus is in preparation of completing my PhD.My kids tell me that people asked, “What is your mom studying?” I’ve told my son to tell them “Red Power,” more recently I’ve changed that to Indigenous Intelligence. I truly believe our people are blessed with immense intelligence but colonization stifled it. I welcome and feel honoured to join the ASSC team to assist our undergrad students to seek their best!

Karen will be available Wednesdays from 1 - 4 p.m.

Photo of writing mentor KareyKarey Thomson

Hi, my name is Karey! I'm a Metis student from Edmonton. I've been a writing mentor for two years! The main points you need to know about me are that I love my cats (Pickles and Peaches), Moonshine donuts, and Game of Thrones. I decided to become a mentor because I like writing and helping people figure stuff out. I find the process of writing to be rather challenging, but I also really enjoy it because I've found some strategies that help me. My goal is to help other people find strategies that work for them so they can learn to write with confidence and communicate their ideas clearly and effectively. As far as my credentials go, I have a B.A. and an M.A. in Classical Archaeology and I am currently in the second year of a J.D. with the Faculty of Law. I'm primarily trained in historical and legal writing, but I can help out with writing and research in any subject. I am also happy to look at resumes, cover letters, grant applications, or any other writing you want a second eye for.

Karey will be available Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11 am - 4 p.m.

Photo of writing mentor Billy-RayBilly-Ray Belcourt

My name is Billy-Ray Belcourt and I am from the Driftpile Cree Nation in northwestern Alberta. I am a PhD student in the Department of English & Film Studies and my research explores how Indigenous artists, poets, and filmmakers render that which exceeds or escapes the murderous character of settler-colonial law, norms of belonging, and modes of public thought. I hold a BA (Hons.) in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta and an MSt in Women’s Studies from the University of Oxford, where I tenured a Rhodes scholarship. I will be of particular use to those who are taking classes in the humanities and social sciences. I pay close attention to argumentation, syntax, grammar, writing style, and structure, all of which can make or break an essay.

I am also a poet and I was named one of 10 “Indigenous writers to read right now” by VICE in 2017. My debut collection of poems, THIS WOUND IS A WORLD, will be published in Sept. 2017 by Frontenac House. This is to say that I can also provide feedback for assignments that allow for one to write creatively.

Billy-Ray is available Tuesdays from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., and Fridays from 12 - 1 p.m.