More than just a job: how a BCIT alumna is amplifying Indigenous voices and stories

Savannah Minoose-Erasmus
Savannah at her first assignment for the Broadcast and Online Journalism program.

Savannah Minoose-Erasmus is happy to be doing a job she enjoys—and making a difference, too.

“We’re all really invested in our work,” says Savannah, 24, who recently completed her Broadcast and Online Journalism Diploma at BCIT. “It’s not just a job.”

Upon graduating in May 2020, she was immediately hired as a Project Coordinator with the Indigenous Youth Wellness Team at the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). She had previously worked for the health authority as part of her work experience with BCIT’s Co-op program.

And she’s been working in the full-time position—including navigating some big changes—throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We create culturally relevant wellness projects,” says Savannah. “Bringing that cultural aspect to our work is incredibly important. Wellness can be anything. It can be music workshops or dance workshops…things that really encourage overall health.”

Before COVID-19, she says, the wellness team traveled to small communities facilitating these projects.

Due to the pandemic, everything had to be quickly transitioned online to be delivered, and promoted, virtually.

Savannah says BCIT gave her confidence in her own abilities as well as job-related skills like digital literacy.

“I felt like I could handle developing our digital presence,” she says. “Also, the teamwork and practical aspect totally prepared me for this role. I’m working with a lot of different people on a lot of different projects.”

Savannah Minoose-Erasmus
Savannah makes a radio broadcast reporting during her program at BCIT.

For instance, Savannah works on the Indigenous wellness podcast, Teachings in the Air, “by providing lessons and stories like traditional stories and cultural knowledge to lead people to find healing.” She adds, the podcast is a good example of culturally relevant content delivered online.

Savannah feels she made the right choice in studying journalism and choosing BCIT.

SEE MORE: Why reporting is more important than ever—and how BCIT helps students step into the role of the journalist

“For me, as an Indigenous person, I went into this program really wanting to amplify Indigenous voices and stories,” she says. “And I really felt like, with the knowledge that I have and the skills that I have, I can do that.”

While at school, she felt supported by her instructors as well as the community she found at BCIT Indigenous Services.

“The staff that is in the program is incredibly supportive of all students. They want to get to know you and support you in any way they can,” she says. “With the Indigenous [Services,] it’s the same thing. They’re not there to encourage you to complete the program, they’re there to encourage you to do what they know you’re capable of.”

In her second year of school, Savannah volunteered as an Indigenous peer mentor. She plans to remain an active alumna and continue building community.

“I’m just really grateful I went to BCIT and I stuck it out,” says Savannah. “Because I’m just so happy in my position now.”

Savannah Minoose-Erasmus is a Cree-Metis storyteller, content creator, and journalist from Kikino, Alberta. Learn more about Savannah and see her portfolio of work.  

(Story written by Chantal Eustace. All photos provided by Savannah Erasmus-Minnoose.)

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