Our Team

VYPER Team Leads sit on a board of 12 young people located across B.C. The entire VYPER organization is run and overseen by VYPER Team Leads. Team Leads represent VYPER in their communities through projects, events, media, and/or sitting on community tables. Our leads often host their own initiatives and will look to lift up other youth in their communities and help them find connection with indigenous culture.

Learn more about the VYPER Lead Position

Marcella Sunshine
She / Her
Aaniin! Hello everyone, my name is Marcella Sunshine. I am Anishinabek, Ojibwe from Fishing Lake First Nation, Wadena, Saskatchewan. I am 22 years old and currently the coordinator for VYPER- Visionary Youth Peers for Equity & Revitalization. I also work for Matsqui-Abbotsford Impact Society, (VYPERs host organization) as a Co-Executive Director in Training. I care about the work VYPER does because it challenges the preset narrative inflicted among thousands of Indigenous people across the world. We focus on revitalization and reconnection of culture for all First Peoples of Canada.
Like many other peoples stories, I was put into the foster system at birth and raised in reoccurring themes of domestic violence and lack of traditional knowledge or teachings. At VYPER, we look to adjust this narrative and begin to teach the upcoming generations of youth about where they come from, who they are and why that is something they should be proud of. When I was 14 years old, I remember sitting at a park by myself, thinking, "I am meant to have a bigger family, more community and more love around me." In only six months, VYPER has connected me to people I call family across the province. I am grateful that I can confidently say I feel that family around me now.
I have advocated for several years in various sectors, including the foster system, harm reduction, the opioid crisis, suicide prevention, life promotion and cultural revitalization. I have sat on First Nations Health Authority Provincial Youth Council & currently sit on the board planning a global conference, “Healing Our Spirits Worldwide,” (FNHA). I have been honored with opportunities to travel Canada to speak and advocate for the themes above. I currently study Indigenous Peoples Knowledge & Political Science at University of the Fraser Valley and plan to enroll in law school to specialize in Indigenous law. I want our young people to know they have a network of other young people at VYPER who want to revitalize the culture with and among them as lifelong friends and family. We are continually creating opportunities to go from displaced to interlaced, and that's where our resurgence starts.
Miigwetch (Thank you)
Helena May
VYPER Coordinator // Harm Reduction // Xa’xtsa First Nation
She / They / 2-Spirit
Helena is from Xa’xtsa First Nation. She currently resides in Vancouver. Helena has extensive history with facilitating and coordinating youth governed groups in Mission BC. She has spent a substantial amount of time working with the street community, as well as on topics including harm reduction, foster system and cultural revitalization.
Helena now works as a teachers assistant in Vancouver & spends time teaching her students songs, drumming & artistic expression. She is an artist & a singer. As part of VYPER, Helena plans to start after school programs for indigenous youth to reconnect and learn where they come from.
"Creativity springs from the yearning to be the fulness of who you are." - Baba Ram Dass
P.S Helena is an AWESOME skateboarder. You can catch her at skateparks, pow wows & music festivals. Stay hippie forever sista.
Nova McIntyre
Language Revitalization Skuppah Indian Band // Lytton, B.C
He / They / 2-Spirit
Nova is from the Skuppah reserve in Lytton. He currently resides in Houston, B.C & moves between Houston and Chilliwack.
“Im passionate about reviving and teaching my traditional language- Nłeʔkepmxcín”.
I met Nova at a language revitalization meeting a few months ago. Shortly after that meeting we started talking & created a close friendship. He joined VYPER & has contributed immensely to the growth of our team. Something incredibly sacred about Nova is what he’s doing up in Houston right now. He has found himself near the pipeline production and has decided to go and grass dance a few times a week on the land the pipe will be built on. Take time to think about the power in that.
Nova recently started getting back into his traditional style of dance when he witnessed other members starting/jumping back in. Our other member Sebastian Abbott has been zooming with Nova to teach him some footwork. Nova has been watching online & calling with others to learn his style again. He wants others to know it is very possible to ge into dancing, even if you do not have easy access to teachers. This is what VYPER is about.
“Be who you are, because everyones individuality is a blessing”. – Nova
Since we are adding other cool things about our members- nova is learning electric guitar & absolutely shreds his 4Runner off roading. Nature lover & respecter of the land. 
Pavel Desjarlais
Fort McKay // Cree // Powwow Nights // Youth Connection

He / Him

Tansi kahkiyaw (Hello everyone) my name is Pavel Desjarlais, my family comes from the fort McKay cree nation which is located in treaty six territory. I spend a lot of my time practicing my culture which includes, making Quillwork, attending Powwows, Round dances and ceremonies. Some of my accomplishments include my singing and dancing taking me traveling through out Canada and the United States even as far as Australia, teaching youth in various communities about our culture, working on different art projects which includes restoring Chief Crazyhorse’s Pipe Bundle bag, and volunteering at different rallies and events for Indigenous issues. A passion of mine is focusing on cultural revitalization and helping our youth to reconnect with our culture.

The work I hope to do with VYPER is to create safe spaces for youth to practice and learn about our indigenous cultures.

“I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree Of Life and the whole earth will become One Circle again.” -Chief Crazyhorse

Nicole Provost
Radio Show // Cultural Nights // Metis, Huron-Wendat

She / Her / 2-Spirit

Kwe! Ahskennon’nia ihchie’s? Nicole yiatsih. Wendat endi’. Quebec ekwayehtih. 

Hello! How are you? My name is Nicole. My ancestry is Wendat. I am from Quebec. I am very excited to be a VYPER team lead. My ancestry is Wendat (Huron) and Metis, and French-Canadian. I was raised in Abbotsford BC. I am passionate about learning about indigenous culture, and advocating for cultural revitalization and equity for indigenous people across Turtle Island. I am currently a lead and an emcee at VYPER's Cultural Nights. I am studying Halq'emeylem at the University of the Fraser Valley, and I hope to become proficient in the language one day. 

I am also a strong advocate for the inclusion of neurodiverse people in schools and workplaces. I am a student of aviation at UFV, and I intend to become an airline pilot one day. Part of the reason I am passionate about studying Halq'emeylem language, is so that one day when I land airliners in Abbotsford, I announce our arrival to visitors from all over the world to the Sto:lo territory in Halq'emeylem in addition to English - as Halq'emeylem is the langauge that was spoken on this land since time immemorial.

I am so excited to be part of VYPER, and I am looking forward to seeing the amazing work we can all do together! Entïio!