Sylvia Olsen (PhD) has extensive knowledge of First Nations communities, history, political and administration systems, and housing program development and management. Dr. Olsen garnered first-hand experience regarding First Nations housing issues, having lived in on-reserve housing for 35 years. Sylvia has worked in all fields – construction, management, research, communications, policy and governance over the past two decades. She is an experienced project and construction manager with many years of business management experience.
Dr. Olsen is an adult educator and trainer, specializing in First Nations capacity development and has extensive knowledge of curriculum and training material development. She co-created and is currently teaching the First Nations Housing Managers’ Program at Vancouver Island University. Sylvia is also an experienced researcher: she completed her PhD in History in 2016. Her work focuses on government housing programs on-reserves and their impacts on First Nations in Canada from 1930 to the present.
Dr. Olsen is currently a BC technical representative on the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs’ Committee on Housing and Infrastructure. She is also a member of the newly formed National First Nations Housing Professional Alliance.