Sarah Van Essen


Sarah grew up as a displaced person and resided as an uninvited guest on unceded Coastal Salish Territory most of her life. She is grateful for her connections to place while moving through Syilx, Mi'kma'ki, Coast Salish and Secwépemc lands. Sarah’s ancestral roots are both European and Nlaka’pamux, with family ties in Boston Bar First Nation and across various European nations. Today she lives as a guest on Secwepwmcúl’ecw. To Sarah, the work done with Reciprocal Consulting Inc. provides a space to work actively towards social change. At the root of this action is the assertion of Indigenous rights and ways of caring for each other within all spaces we move through. Most of her education has focus on the observation of colonialism, where she has learned various tools to describe how colonial violence functions. However, she is a life-long learner in the knowledge that surfaces when Indigenous spaces and ways of knowing are reclaimed. When Sarah comes into the work done with RC Inc. she draws on her experience as an outreach counsellor and residential youth care worker, where she experienced what it was like to deliver wrap around support and advocacy for Indigenous youth navigating colonial violence in Vancouver’s Eastside. Additionally, she has an honours degree in international development studies and master’s degree in public health with a specialization in social inequities and health.