Tessa Terbasket is a talented young Syilx woman who has been instrumental in empowering, challenging and encouraging Syilx youth to become more involved in water. She has an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary studies at UBC Vancouver, concentrating in Indigenous Studies, Political Science and Environmental Science. And she currently works with the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) Natural Resources department coordinating research and policy work. Passionate about water, she has helped create two youth groups: the Syilx Youth Water Leaders and the Columbia Basin Transboundary Youth Network. For her work, she was chosen for the Corporate Knights 2016 “Canadian top 30 under 30” for sustainability.
Tessa’s work is shaped by countless millennia of traditional knowledge, close-knit community and her determination to keep educating herself. She surrounds herself with like-minded people willing to help change, be change and create change for the betterment of future generations, for the land, and for the plants and animals. Tessa is a catalyst for many young Aboriginal people willing to be activists, movers of change and dreamers alike.