University of the Fraser Valley

Sivia and Henry nominated for Women of Distinction awards

Sivia and Henry nominated for Women of Distinction awards

Emily Henry (left) and Dr. Awneet Sivia (right) have been nominated for 2024 Women of Distinction awards.

A UFV professor, and an alumna have been nominated for the YWCA Metro Vancouver’s 41st annual Women of Distinction Awards, recognizing exceptional women in leadership and business.

Alumna Emily Henry is nominated in the category of reconciliation in action while Dr. Awneet Sivia, Associate Vice President of Teaching and Learning, is nominated in the category of education, training, and development.  They are among 106 women who’ve been nominated in 10 categories.

“The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards honour individuals and organizations whose outstanding activities and achievements contribute to the wellbeing and future of our community,” YWCA says in a press release.

According to the awards website, the reconciliation in action category recognizes two women, an Indigenous leader and an ally, who engage their communities in dialogue and actions to strengthen relationships and find a new way forward.

“They have made a significant and sustained difference across Metro Vancouver by supporting healing and building more just and equitable communities for all people,” the description reads. “They may be a champion or advocate committed to the reconciliation movement.”

Henry, a Cree elder, was recognized as UFV’s Distinguished Alumni award winner for 2017. After earning her Substance Abuse Counselling certificate at UFV in 2005, she joined the federal justice system and introduced several treatment programs influenced by Indigenous cultural beliefs and practices. Henry currently works with the First Nations Health Authority, serving elders through programs focused on cultural safety, humility, harm reduction, and nursing services.

Sivia is being recognized for her work inspiring a passion for life-long learning in those around her.

According to the award description, nominees in her category  “contribute through practice, research or administration in a learning environment including the education system, employee training and development, community education, and/or alternative programs. They motivate others to gain knowledge, set goals or seek opportunities. They may be academics, educators, administrators, or other champions of learning.”

Sivia has worked at UFV since 2011 and took on her current role on September 1, 2022. She was UFV’s Teaching Excellence award winner in 2021 and received the inaugural West Coast Teaching Excellence Award in April 2022. More recently, she travelled to Ottawa to receive the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship.

The Women of Distinction Awards Gala takes place May 13 at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver. Get tickets online at