Author. Designer. Historian. Scholar

Dr. Sylvia Olsen

An author, story-teller, knitting designer, housing specialist and teacher, Sylvia Olsen is an eclectic mix of her creative and academic pursuits. Her books have received numerous awards and nominations and many are Canadian best sellers. Her knitting designs have received attention across Canada and the United States. She has been a founding member of several First Nations housing organizations, the most recent being the First Nations Housing & Infrastructure Council for BC. She was also a member of the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs Committee on Housing & Infrastructure. Sylvia helps develop the curriculum for the First Nations Housing Management Certificate Program at Vancouver Island University. She taught the course for more than a decade and recently completed a textbook for the program. Her PhD dissertation was a ground-breaking study titled Making Poverty: A History of On-reserve Housing Programs, 1930-1996. Sylvia moves on a lateral plain weaving together her multi and sometimes seemingly unrelated passions; writing and teaching about housing and wool working and turning all the parts of her life into stories. Sylvia draws her inspiration from her large family and the exciting ways they are making an impact on their world. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, Tex McLeod, and dog, Piper.