Skip to content

Vanessa Génier

She leads a team of volunteers that honours survivors in the spirit of healing, truth, and reconciliation.

Vanessa Génir is the CEO & Founder of Quilts for Survivors, a grassroots initiative that honours survivors of Canada’s Residential School system. Born to Charles and Cheryl Macumber, Vanessa is a member of the Missanabie Cree First Nation in what is known today as Ontario. As the great-granddaughter of Emily and Dave Nolan, Vanessa has a direct connection to survivors of Ontario’s residential school system. 

With a giving heart and passion for sharing her gifts, talents, and knowledge with others, Vanessa has navigated life with the perspective that if you can do something, you should. Possessing an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, Vanessa started selling painted rocks when she was only six-years-old. Learning how to quilt at nine-years-old, Vanessa has since used her love of quilting to honour her loved ones. In 2021, Vanessa decided to use her talents to create quilts for survivors of Indian Residential Schools, Indian Day Schools, the 60s Scoop, and other traumas suffered by Indigenous peoples. What initially started as a heartfelt gesture quickly grew into a bustling grassroots movement toward healing, truth, and reconciliation.

With an initial goal of creating 215 quilts to honour the 215 unmarked graves recovered in Kamloops, British Columbia, Vanessa’s initiative grew exponentially. Since 2021, Vanessa and her global team of volunteers have presented over 4,500 quilts to survivors across Canada. A respected Founder and CEO, Vanessa has received many commendations for her leadership and work with hundreds of volunteers from all over the world. Quilts for Survivors’ most recent acknowledgment comes from the Governor General’s Awards where Vanessa will be receiving the Meritorious Service Decorations, (Civil Divison).




Head to the Top 25 main page to meet the rest of our 2024 Top 25 Women of Influence® Recipients.