Andrew Cienski

Freelance Content Writer & Proposal Writer

Location:Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
2 Skills
ANDREW CIENSKI, MA (Linguistics)
229 Howe Street, Victoria BC V8V 4K7
Telephone: 250-995-2713


An innovative and pragmatic writer, editor, public speaker, researcher, and linguist acknowledged for conducting field, archival, and personal interview research. Exceptional attention to detail resulted in accurate articles on a wide range of topics; including environmental, political, arts, history; and for a variety of disciplines; including technical (such as RFP proposals and project summary reports), academic, journalistic, and online. Andrew has edited two books, countless articles, and works of fiction; has worked with authors and production staff to ensure facts are accurate, style is consistent, logic is strong, and deadlines are met. He has in-depth knowledge of Microsoft Word, Power Point, and all Adobe Creative Suite applications; having employed these to layout of newspapers, features, technical reports, advertisements, and books. He is a self motivated worker and team player with a strong collaborative approach to leadership; having worked together with diverse stakeholder groups to develop programs, procure funding, and develop project-end reports. Expertise collaborating with, and consulting to, the public and private sector (UNBC, RRU, United Church, RCMP, First Nations, International Institute for Child Rights and Development and OXFAM) to promote innovative approaches to resolving often contentious contemporary issues. Worked with teams and independently to develop detailed funding proposals for multiyear projects involving public ministry and private sector stakeholders. Familiar with theory and practice of research ethics and intellectual property.


Writing, Communications and Editing
? Edited, prepared images in Photoshop and produced 300 page, nine chapter historical monograph using Adobe In Design (involving two language fonts), and secured a publisher.
? Managed project teams consisting of writers, photographers, production staff, and volunteers for major university newspaper to produce feature articles on environmental and social issues of concern to student and employee readership; the articles appeared in print and online.
? Translated and edited translation of Polish manuscript, A Distinguishing Mark: Memoirs of Grarzyna Bacewicz ISBN 0-9735735-0-3
? Wrote MA thesis which focused on the recording and translation of oral history in two (2) West Coast Aboriginal languages, and developed innovative approach to formatting which reflected the speaker’s use of tone and pause.
? Presented synopses of historical and linguistic research in articles relating to land use and governance for southern Vancouver Island, used for public education and posted on Esquimalt First Nation Community Development website for community capacity development.
? Prepared applications for funding, wrote funding proposals and developed a research program for linguistic research and language revitalization submitted to the Canada Arts Council and University of Washington for Endangered Languages ($50K).
? Wrote investigative feature articles, published by McGill Daily, Monday Magazine, The University of Victoria Martlet, and recently posted on on environmental and Provincial Heritage Branch policies.
? Researched, wrote, and edited briefing documents for Aboriginal and executive stakeholders for International Institute for Child Rights and Development AGM.

Advocacy, Negotiation and Public Education
? Using Power Point, four (4) years experience developing and presenting workshops and a lecture for community and post-secondary institutions on topics of BC history, Aboriginal relations, language documentation, government policy, and application of oral history in areas of art, education, and law.
? Developed a program using translations of a traditional First Nations story to address and compare western and aboriginal value systems.
? Facilitated a public information program for the University of Northern British Columbia to encourage the university to incorporate advice from First Nations Elders of interior communities when developing curriculum for First Nations related programming.
? Developed a program in partnership with International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) to assist the Ministry of Children and Families to introduce a collaborative approach to policy development with Aboriginal communities.
? Trusted by local First Nations communities for ethical approach to research, project development and execution which has lead to the documentation and validation of unique knowledge held by Elders.
? 15 years liaising between physicians, family members, and health care service providers on behalf of clients with severe cognitive disabilities in group home settings relating to societal integration and health related issues.

Leadership & Project Management
? Responsible for the development, implementation and ongoing management of year long research project involving personal interviews, archival and quantitative sources.
? Secured and managed project funding from multiple sources including university, government and private donors; tracked expenditures and prioritized tasks to achieve deliverables.
? Managed research project contractors and volunteer writers for Victoria branch of OXFAM, an international NGO conducting humanitarian work, and the Martlet News; developed action plans to ensure priority deliverables were met on time, created schedule of activities, and located advertisers in local business community to secure revenue.
? Coached graduate student researchers in Best Practices approaches and cross-cultural considerations when conducting linguistic field research for academic and language revitalization initiatives.
? Prepared summary reports for provincial government funders.


Writer/Research Consultant, Esquimalt First Nation,
Victoria BC (2009 – present)
Accountable for consultation with Hereditary Chief to record and transcribe oral history relating to Douglas Treaty negotiations; Royal BC Museum archival research of traditional land use and place names on Vancouver Island; Wrote articles describing traditional resource harvesting locations and practices relating to treaty commitments (especially reefnet fishing sites, hunting, flora harvesting, and village sites)
Project Manager, The Tellings of Samuel Sam OC: A Personal History of Saanich
Victoria BC (2006 – present)
Responsible for procurement and management of funds ($36,000); developing methodology for conducting field research; writing official consent forms for use of intellectual property—done in collaboration with University of Victoria Law department; following Best Practices in Research; recording and translating four hours of oral history in two Island Coast Salish languages.
Research Assistant to Dr. Su Urbanczyk, Professor of Linguistics, University of Victoria (2008, 2010)
Worked on two projects with Dr. Urbanczyk, and was responsible for conducting internet and archival literature reviews of academic papers; produced annotated bibliography; collected quantitative data of extant language documentation for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funding application.

Research Assistant for LE,NONET Project, University of Victoria (2005)
Researched and wrote curriculum material for cross-cultural professional development program for faculty and employees; collaboratively wrote paper on BC First Nation history for Language Revitalization Program; conducted qualitative and quantitative research on government policy and ramifications of policies on education; researched and assembled reference articles from spectrum of disciplines including psychology, education, law, and history; developed database and searchable index for article library for easy access by students and staff.

Teacher's Assistant, University of Victoria, Linguistics from 1st to 4th year (2009)
Responsible for guiding and facilitating student participation in class; conduct classes and study sessions; grade papers and provide feedback indicating flaws in arguments and provide suggestions for further exploration.

Features Editor, The Martlet University of Victoria’s independent weekly press (2004)
Responsible for guiding writers and editors through research and interview process; collaborated with team of photographers, writers, sales, and production staff; edited and proofread final copy; created database of contacts and resources to track progress of forthcoming articles and provide new writers with suggestions and interview options.

Project Co-ordinator, OXFAM Victoria (Volunteer) (2000)
Accountable for managing volunteer team to research and write articles pertaining to socio-political issues, volunteer related news, and public education regarding fairly traded goods; secured advertisers; created ads; edited and produced monthly newsletter which was subsequently adopted as a model for OXFAM Vancouver’s newsletter.
ESL Teacher, William Head Penitentiary (Volunteer) (2003)
Accountable for preparation of lesson plans and conducting classes; created and graded assignments to improve conversational ability, literacy, and grammar.


MA Linguistics, University of Victoria. 2010
Areas of Specialization:
? Collaborating with Elders to record and translate oral history for thesis exploring poetics of Coast Salish oratory.
? Best Practices and research ethics in university policy and language revitalization, First Nations education, and government educational policy.

BA Applied Linguistics and Writing, University of Victoria 2005
Double Majors in:
? Writing: involved fiction and journalistic writing, and editing peers’ drafts.
? Applied Linguistics: learned the mechanics of grammar and curriculum design.

Certified ESL Instructor (through Applied Linguistics Program)
? Participated in practicums at Camosun College and University of Victoria teaching beginner, intermediate, and advanced students.


A Distinguishing Mark: Memoirs of Grarzyna Bacewicz
ISBN 0-9735735-0-3
Co-translated with Anna Clarke. Published by Krzys Chmiel 2004
Memoirs of Grarzyna Bacewicz, noted Polish violinist and composer.
Opowiadania o Historii Mojej Rodziny (Stories of My Family’s History)
I laid out this 19 chapter book laid out with Adobe In Design and prepared its 250 images with Photoshop. Printed by Em-Dash Self Published 2005

Academic Papers
M’i Tst T’akw’, The Tellings of Dr. Samuel Sam O.C; Text and Coast Salish Oratory
MA Thesis, Linguistics May 7, 2010
Towards a Taxonomy of Cowichan Epistemological Roots
Proceedings of the 43rd International Conference on Salish and Neighbouring Languages. UBCWPL vol.23 pp 54-83 (June 2009)
Role of Sonority in the Prosody of Cowichan
Written for Dr. Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins Ling 505
Presented at the Salish/Wakashan round-table 2008

Each Word in Solemn Order Follows Each; Frame and Discourse in the Contextualization of Oral Narrative
Written for Dr. Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins Ling 595

Sxwalu (Reefnet) Fishing
For Esquimalt First Nation, discusses process of traditional resource use, drawing on archival and interview research, and incorporates First Nation (Lekwungen) language.

No, We’re Water People
For Esquimalt First Nation, explains context of Douglas Treaty signing and traditional territory designations around southern Vancouver Island

Notes on the Swuqwalh, or Coast Salish Nobility Blanket
Co-authored with Bill White. Explored the historical, ceremonial, and economic importance of blankets in traditional Coast Salish life. Commissioned by Pauquachin First Nation
August 2006

The Disaster of Climate Change; Depends on Your Definition of Disaster
Martlet. Sept 23, 2004
Sockeye will be Managed into Extinction
Martlet. Nov. 25, 2004 (available upon request)

First Nations Issues
Off to the Grocery Store; or The Family Works Together. (Circa 1863)
Stl’etl’iinep Families Prepare to Host Relatives from the Coast Salish Region. (Circa 1880).
Co-authored with Bill White. Published in consecutive issues of Coast Salish News. Spring, 2008
The articles wove the Cowichan language throughout, choosing phrases readers would be able to use in their daily lives.

Billy’s Teachings About the Bighouse; With References to the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Co-authored with In ‘Child Rights in Practice: Tools for Social Change’ Published by Center of Global Studies, University of Victoria, 2007

Old Bones, New Wounds
Involved extensive research of Heritage BC’s Conservation Act as relating to the issue of property development on culturally significant Aboriginal sites—especially burial grounds.
Monday Magazine. April 17, 2004 (available upon request)

Ancestors Returned to Burial Site
Monday Magazine. Aug. 5, 2004 (available upon request)

Salish Reburials Spark Calls For Respect Of Dead
McGill Daily Sept. 16, 2004
Recently posted on

Lectures & Workshops

Hwiyunem Tseep tthu Sqwal
Co-presented with Bill White at Dwight International School’s Aboriginal Day celebrations, outlining the history, language and culture of the Cowichan First Nation.
June 2, 2010
Each Word in Solemn Order Follows Each; Frame and Discourse in the Contextualization of Oral Narrative
Literatures of the West Coast Symposium held at the University of Victoria.
June 5, 2009

Stem ’Alu Kw’amkw’um ’i’ La’lumuthut; What is Being Strong and Being Prepared
Co-presented with Bill White as part of the United Church’s Truth and Reconciliation program, this presentation explored traditional Coast Salish values as revealed through a traditional Flood Story. April 19, 2009
Towards a Taxonomy of Epistemological Cowichan Roots.
Presented at the 43rd Conference of Salish and Neighbouring Languages, this paper presented results of research conducted with Ruby Peter, Cowichan Elder and linguist. July 26, 2008
Kw’amkw’um tthun Shqwaluwun; The Application of Traditional Values for a Coast Salish Child.
Co-presented with Bill White for University of Victoria, Department of Continuing Studies. April 12, 2008
Noble Women, Nobility Blankets; Coast Salish Prestige and Power.
Co-presented with Bill White for University of Victoria, Department of Continuing Studies January 26, 2008
There is no Death, Only a Change of Worlds.
Co-presented with Bill White for University of Victoria, Department of Continuing Studies October 6, 2006


Jonathan Gover
Manager, Vancouver Island Autistic Homes Society
#215-2750 Quadra St. Victoria BC V8T 4E8

Nancy Turner, CM, OBC, PhD, FLS, FRSC
Distinguished Professor
University of Victoria
School of Environmental Studies
(250) 721-6124

Greg Sam
Aboriginal Relations Coordinator,
Royal Roads University
(250)391-2600 ext 4394

Kim Recalma-Clutesi
Former Council Chief to Qualicum Beach Band
(250) 757-9659
Skills (2) Rating
Content Writing
Proposal Writing