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Verna Kirkness

Verna J. Kirkness is a Cree scholar. She grew up on the Fisher River Indian reserve in Manitoba. Verna is an associate professor emeritus at University of British Columbia. She is the author of numerous books and articles on the history of Indigenous education. In recognition of her work, she has received numerous awards, including the Order of Canada and ten Eagle Feathers. She lives in Winnipeg.

Creating Space: My Life and Work in Indigenous Education
Format: Paperback

Verna J. Kirkness grew up on the Fisher River Indian reserve in Manitoba. Her childhood dream to be a teacher set her on a lifelong journey in education as a teacher, counsellor, consultant, and professor.

As the œfirst cross-cultural consultant for the Manitoba Department of Education Curriculum Branch she made Cree and Ojibway the languages of instruction in several Manitoba schools. In the early 1970s she became the œfirst Education Director for the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs) and then Education Director for the National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations). She played a pivotal role in developing the education sections of Wahbung: Our Tomorrows, which transformed Manitoba education, and the landmark 1972 national policy of Indian Control of Indian Education. These two major works have shaped First Nations education in Canada for more than 40 years.

In the 1980s she became an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia where she was appointed Director of the Native Teacher Education Program, founded the Ts’‘Kel Graduate Program, and was a driving force behind the creation of the First Nations House of Learning. Honoured by community and country, Kirkness is a visionary who has inspired, and been inspired by, generations of students.

Like a long conversation between friends, Creating Space reveals the challenges and misgivings, the burning questions, the successes and failures that have shaped the life of this extraordinary woman and the history of Aboriginal education in Canada.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$34.95

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Kayas, Ochekiwi Sipi: Fisher River Before 1950
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

This beautiful hard cover book by Verna J. Kirkness invites readers to go back in time and enjoy stories and photos of Ochekiwi Sipi (Fisher River) before 1950, as told by the Elders. This book was written and created for the 140th Anniversary of Ochekiwi Sipi in 2015.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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