Knowledge Keeper

Amy Desjarlais, Knowledge Keeper; Wasauksing First Nation, Ojibway/Potowottomi Anishinawbe Nation.

Waabaakakakzhe zhaashkeezhgokwe n’dizhnikaaz
(White Raven Woman with Turquoise eyes is my name)
Wasauksing N’doonjibaa
(I am from Wasauksing First Nation)
Ojibway/Bodwewotomi Anishinabekwe n’daaw
(Ojibway/Potowottomi Anishinawbe Nation)

Amy currently works at Ryerson University as the FNTI Coordinator of the Bachelor of Social Work program, offered in partnership with First Nations Technical Institute. She is the traditional knowledge keeper at York University, and sits on the Aboriginal Legal Services Elders Council.

She has gained much experience working with Indigenous teaching styles from her work as Manager at Dodem Kanonhsa’ Elders cultural lodge and recently expanded her knowledge in the field of education through contributions in research and teaching.

In 2003, Amy founded, EarthTALKER, a magazine focused on women and families. In 2008, Amy is the recipient of the FNTI/Ryerson University Practicum Award for Theory of Interconnectedness – An Indigenous perspective on political decision-making.  Amy has an MA in Culture & History; her thesis, Emptying the Cup: Healing Fragmented Identity, explores an Anishinawbekwe (female) perspective on historical trauma and culturally appropriate consultation and is published by the Centre for World Indigenous Studies’ Fourth World Journal. Amy recently published her first non-fiction full-length book, Starblanket – A mother’s gift to her son. When she is not writing, Amy facilitates cultural workshops and drum circles. Amy is also a hand drummer and singer.