Amy Desjarlais

Amy Desjarlais

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 ) 

Academic interests:
Leadership (Niigaan),
The Good Life (Mnobimaadziwin),
Warriors of Peace (Okichitaw)
Social Justice, Historical Trauma, Indigenous Worldview, Indigenous research methodologies, Political science, Policy, Public Administration, Innovative design (housing, community development, eco-friendly)

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 works with York University as knowledge keeper, and has been invited to sit on the Aboriginal Legal Services Elders Council.
Amy 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.

Amy was an assistant in research projects such as Thunderwoman Healing Lodge, and Canadian Association of Graduate studies “Imagining Canada’s Research Future” Indigenous research round tables. in the Fall of 2015, she taught a Political process course in the social work stream at Humber College. She has attended the University of Ontario Institute of Technology as an invited knowledge keeper and Ad Hoc member of their Research Ethics board, and she currently sits as a community member on Ryerson University’s Research Ethics Board.

Amy has volunteered her time at the Toronto Birth Centre as knowledge keeper, and has held positions in the community as knowledge keeper with the Toronto Indigenous Health Advisory Council during the initial phase of their work in broadening knowledge of Indigenous community health in Toronto.

She has worked with countless organizations in the GTA providing openings/closing and teachings for:
Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto, Aboriginal Housing Support Centre, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Ministry of the Attorney General, Prosper Canada, Gardiner Museum, Royal Ontario Museum, and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario, and many more.

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.