SHEILA A. DESJARLAIS
Sheila was born and raised on Wasauksing First Nation, on the shores of Georgian Bay, Ontario Canada.
Sheila is Ojibway, Beaver Clan of the Anishinabeg Nation. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Art in History and Culture Program at Union Institute and University. Her field of study is Historical Trauma and Healing. Simultaneously she is pursuing a certificate in Anishinabeg Consciousness through the Fourth World Studies program at the Centre for World Indigenous Studies.
Sheila currently manages the Dodem Kanonhsa' (Clan Lodge), an Elders' cultural facility, which fosters greater acceptance, understanding and harmony between members of First Nations and Non-Aboriginal People. Dodem Kanosha' is located in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Sheila recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Governance through a unique partnership between (FNTI) First Nations Technical Institute and Ryerson University. She was one of two recipients of the Practicum Award for an outstanding final research paper.
With a diverse background in International Marketing & Trade Training, Facilitator of Adult Learning, Small Business, and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) she has gained invaluable interpersonal skills. Sheila has used these skills to successfully coordinate, instruct and mentor adult learners at the post-secondary level. She enjoyed sharing the success of the learners as they built awareness and confidence in their own capabilities.
Sheila credits the Friendship Centre movement for providing workshops, community involvement and cultural learning opportunities during the critical early years of her youth, which contributed directly to her enduring pride, respect and love for her Anishinabeg ancestry. Sheila has volunteered for the past 15 years for various community events, pow wows and gatherings. She has held executive positions in the Tyendinaga Native Women's association, Tyendinaga Pow Wow Committee and has sat on the Board for the John Howard Society of Belleville and the John Howard Society of Ontario. She currently sits on the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto's historical society and the Toronto Pow Wow committee.
Sheila is a Fancy Shawl dancer, an avid reader and enjoys artwork and sketching. Sheila credits the success she has achieved in her post-secondary studies to the many teachers and Elders who have helped her to understand, value and come home to, the teachings of her people. Sheila first began singing with her Hand Drum in the Fall of 2008, when she moved to Toronto.
She and her son have since enjoyed Hand Drumming and singing each week. Sheila loves introducing her son to new teachings and together, they enjoy learning about their culture. She hopes to provide a positive example for her son and other young ones like him who need inspiration and hope.
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