The CTF/FCE Indigenous Elder is Deb St. Amant (Bezhig Waabshke Ma’iingan
Gewetigaabo) of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), who is
the first Elder-in-Residence at Queen’s University Faculty of Education, a
position she has held since 2017, and is also the coordinator of the Aboriginal
Teacher Education Program at Queen’s.
Deb volunteers in the Indigenous community as a member of the Katarokwi
Grandmothers’ Council, the Land Council, the Kingston Indigenous Languages Nest,
and the Kingston Thunder Women’s Group (Ontario Native Women’s Association).
She works as an Indigenous education consultant for the Limestone District
School Board, the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, and
the Centre ontarien de prévention des agressions (COPA).
Deb has facilitated Indigenous education workshops throughout Ontario, from
Attawapiskat to Windsor, for COPA, ETFO, the OTF, the Ontario Arts Council, and
the Indigenous Education Office of the Ministry of Education. She has
co-presented at the Indspire Conference, and co-written Indigenous resources for
COPA, the OTF, ETFO, and Right to Play. In 2014, Deb authored a book for
pre-service teachers called First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Student
Deb taught in the elementary panel for 30 years, retiring in 2012. She was
the first Indigenous person elected to the provincial Executive of ETFO where
she served for four years (while still teaching full time). She was a member of
the OTF’s Board of Governors and the CTF/FCE’s Advisory Committee on Indigenous
Education. The CTF/FCE chose Deb to represent the Canadian teachers of
Indigenous ancestry at the Sixth Education International (EI) World Congress in
Cape Town, South Africa, where she shared Shannen’s Dream with the Indigenous
Her passion for Indigenous education has her busier now than ever before.