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 Success.

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 Caucus.

Her passion for Indigenous education has her busier now than ever before.