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Elders Council

The Elders Council at the Urban Indigenous Education Centre


Elder Pauline Shirt


Born and raised in Saddle Lake Reserve, Alberta, Elder Shirt has worked as a teacher and lecturer since the late 1960s. A member of the Three Fires Society and the Buffalo Dance Society, she is also a founder of the Kâpapâmahchakwêw  – Wandering Spirit School and the Red Willow. Known for her commitment to the Toronto Indigenous community, Elder Shirt is a Knowledge and Wisdom Keeper, and a mentor to youth and young families.


Elder Dr. Duke Redbird


Dr. Duke Redbird is an Elder from the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, on the shores of Lake Huron. A celebrated Indigenous Visionary as well as an established public intellectual, poet, broadcaster, and filmmaker, Dr. Redbird is also a highly sought after keynote speaker. He is an Elder and Artist in Residence that Urban Indigenous Education Centre,

Dr. Redbird is instrumental in the implementation of innovative multimedia, technologies and beyond, bringing an Indigenous approach to art education that was rooted in his pioneering work at OCAD University. As a multidisciplinary artist, he brings an Indigenous lens to modern art and design, and has aided in the emergence of a vibrant Indigenous presence on the contemporary cultural scene. Dr. Redbird’s outstanding contribution to culture, literature, human rights, legacy stretches far beyond his work in Canada.


Elder Dr. Joanne Dallaire


Dr. Joanne Dallaire is proudly Cree, her ancestry is Omushkego from Attawapiskat. Joanne has dedicated her career to counselling, advising and educating on Indigenous concerns, empowering and capacity building and advocating for change in terms of broader societal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people through her businessHealing Works est. 1990. Her social service career began in 1985 and has contributed to transforming the lives of individuals, and the culture of agencies and the recognition and respect for Indigenous people, concerns and contributions within mainstream society. Joanne facilitates and consults in the not-for-profit sector and with the Toronto District School Board, around hiring practices, staff training, group facilitation, and policy and procedure development. She sits on several councils and committees.


Elder Dorothy Peters


Traditional Teacher and Community Nookmis, Elder Peters is a member of Jiima’aaganing (Seine River) First Nation. Throughout her career, she has worked in various consultative capacities with multiple Indigenous organizations in Toronto, including Aboriginal Legal Services and Anduhyaun Inc.he has previously supported Indigenous students at the University of Toronto through First Nations House, where she served until recently as an Elder-in-Residence. A residential school survivor, Elder Peters is regularly called upon to share her stories, teachings and cultural expertise at events throughout the city.


Clayton Shirt

Clayton Shirt

Clayton Shirt is a Father, Husband and Knowledge Keeper. He is from the Wolf Clan of Saddle Lake Alberta, Treaty 6. Since 2017 Clayton has supported spiritual, emotional, personal and knowledge journeys of students and health researchers at the Waakebiness-Bryce, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Clay also offers traditional knowledge available to Indigenous community members. He had been working as a Knowledge Keeper for more than 15+ years in the Native and multi-cultural community in Canada. He was taught in the old way, working for many years with the guidance of a number of First Nation Elders in Canada and the USA, and was taught to do traditional ceremonies, teachings, circles, one-to-one work and to help all people to "walk in a good way" though life.