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Keri Cheechoo

I am Cree from Long Lake #58 First Nation and currently a Part-time Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa where I teach First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Education. I am in my third year of the Doctorate in Philosophy in Education (PhD) program at the University of Ottawa and am currently completing a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of English at Queen’s University. I came to Ottawa after earning my BA and MA in English and Women’s Studies from Lakehead University, as well as my BEd and a post-graduate certification in writing. In addition to mentoring in the Educution Graduate Student Association’s Mentorship Program at the University of Ottawa, I also served as a role model for Lakehead University’s Nanabijou Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement Program (NAGE).

l previously held the Research Assistant position on a shared project between the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative at Western University. This role required researching and supporting the development of a database of Indigenous female homicides, conducting qualitative research with stakeholders to identify risk factors associated with Indigenous populations related to domestic homicides, conducting interviews with survivors of attempted homicide or severe domestic violence to identify unique risk factors for lethality, and using my personalized Indigenous Knowledge lens to create and uphold appropriate protocols to be used when approaching First Nation, Metis, and Inuit communities.

I was the Regional Representative for Indspire, a national Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous Peoples. I previously worked as Oshkaatisak Coordinator at Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), a political territorial organization representing 49 First Nation communities within northern Ontario.

My government-funded doctoral research questions what Indigenous women’s stories reveal about public and customary practices, as well as the policies and practices of forced sterilization. Leaning on a praxis that embraces my unique Cree woman’s epistemology, I constructed an Indigenous paradigm and an Indigenous methodological framework that connects me in a good way or miyopimatisowin, with my ancestors and future generations. I use an arts-based methodology in the form of poetic inquiry, along with an Indigenous conversational methodology to conduct my research.