Nehiyawak Kete-ayah, Alma Poitras, Peepeekisis First Nation
Nehiyawak Kete-ayah, Alma Poitras, Peepeekisis First Nation I will be honoured to be a small part of your website by writing a few lines in regards to the importance of creating and having authentic allies, just like you, yourself, who is trying to walk that journey, or who has started to walk that journey already. May you reach many because it is also a healing journey for both the non natives and the first peoples of this land. You are much appreciated, "nitohtem", my ally.
Dr. Michael Cappello, PhD Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Regina
Dr. Michael Cappello, PhD Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Regina Sheena Koops has been at the forefront of thinking and acting around Treaty education for many years, and much of what I have learned about how to live and teach towards these renewed relationships has come from watching and talking with Sheena. I teach teachers. In social studies curriculum classes, I use Sheena''s work and the practices she engages in as exemplary for becoming teachers. I recommend Sheena Koops'' work in Treaty education to you for so many reasons. It is hard. It is resisted in many ways. And yet she remains one of the most hopeful colleagues I know in spite of these difficulties and tensions. Hoping, living and teaching into a more ethical way of living together is worthy of commendation. (Photo of Dr. Michael Cappello bringing his STARR students on a field trip to meet Sheena, here pictured in her classroom.)
Dr. Shauneen Pete, Little Pine First Nation, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Regina,
Dr. Shauneen Pete, Little Pine First Nation, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Regina, Tansi, Sheena. What a journey you are on! Too often as a member of a marginalized group, I''ve been the only person in the room to bring forth social justice issues - but this is not just brown peoples work. In fact, in my experience, making social justice brown peoples work lets members of the dominant group off the hook (blameless) for correcting inequality, and at the same time it casts members of marginalized groups as deviant, difficult, angry and - ironically, racist. I actually need allies, especially white allies, because I''ve learned that my brown woman''s voice will likely be dismissed, denied, minimized and rejected by members of the dominant group; while at the same time, when white allies speak - members of the dominant group tend to hear their voices as truth and not as biased or political. Frankly, I need more white people to take up ally work in anti-racism and decolonization because I''m growing tired of addressing racism in this province when what I would prefer to do is emancipatory work with other Indigenous peoples. (Picture of Dr. Mike Cappello and Dr. Shauneen Pete reenacting the Treaty handshake with the Treaty Four powwow grounds in the background.)
Sue Bland, Artist and former staff support for All My Relations Network of the United Church (during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada)
Sue Bland, Artist and former staff support for All My Relations Network of the United Church (during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada) Sheena Koops leads by example, coming always from a place of humility and unflinching honesty. She can laugh at herself! Her respect for others is profound and this basic respect is woven through all of her endeavours. She does not give up and is as loyal as the day is long. Sheena listens with her heart. An outstanding educator and a life long student, Sheena brings her many gifts - love of music, writing and storytelling, painting, keen intellect and curiosity- to her vision and quest for a just and loving world. (Photo of Sue and Sheena at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in Saskatoon.)
Jason Weitzel, Principal, Bert Fox Community High School, Fort Qu''Appelle, Saskatchewan
Jason Weitzel, Principal, Bert Fox Community High School, Fort Qu''Appelle, Saskatchewan During our time together as colleagues, I have come to admire Sheena''s incredible vision, passion and dedication to learn, lead and live a better understanding of the Treaties that came into existence between First Nations peoples and colonial governments during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Sheena challenges her students to not only understand the historical importance of the Treaties, but to also accept their responsibility to live as Treaty people. I believe that through our students'' immersion into the incredibly powerful learning environment that Sheena creates, and because of her leadership as a teacher, that we will write a new history in our community, in Saskatchewan and in Canada; a new history of honouring Treaties and true equal opportunity.
Juliano Tupone, CMA, MBA, Former Acting President, First Nations University of Canada
Juliano Tupone, CMA, MBA, Former Acting President, First Nations University of Canada I have known Sheena Koops for over ten years. Sheena believes in finding the positives in every student and teaching from a strength-based philosophy. My oldest daughter has had the privilege of being one of Ms. Koops'' students and as such I have witnessed her passion for, and dedication to, education and building bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

Sheena

 

Koops

Author / Educator / Facilitator

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