Indigenous Faculty Members

Please note that these listings are a work in progress. Check back often as we continue to update and expand this page


Warren Cariou English, Film and Theatre
Dr. Warren Cariou

The Metis author holds the Canada Research Chair in narrative, community, and Indigenous cultures. His research project Re-Storying the Human Zoo is about the ways Indigenous people in the 19th Century were constructed in terms of natural history discourses, to such an extreme that they were sometimes displayed in zoos alongside animals. This project is about the "animalization" of Indigenous people and the ways in which this contributed to an erasure of their human rights. Dr. Cariou's 2002 book, Lake of the Prairies, is an examination of the psychology and politics of racial identification and discrimination in the Northern Saskatchewan community of Meadow Lake. Lake of the Prairies also includes an examination of human rights abuses in the Canadian military's Somalia scandal, looking closely at the story of Clayton Matchee, one of the soldiers implicated in the torture and murder of Somali youth Shidane Arone. Dr. Cariou's films Overburden and Land of Oil and Water are about the human rights of Indigenous people facing environmental, economic and cultural devastation as a result of oil sands developments in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Archives are also central to the work of Prof. Cariou, such as his project with Niigaanwewidam Sinclair to create an anthology of Aboriginal writing in Manitoba.

Department of Native Studies

Dr. Emma LaRocque

Dr. LaRocque is a scholar, educator, poet, social and literary critic. A veteran professor in the Department of Native Studies, and among the first to advance an Aboriginal-based critical voice and theory, she has been a leading figure in the growth and development of Native Studies as a teaching discipline and an intellectual field of study. LaRocque is author of Defeathering the Indian (1975), a groundbreaking study of stereotypes of 'the Indian' in public schools. Her prolific career counts more than sixty publications in the areas of colonization, Canadian historiography, representation, racism, Metis identity, violence against women and Aboriginal literatures. Most recently, LaRocque published When the Other is Me (2010), a powerful interdisciplinary study of the Native literary response to racist writing in the Canadian historical and literary record from 1850 to 1990 that recently won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction.

LaRocque is one of the most recognized and respected Native Studies scholars today. She is frequently cited in a wide variety of venues including scholarly publications, creative and learned journals. Her poetry has appeared in national and international journals and anthologies. She has presented keynote lectures, papers and poetry throughout North America as well as internationally. She has been a guest of radio interviews and appeared s a consultant on Metis identity in the NFB film "Women in the Shadows". She served as a juror for the 2011 Governor-General's Literary Award for Non-fiction.

A Plains-Cree Metis originally from northeastern Alberta, LaRocque was recognized with the 2005 Aboriginal Achievement Award. She has also received several Outstanding Achievement Awards from the Faculty of Arts, University of Manitoba. She has also been singled out a number of times as a "Popular Prof" in McLean's Guide to Universities & Colleges.

Dr. LaRocque remains active as a professor, researcher, writer and human rights advocate.

Fred Shore Dr. Fred Shore

Dr. Fred Shore worked for the Manitoba Metis Federation as a Housing Officer and Employment Development Coordinator in the late 70's. Prior to that he was a grade and high school teacher in Ontario and Quebec. He was a Board member of the MMF in the early 80's. Since 1980 he has been a student and teacher at the university level in Saskatchewan, Brandon and Manitoba. He received his BA at Brandon University in 1982, his MA in 1983 at the University of Manitoba and his PhD in Canadian History in 1991, also at the University of Manitoba. He joined the Native Studies Department at the U of M in 1984 and has served as both Head of the Department and Chair of the Graduate Program. Fred joined the Office of University Accessibility at the University of Manitoba on July 1, 2002 where he advocated for Aboriginal students, visible minorities and persons with disabilities. He returned to Native Studies in January 2010. He is the Department's Metis expert. Since 2013 he has been on half time appointment.

Niigaan Sinclair 
Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair

Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter's/Little Peguis) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. He is a regular commentator on Indigenous issues nationally on CTV, CBC, and APTN and internationally in The Guardian and Al-Jazeera America. His written work can be found in the pages of The Exile Edition of Native Canadian Fiction and Drama, newspapers like The Globe and Mail and The Winnipeg Free Press, and online with CBC Books: Canada Writes. Niigaan is the co-editor of the award-winning Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water (Highwater Press, 2011) Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories (Michigan State University Press, 2013) and The Winter We Danced: The Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement (Arbeiter Ring, 2014). He is also the Editorial Director of The Debwe Series with Portage and Main Press.

Dr. Wanda Wuttunee 
Dr. Wanda Wuttunee

Dr. Wuttunee (Cree, Red Pheasant First Nation, Sask.) researches Aboriginal economy, community economic development, participatory research methodologies, governance, social responsibility and leadership where her work examines the strength of the community and the gifts Aboriginal people bring to the business table.

Dr. Wuttunee is interested in the role of tradition, culture and gender in the decision-making process used by communities in developing and implementing their economic development strategies. Her work in the community includes board positions and committee work around issues of education, business and culture. She participated in the 2003 Commonwealth Study Conference in Australia for future leaders entitled People First in a Global Community. Her exploration of a community-based perspective of economic resilience is outlined in her recent book Living Rhythms: Lessons in Aboriginal Economic Resilience and Vision.

Dr. Wuttunee's current research projects include co-investigator for the prairies - Poverty Action Research project. This is a national CIHR-funded project to work with five communities in addressing health and poverty issues in order to move towards economic development. Manitoba's Misipawistik Cree Nation is the prairie community that is part of this project. Nation-building examples in the US and Canada are examined in a co-authored book that is in press. Finally, a book project that celebrates that we are more than our problems and we don't live in a bubble and demonstrates Aboriginal economic resilience is in the preliminary stages.

Women's & Gender Studies Program

Sherry Farrell RacetteDr. Sherry Farrell Racette

Dr. Farrell Racette is a scholar, writer, artist, curator and educator with a background in art history, education, history, and Native studies. Of First Nations and Irish descent and a member of Timiskaming First Nation in Quebec, she has an active arts practice that includes painting and multimedia works, as well as illustrating children's books. In her research, Farrell Racette focuses on Metis and First Nations women's history, and in particular, reconstructing Indigenous art histories that recontextualize museum collections and reclaim women's voices and lives. Dr. Farrell Racette has had a rich and varied career in scholarship and art, including a prolific publishing history. Recent publications include the essays: “Haunted: First Nations Children in Residential School Photography?”, “Returning Fire, Pointing the Canon: Aboriginal Photography as Resistance” and (as illustrator) Call of the Fiddle, the final installment of the award-winning Fiddle Dancer series published by the Gabriel Dumont Institute.

Her art has been displayed in solo and group exhibitions and is in Canadian public collections such as the Canada Art Bank, Mackenzie Art Gallery and the Saskatchewan Arts Board.


Dr. Frank Deer Dr. Frank Deer

Dr. Frank Deer is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education and is originally from Kahnawake, Que. In addition to his instructional duties in the Faculty of Education, Dr. Deer has been involved in research that explores Indigenous education. In July 2014, Dr. Deer was named the Faculty of Education's inaugural Director of Indigenous Initiatives.

Dr. Deer has received internal university funding for his study incorporating Ojibway teachings and practices into curriculum. He has also received tri-council funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for his research on Indigenous languages.

Dr. Deer is a founding member of the Education for Sustainable Well-Being Research Group. His writing on Indigenous education has been published in such journals as the Canadian Journal of Education, InEducation, and the Canadian Journal of Native Education. Dr. Deer is also president of the Canadian Association for the Study of Indigenous Education.

Glen McCabeDr. Glen McCabe

Metis psychologist Dr. McCabe's dissertation research was a qualitative study of the therapeutic conditions of Aboriginal traditional healing psychosocial interventions. His research interests include: worldwide Indigenous healing methodologies and the relationship between them and current conventional psychological approaches; and the role of community and psychosocial factors in levels of academic success and rates of academic program completion in the Native North American population.


Diedre Desmarais

Dr. Diedre A. Desmarais is Area Director of the Access and Aboriginal Focus Programs. She was the previous Registrar and Director of Students at the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv), Lecturer for both FNUniv and University of Regina in Indigenous Studies, Political Science and Women and Gender Studies. Dr. Desmarais’ doctorate is in Political Science and her research interests include Canadian politics, post colonial and conflict theory, Indigenous identity and health care policy as it relates to Indigenous elderly.


Aimee CraftAimée Craft is an Indigenous lawyer who joined the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Law as an assistant professor in July 2014. Her expertise is in Anishinaabe and Canadian Aboriginal law. Craft's award-winning 2013 book, Breathing Life Into the Stone Fort Treaty, focuses on understanding and interpreting treaties from an Anishinaabe inaakonigewin (legal) perspective. Craft also leads a project on Anishinaabe water law. This work is connected to a research project The Right to Clean Water in First Nations, an SSHRC funded partnership development grant administered by the Centre for Human Rights Research. In 2011, she received the Indigenous Peoples and Governance Graduate Research Scholarship. In her decade of legal practice at the Public Interest Law Centre, Craft has worked with many Indigenous peoples on land, resources, consultation, human rights and governance issues. She is past chair of the Aboriginal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association and was appointed to the Speaker's Bureau of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. Aimée is proud of her ancestors, their legacy and the teachings they have gifted to her and others. She is especially thankful for her family, immediate and extended, and for the land that she belongs to.

Brenda Gunn Prof. Brenda Gunn

Brenda Gunn joined the Faculty of Law in July 2009. Her research and teaching focuses on the rights of Indigenous peoples in domestic and international law. She has a B.A. from the University of Manitoba and a J.D. from the University of Toronto. She completed her LL.M. in Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy at the University of Arizona. She articled with Sierra Legal Defence Fund (now Ecojustice Canada). She was called to the Law Society of Upper Canada and Manitoba. Prof. Gunn has worked at a community legal clinic in Rabinal, Guatemala on a case of genocide submitted to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. She has also consulted on Aboriginal and treaty rights cases in Manitoba. She has participated in several international meetings including the UN Inter-Sessional Working Group on the Draft Declaration, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the UN Expert Seminar on Implementation of National Legislation and Jurisprudence Concerning Indigenous Peoples' Rights and the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Her current work focuses on implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She has created a handbook on the UN Declaration and facilitated four workshops across Canada.

Dr. David Milward

Prof. Milward is a member of the Beardy's & Okemasis Nation in Saskatchewan. He has worked as a research consultant for Calgary Legal Guidance, a legal clinic that provides legal services for indigent people in Calgary. His areas of specialization are criminal law and Aboriginal law, with a particular focus on Aboriginal justice issues. Prof. Milward has several publications in international refereed journals that cover a range of human rights topics, including: due process rights in the criminal justice system, victim rights and safety during the criminal process, the rights of Aboriginal Peoples under Canadian law, and civil disobedience. His work has been included in the databases and collections of a number of prestigious institutions, including the Correctional Service of Canada, the J.V. Library of the Australian Institute of Criminology, and the Library of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.


Dr. Marcia Anderson Decoteau

Dr. Marcia Anderson DeCoteau is Cree- Saulteaux, with roots going to the Norway House Cree Nation and Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. She is the Section Head of First Nations, Metis and Inuit Health in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, and the Medical Officer of Health, Health Equity at Manitoba Health. She is the President of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, and is the past-Chair of the Pacific Region Indigenous Doctors Congress. She was recognized for her contributions to Indigenous peoples health with a National Aboriginal Achievement word in March 2011. Her research focuses broadly on Indigenous health and health equity.

Dr, Catherine Cook Dr. Catherine Cook

Dr. Cook is Metis and associate dean of First Nations, Metis and Inuit health in the Faculty of Medicine She practiced as a family physician in remote northern nursing stations for several years before focusing on public health practice. She has held positions of associate director of the J.A. Hildes Northern Medical Unit; regional director of health programs for First Nations and Inuit Health; regional medical officer of health for the Nor-Man and Winnipeg Regional Health Authorities; and co-chair of the Changes for Children implementation team - a process for systemic change within the child welfare system.

Linda Diffey

Linda Diffey is of Cree ancestry and a member of the Peepeekisis First Nation, Sask. She is the Coordinator, Indigenous Health Curriculum for undergraduate medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Associate Director, Centre for Aboriginal Health Education. Linda holds a Master of Science degree and is currently pursuing a PhD in Applied Health Sciences at the U of M. Her area of research interest is anti-racist pedagogy in health professional education. 

Dr. Michelle DriedgerDr. Michelle Driedger

Dr. Michelle Driedger is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Environment and Health Risk Communication, in the Department of Community Health Sciences. She is also a member of the Metis nation. Her broad areas of research interests include public and health risk communication, risk perception, and knowledge translation under conditions of uncertainty. Drawing primarily on qualitative methods, her research focus involves the study of how new and emerging risk controversies develop in science, policy and public forums. She is particularly interested in how risk communicators can meaningfully engage public audiences to enable informed decisions - both informed choice as well as informed refusal - around health risk recommendations. Her research explores these aspects with both general population and with Manitoba Metis.

Dr. Barry Lavallee

Dr. Lavallee is Director for the Centre for Aboriginal Health Education in the Section of First Nation, Metis and Inuit Health. He is a member of the Saulteaux and Metis communities of Manitoba and he is a descendent of the Bear clan. Barry is the past president of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine (University of Manitoba) and completed his post-graduate training in Family Medicine with an emphasis on rural/Aboriginal health in 1990. He completed his masters of clinical sciences in Family Medicine at the University of Western Ontario in 2004. His research focuses on the experience of First Nation and Metis patients within the patient-physician therapeutic relationship. He acts as medical lead for the Diabetes Integration Project and teaches about factors influencing First Nation, Metis and Inuit health to various health faculties at the Health Sciences Campus. He was the Indigenous lead in the development of a national document to advance Indigenous health curriculum across the 17 medical schools in Canada (First Nation, Inuit, Metis Core Competencies, A curriculum framework for undergraduate medical education).


Greg Fidler

Greg Fidler is a Metis, born in Dauphin, Manitoba and has lived the majority of his life in Northern Manitoba. He completed an MA through the University of Victoria, with a dissertation entitled, "Solvent Abuse Needs Assessment in a First Nations Community." Greg is currently employed as a Senior Instructor with the Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba and has been teaching for the past 15 years in Thompson, Manitoba. Prior to this appointment, he was employed with Awasis Agency of Northern Manitoba as a case manager with the community of Shamattawa First Nations for 10 years. Greg's community service work is within the Friendship Centre movement. He is President of the local friendship centre Ma-Mow-We-Tak for the past eight years (local), is an executive committee member of the Manitoba Association of Friendship Centres for the past 7 years (provincial) and is on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Friendship Centres, running three years (Federal). Greg continues to be involved in community initiatives and in turn incorporates the learning and experiences into his class discussions.

Gwen Gosek

Gwen Gosek is a Cree Dene woman from La Ronge First Nations in northern Saskatchewan and has been a member of the Faculty of Social Work since 1998. Instructor Gosek's areas of interest include suicide in Indigenous communities; special-needs children and youth in Aboriginal child welfare; Indigenous children and youth in out of home care; and Indigenous research methodologies. Gwen sits on the university's traditional peoples' advisory committee.

Dr. Michael Hart

Dr. Hart’s research addresses Indigenous ways of practice; oppression, colonization and resistance; mental health and Indigenous people; and Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous research methodologies. The Cree scholar is co-director of the Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research and sits on the university’s Traditional People’s Advisory Committee.

Dr. Yvonne Pompana

Dr. Pompana researches issues related to colonization/decolonization experience in First Nation communities; Aboriginal approaches to social work practice; and Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous research methodologies. She is acting director of the inner-city social work program.

Cathy Rocke

Lecturer Cathy Rocke's works at the Faculty of Social work with her dissertation research being completed at the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul's College. Her study focused on the efficacy of workplace educational initiatives that seek to address racism and social inequality. Specifically, she researched an Aboriginal cultural awareness workshop at the WRHA that has been delivered to healthcare staff for the past 15 years. Key findings included the importance of sharing Aboriginal history from an Aboriginal perspective, the power of sharing circles, the use of humour to reach across cultural differences and the use of 'story' within these workplace initiatives.