Shirley (Malcolm) Fontaine passes away

April 26, 2019

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba

Andrew Thunder

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Shirley (Malcolm) Fontaine. Shirley started her journey to the spirit world early this morning on April 26th, 2019.

Shirley served as the Associate Executive Director of the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) where she will be greatly missed by her staff and colleagues.

Shirley was involved in several important initiatives throughout her life, including the creation of MFNERC which provides the province’s leading education, administration, technology, language and culture services to First Nations schools in Manitoba. She also contributed to the development of the new First Nations Control of First Nations Education policy paper endorsed by First Nations Chiefs in Canada and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). She was also involved in reviewing the development of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba’s (TRCM) new Grade 5 and 6 Treaty curriculum materials as part of the Treaty Education initiative and participated in planning the first Honouring First Nations Treaties Day at the Manitoba legislature.

Over her career, she has been involved in chairing, facilitating and contributing to numerous conferences and meetings on a wide range of issues including education, language, health, disabilities, special needs, self-government, Treaties, citizenship, consultation and accommodation, remote and isolated issues, and strategies for increasing Elder involvement and parental/community input in long-term visioning.

Shirley travelled extensively to provide presentations on her research at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) in New Zealand, Australia and Peru. She also visited Israel as part of an educational tour hosted by B’Nai Brith to increase understanding between First Nations and Jewish peoples.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs would like to acknowledge Shirley (Malcolm) Fontaine for her contributions to the Manitoba First Nations and her life long commitment to improving education opportunities for First Nations children.

 

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