Emily Jane Faries

As a child raised in the northern Ontario Cree community of Moose Factory, Dr. Emily Jane Faries felt that the education system didn’t allow her to learn about the true history of her people. As an adult, she has changed that. After earning her Bachelor of Education Degree from Laurentian University in 1976, she created curricula that balance Aboriginal cultural education with the mainstream system. In 1991, she earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Toronto, becoming the first Aboriginal woman from the James Bay area to earn a Doctorate. She interviewed Elders across Canada on traditional teachings for a Native Studies textbook in 1995. In 1996, she presented a paper, Cree As A Language of Instruction, to the Annual General Assembly of the Grand Council of the Crees of Quebec. This paper examined the implications of using Cree as a teaching language within the Cree School Board. She has helped universities and First Nations communities develop curricula that are based on Aboriginal cultural values. Presently, Dr. Faries is a professor of Native Studies at the University of Sudbury. She also volunteers her time to act as a spokesperson for the veterans of Moose Cree community.