Heather Fenyes (BEd’89)
Category: Business and Philanthropy
Heather Fenyes is actively involved locally in both her Jewish and non-Jewish community as well as in Canada’s national Jewish community. She is the co-founder of Think Good. Do Good., an organization that creates opportunities for children and adults to improve their local community through social justice, civics and multi-faith efforts, events and programs. Working in partnership with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, Heather volunteers her time in community outreach and education. Concentus Citizenship education, an initiative of the Human Rights Commission, is a comprehensive series of K-12 teaching resources designed to grow responsible Canadian citizens through deliberate education. Heather plays a volunteer role in the management of this project that also includes teachings, planning events, and government outreach to other jurisdictions across Canada and around the world. She works directly with the directors and board chairs of the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and Saskatoon Public School systems to create citizenship, Holocaust and Jewish learning opportunities. With a focus on interfaith outreach, Heather continues to create opportunities to bridge the local Muslim and Indigenous communities to the Saskatoon Jewish community. She works within the local and provincial school systems to connect the narratives of Residential School survivors with Holocaust survivors.
Laura Grizzlypaws (MEd’11)
Laura Grizzlypaws was born and raised in Lillooet, British Columbia in the Interior Plateau region and is of St’át’imc descent. Her St’át’imc name is “Stálhalamcen – Grizzly Paws”. She belongs to the people of Xwisten the Bear Clan. She is a Grizzly Bear dancer, drummer and a singer/songwriter, an academic, educator and a language and cultural advocate. She holds her MEd from the Department of Educational Foundations in Indigenous Land-based Education. Laura, a pow wow dancer and competitive body builder, has been a healthy role model for many youth and adults across the continent and beyond. She has competed and ranked in the top categories in the British Columbia Provincial Cup for body building and is now competing at the Pro fitness level. She has danced in hundreds of pow wows and exhibitions. The Grizzly Bear dance is an expression of culture that is unique and authentic. She and her athletic skills have been featured in the New York Times and many other news outlets. Laura uses her athleticism to educate the public about Canadian history, reconciliation, language, the connection to land and water, and respect for all our relations.
Rita Mueller (MEd’10)
Category: Indigenous Education
Rita Mueller is currently the Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Employment for the Government of the North West Territories. She also served over five years as the Assistant Deputy Minister of Education and Culture for the Department of Education, Culture and Employment where she was responsible for Early Childhood Development and Learning, JK-12 Education, Culture and Heritage, and the Indigenous Languages Secretariat. Rita is a graduate of the Indigenous Land-based Education masters program in the Department of Educational Foundations. Her commitment to anti-oppressive and Indigenous education has made a significant difference to the curriculum in NWT schools. Under her guidance, the NWT has developed Indigenized curriculums for Social Studies and Science, has created high school courses for Northern Studies and Indigenous Studies, and has developed both curriculum for Indigenous Languages instruction and a handbook for schools to facilitate a whole school approach to language and culture that is embedded in daily curricular programming.
Jessie Sylvestre (BEd’92, MEd’15)
Category: Community and Culture
Jessie Sylvestre is a Dene first language speaker from Buffalo River, Saskatchewan. She is also fluent in Cree, Michif and English. Jessie has spent a lifetime advocating for and preserving language and culture through her teaching and actions. She has worked as a classroom teacher, a Dene language developer for the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre (SICC) and as a Language and Cultural programs consultant for the Prince Albert Grand Council. Most recently she was recruited to lead the first ever Dene Language Program at nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills College in Alberta. It is the only Bachelor of Arts degree in the Denesuline Language. In 2012, while a teacher at Buffalo River Dene School, Jessie and her student co-authors won the SICC Book Writing contest for their Dene language book “The Giant Mariah”. In addition, she has co-authored a chapter in “Promising Practices in Indigenous Teacher Education” and is cited in the “Routledge Handbook of North American Languages”.
Darran Teneycke (BEd’90)
For more than 30 years, Darran Teneycke has made continuous efforts to improve the experience of schooling for children in Saskatchewan schools and their families. Currently Superintendent of School Operations for the Prairie South School Division, Darran provides mentorship, both informal and formal, for new teachers, experienced teachers, school administrators and superintendent colleagues across the province. He has included school-based administrative staff in his superintendent network to broaden their awareness of provincial issues and to provide for shared leadership beyond Prairie South. He also provides mentorship by volunteering his time at the Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Course. Darran truly believes that all children can learn at a high level and that all children deserve the best teacher. Darran’s efforts towards families and children that are underprivileged has ensured that they have equal opportunity and equal access to learning wherever possible. As a volleyball coach and proud Huskie alumnus, Darran has been able to help students attain a high level of skill development and has contributed to creating memories that will last a lifetime for his students.