College of Education


Dr. Verna St Denis is Professor in Educational Foundations. She graduated with her teaching certificate from the Indian Teacher Education Program in 1980, earned her Phd from Stanford in 2002 and on faculty since 1992. A member of Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation and grew up as a non-status Indian and Metis in parkland Saskatchewan. Her scholarship has advanced anti-racist education. In addition to teaching anti-oppressive education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, she supervises graduate students research in anti-racist education, and provides professional in-service for schools and other educational organizations.


  • Ph.D., 2002, Anthropology of Education, Exploring the Socio-Cultural Production of Aboriginal Identities: Implications for education. Unpublished doctoral dissertation Stanford University, Stanford, California.
  • M.A., 1989, Community Development, Community-based Participatory Research: A Case Study. Unpublished M.A. thesis. University of Alaska/Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska.
  • B.Ed., 1982, Distinction, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.


  • EFDT 528.3  Anti-Oppressive Education for the Helping Professions                            
  • EFDT 844.3  Theory and Practice of Anti-Racist Education                                              
  • EFDT 842.3  History of Indigenous Education in Canada                                                  
  • EFDT 301.3  Educator Identity in Contexts: Anti-Oppressive & Ethical Beginnings   
  • EFDT 818.3  Workplace Learning                                                                             
  • EFDT 898.3  Race, Nation and Education                                                                            
  • INTD 898     Critical Pedagogy and Indigenous Studies


  • Teaching lives of Indigenous teachers
  • Anti-colonial, critical race theory
  • Anti-oppressive teacher education
  • Associations and collaborations between western theories
  • Indigenous education

Service and Outreach

University Committees (since 2015)

  • Member, Vice Provost Indigenous Education Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression Committee, Fall, 2018-Present
  • Member, Promotions Appeal Panel, University Council, July 2017- June 2020
  • Member, Promotions Appeal Panel, University of Saskatchewan, 2017-2020
  • Rep, Education Dean, Indigenous Strategy for the University of Saskatchewan, March 23, 2018
  • Member, President Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, U of S, 2nd Term July 2017-Cmte discontinued in March 2018

College and Departmental Committees (since 2015)


  • Member, Dept Salary Review, Fall 2018
  • Member, Dept Graduate Studies Cmte, 2018-2019


  • Member, Research and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning College Advisory Group, Jan-Apr, 2020
  • Member, Dept Rep on Undergraduate Program Committee, Fall 2018-Present

Professional/ Association activities outside university (since 2015)

  • Member, Saskatoon Anti-Racism Network, Saskatoon, Sk.- 2015-Present.
  • Member, Anti-Racist Education Committee, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 2012-2018.
  • Advisor, Social Justice and Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppressive Forum in Education (SAFE), Special Subject Council, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, 2011-2018.

Graduate Supervision

(since 2015)
  • Sysing, Mel, PhD., Supervisor, Cross-Department – Educational Foundations, Fall 2019 – Present (In Progress)
  • Hantke, Sharissa, M.Ed. Thesis Supervisor, Educational Foundations, Fall 2019
  • Clements, Kate, M.Ed. Thesis Supervisor, Educational Foundations, Fall 2019
  • Reigert, Janice, M.Ed. Thesis Supervisor, Educational Foundations, Fall 2019
  • Aspen-Baxter, Linda M.Ed. Thesis Supervisor, Educational Foundations, Fall 2019
  • Raymond, Jordan, PhD., Supervisor, Cross-Department – Educational Foundations, Fall 2017 – Present (In Progress)
  • Bergen, Jenn, PhD. Candidate, Justice-oriented Civic Education: Critical Initiatives in Canadian Teacher Education Programs, University of Ottawa [submitted U of S Ethics Application Fall 2018 to conduct research with undergraduates enrolled in my two sections of Edft. 301 courses in Winter 2019]
  • Davis, Chelsea, M.Ed. Supervisor, Educational Foundations, Spring 2018 –Completed June 2020
  • Sheelah McLean, PhD. (2016). Disturbing praxis: A Foucauldian analysis of student subjectivities and  classroom pedagogies in public schools, Department of Educational Foundations, (co-supervisor, Alex Wilson).

Selected Publications

  • St. Denis, V. (2011c). Silencing Aboriginal curricular content and perspectives: “There are other children here.” Review of education, pedagogy, and cultural studies, 33(4), pp. 306-317. Republished as Book Chapter St. Denis, V. (2013). Silencing Aboriginal education through multiculturalism: “there are other children here.” In F. Widdowson & A. Howard, (eds). Approaches to Aboriginal Education in Canada: Searching for solutions, Ch. 2. Edmonton: Brush Education Inc.
  • St. Denis, V. (2007b). Aboriginal education and anti-racist education: Building alliance across cultural and racial identity. Canadian Journal of Education, 30(4), 1068-1092.
  • Schick, C. & St. Denis, V. (2005a). Troubling national discourse in anti-racist curricular planning. Canadian Journal of Education, 28(3), 295-317.
  • St. Denis, V. & Schick, C. (2003). What makes anti-racist pedagogy in teacher education difficult?  Three popular ideological assumptions. The Alberta Journal of Educational Research, XLIX (1), 55-69.
  • St. Denis, V. (2000). Indigenous Peoples, Globalizations, and Education: Making Connections.  The Alberta Journal of Educational Research, XLVI (1), 36-048.

Selected Presentations

  • St. Denis, V. (2019). Discourses of Racism in Education, Professional Development for Prince Rupert School District #52, Prince Rupert, September 27, 2019.
  • St. Denis, V. (2018). Understanding Nipimatisiwin (My Life Journey) Through Anti-Racist Education. Keynote Address, British Columbia Teachers Federation New Teachers’ Conference, Vancouver, BC, March 3, 2018.
  • St. Denis, V. (2017). Commemorating Indian Residential School History in the Context of On-Going Colonialism. Keynote Conference Address, Canada 150 more or less: Teaching history, shaping nationhood. History of Education Research Group, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, October 14, 2017
  • St. Denis, V. (2015). Reflections on the Indian Teacher Education Program, Keynote, Think Indigenous, College of Education, U of S, March 2015.
  • St. Denis, V. (2014). Supporting Aboriginal Education in Public Schools. Keynote for “Effective Schools-Engaged Communities,” Saskatchewan Community Schools/Community Education Association Annual Conference. May 16, 2014