Photo by Simeon Rusnak
Jennifer is The University of Winnipegs first Associate Vice-President of Indigenous, Government, and Community Affairs and a member of Peepeekisis First Nation with roots in northern Manitoba. As Associate Vice-President, she is responsible for leading interaction between the University and Indigenous governments and communities, as well as federal, provincial and municipal governments and the community-at-large.
In the 2013/14 academic year, the number of Aboriginal students at The University of Winnipeg is more than 12%, and Jennifer and a team of professors, staff and administrators want to ensure every student feels welcome and has the supports to succeed. She is fortunate to work closely with Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, honorary member of Sagkeeng First Nation, pipe carrier, and Canadas foreign affairs minister from 1996 to 2000, to achieve these goals. Jennifer also works with partners in government and in the public and private sectors to assist in funding the Universitys strategic capital and programming initiatives.
Jennifer earned a joint Masters of Public Administration (MPA) with distinction from The University of Winnipeg and The University of Manitoba with a focus on Indigenous education, organizational structure and policy, and a specialization in Business and Government Relations from the Asper School of Business. She also recognizes the knowledge she has gained by listening to Elders, leaders, youth, and the community.
Prior to joining the University in 2004, Jennifer spent 15 years as an award-winning journalist and one of the initial First Nations women to anchor the news in Canada. During her career she anchored the CBC news in Manitoba and produced documentaries for The National, anchored the news in the United States, and anchored, reported, and produced for WTN in Toronto and CTV in Winnipeg. She was recognized with a Manitoba Motion Picture Blizzard Award and two Gracie Allen Awards presented by the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television in New York City, as well as Radio and Television News Directors Association and Can-Pro awards.
Jennifer is actively involved in the community, volunteering her time on the executive of Ka Ni Kanichihk Council, as Winnipeg Chair of the Canadian Women's Foundation Move for Hope 2013 and 2014 campaigns to end violence against women, and on the executive committee of the DOTC First Nations Folklorama pavilion. She also sits as a member of the Premier's Advisory Council on Education, Poverty and Citizenship, and as a board member of the Winnipeg Airports Authority, the Lieutenant Governor's Youth Experience Program, Villa Rosa, the Manitoba Museum and the Manitoba Museum Foundation. She is active as an emcee, keynote, moderator and panelist, speaking nationally on Indigenous education as she works to make the learning experience better for her son and the generations that follow.In 2012, Jennifer was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in education and the community.