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Elders in Residence

The Aboriginal Student Services Centre (ASSC) is proud to have the wisdom and knowledge of our council of Elders. In addition to the traditional teachings and cultural activities held within the ASSC, our Elders provide guest lectures, counseling services and guidance for all students, faculty and support staff on campus. Our Elders are available Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.  - 4:30 p.m. in the ASSC RM 2L02C. Please refer to Elder Protocols [PDF].

The ASSC Lodge Ceremonies are held the last Friday of every month beginning in September - April in Selkirk, Manitoba. All University of Winnipeg students, faculty and support staff are welcome to attend. Registration for the lodge ceremony is required and lodge protocol will be provided prior to the beginning of the ceremony.

The ASSC has been outfitted with a special ventilation system for smudging and ceremonial purposes. Any member of the University of Winnipeg has access to the four scared medicines; Tobacco, Sage, Sweetgrass and Cedar which are located within the Elders office.

ASSC Elder Biographies

Sharon PelletierElder Sharon Pelletier

Sharon Pelletier was born and raised in Winnipeg, to parents Catherine (Settee) & Henry Hall, both from Norway House, Manitoba.  Sharon is a mother, grandmother and, great-grandmother.   University was where Sharon felt her first sense of pride as a First Nation.  This is also where she began to seek out Elders to help her learn more of the culture that she knew little of.  Sharon is accredited with Bachelor of Arts, where she majored in Native Studies and minored in Psychology.  She has certificates in: Legal Administrative Assistant; graduated with Honours in Applied Counselling and Focusing, Post-Traumatic Stress and Complex Trauma; completed coaching in the Focusing, Post-Traumatic Stress and Complex Trauma and; Human Resource Management along with various other counselling workshops and certificates. Sharon has completed 8 years as a Sundancer and continues to take part in Sundances and Ceremonies throughout Manitoba and in the States and will go wherever her gifts are needed when possible.  Sharon’s prayer:  For all my blessings I give thanks and acknowledge all those who have helped me to become the person I am and have yet to become.  Ekosani!  Sharon Pelletier (Great Bear Woman)

M OsborneElder Margaret Osborne 

Margaret is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and is fluent in her language. Margaret possesses a Bachelor of Education from Brandon University and a Counselling Certificate from the University of Manitoba. She has worked with students, youth and adults throughout most of her adult life. She has utilized her skills to assist others to deal with their, emotional, mental, spiritual and physical state of being. Margaret will be assisting any student who would like to participate in arts and crafts in the Elders Office in the Aboriginal Student Lounge. Her motto is, “I aspire to inspire before I expire!”

dan-thomas-200x200.jpgDan Thomas 

Dan Thomas descends from grandparents from Sagkeeng Anishinaabe Nation and Traverse Bay Métis community. Dan spent numerous years as a teacher for elementary and secondary schools and Elder instructor for the University of Winnipeg Masters in Indigenous Governance – Pathways to Indigenous Wisdom and the UWinnipeg Faculty of Education. During his 32 years employed by the Department of Education and later Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre he has authored a number of education documents for the province and for First Nations, as well as producing posters and narrating videos for MFNERC.  Dan is a resident Elder for Seven Oaks School Division. He is also a spiritual leader in the Indigenous community. He is fifth degree Midewiwin through Ponemah Midewiwin lodge at Red Lake Minnesota. Dan conducts Ojibwe sundance lodge, teaching lodge, and sweat lodge ceremonies. He is a Husband, a Father, a Grandfather and a Great Grandfather. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment with an Elder, please contact:

Jeffrey Booth
Aboriginal Student Services Centre
Tel: 204.786.9818
Email: j.booth@uwinnipeg.ca