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

Elder Ruth ChristieElder Ruth Christie (on leave)

Ruth was born in Loon Straits on Lake Winnipeg and has spent many years as a licensed practical nurse in Manitoba. Ruth is a member of Peguis First Nation and is very active member in the local community, volunteering on various boards and committees namely, The Treaty Land and Entitlement - Land Selection and Acquisition Advisory Committee and Board member for the Restoration of the St. Peter's Stone Church in Selkirk. Ruth comes with much experience to our centre serving as an Elder for the Selkirk Friendship Centre, Lord Selkirk School Division and Daily Bread Soup Kitchen. Ruth is well known and regarded for her in-depth knowledge of Indigenous history, stories and legends. Ruth who currently resides in Selkirk Manitoba, is a proud parent and grandmother to her 3 children, 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren and lives by the code `RED' Rest-Exercise-Diet. If you would like to speak with Ruth please feel free to stop by the Elders office RM 2L02C on Wednesday's. 

M OsborneElder Margaret Osborne (by virtual appointment only)

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 (by virtual appointment only)

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