Leona is very Passionate about education with a capital P. She has always had her head in the books and her heart connected to our culture. Throughout her life she has attended many classes and has been a part of many traditional Aboriginal ceremonies. Leona has always been very creative. With her passion, education, traditional knowledge and creativity she makes one amazing business partner. She always has wonderful ideas and always get so excited when she learns something new which, in turn, makes me laugh because she gets SO excited. I absolutely adore how much she truly cares for our Future Generation. I had the pleasure of seeing her with her students. You can feel her enthusiastic energy fill the room. Those are a few of the many awe-inspiring traits that I love about her.
Leona is not one to toot her own horn, so I will toot away for her.
Leona is the Vice Principal of Nusdeh Yoh (House of the Future), which is the first Aboriginal Choice School in BC! This makes my heart happy. I would have loved having an Aboriginal Vice Principal growing up.
She also works for ERAC (Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium), which is a cooperative member based organization. They work in partnership with their members, BC public school districts and independent schools. Their goal is to support quality education for public and independent K-12 students. This is where Leona gets to help decide which books are suitable for students in BC schools and also helped develop the criteria for determining which Aboriginal books are relevant and authentic. She has also contributed to the efforts to support Aboriginal education through the development of the ERAC AbEd Support website. Through this work she has been able to discover so many amazing books and wonderful authors. Once books and other resource materials are approved by ERAC, they are then promoted for use in public and independent school libraries.
She is also in the process of publishing her own children’s book. I got a sneak peek, and it’s AMAZING!
Not only that, but she has three wonderful children who also serve as an audience because they clearly think their mom is hilarious. Did I mention that she is funny? If you are ever able to sit in on one of her public speaking events, do it! She will make you think and she will make you laugh.
As far back as I can remember, she was making me sit in a kitchen chair and listen while she played teacher. She would ask me questions that I couldn’t possibly answer; a high degree of difficulty considering that I am 4 years younger. That didn’t stop her from shouting the answer at me when I was wrong though. Sisters…
So, fast forward to FIREWEED CANADA, yay! THE KITS! These kits are filled with educational resources that are integrated with aboriginal content. Leona has taken all of the guess work out of it for you. Every book that she has chosen is a book that she has read and selected based on its authenticity and relevance. Each kit contains Books, DVDs, Puppets, Games, and more. This will help make it easier and less intimidating for educators when introducing Aboriginal content into their classroom. Some of my favorite kits, to name a few, cover topics such as the Environment, Bears, and Butterflies. How exciting! Our main goal, plain and simple, is to integrate Aboriginal resources into every classroom across Canada! So, what is so special about these Kits anyways? Well, we think this is a big step in the right direction. Our slogan is Reconciliation Through Education. We believe that First Nations Studies shouldn’t be one class, it should be integrated into every class. That’s the objective. So, go ahead and check them out! A lot of love went into creating them.