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Remembering Sheron T. Fiddler

A tireless advocate for First Nations education.

Sheron was born on Peguis First Nation. Just after her 4th birthday, she went to the Brandon Residential School and later attended the Residential School in Birtle. After completing grade 12, Sheron received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba. Her education career began in Norway House and Sandy Bay, where she taught for many years, before moving to Winnipeg to work at the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood in 1971 as the Director of Education. She was involved in the writing of Wahbung in 1971, and The Shocking Truth about Indians in Textbooks in 1974 (co-authored with Verna Kirkness and republished in 2016).

Sheron (second from right) with friends

Sheron always strived to improve Indigenous education. In 1976, she returned home to work with the Peguis School Board in the development, implementation and administration of Local Control of Indian Education. She continued to work with the Peguis School Board until her retirement in August 2003. After retirement, Sheron pursued and completed her Master’s Degree with the University of Phoenix, and also worked with Keeseekoowenin First Nation and Garden Hill First Nation as Education Director.

Sheron was one of the founding members of the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre in 1998. From an original staff of six, nineteen years later MFNERC now has over 300 employees. In recent years, Sheron remained very busy as an Education Consultant for the Centre, and was an advisor and mentor for the establishment of the Manitoba First Nations School System.

Sheron was supportive and encouraging to all who knew her. She had a big heart and helped others whenever she could. She had a strong belief in the traditional culture. She enjoyed travelling to Thief River and Warroad with her close friends. Before she passed on, she was planning another “girls’ trip” and teasing her friends about it. Her happiest times were spent with her husband of 40 years, Percy, and daughter Aleia. For all who knew her, Aleia was her pride and joy. We at MFNERC will sorely miss her insight and wisdom, as well as her own unique sense of humour. We love you Sheron, Rest in Peace.

Sheron T. Fiddler (White Standing Woman), July 24, 1948 – August 15, 2017

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