About Dr. Debby Wilson Danard

Dr. Debby Wilson Danard is Anishinaabekwe, sturgeon clan member of Rainy River First Nation. She is a Traditional Knowledge Practitioner, Artist, Lecturer, Water Protector, Life Promotion Ambassador and Eagle staff carrier.

She has actively advanced traditional knowledge, Indigenous research and land as pedagogy, sovereignty and autonomy with many urban (Friendship Centres, MNO, COO, BANAC) and on-reserve (Zhingwaako Za-iganing, Mnjinkaning) communities and organizations, and several post-secondary institutions. The focus of her community work generally, and youth specifically, includes strengthening knowledge and understanding water, land and life teachings. 

Debby was recently awarded a 2019 University of Toronto Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Women and Gender Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Science to build on her original doctoral research, “Medicine Wheel Surviving Suicide-Strengthening Life Bundle” (2016), (URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/76419) and introduce her artistic practices as a way to give “voice” to Indigenous research and ways of being.

While working as a Suicide Prevention Coach at the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, she co-founded the Feather Carriers: Leadership for Life Promotion (2015) an aspiring national wise (suicide prevention) practice . She also held a postdoctoral fellowship at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care (2017), and is owner of Union Star Consulting Life Teachings Lodge. Debby is the author of several published works including "Be the Water" - Vol 30, No 2-3 (2013) - Canadian Woman Studies.

"Bebaamichiwebiik 1925-2013"

(My Grandmother Annie Wilson)

From The Woman Recreated Mosaic Project (2013) Queen's University Human Rights Office. Artists from Queen's and across the world came together to create two mosaic paintings based on an original work by Leo Yerxa. Each mosaic consists of 72 individual paintings.

Excerpt from Artist Statement..."It was my grandmother's love and encouragement to stand up and share the Anishinaabe teachings which helps me to continue the work she began and taught me to live in that good way a Anishinaabekwe (Anishinaabe woman)."