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Former ETFO member Deb St. Amant receives Indigenous Elder Award from the Canadian Teachers’ Federation

 July 12, 2019

Toronto, ON – Deb St. Amant, a former Kawartha Pine Ridge teacher and member of the provincial Executive of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), has received the 2019 Indigenous Elder Award from the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF).

Deb was honoured at the CTF's 99th Annual Meeting in Ottawa this week in the presence of educators from across Canada.

"Deb was a pioneer in Indigenous education long before Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended such studies for schools in its 2015 report," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "She has provided immeasurable knowledge and guidance to students, colleagues and educational institutions and helped pave the way for a whole body of teaching resources in schools today."

Currently an Elder in Residence at Queen's University, Deb is coordinator of the University's Aboriginal Teacher Education Program. Early on, Deb worked with the Toronto District School Board and Ministry of Education to help write the social studies curriculum which included Aboriginal education. After retiring as a teacher in 2012, she wrote a book for teacher candidates entitled First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Success.

Deb has facilitated Indigenous education workshops throughout Ontario from Attawaspikat to Windsor on behalf of ETFO, the Ontario Teachers' Federation, the Ontario Arts Council and the Indigenous Education Office of the Ministry of Education. 

In 2007, Deb became the first person of Aboriginal ancestry elected to the ETFO provincial Executive, a position she held for four years. Along with conducting workshops, she wrote curriculum resources for ETFO and for the National Aboriginal Festival. Deb served as a governor of the Ontario Teachers' Federation for two years and was a member of the Canadian Teachers' Federation Aboriginal Issues Standing Committee. In her retirement, Deb has continued to offer teaching and healing circles, ceremonies and cultural teachings in Kingston and in education communities.

ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at  

For more information, contact ETFO Media Relations:
Valerie Dugale, 1-888-838-3836 x2331, cell: 416-948-0195,