Honorary Members

Dr. Laara Fitznor Photo

AERF 2021 Honorary Member

Dr. Laara Fitznor

Research Forum Planning Committee Member, Planning Co-Chair

Laara Fitznor, a member of the Nisichawaysihk Cree Nation in Manitoba was raised in the boreal forests of Wabowden, Manitoba. She pursued her dream of a university education once she learned that with a university education she was in a position to embrace ways to challenge and counter acts of oppression while advancing Aboriginal/Indigenous knowledge(s), perspectives, histories, experiences, spiritualties, and realities through her community work and career. She assisted professionals (teachers, educators, social workers, police officers, and others) to understand the uniqueness of Aboriginal peoples' histories, philosophies, cultures, knowledge(s), and contributions to Canadian society. She incorporates decolonizing and bridging pedagogies in her work where people learn to challenge past wrongs and coexist in a way of respect, reciprocity, and responsibility. Laara has served as a member on boards, councils, committees, grassroots, and working groups where the focus of the work was to advance principles of diversity, equity, and Aboriginal/Indigenous leadership, rights, knowledge(s) toward culturally relevant growth of Aboriginal people's needs and aspirations. Laara began her academic career with the University of Manitoba's Access Programs (1982-1992), holding positions as Academic Counsellor and Director. From 1992 to 1998, she joined the Faculty of Education teaching Cross-Cultural/Aboriginal Education. In 1998, she joined the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto to develop a newly established position of Aboriginal Education. She returned to the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in 2003 to teach Aboriginal/Indigenous Education and retired in 2019.