Rita is a teacher, who has served in various leadership roles in education at home and abroad. Her lifelong interest in Aboriginal education and social
justice have often spilled over to community volunteer and consultancy work, such as the Saskatchewan’s Northern Governance Task Force, Gabriel
Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research, the Independent Oversight Committee on Métis Elections Saskatchewan, Iskwewuk
E-wichiwitochik – Women Working Together, Education International, to name a few.
After retiring from the administrative staff of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation in 2006, Rita served as a Coordinator with the Canadian Council
on Learning-Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre partnership at the University of Saskatchewan until July 6, 2009.
Rita currently freelances as a researcher and community-learning facilitator working with various public institutions and private sector organizations.
Major projects (August 09 – present) include being part of research teams reviewing strategies to support Aboriginal languages in the NWT, preparing
a literature review on Indigenous bilingual [immersion] education, reviewing the Cree Bilingual Education Program in Cumberland House, reviewing
the Clearwater River Dene School Transitional Immersion Program and examining practices associated with Aboriginal student achievement. It has also
included facilitation of a partnership between a school board and a tribal council, co-facilitation of a leadership initiative serving a high Aboriginal
student population with Saskatoon Public Schools, and the development and delivery of a leadership program in Fostering Respect and Dignity for
Relationships in the Workplace – Resolving and Mediating Conflict for the City of Saskatoon. The most recent work includes collaborative research and
development for the proposed Indspire (formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation) Institute and Indigenous Voices, a staff and faulty
professional learning program on Indigenous Education at the University of Saskatchewan.
Rita holds a M.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan. She was awarded an Eagle Feather by peers in 2006, the Arbos Award for her commitment to the
profession by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation in 2006 and the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Literacy Award (Practitioner Category) in 2010.
Rita loves to write. Publications (among others) include Blueberry Clouds (1999) and pâpiyâhtak (2004) published by Thistledown Press; Better That Way
(2008),a collaborative work with Sherry Farrell-Racette and Margaret Gardiner published by Gabriel Dumont Institute. Rita’s poetry appears in literary
anthologies and television productions. Rita is now enrolled in Ryerson’s Publishing Program.