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Centre for Indigenous Studies’ Jenny Blackbird recognized with IDERD award for anti-racism, equity efforts

Photo courtesy of the Anti-Racism and Cultural Diversity Office.

Jenny Blackbird from the Centre for Indigenous Studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science was one of seven people and three organizations recently recognized for making strides in equity and anti-racism work with an International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) Recognition Award.

The award celebrates the work of students, staff and faculty to create diverse, equitable and inclusive teaching, learning and working environments.

Jenny Blackbird (Nehiyaw and Finnish-Canadian) is an old-style jingle dress dancer, hand drummer/singer and a multi-disciplinary artist with a background in fashion design.

Jenny works at University of Toronto’s Centre for Indigenous Studies as Coordinator for the Ciimaan/Kahuwe’ya/Qajaq Indigenous Language Initiative program. She also works at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) as an Indigenous Knowledge Resource Teacher, conducting tours for student groups, as well as on-site outreach in the Daphne Cockwell First People’s Gallery.

Since 2008, Jenny has volunteered at the Aboriginal Legal Services (ALS) as Community Auntie for the Giiwedin Anang council, which supports Indigenous families who are navigating through the child welfare system. Jenny also sits on the ALS community council diversion program, as advisory committee and council member.

Jenny is producer and co-host of “Indigenous Waves”, a radio show which broadcasts live on Mondays at 6 PM on CIUT 89.5 FM, as well as the producer and co-host of The Women’s Hour radio show, Saturday mornings at 10 am on Radio Regent, an online radio station.

Jenny facilitates arts workshops in TDSB schools and has guest lectured at Ryerson’s School of Social Work, OISE and Indigenous Studies. She also guest lectured on hand drumming for winter term 2018 at the Faculty of Music at U of T for the World Music Ensemble.

Jenny is the recipient of the 2016 “Culture Keeper” Minaake Award, granted by Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto.