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Sharon Conway

Sharon Conway

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A profile of Metis Educator Sharon Conway. She is the General Manager of the Louis Riel Institute.
A profile of Metis Educator Sharon Conway. She is the General Manager of the Louis Riel Institute.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Lawrence J. Barkwell on May 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Sharon Conway
(b. 1966)Metis educator Sharon Conway is the daughter of Lawrence “Lorne” Conway (b. 193) and Mary !nrau (b. 191) who far"ed near #e$oraine% Manitoba. Mary has been &uite acti'e with the urt$e Mountain Souris $ains *eritage +ssociation. Mary and Lorne "a,e Metis sashes and hatbands which Mary wea'es on -n,$e $oo"s. hey articiate in heritage e'ents in Manitoba/s southwest region and at “0ac, to 0atoche” with dis$ays  ertaining to Metis heritage.Sharon graduated with a 0. d. fro" the !ni'ersity of Manitoba and is wor,ing on her Masters degree. She has wor,ed with 2innieg Schoo$ #i'ision 1 on +borigina$ curricu$u" de'e$o"ent. She $ater too, a second"ent to the Manitoba Metis 4ederation as ro'incia$ ducation Consu$tant and i"$e"ented the “Standing a$$rogra". Standing a$$ is based on u angata% a successfu$ educationa$ inter'ention rogra" de'e$oed in 5ew ea$and in 1978 by the Maori eo$e to suort chi$dren in their ear$y schoo$ years. he rogra" is hosted in 5ii Mah,wa and 2i$$ia" 2hite schoo$s in 2innieg. 4or the ast few years Sharon has wor,ed as the :enera$ Manager of the Louis ;ie$ -nstitute% the educationa$ authority for the Metis eo$e of Manitoba. Sharon is a "e"ber of the re"ier<s +d'isory Counci$ on ducation
 and the Aboriginal Circle of Educators as well as other education related groups. She is also an elected member of the Council of the Manitoba Historical Society.
4ro" rofi$es in +borigina$ ducationhtt=>>www.edu.go'."b.ca>aed>ub$ications>educators>educator?set.ht"$Sete"ber @A1A
Home Community:
Turtle Mountains,  Deloraine, Manitoba
Cultural Identity:
Current Position:
 !ro"incial Education Consultant with the Manitoba Mtis #ederation
 $achelor of Education, Master of Education Candidate
Support the Standing Tall E%pansion !lan, collaborate with &ouis 'iel (nstitute and de"elop Mtis Education !olicy
“2hen oortunities ,noc, and doors oen% we "ust ha'e the courage to wa$, through those doors and e"brace these once in a $ifeti"e chances.” - ha'e "ade so"e 'ery $ifeBchanging decisions that ha'e ta,en "e where - a" today. - grew u in the urt$e Mountains surrounded by "y fa"i$y. 2e were the oor bush ,ids who went to the schoo$ where e'eryone e$se was white. 2e% as a Metis co""unity were $oo,ed down on and "ade to fee$ asha"ed of who we were. Most of "y cousins strugg$ed in schoo$ and ended u droing out to find wor,. - was an + student but in grade twe$'e% $i,e those before "e% - cou$dn/t wait to $ea'e and at the first oortunity - droed out and "o'ed to the city. +fter a few years - found "yse$f on "y own as a young sing$e "other% wor,ing as a waitress. - ,new that - didn/t want to be a waitress "y who$e $ife and - had a$ways wanted to go to uni'ersity. My "other had a$ways "ade "e be$ie'e that - cou$d do anything - wanted% so with the encourage"ent and suort of "y arents% - decided to  ursue uni'ersity. - wor,ed fu$$ ti"e% studied for "y :#% enro$$ed in a few grade twe$'e courses and then a$ied to the !ni'ersity of 2innieg as a "ature student. #uring these three years "y son% ;obert stayed with "y "o" and dad so - cou$d wor, art ti"e and attend schoo$ fu$$ ti"e. -t was 'ery difficu$t to be so far away fro" "y baby% but - a$so  beca"e c$oser to "y fa"i$y. 4or "y fina$ year% - attended the !ni'ersity of Manitoba and decided to secia$ie in the ar$y Dears rogra". - was 'ery fortunate to ha'e incredib$e "entors such as 2ayne Serebrin and Eaty #awson who he$ed "e de'e$o a sound ar$y Dears hi$osohy that "ade "e see that schoo$ shou$d be an eFtension of $ife where teachers ro'ided ractica$ rea$ eFeriences that were re$e'ant to students. #uring each racticu"% - as,ed to be $aced in an inner city c$assroo"% because - ,new - wanted to teach +borigina$ students. !nfortunate$y the year - graduated there were on$y 16 teaching ositions a'ai$ab$e across the entire ro'ince% but fortunate$y% - recei'ed one of the"% a ha$fBti"e ter" contract at Mu$'ey Schoo$% which soon turned into a er"anent contract. - taught at Mu$'ey for eight years% in a 'ariety of caacities inc$uding 5urseryBEindergarten% :rade 1 and the Mu$tiB+ge 1%@%3 rogra". #uring this ti"e% - wor,ed with eFce$$ent teachers such as i$een 0erg"an and Ga$ Mc#ouga$$% who he$ed rea$ie "y theories and ideas. #uring "y first few years of teaching - fe$t 'ery iso$ated. - was often a$one in "y thin,ing but attended "any wor,shos and sat on "any co""ittees to $earn and be art of a grou. Since "y first year of teaching% - resented nu"erous wor,shos for organiations% as - shared "y $o'e of teaching and "y eFertise in a 'ariety of subect areas. - wor,ed with the ro'ince as a art of a tea" of teachers who re'iewed $earning resources in the area of Language +rts and Socia$ Studies. rofessiona$$y% - was an eFert teacher and @
educationa$ $eader% but ersona$$y - strugg$ed because - sti$$ didn/t rea$$y ,now who - was. - ,new - was Metis but - didn/t rea$$y ,now what that "eant. S$ow$y - started "a,ing connections with the Metis co""unity in the city. - ut "y son in s&uare dance c$asses and started attending +borigina$ functions% such as ow wows. !nsure of "y cu$tura$ ,now$edge% - began to see, guidance fro" other +borigina$ educators% such as Louise McHuade% #onna 0each and #ar$ene 0eaucha". - was encouraged to a$y for the 2innieg Schoo$ #i'ision/s (2S#) +borigina$ ducation Curricu$u" Suort eacher osition. -n this caacity o'er the neFt few years% - wor,ed with nu"erous teachers in the di'ision de'e$oing units and $essons at e'ery grade $e'e$. My eFerience as a suort teacher has $ed to additiona$ curricu$u" oortunities for the #eart"ent of ducation. +s the ri"ary writer for EB Socia$ Studies curricu$u"% - wor,ed with teachers to de'e$o ideas and incororate an +borigina$ ersecti'e for students across Manitoba. -n the neFt roect - used "y $inguistic ,now$edge and ar$y Dears eFerience to de'e$o the EB +borigina$ Cu$ture and Language curricu$u". Soon - was he$ing other secia$ists% such as the #eart"ent of ducation/s Math consu$tant% incororate an +borigina$ ersecti'e in core subect areas and suorting other +borigina$ $eaders to de'e$o teaching and assess"ent too$s. -n @AA% whi$e wor,ing fu$$ ti"e for the 2S# he$ing teachers de'e$o +borigina$ units and writing curricu$u" art ti"e for the ro'ince% - was as,ed to consider going to the Manitoba Metis 4ederation (MM4) to de'e$o a i$ot roect% Standing a$$% a co""unityBdri'en initiati'e to ,ee "idd$e years students in schoo$. - didn/t ha'e any eFerience in rogra" de'e$o"ent but with encourage"ent and suort fro" "y "entors% au$ine C$ar,e and Myra Lara"ee% - was seconded by the MM4 to be the ro'incia$ Coordinator. +s art of the threeByear i$ot% - used "y curricu$u" ,now$edge and teaching eFerience to de'e$o the rogra" to he$ suort students and connect with fa"i$ies. - used "y $eadershi abi$ities and faci$itating eFeriences to train roect staff on the i"ortance of se$fBidentity through cu$ture and how to beco"e ositi'e +borigina$ ro$e "ode$s. +s a  i$ot roect% howe'er% research beca"e a significant co"onent and "y on$y eFerience was as a c$assroo" teacher. - needed he$ but it was difficu$t to find a &ua$ified Metis educator% howe'er - was ab$e to wor, with an eFert with a h# in the hea$th fie$d. his eFerience $ed to a &uest for additiona$ ,now$edge of acade"ic research. - was as,ed to oin a cou$e of other +borigina$ wo"en in a s"a$$ cohort grou to wor, on our Masters of ducation at the !ni'ersity of Manitoba. 2e attended the sa"e c$asses secia$iing in adu$t education with an +borigina$ focus. his was a beneficia$ aroach% as we often found ourse$'es eFeriencing racis" or were considered the eFerts on +borigina$ issues. han,fu$$y% we had each other as suort. +$though we are +borigina$% we each ha'e uni&ue research interests and are different stages of wor,ing on that research. +s the on$y Metis student% - strugg$e and $oo, for suort fro" "y 4irst  5ation sisters% Myra Lara"ee% Mary Doung and Laara 4itnor.3

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