About the Panelists
When Crystal was just a little girl in grade school, she spent much time in the library commons at the University of Lethbridge where her mother, Dr. Helen Manyfingers, was completing her degree in Early Childhood Education. Her favorite section in the University library was the children’s book section where she would read and read about tales of adventures of characters from all over the world.
As a First Nation member of the great Blackfoot Confederacy, Crystal has lived in the City of Calgary (Mohkintsis) for over 25 years. Her love for reading books eventually led to her completing a master’s degree in Education at the University of Calgary. Crystal has written numerous magazine articles and even wrote and published a children’s book of her own called “A’pistotooki kii Ihkitsik Kaawa’pomaahkaa – Creator and the Seven Animals, why are we here?” Crystal was awarded the Faculty of the Year Award for 2020 from Bow Valley College.
Crystal is well known to be a bridge-builder between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and she is both honoured and humbled to serve on the Board of Directors for the Calgary Public Library as well as the Alberta Library Trustees Association. She presently serves as Learning Design Consultant for Indigenization of curriculum at Bow Valley College.
Nancy has been engaged with the Early Childhood Community in the City of Calgary (Mohkinstis) in different capacities since 1998. Currently working on her PhD in language and literacies education with the University of Toronto, and in her role as an ECED faculty member, she is looking for ways to incorporate contextual instruction through relationship-based practice with pre-service ECEs.
Dedicated to the important work of decolonization, Nancy has been working closely with Indigenous partners to reconfigure what learning can and should look like in higher education. Working with future educators, Nancy's goal is that these practices will filter through to the hearts, minds, and environments of the future children in their care. Nancy is honoured to be invited to speak to her journey along with her valued friend and guide, Crystal Manyfingers.