Thunder Bay teacher named 2019's Outstanding Indigenous Educator

Tesa Fiddler (BA'01, MEd.'12) a Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board teacher has been named the 2019 Outstanding Indigenous Educator by the Canadian Teachers' Federation. 

A member of Weagamow and Onigaming first nations, Tesa received the award in Ottawa on July 11th, 2019. The award recognizes an educator who displays "leadership in Indigenous education and excellence in teaching that reflects Indigenous culture."

Fiddler has worked as an Indigenous Education Resource Teacher for the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board since 2011.

"On behalf of Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) I congratulate Tesa for her outstanding work in Indigenous education," NAN Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox said in a statement. "As a caring educator, wife and mother, Tesa has devoted herself to helping youth understand who they are and where they come from, recognize their gifts, and recognize the resilience of Indigenous Peoples." An 'inspiration' "Tesa approaches her work with an open heart and an open mind, and her passion for education is matched only by her compassion for youth."

Fiddler was nominated for the award by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association. "Education is of upmost priority among First Nations in Ontario and Leadership alike," Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald said in a statement. "It is the foundation for our youth to build a bright future, that is full of opportunities."

"We congratulate Tesa Fiddler in her work for championing the ongoing success of both First Nations and non-First Nations learners," Archibald said. "Her unique cross-cultural technique is the key to preserving our collective indigenous language, heritage and culture. Tesa Fiddler is an inspiration and a true role model for all to follow."

In addition to her work for the Thunder Bay Catholic board, Fiddler has also taught at York University, Lakehead University, Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, and Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education Institute.