FEBRUARY 11, 1932


Born on Ahtahkakoop Reserve in Saskatchewan, Ahenakew helped preserve the Cree language.  Leaving high school to marry, she later returned to school, graduated (1969), earned a Bachelor’s degree (1979) and was named Mother of the Year by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN).  From 1985 to 1996, she was Director of Saskatchewan Indian Languages Institute and both professor and Department Head of Native Studies at University of Manitoba.  She formed the First Nations Women Writers group.  FSIN made her Citizen of the Year in 1992.  Her books, Our Grandmothers’ Lives, As Told in Their Own Words, and Their Example Showed Me the Way: A Cree Woman’s Life Shaped by Two Cultures, are highly regarded in Indigenous literature and earned her an Alberta Book Award in 1998.  Her children’s books include Flies to the Moon and How the Mouse Got Brown Teeth.  She also translated and produced textbooks.  She died at Muskeg Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan, 8 April 2011. 

Source:  Michelle Felice, “Freda Ahenakew,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 12/11/2015.  Retrieved 6/8/2019, http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/freda-ahenakew/
Photo:  Courtesy of University of Saskatchewan, University Archives and Special Collections, RG 2009, 2003-12,  Freda Ahenakew

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: