Shelley identifies as a mixed Indigenous and European woman (she/her) including Cree, Mohawk, Métis, and Danish, Scottish backgrounds. She has been residing and raising her 2 sons on Coast Salish Territory for the past 25 years, but her ancestral lands connect her to Treaty 6 territory near Edmonton, Alberta. She has paternal ties to the Michel Band and maternal connections to both the Victoria Métis Settlement (AB) and the Red River Métis Settlement (MB).
She is pursuing an Executive MBA in Indigenous Business & Leadership at Simon Fraser University, graduating in June 2024. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Manitoba. Her career spans child welfare, youth justice, Indigenous healthcare, employment counseling, and K-12 education.
For 16 years, she has worked as a childcare worker in two school districts, providing cultural, and social-emotional support to Indigenous students and families. Prompted by a departmental conflict between Indigenous workers and management, she became an active union member, seeking space for the inclusion of Indigenous voices and worldviews. After years of involvement on committees and facilitating union education initiatives (including national online courses during COVID-19), she was elected for Indigenous leadership positions at the provincial level and designated to a national Indigenous advisory body. In these roles, she refined her public speaking and workshop facilitation skills and became a dedicated advocate for Indigenous culture, truth, and reconciliation.
Her advocacy extends to raising awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit people (MMIWG2S), addressing anti-racism, and promoting cultural safety. She is dedicated to indigenizing and decolonizing institutions and practices and is creative in promoting how Indigenous teachings and protocols can be woven into various sectors, from education to business, as pathways to equity, inclusivity, and active reconciliation.