Muriel Sawyer

Muriel Sawyer receiving honorary doctorate

Doctor of Education

(honoris causa) DEd

Muriel Sawyer is a custodian of language and culture and an irreplaceable advocate for Aboriginal education who enjoyed a 40-year teaching career. She is a defender of the Nipissing dialect of Ojibwe, which only a few people speak fluently. Sawyer wrote, implemented and taught the first Nishnaabemwin program for the Nipissing Parry Sound Catholic School Board for 25 years. She was instrumental in writing the province’s first Ministry of Education curriculum guidelines for teaching Ojibwe and Cree languages. She co-wrote Nipissing University’s Teacher of Anishnaabemwin course outlines and taught several courses in the program. She has earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Union of Ontario Indians and was presented an eagle feather and recognized as a language keeper by Nipissing First Nation. Sawyer was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009.

She received the honorary degree, Doctor of Education on June 11, 2014.