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Born: Apr 12, 1960

Date of Passing: Jan 08, 2018

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DR. SHERRY LYNN PEDEN April 12, 1960 - January 8, 2018 On January 8, 2018, Sherry passed to the spirit world peacefully on her ancestral land, on the south side of Duck Mountain near Grandview and Tootinaowziibiing First Nation. Born at Kenora, Ontario, Sherry was raised on Treaty four land farmed by her grandfather and subsequently by her father. Sherry attended the Wicklow School a mile and half away from the family farm. This was the beginning of what would prove to be a lifetime in the field of education. After attending high school in Grandview, she obtained a Bachelor of Education from Brandon University and began teaching elementary school at Cormorant at the age of 21. She went on to teach middle year and high school students at Norway House, working for both Frontier School Division and Norway House Cree Nation schools. At Norway House, she would become the Centre Co-ordinator for the Brandon University Northern Teacher Education Program. She would go on to become the BUNTEP Centre coordinator at Dauphin and complete a Master's degree in Education and become a professor at Brandon University. In 2011, Sherry completed a PhD in Educational Administration at the University of Manitoba. After completing her PhD in 2011, Sherry became the Academic Vice- President at the University College of the North in The Pas in 2013, a position that she held until her retirement in 2015. The amendment of the Indian Act in 1985 reinstated Sherry's mother to Indian status and consequently admitted Sherry and her siblings to Indian status. In her work as a teacher, one of her great motivations was to be a positive role model for Aboriginal youth. She undertook to combat systemic racism in the educational system and institutions, and even after being diagnosed with cancer in April of 2017, she continued to work as a consultant in the field of Aboriginal education. One of the many accomplishments of Sherry's career was the creation of the Onikaniwak summer institute, for providing First Nation, Inuit and Metis teachings for a senior educational administrators. This is an ongoing project and will continue as part of Sherry's legacy. Despite her education, Sherry remained at heart a woman of the land. She will be remembered for her gardens and love of nature. She was adept at filleting fish and processing game, as well as canning garden produce and wild fruit, and was a talented seamstress. She and Leo were avid travellers and visited several countries in Europe and Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand. She was particularly fond of what she called "hot holidays" in Mexico and Cuba. Sherry is survived by her son Craig Peden (Ashley Wright); her spouse Leo Nijssen; step- children, Adrian and Meghan Nijssen; her sisters, Ivy (Perry) Verigin, Susan Ward (Dave Stovin); brother Gerald Ward (Pam) and nephews, Brian Verigin, Cody and Christian Ward, Tyson and Chad Nurse and Bryson Daniels. She was predeceased by her parents, Lorne Ward and Nora Mintuck and uncles, Rusty and Charlie Ward. Donations in Sherry's memory may be made to the Dr. Sherry Lynn Peden Indigenous Graduate Scholarship Fund being established at the University of Manitoba. Contact one of : Verna Kirkness 311-2145 York Ave. Vancouver, BC V6K 1C4; Doris Young The Pas, MB 204-623-0973; Leo Nijssen Box 2697 The Pas, MB R9A 1M5 Traditional Wake was offered on Friday, January 12, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. from The Dauphin Friendship Centre in Dauphin, MB. The family hosted a memorial service on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. from Dauphin Friendship Centre in Dauphin, MB with Elder Marcel McKay officiating. Sneath-Strilchuk -Dauphin Chapel 204-638-4110

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 13, 2018

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • This summer I had the privilege of being one of many students who was taught by Sherry at Egg Lake. This was an experience that will forever change my life. I was moved to tears and now to action. Sherry was not only a leader and a teacher but an inspiration to all who were able to learn from her. I do not consider her gone, as the legacy of her life continues on. I am proud to have known her for this brief moment of my life and I promise to continue her work in whatever small way I can. When I left Egg Lake I made a promise to her and Dawn and I intend to keep it! Dear Sherry, thanks for all you did and continue to do! The shoes you have left are very big but you left behind and army of people to fill those shoes. Your dreams for peace, forgiveness, respect and education will live on! Wegwetch Sheila - Posted by: Sheila Lynch-Mondor (Student) on: Feb 15, 2018

  • How saddened my family and I are to learn of Sherry’s death. We had lost contact over the years but so many memories of shared happy times in Norway House come flooding to mind. Saturday afternoons were always spent at Chicken Chef laughing, sharing stories and eating fries and gravy together with our friend Daisy. My daughter Jori babysat Craig and Sherry gave her a beautiful blue patchwork quilt that she made and that Jori still treasures. Sherry was passionate about education and her students. She was a wonderful role model. Our sympathies to her family and friends, Deb, Vic, Jill and Jori Thordarson - Posted by: Deb Thordarson (Friend, former colleague) on: Jan 13, 2018

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