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PhD Candidate (Trent), MSW, BSW
Leader, Educator, Researcher

          Mist No’kmaw - Kwe’, Pjila'si. Teluisi Shane, n’in Two-Spirit Mi’kmaw aq Newfoundlander Settler, tleyawi Mi’kma’ki K'Taqamkuk.
    All My Relations, Hello, Welcome. My name is Shane, I am Two-Spirit

Mi’kmaw and Newfoundland Settler from Mi’kmaq Territory, Land Across the Water (Newfoundland).







I am a social worker, educator, PhD Candidate (Trent), and Joseph-Armand Bombardier Scholar of Mi'kmaw and Newfoundland settler descent whose family originates from the territory of the Qalipu First Nation on the southwestern coast of Newfoundland.

Currently, I am an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Community Service, School of Social Work, and the Academic Coordinator of the Certificate Indigenous Knowledges and Experiences in Canada with Ryerson University. 

My professional social work practice has been in educational and community-based settings, with a strong background in building relationships with service groups and organizations in the broader community with the aim of providing services to diverse populations. My work has included populations that experience systematic marginalization and oppression, in areas such as Deaf culture, homelessness, mental health and addictions, child welfare, and Indigenous communities.


My main research focuses are critical Indigenous studies, Urban Indigenous identities, colonial and decolonization theories, Indigenous research and knowledge methodologies, and Indigeneity. My doctoral research focuses on the development and maintenance of Mi'kmaw identities on the Island of Newfoundland. Further, emphasizing the impacts of colonial interferences on Indigenous identities through processes of settler colonialism and unearthing ways in which resurgence can create personal and cultural sovereignty. ​





Qalipu L’nu’k aqq Ntjigsu'g 

History of the Community & My Family


Raised in a single-parent family of modest beginnings, my identical twin sibling, Shawn (Two-Spirit, They/Them), and I lived happily with our older sister, Sabrina, and our loving mother, Alice. Our family roots are located across the southwestern coast of Ktaqamkuk, particularly the Port au Port Peninsula (Payun Aqq Payunji'j). My family ties include the family surnames of Benoit, Young, Marche, Lainey, Hinks, and Jesso. 

Oral tradition tells us that there was Mi'kmaq here before the arrival and presence of the Europeans since time immemorial. This is backed up by the logs recorded by European Explores including Captain James Cook. Some Mi'kmaq stayed all year round, some intermarried with Beothuk- but for the most part, Ktaqamkuk (Newfoundland) was more of a seasonal extended territory where our people would come over to trap, hunt, and what have you then return to Unama'kik (Cape Breton).

The arrival of the Europeans helped bring about a more permanent Mi’kmaq presence in Ktaqamkuk earlier than perhaps would have been the case. Mi’kmaq had traditionally traveled by canoe across via St. Paul’s Island, Nova Scotia to the Cape Ray and St. George’s Bay areas of Newfoundland. Mi'kmaq families migrated all around St. George's Bay (Baie St-George) and the surrounding area. They did not spend any time announcing their presence or letting European colonialists of their presence. They would have preferred to go about their travels and migrations unnoticed. They spent their time surviving off the lands and caring for their families. A larger European presence at Sandy Point was another reason Mi’kmaq spread out around the St. George’s Bay, Port au Port Peninsula, and beyond- as far away as Conne River.

Family Photos

Click images to enlarge and for descriptions.








































I relocated to Tkaronto in the Summer of 2006 with aspirations to attend post-secondary studies. I spent four years studying American Sign Language at George Brown College, then pursued social work in 2012.

I have been an Indigenous student representative on committees throughout my undergraduate degree, and graduate studies, and severs of several Board of Directors in Tkaronto. 


Even though I have spent the last decade in Tkaronto, I continue to maintain a connection to my home and community in Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland). Moreover, I own this one truth, the fabric of my being is irrefutably made up of all the ancestors that have come before me and those who are yet to come. It is my responsibility to bring my history back to life, a life that was stolen but never forgotten. My truth is the sum of who I am, what I know, and the journey I continue to walk each and every day, with kindness, love, and respect.

Msit No'kmaq (All My Relations)

*Tkaronto, (commonly known as Toronto), is a Mohawk word, meaning “the place in the water where the trees are standing", which is said to refer to the wooden stakes that were used as fishing weirs in the narrows of the local river systems by the Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat.

Shane and siblings, Sabrina and Shawn. Circa mid-1990's

Shane and Shawn. Circa early-1990's

Shane and Siblings, Sabrina and Shawn. Circa early-1990's.

Shane with siblings. Circa early 1990's

Ngij (My Mother). Circa early 1990's.

Shane and Shawn. Circa early 1990's

Circa early 1990's.

Ngij (My Mother). Circa Mid-1960's

Tata't (Father). Circa early 2000's.

Nmi' (My Grandmother). Circa mid-1980's

Shane and Siblings, Sabrina and Shawn. Circa early-1990's.

Shane and Shawn. Circa early 1990's.

Nemijgami' (My Grandfather). Circa early-1990's.