Education and Healing: Grace Aisaican, teacher, mentor, and support worker

Grace Aisaican

Grace Aisaican knew when she started her education degree that she would work with Indigenous people.

However, she could not know that it would eventually lead to her offering her hand to help First Nations people in their healing journeys after their experiences in the residential school systems in Canada.

After the completion of her bachelor degree in Primary Education in 1994, the mother of seven and ‘nicipan’, pursued her career as a teacher in numerous communities across the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Grace is from the James Smith and Peter Chapman Reserve and is also a women’s traditional powwow dancer. When she is not busy with work, she enjoys making bannock and spending time with her family.

Grace fondly remembers her education, completing the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) in Saskatoon and finishing her degree in Regina.

“I appreciate that we do have FNUniv in our lives and communities in Saskatchewan,” says Grace.

Grace had the opportunity to be a part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as an emotional support worker for survivors like herself.

“We help each other through all the workers in Saskatchewan, we meet and update with one another,” says Grace.

Giving hope for a healing journey to First Nations people, she provides support to several communities and families. She is also a support for her own family and friends.

“I’m at a happy place,” says Grace. Part of that happiness in her current life comes from completing her education, as well as being influenced by the First Nations University of Canada to become a teacher herself.

Today, Grace is currently a Health Support Worker with the Saskatoon Indian & Métis Friendship Centre.

by Clarice Tuckanow