Nahanni Fontaine is the NDP MLA for the St. Johns constituency in the Province of Manitoba. Nahanni serves as the NDP House Leader; Critic for Justice; and Spokesperson for Status of Women and Veterans Affairs.
Nahanni has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from the University of Winnipeg in Environmental Studies and International Development and a Masters of Arts (M.A.) degree in Native Studies, Women’s Studies and Critical Theory from the University of Manitoba.
Nahanni has dedicated the last twenty-two years to fighting for the rights of Indigenous women and girls, including the critical issue of including the issue of missing & murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirited (MMIWG2S).
Nahanni provides workshops, training and presentations on the historical and contemporary context of Indigenous women and girls in Canada and Indigenous/Police Relations.
Nahanni has served as a representative of the Indigenous community municipally, provincially, nationally and internationally on a number of boards and committees, including the Winnipeg Police Advisory Board, Canadian Race Relations Foundation, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Mother of Red Nations, RCMP Aboriginal Advisory Board and the United Nations Working Group on the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to name but a few.
Nahanni is the recipient of several awards, scholarships and fellowships, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Doctoral Scholarship; the YMCA Women of Distinction Award; and the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case.
Before being elected to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, Nahanni served as the Director of Justice for the Southern Chief’s Organization for ten years and afterwards, as the Province’s Special Advisor on Aboriginal Women’s Issues for the Aboriginal Issues Committee of Cabinet of Manitoba for six years.
Nahanni is Status Ojibway from the Sagkeeng Anishinaabe First Nation in southern Manitoba and is the proud mother of Jonah, Niinichaanis and Chilly Dog.