I am a third-generation diasporic Irish descendant and white Settler Canadian who has lived my entire life in the territory of the Anishinaabeg in the Nayaano-nibiimaang Gichigamiin (the Great Lakes) region. I completed my Masters in Sustainability Studies at Trent University, and both my Bachelor of Education as well as my Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Tourism at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. Throughout my academic career, I have been honoured to work with and for Indigenous communities in service of their research agendas and ecological and educational mandates.
As a Certified Ontario Teacher with specializations in Indigenous Studies, Environmental Science, and Outdoor Education, I have worked at the elementary and secondary levels both inside and outside the traditional classroom setting. Serving as a Forest School Teacher, an Outdoor Educator, and as a Wilderness Canoe Guide while facilitating numerous creative nature-based programs has allowed me to develop my passion in the realm of holistic wellbeing, mental health, and trauma-informed practices in education. This has led me to spend the last 15 years working as a certified yoga teacher and with vulnerable youth in inner-city and section 23 schools, as well as addiction treatment facilities. Given my lived experiences and expertise, in 2018 I was appointed to the OSSTF Mental Health Assist team where I collaborated with colleagues across the province to develop practical toolkits for classroom teachers and students.
I have taught in supporting roles at the post-secondary level for seven years and served as an Instructional Faculty with the Chanie Wenjack School
for Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Environmental Sciences and Studies program for three years. It has also been one of my deepest honours to have become an active member with the Sacred Water Circle and Nibi Emosaawdamajig since moving to Nogojiwanong in 2016.
I am currently living and working in the unceded territory of the Algonquin peoples, Ottawa, completing my Ph.D. at Carleton University. In addition to my work in research and policy, I currently serve as a speaker, consultant, and embodied teacher sharing and co-creating knowledge in trauma-informed pedagogy, yoga and wellness, sustainability education, and Indigenous-settler relationship renewal.
Relating Research And practice
Aleyah brings a wealth of passion and expertise to her work blending experiential research in sustainability, spirituality, and solidarity. She is a gifted and captivating facilitator as well as a sensitive and intuitive teacher. She also continues to serve as a communications and project management consultant.