Ruth was born on the Siksika First Nation east of Calgary, her Father Blackfoot, her mother Cree. She was raised in her traditional culture. As a young child she was placed in the Indian Residential School, where she suffered much abuse. She survived that experience and the following years of addiction and violence. In 1974, she experienced a spiritual reawakening and chose a healing path. She worked in many helping places until she had a vision to address the legacy of her people, working for many years to establish a shelter for Aboriginal women based on a cultural approach.
Ruth ran for the position of MLA in southern Alberta in 1992 for the NDP. She then ran and was subsequently elected as a Band Councillor at Siksika Nation, where she sat for 18 years.
Today Ruth is a healer, community builder, and Elder. She is currently involved in the issue of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in Canada.
In 2014 she released her Book, My Name is Shield Woman: a hard road to healing, vision and leadership. She tells her story as a young child, her experience of Residential School, and her hard road through abuse and addiction. Awakened, Ruth embarks on a journey of healing and spiritual discovery. She is given the name Awo Taanaakii, Shield Woman, becoming a community leader and giving back to her people. The story is told by Ruth, and many others who have walked with her. This is a powerful story full of humanity, speaking of tragedy, resilience and much humour. It is a message for her People and all people. Her book has since won 10 non-fiction awards in Calgary and she hopes that one day her book will be used to inform curriculum development in Alberta schools.
Ruth is a voice for cross cultural understanding and forgiveness, as the beginning of reconciliation of the past and building the future.
June 21 -26, 2021
“Keeping the Circle Strong, Through our Traditional Knowledge Keepers and honoring our modern-day warriors.”
June 26, 2021, (Saturday)
Celebrating Family Day Event