Sharing my Personal Sense of Space


  • Doreen Spence A member of the Saddle Lake, Cree First Nation in northern Alberta



Elder Spence uses poetry to describe a relationship to the world around through sacred teachings involving physical, spiritual, mental and emotional responsibilities. She encourages the learning of the "beautiful, powerful culture, traditions and teaching" as a way for Indigenous people to live with the land and its people.  

Author Biography

Doreen Spence, A member of the Saddle Lake, Cree First Nation in northern Alberta

Doreen Spence is a member of the Saddle Lake, Cree, First Nation, in northern Alberta. Elder Doreen Spence is known nationally, and internationally, for dedicating her entire life to fighting for human rights and social justice. Doreen has worked selflessly, to achieve recognition and respect for Indigenous women, men, and children. On a global scale, she seeks meaningful, improvements in the life chances and educational opportunities of Indigenous peoples, at home and abroad. Through her teachings of unconditional love and kindness, and as importantly, her traditional healing practices, Elder Spence has interacted with thousands of people across the globe. In Calgary, Doreen Spence is well known as the Founder and Executive Director of the Canadian Indigenous Women’s Resource Institute (CIWRI), for 13 years. Earlier, she was President of the Plains Indian Survival School. Elder Spence’s work has been recognized internationally, nationally, and locally by several organizations. Her recognition ranges widely, from being: a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee 2005; the recipient of the Warrioress Peace Award 2003 in recognition for her contributions to the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations; and a recipient of an international award at the 1992 New Zealand Spiritual Elders Conference, with the Dalai Lama. Most recently, Doreen was the recipient of the 2017 National Indspire Award in Culture, Heritage, and Spirituality. In 2017, Spence was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Mount Royal University. Doreen Spence has been a Senator for the University of Calgary. At 80 years, Elder Spence is still a dynamic warrior, actively participating in the continuing struggles to achieve equity, equality and fairness for all minoritized and racialized people.






Postcolonial Ballads