Biography

  • Nahanni understands the power of investing in people. She will continue to promote a strong people for a strong economy.

  • A longtime advocate for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), Nahanni served as the Special Advisor on Aboriginal Women’s Issues for the Indigenous Issues Committee of Cabinet of Manitoba.

  • Nahanni has been recognized with several awards, scholarships and fellowships, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Doctoral Scholarship, YMCA Women of Distinction Award and the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case.

  • Nahanni is Status Ojibway from the Sagkeeng Anishinaabe First Nation in southern Manitoba. She is the proud, single mother of Jonah and Niniichaanis.

As a young girl and teen, Nahanni Fontaine made Winnipeg’s North End her home. Since then she has since spent much of her political activism and career strengthening the voices of Indigenous women and girls.

Before entering politics, Nahanni worked as Special Advisor on Aboriginal Women’s Issues for the Indigenous Issues Committee of Cabinet of Manitoba, with a special focus on Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).

She also worked as an Environmental Researcher for Sagkeeng First Nation and taught in the Native Studies department at the University of Manitoba.

Nationally, her work has been at the forefront of raising awareness on MMIWG, while locally, she has coordinated an unprecedented network of advocacy and support for MMIWG families. For this work, she was honoured with the Governor-General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case in 2013.

Nahanni’s commitment to equality and social justice have also led her to serve on several boards, including the Winnipeg Police Advisory Board, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Onashowewin Inc., the RCMP “D” Commissioner’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee, the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Police Service Chief of Police Aboriginal Advisory Board, the Law Enforcement Review Agency (LERA) Steering Committee, and the United Nations Working Group on the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Nahanni has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Winnipeg in Environmental Studies and International Development, and a Masters of Arts degree in Native Studies, Women’s Studies and Critical Theory from the University of Manitoba.

Having come from a difficult background, Nahanni understands the power of investing in people. She will continue to promote a strong people for a strong economy — one that seeks to improve the living conditions of all Manitobans, protect our environment and build a more just society.

She is proud of what Manitobans have accomplished together under the leadership of the NDP. As the representative for St. Johns, Nahanni will continue to put people first and build a stronger community for everyone.

Nahanni is Status Ojibway from the Sagkeeng Anishinaabe First Nation in southern Manitoba. She is the proud, single mother of Jonah and Niniichaanis.