Algonquin Anishinabe from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, Claudette Commanda is an alumnus of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Common Law and Arts. Claudette has dedicated the last 30 years to promoting First Nations people, history, culture and rights in various capacities as a student, professor, and chair of the Aboriginal education council at the University of Ottawa.
She is a professor in the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Women’s Studies, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Law, and the Aboriginal Studies Program. She teaches courses on First Nations women, Native Education, First Nations People and History, Indigenous Traditions, and Decolonization.
Claudette is also the Executive Director of the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres, a national organization which protects and promotes First Nations culture, languages, and Traditional knowledge. She was inducted into the Common Law Honour Society, served two terms on the Board of Governors for the First Nations University of Canada, and three terms on the Kitigan Zibi band council.
In 2017, Claudette became the first First Nations individual appointed as Elder-in-Residence at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law and the first person of First Nations heritage to be appointed to the Board of Governors at the University of Ottawa.
In March 2020, Claudette received the 2020 INDSPIRE Award for Culture, Heritage and Spirituality.
Claudette is a proud mother of four children and a grandmother to 10 grandchildren.