Blog: Meet Sarah Deris Crouthers, Oshkwazin Program in Development and Delivery Position!


11 Dec
11Dec

Aanin, Hello, Salaam! My name is Sara and I am so thrilled to be taking on the role of Oshkwazin Program Development and Delivery with TRACKS this year! I am currently an MA student in the Sustainability Studies program here at Trent, and I am hoping to research processes and forms of sustainable, anti-racist and anti-colonial education, specifically outdoor and experiential education. I also have a B.Ed from Trent University with Intermediate/Senior FNMI and English teachable subjects, and an honours BA from the University of Toronto in Equity Studies, Indigenous Studies, and English. While at Trent for my B.Ed, I also completed the TEACH Outside the Box Social Justice Teaching Certificate and the Camp Kawartha Eco-Mentorship Certificate. This is my second time working for TRACKS, as well! I worked as the Program and Administrative Assistant during my B.Ed. I am very passionate about Indigenous sovereignty and education, and youth activism and leadership so I resonate strongly with Oshkwazin’s mandate.  I have a son named Jackson, who is almost 2 years old, and in our spare time my husband Mat, Jackson and I love to go hiking, camping and birdwatching and I am enjoying learning more about native flora and how to identify them. I also love to ride my bike with Jackson, and cook (when I have time!). I am so excited to be working once again with this beautiful community. I came to Nogojiwanong/Peterborough 5 years ago from ‘Toronto’, and fell in love with the community and natural beauty, but it was not my first time here! My mom grew up in the Peterborough, Lakefield and Curve Lake areas and I was lucky enough to spend some time here as a young child. I have white settler-colonial ancestry on my mother’s side, including French and Dutch. My father came to Canada in his 20s from Iran, and shares with me his Indigenous Persian and North African ancestry. I write this as an uninvited guest on Michi Saagiig Anishinaabe land, and stand in solidarity with all Indigenous land-back movements here on Turtle Island and globally.  I have always wanted to be an educator, and have always been passionate about Social Justice, but the real shift in my perspective occurred while in teacher’s college. I started to think a lot more about how our mainstream educational system is designed to push out marginalized students, and leaves privileged students unprepared to interrogate forms of oppression and white supremacy. I knew I still wanted to educate, so I started my MA in Social Justice Education at OISE. Unfortunately, after a long period of illness, I had to withdraw, but the silver lining of that hiatus was that we welcomed Jackson into our family! I am so thrilled to be entering back into academia and working once more towards a more just educational system.