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Joanne Dallaire, Elder (Ke Shay Hayo) and Senior Advisor, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation glances away from the camera in a paisley top.

Joanne Okimawininew Dallaire (iskwao/woman)

Elder (Ke Shay Hayo) and Senior Advisor, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Phone416-979-5000, Ext.543603
A medicine bag with beads and fringe


I started at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) in 1999 with a focus on Traditional teachings and, since then, have taken on a variety of roles within the university community. 

Throughout my time here, the university has always been supportive and enthusiastic about the growth and evolution of programs, buildings, faculty and staff. Throughout it all, students have remained the central focus – they are the ones who keep our community vibrant and the work so interesting. 

Toronto Metropolitan University reflects many of my aspirations for growth, adaptability and inclusion while creating a welcoming environment for the individual, so it’s important to me that this is felt in my role as Elder and Senior Advisor, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation as well.  

I am now working at the leadership level to embed Indigenous ways of knowing and being into the fabric of the university’s culture and community. For example, I work closely with the university’s Senate and Truth and Reconciliation Committee to ensure Indigenous voices are being heard. I also work to promote and demonstrate the vital power of a right relationship with self, others and the world around us.  

In the traditional way of the Cree, I believe in the art of taking people at face value without judgement. Everyone has a past; that is how we learn. We are all on a journey and what we like in others we carry. What we dislike in others, we also carry. Above all, discourse is the most potent and most unwanted teacher. 

I know that we can continue to educate the real history of this land and the many injustices Indigenous people live with today. We do not own Mother earth; we all are her stewards.

My door is open for anyone who would like to talk. Please share your hopes and concerns with me, and let me know what you think is essential for me to address with my colleagues.

I humbly ask that I be a good vehicle for the work.


Teachings & Community Messages

Presidential Task Force on Egerton Ryerson’s Legacy

The Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force was tasked with recommending actions that the university should take to respond to Egerton Ryerson's legacy.



Administrative Assistant
Deidre Tylecki
416-979-5000, Ext. 544501

Please note that Joanne's in-person office hours have been cancelled due to COVID-19.