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Flora (sikotan) Zaharia

309-857 Wilkes Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3P 2M1
Email:  sikotan@shaw.ca

My grandparents and my Mother were storytellers.  That is where I heard from stories of all kinds:  legends, especially our Napi Trickster stories, cultural, family, comical, etc.  From my very early years, I heard those stories from my grandparents and my Mother.  Earlier in my life, I was too busy with my family and career and told only the occasional story to family or students.  However, when I met Kay Stone many years ago when she was a professor at the University of Winnipeg did my stories started coming out again.  Since then I have been enjoying the Soup Stone Storytellers’ group of which I am a part.                    

Flora was born on Kainaissksahkoyi in Southern Alberta. She, her parents and her seven siblings are all survivors of the residential school system.  Flora and her brothers and sisters enjoyed being home with their parents during the Christmas and Summer holidays.  It was during those days at home on the farm that they continued learning and living their rich cultural traditions.   

Since her residential school did not teach beyond Grade Eight, Flora’s parents placed her at their own expense at Lacombe Home, Midnapore, Alberta, a non-Native Private School. This was to accommodate Flora’s wish to become a nurse, however, this dream was soon replaced by the teaching profession.

Flora and her late husband, Stanley had two boys – Chris (deceased) and Don.  Don, a school teacher and his wife Mona(Neufeld) have made Flora the proud grandmother of three precious boys – Dorian, Zackary, and Joshua. .


Certificate on Cultural Curriculum Development from American Indian Institute University of Oklahoma

Master of Education, University of Manitoba

Bachelor in Education, University of Alberta

Standard Teaching Certificate, University of Alberta

Senior Matriculation  Grades 9-12, Lacombe Home Private School, Midnapore, Alberta

Grade 1-8 – St Mary’s Indian Residential School, Blood Reserve, Cardston, Alberta

Professional Work Experience:

  • Counseling at Yellow Quill College twice a week. (active);

  • Teaching Aboriginal Awareness once a month at the Tax and Service Centres;

  • Counseling at University of Manitoba Social Work once every two weeks;

  • Co-coordinated School Program Evaluations in 12 Man. First Nations Schools;

  • Co-coordinated School Program Evaluations in 13 Alberta First Nations Schools;

  • Developed Native Studies Curriculum Senior 1-4 for Anokiwin Education;

  • Coordinated the Development of Mokakit Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Curriculum K – Grade 8, in-serviced it in 20 pilot schools and implemented it in all First Nations Schools across Canada in 1990;

  • Coordinated Project and wrote Kitomahkitapiiminnoniks, 4 volumes of Stories from the Elders of Kainaa Nation (Blood Reserve), Alberta;

  • Director of Native Education Branch, Manitoba for nine years;

  • Director of Community Counseling Certificate Program at Continuing Education, University of Manitoba;

  • Instrumental in W.S.D.’s establishing and hiring of Aboriginal Teacher Aides;

  • Coordinated development of Social Studies Curriculum K-Grade 6 for the Cree School Board, Fort George (now Chisassabi), Quebec;

  • Classroom teacher and Principal Norway House, MB and Grouard, Alberta; Classroom teacher at Providence School, Calgary, Alberta, and Winnipeg School Division #1 Schools: Gladstone Elementary School, Churchill High, Gordon Bell High, Sargent Park Junior High, Andrew Mynarski Junior High and Hugh John MacDonald Junior High;

  • Lectured Spring, Summer and off-campus at University of Manitoba, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, University of Brandon, MB, and University of British Columbia.

Board or Committee Member:

  • KiKeNan Board member ;

  • Keteyatsak Elders and Seniors Inc. (Founder and member)(Active)

  • Maternal Child Health Advisory (Active);

  • Aboriginal Health Transition Technical Advisory Committee(Active);

  • Deer Lodge Hospital Eucharistic Minister;

  • Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Elders Advisory Committee

  • Blessed John xxiii Catholic Women’s League (Active);

  • Aboriginal Health and Wellness Board;

  • Board Member Indian and Metis Friendship Centre;

  • Board Member Little Ones School, Ind.& Metis Friendship Centre;

  • Was Board/Committee member of several organizations over the years;


  • Inducted into the ‘Keep the Fires Burning’ Grandmothers;

  • Included in “Profiles of Aboriginal Educators : Footprints for the Future”;

  • Awarded: “ Special Recognition as Aboriginal Educator” by the Aboriginal Circle of Educators;

  • Manitoba Council on Aging Recognition Award;

  • Inducted into the Native Hall of Fame – Education category, through the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre;

  • Nominated for Women of Distinction;

  • Presented with a Lifetime Member award from the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre;

  • Inducted into the “Order of the Buffalo Hunt” from the Manitoba Provincial Government in recognition for several years of outstanding service in Education;

  • Citizenship of the Year award from the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre;

  • Included in  the book – “Speaking Together, Native Women of Canada;

  • Biography in “Who’s Who of Intellectuals in the Commonwealth”;

  • Articles written about Flora in newspapers: Winnipeg Free Press; Brandon Son:

New Zealand News; Vancouver Son; Lethbridge Herald; Pemmican Press; Winnipeg Tribune.

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