Elder Betty McKenna is Anishnabe from the Shoal River First Nation in Opaswayak (The Pas ) Manitoba. She grew up learning many traditional teachings and has spent her life providing guidance, leadership, and generously sharing those teachings with academics, health care professionals, educators and the entire community to create a positive and healthy society.
Betty serves as an Elder in Residence for the Regina Public Schools which takes her to many schools in the division where she makes a tremendous impact each and every time. She provides guidance and counseling to students, families and staff . She is also a member of Regina public schools Elders Advisory She conducts ceremonies and shares cultural knowledge to help hundreds of children who are thirsting for knowledge about their identities and their cultures.
At the University of Regina Betty has assisted in the Lifelong Learning Centre to promote the health and well-being of older adults and Aboriginal peoples since 2003. As a resource person she teaches healthcare workers about culturally appropriate ways to work with older Aboriginal peoples in conjunction with the “End of Life Care” video she was involved in producing. In the summer of 2012 Elder Betty helped complete a series of “Medicine Walks” videos to supplement science and health curricula. Betty has also worked on the Adult Campus with the Intensive Support Program where the students develop a positive self concept and are eventually able to enter back into the regular program because of her bridge of knowledge.
Elder Betty is a sessional instructor of Indigenous Health Studies 200 (Traditional Health) at FNUC and has co-developed Kinesiology Health Studies 171 (Holistic Health Studies). Also within the First Nations University of Canada Elder Betty has helped develop the Medicine Room with the intent to encourage youth in the community to spend quality time with Elders.
Elder Betty is someone who gives herself in order to make this world a better place. She has served on many boards and committees , The Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons , Native Women”s Association of Canada, Saskatchewan Prayer breakfast committee and the Saskatchewan Police Commission. Her goal is to create healthier people where we can work together to create a healthy community. Everything she does is with great care and compassion. She is an inspiration to all who come in contact with her. She works tirelessly to preserve the health of the population in Saskatchewan with her incredible work ethic, her giving spirit, and her enduring faith in humanity.
Elder Betty has received many awards such as the Queens Golden Jubilee medal and the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal.