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About the Authors

John W. Friesen, Ph.D., D.Min., D.R.S.

John W. Friesen, Ph.D., D.Min., D.R.S., is a Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary where he teaches courses in Educational issues, Aboriginal history, and Aboriginal education.

He is a graduate of seven colleges and universities and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, a D.Min. from Christian Bible College, and a D.R.S. from Trinity Theological Seminary. Dr. Friesen is no stranger to the arena of religion either by training or practice. He has worked in formal connection with a variety of Christian denominations including Baptist, Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), Evangelical, Evangelical United Brethren, Huntington Hills Community Church (Independent), Mennonite Brethren, United Church of Canada, and United Methodist (USA). He has been on the boards of a variety of interchurch agencies such as The Calgary Interfaith Society, The Canadian Association for Pastoral Education, Calgary Evangelical Ministerial Association, The Calgary Pastoral Institute, and the Canadian Christian Festival of Faith. He is an ordained minister with the All Native Circle Conference of the United Church of Canada.

Dr. Friesen is the recipient of three Eagle feathers. The first feather was awarded for participating in a sweat lodge. The second eagle feather is a “Teaching Feather” presented to Dr. Friesen by a Cree Pipe Carrier. In 1995, he was presented with the third eagle feather by The First Nations Student Association and The Native Centre of the University of Calgary. This eagle feather along with the Rev. Dr. John Snow Sr. Award was presented “to recognize and honour academic instruction and support to Aboriginal students at the University of Calgary.”

Dr. Friesen is the author of more than 40 books including:

  • Rose of the North (a novel), (Borealis, 1987);
  • Introduction to Teaching: A Socio-Cultural Approach (co-author), (Kendall/Hunt, 1990);
  • You Can’t Get There From Here: The Mystique of North American Plains Indians Culture & Philosophy (Kendall/Hunt, 1995);
  • Pick One: A User-Friendly Guide to Religion (Detselig, 1995);
  • The Real/Riel Story: An Interpretive History of the Métis People of Canada (Borealis, 1996);
  • Perceptions of the Amish Way (with Bruce K. Friesen) Kendall/Hunt, 1996;
  • Rediscovering the First Nations of Canada (Detselig, 1997);
  • Sayings of the Elders: An Anthology of First Nations’ Wisdom (Detselig, 1998);
  • First Nations of the Plains: Creative, Adaptable and Enduring (Detselig, 1999);
  • Legends of the Elders (Detselig, 2000);
  • Aboriginal Spirituality and Biblical Theology: Closer Than You Think (Detselig, 2000);
  • Canada in the Twenty-First Century: A Historical Sociological Approach (with Trevor W. Harrison), (Pearson Canada, 2004);
  • We Are Included! The Métis People of Canada Realize Riel’s Vision (with Virginia Lyons Friesen) (2004);
  • The Palgrave Companion to Utopian Communities in North America (with Virginia Lyons Friesen), (Macmillan, 2004); and,
  • Sayings of a Philosopher (Detselig, 2005).



Virginia Lyons Friesen, Ph.D

Virginia Lyons Friesen, Ph.D., is a Sessional Instructor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Dr. Friesen was a frequent instructor at the University of Calgary’s Weekend University, the University of Calgary’s Gifted Centre, and Old Sun College on the Blackfoot First Nation at Siksika, Alberta.

An Early Childhood Education Specialist, she holds a Certificate in Counseling from the Institute of Pastoral Counseling in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Friesen served as Director of Christian Education with the Morley United Church on the Stoney (Nakoda Sioux) Indian Reserve from 1988 to 2001, and is presently serving again in that position.

She has co-presented a number of papers at academic conferences and is co-author of several books including:

  • Grade Expectations: A Multicultural Handbook for Teachers, (Alberta Teachers’ Association 1995), and,
  • The Palgrave Companion to Utopian Communities in North America (Macmillan, 2004).
John W. Friesen and Virginia Lyons Friesen

John W. Friesen and Virginia Lyons Friesen have co-authored the several Detselig Enterprises Ltd. titles including:

  • In Defense of Public Schools in North America (2001);
  • Aboriginal Education in Canada: A Plea for Integration (2002);
  • We Are Included! The Métis People of Canada Realize Riel’s Vision (2004);
  • More Legends of the Elders (2004);
  • First Nations in the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Educational Frontiers (2005);
  • Still More Legends of the Elders (2005);
  • Even More Legends of the Elders (2005);
  • Legends of the Elders Handbook for Teachers, Homeschoolers, and Parents (2005); and,
  • Canadian Aboriginal Art and Spirituality: A Vital Link (2006).

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