Aboriginal Alumni Stories: Elizabeth Gray (MSW '11)
Elizabeth Gray is a non-status, urban, Mi'kmaq woman who currently lives in Hamilton Ontario. She graduated from Laurier’s School of Social Work with a Master of Social Work (MSW) in the Aboriginal Field of Study (AFS) in October of 2011.
Gray is currently serving as Operations and Special Projects Manager with the Aboriginal Education and Student Services team at Mohawk College. Her position includes a partnership agreement between Mohawk and Sheridan College and the development and implementation of Aboriginal Initiatives at Sheridan College.
For more than a decade, Gray has been publishing books on community organizing, anti-oppression and social work practice, in addition to working on the accreditation of retirement residences in Ontario. She recently co-edited The Dance of Wiindigo and Nanaboozhou: An Indigenous journey through hatred and violence by Madeleine Berglund and is one of 10 individuals being profiled in a book on advocacy and social change.
Gray has raised one son to virtual adulthood and spends much of her free time camping and enjoying being on the land.
Her desire to enrol in Laurier’s part-time MSW AFS program was for personal reasons rather than professional ones. She wanted the experience of education rooted in Indigenous pedagogy and to commit to deeper understanding of culture and ceremony. She particularly appreciated the reflective writing and honouring of relationship with the medicines that her Laurier elders and instructors encouraged and remains deeply grateful for the experience.