Angela James is a Manitoba Metis. Upon high school graduation from her home province, she moved to Yellowknife, NT, where she has lived for 34 years. Angela married into a Chipewyan Dene family, and has learned the many similarities between her own Metis kin and her married Dene people. Angela graduated from the University of Manitoba with her BEd in 1989.
Angela’s teaching experiences in the Yellowknife public education system included teaching English Language Arts and Core French from Grades 7 to 12. Then in 1995 to 1997, Angela took a break from classroom teaching and started an educational tourism business with her family. They operated the Dene Cultural Camps for all the schools in Yellowknife under the name Trapline Tours. In their last year of camps, over 2,000 students from Grades 1 to 12 participated in the learning adventure that involved experiencing the heritage, culture, and languages of the Northern / Dene and Metis people.
These cultural experiences provided the foundation for Angela’s next position, which was the principal of an Aboriginal school: Kàlemì Dene School (KDS), the Community School of Ndilo. For 12 years as the principal, Angela worked with an incredible team of community leaders and teachers who worked relentlessly to receive the funding to build a brand new $10 million school building that honoured the traditions and culture of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.
In the fall of 2011, Angela embarked on a new journey taking on the leadership position with the GNWT’s Department of Education as the new Director of Early Childhood and School Services. At the same time, Angela began her doctorate degree with Simon Fraser University.
Presently, Angela and her family live in Yellowknife where they care for their 20 sled dogs, raising puppies, training and racing during the wonderful winter season. Their family way of life has always been to promote an awareness, understanding and appreciation of the North: the hearty lifestyle of its people, the strong Dene/Metis heritage and culture, the different Dene languages, the pristine Land and Animals, and the active concern for environmental issues.