Fern Perkins Métis Education Enhancement Program Coordinator

August 19, 2015

Fern Perkins coordinates the Métis Education Enhancement Program for the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria and has taught Indigenous Education at UVic.

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Fern Perkins (Barker), born in Victoria in 1950, is descended from the first Aboriginal and Hudson Bay Company Métis family in Fort Victoria, who survived the smallpox epidemic of 1862. Fern is the 3x granddaughter of Charles George Ross, Chief Trader of the HBC who supervised the building of Fort Victoria in 1843 and Isabella Merilia (Mainville) Ross from the Anishnaabe (Saulteaux) of Mackinaw Island. Isabella was the first independent registered woman landowner in BC, under colonial rules. Fern is also the 2x granddaughter of their Métis son, Alexander Ross and Mary Ann Bastian Ross of the Salish (Nisqually/Muck Creek) peoples in Washington.

Fern was educated in Victoria, the only person in her family to graduate from public school, attended University of Victoria, to complete professional teacher education, and then a BSc degree at Lewis Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. After teaching in Victoria, Idaho and Saskatchewan Fern returned to Victoria to teach. She completed a Master of Education at UVic, where she has been a teacher educator for 28 years, most recently in Indigenous Education.

Fern has been coordinating the Métis Education Enhancement Program for the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria. She and her Métis husband, Mark, teach Métis history and culture in Victoria and Sooke public schools, grades 4-12 as Aboriginal resource people.

Fern Perkins can be reached at fperkins@uvic.ca

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