Greyeyes is the daughter of Vicki and Alex Greyeyes of
the Muskeg Lake First Nation. Family is very important to
Joan; therefore, she is very involved with her two
children's activities. According to Joan Greyeyes, a
strong self identity is the most important gift a mother
can give her children. Her positive understanding of who
she was gave Joan the confidence to succeed. "My
parents always stressed education," she says.
Joan was one of the first Aboriginal students to obtain a
Bachelor of Education degree in 1977. She later completed
a Postgraduate degree in Educational Administration at
the University of Saskatchewan.
She has worked with the North Battleford District Chiefs, the SICC, SINCO and the Indian Teacher Education Program in the North Battleford District. Joan has been the President of the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies since April 1995. SIIT is an educational institute that offers education and training to First Nation adults. She is the first woman to hold this position since its establishment in 1976.
Joan's management style and philosophy are based on respect, trust, and honesty. She leads by example, both in integrity and work ethics. She works alongside her staff and treats everyone as an equal. She encourages professional development and rewards achievement. Joan strives to ensure a healthy workplace with open discussion and debate, and humor.
She continues to be very instrumental in developing quality, culturally relevant education and training programs that respond to changing labour market demands. Two initiatives under Joan's leadership, have received national recognition. In 1996, the First Nations Call Centre - the first in Canada and the second in North America - was established. For the first time in ninety years, First Nation Sask-Tel customers are communicated to in Cree, Dene, or Saulteaux, as well as English. The Call Centre received the CANDO Award in 1998. In 1999, the Conference Board of Canada awarded SIIT's Electronic Basics Program, the Chrysler Award. The program provides theory, lab and applied work experience to students through a partnership with SaskTel.
Joan has received the following awards for her contribution and commitment to promoting education within First Nation communities: 1995, the Paul Harris presented by the Rotary Club of Saskatoon; 1997, the YWCA Women of Distinction in the category of Business Management and the Professions and the Muskeg Lake First Nation Community Recognition of Achievements and Contributions. In 1998 she was one of the ten finalists for the Canadian Woman's Mentor Award in Science and Technology. She was invited by the Prime Minister of Canada to participate as a member of the Canadian delegation that visited Japan to promote Canadian economic trade recently.
Greyeyes says she would like to see more woman involved in politics.
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