Speidel is an advocate of First Nations self
determination and governance. Over the years she has held
numerous positions in which she has worked to advance
First Nations interests. One of her focus areas has been
the rights of Dakota/Lakota people living in present day
Canada. She has worked a number of years with Dakota
Nations of Canada in seeking a treaty and lands claims
settlement with the Canadian government and recognition
of Dakota/Nakota/Lakota rights in Canada and the United
States. She is one of the founding organisers of the
annual Dakota/Nakota/Lakota summit meetings, which bring
together all Canadian and American bands/tribes to
address issues of common concern.
Another of her focus areas has been First Nations control of education and the development of First Nations bilingual/bicultural education programs. She holds a Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis in Bilingual/Bicultural Education and has held a wide range of positions in education ranging from a teacher's aide to Director of Education from the Head Start to University level.
As a Lakota author she has done extensive research and writing about the Dakota/Nakota/Lakota people. She, as well, has authored and illustrated a number of works in the Lakota and Dakota languages. The preservation of First Nations languages and cultures as her primary focus. Over the years she has done extensive work in developing First Nations instructional and resource materials produced in print, audio, video, and multimedia formats. For the past number of years, she has been the Director of Cultural Resource Development & Publications at the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre. As a member of the Saskatchewan Publishers Group executive and the Saskculture Board of Directors she has been an advocate for First Nations interests in publishing, film, sound recording, other cultural industries, arts and heritage. She is one of the founding organizers of the Circle of Aboriginal Controlled Publishes and is a member of a number of other cultural organizations/committees.
Throughout her life she has maintained an active involvement in Lakota/Dakota ceremonial and cultural activities and has provided opportunities for her three children and six grandchildren to be involved. First Nations song and dance has always been a special interest of hers. She has been a dancer, costume designer, dance instructor, dance troupe manager and choreographer of dance performers, and pow wow organizer. Today she is the advisor to the Wanuskewin Dance Troupe. She has travelled extensively throughout North America and into Europe in support of First Nations song and dance.
Links: (click on X in top right corner of outside link to return to photo gallery)