Belinda Daniels is the only
Canadian teacher up for the Global Teacher Prize worth $1 million.
Cree teacher Belinda Daniels. (courtesy photo)
A Saskatoon Cree teacher has been shortlisted for a global award
worth $1 million.
Belinda Daniels is the only Canadian teacher up for the Global
Teacher Prize awarded by the Varkey Foundation.
"I was pretty ecstatic, overwhelmed, and it was exciting,"
Daniels said on CBC's Saskatoon Morning.
I wanted to share that feeling
of connectedness with my students.
- Belinda Daniels, teacher
Daniels is from Sturgeon Lake First Nation and was first inspired
to teach when she was an administrative assistant at a local high
She has been teaching for 15 years and said she learned that
a good educator is someone who brings their passion and a sense
of belonging into the classroom.
"(I) was inspired to teach the Cree language," Belinda
explained. "Since then I have been self-taught and I have been
taking extra classes. I created a Cree language summer camp around
11 years ago to reclaim my language, which really awakened my own
identity and my own purpose. I wanted to share that feeling of connectedness
with my students."
The Global Teacher Prize is a $1 million award that is given
to an "exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution
to the profession," according to the Varkey Foundation website.
Daniels is one of 50 teachers who made the shortlist from 8,000
nominees all over the world. The winner will be announced in March.
Daniels said, if she wins, she would invest the money in indigenous
languages and education, creating a bottom up initiative that is
a collective process and taps into local indigenous scholars.