Dorothy Thunder is a Plains Cree (nêhiyawiskwêw) from Little Pine First Nation, Saskatchewan and full-time Cree instructor in Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta.
She is a Language Keeper, educator, and an Aboriginal woman who practices the traditional way of life. Her passion for the Cree language began at the U of A, where she completed her BA in Native Studies in June 2002 and MSc in Linguistics in December 2015. She co-authored the book, Beginning of Print Culture in Athabasca Country, which won the Scholarly and Academic Book of the Year in June 2011. In March 2011, she received the Graduate Studies Teaching Award in recognition of excellence in the performance of teaching duties in the Faculty of Native Studies.
Being a fluent nêhiyawêwin speaker and instructor has inspired her to continue in developing resource materials and promoting nêhiyawêwin language programs. Her purpose is to assist in strengthening confidence and competence in Cree language skills by supporting educators and nehiyawewin language learners. As an advocator of nehiyawewin, she shares various methodologies to strengthen existing or new Indigenous programs. Her main focus is integrating nehiyaw language and literacy strategies from cultural perspectives of First Nations teachings and the inclusion of Aboriginal stories and teachings.