Dwayne Donald was born and raised in Edmonton and is a descendent of the Papaschase Cree. His Blackfoot named is Aipioomahkaa (Long Distance Runner). Dwayne is the son of Allen and Darlene, husband to Georgina, father to Kesho, and uncle to Taryn, Taylor, Kennedy, Kristofer, Sarah, Marshall, Breanne and Lauren.
Dwayne has earned the following academic degrees: Bachelor of Arts (Alberta), Bachelor of Education (Calgary), Master of Education (Lethbridge), and PhD (Alberta). His Master’s thesis work at the University of Lethbridge was done under the supervision of Dr. Cynthia Chambers. The manuscript, titled Elder, Student, Teacher: A Kainai Curriculum Métissage, can be accessed via the following link: http://www.uleth.ca/dspace/bitstream/10133/147/3/MQ83749.pdf
Dwayne’s doctoral dissertation work at the University of Alberta was done under the supervision of Dr. David Geoffrey Smith. The manuscript, titled The Pedagogy of the Fort: Curriculum, Aboriginal-Canadian Relations, and Indigenous Métissage, focuses on the fort as a mythic symbol deeply embedded within the story of Canadian nation and nationality that teaches and naturalizes a divisive and dispiriting civilizational divide separating Aboriginal peoples and Canadians. Dwayne’s central argument in the dissertation is that that universities, schools, classrooms, curriculum scholars, educators, and curriculum documents typically replicate these fort teachings when considering the possible significance of Indigenous peoples and knowledge systems to contemporary educational contexts.
Dwayne’s career as an educator began in the Mathare Valley slums of Nairobi, Kenya. He had the privilege to work alongside Kenyans with the Mathare Youth Sports Association while living in Nairobi. After returning to Canada in 1993, Dwayne began teaching social studies and English at Kainai High School on the Kainai (Blood) Reserve in southern Alberta. This experience changed his life. The opportunity to learn from Kainai Elders and community leaders has had a tremendous influence on Dwayne’s interests and commitments as a curriculum thinker. In 2003, Dwayne and family moved back home to Edmonton to begin doctoral studies at the University of Alberta. He accepted an academic position in the Faculty of Education in 2007.