Interpretive Program Developer
Canadian Museum for Human Rights
EDST Degree/s and graduation year/s
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Lola Whonnock completed her teacher education with the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP), formally the Native Indian Teacher Education Program, at the University of British Columbia in 1997 and began a teaching career among the Nisga’a at School District #92. In 2002, Lola completed a Master’s in Education, at UBC, with a focus on First Nations Education and staff retention through their First Nations focussed programming known as T’skel. Lola taught grade 1 to 7, as well as resource, over the years in the Nisga’a School District. During that time, she challenged her students and teaching community to bring relevance to the classroom in math through projects with UBC and in reading. She supported her colleagues as a teacher leader and union representative, later taking on the role of Vice President. In 2013, Lola Whonnock chose to uproot and resettled in Winnipeg Manitoba. In Winnipeg, Lola has experienced the role of substitute teacher, Adult Education teacher for First Nations Métis and Indigenous Studies, and French Immersion Kindergarten teacher in a couple of different school divisions. In this urban setting, Lola re-experienced the love of playing music and being in artistic community by joining and supporting community bands and choirs. She continues growing her language skills, taking up Anishanaabemowin classes and improving her French at the Université de St. Boniface and joining a French community choir. She supports her local community by volunteering and helping in a variety of ways, including taking on board positions with the Rainbow Harmony Project Choir and the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre. In July 2018, Lola Whonnock began as an Interpretive Program Developer with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, where she creates educational programming, does staff training and has the opportunity to work with youth in delivering programs, while also working with community groups. Some projects of note are the Mandela: Struggle for Freedom Student Self-Guide, the management and coordinating of the N’we Jinan Arts Conference, which brought in 300 Indigenous Youth from across the country in a celebration of the arts and human rights. As well as the piloting of CMHR’s first Youth Leadership Program, which brought together youth volunteers to learn about dialogue, project development, careers at the museum, and helped us create a middle years classroom exploration guide titled : Youth Voices. This year, Lola was brought on to support creating a teacher resource for the Witness Blanket, by Carey Newman, to be launched in the near future.