I, Shanese Indoowaaboo Steele am an Afro-Indigenous, Fat Femme living and learning on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg people and the Dish With One Spoon Wampum. With a Black father from Trinidad, with roots in Carriacou, Grenada and a Mixed mother of French and Native ancestry with ties to Nipissing First Nation and the Red Sky Independent Métis Nation, I navigate the world as an Afro-Anishinaabe Kwe. Being Black, Native, Queer and Fat in a world that says all of these things should not exist. A published writer I use writing as an outlet to express my fears, joy and dreams. I have also spent the last 10 years as an activist facilitating workshops, creating curriculum, giving training's and guest speeches on Black and Indigenous Issues. Founder of the non-profit Aazhganan Project, I work to educate Racialized and Indigenous peoples on their shared histories.
My work first began in 2013 when I joined the Toronto District School Boards (TDSB) Aboriginal Education Community Council as the youngest member. There I advocated for Indigenous youth in education and helped pilot the cities first ever Indigenous Alternative education program which has now grown into the First Nations High School. I then spent the next 6 years of my life fighting for the advancement of Indigenous and Racialized students rights within Post-Secondary Institutions. In 2017 alongside other community activists a campaign called "Make Trent Safe Again" where I led a peaceful protest on the Trent University Campus . This ultimately led to a complete review of reporting practices around discrimination and sexual assault on the Trent campus.
On a larger scale my work has encompassed building bridges between Black and Indigenous peoples living on both Turtle Island and Globally. Being both an Anishinaabe Kwe and a Black person of Trinidadian and Grenadian descent I understand the complexities of the diasporic experiences of visitors to these lands in relationship to the original inhabitants. My work includes both traditional knowledge from my Anishinaabe ancestors and community as well as that of my Black ancestry. All of my work comes from a decolonial, Queer, feminist, and pro-Black framework. I also make sure to include the voices and work of Trans, Disabled and other Queer folks so that all experiences may be included in the collective fight for freedom from oppression.