HOLLY FORTIER, a Cree/Dene from Ft. McKay First Nation, Alberta, was born in Treaty 7 Territory and was fortunate to be raised by cultural leaders, academics, and activists. She owns a business that specializes in the development and delivery of Indigenous Awareness Trainings. She has been delivering trainings across Canada since 2007 to thousands of participants. The audience has comprised of government, industry, agencies, schools, businesses, with people from a variety of positions such as stakeholder relations, administrative personnel, scientists, machine operators, supervisors, managers, human relations, health workers, teachers, police/fire, etc.
Her passion for sharing Indigenous history and culture began with her mother's Indian Residential School experience, and her mothers’ story of survival, determination and success. In the delivery of her workshops she not only shares lots of statistics and facts of Indigenous people, past present, future, but also her own personal testimony. She is telling a story that is of heavy subject matter, but delivers it in a kind and humble way. She has consistently received feedback from attendees of her trainings that they had never heard of or learned the information they received from the training day, and that their viewpoints or biases have been completely transformed. It is her mission that moving forward we have a much more meaningful respectful relationship with each other, Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.
In the recent past, she has also participated in projects involving traditional land use studies, special places mapping, elders and community members interviews, film production, and community event planning. Also, Holly has a proven facilitation background addressing topics such as cultural awareness, family violence, child abuse, drug and alcohol education, bullying, anger management and conflict resolution.
Holly has been involved in the Alberta film industry since the early 1990’s, particularly in Indigenous theme productions such as North of 60. Other film credits include The Assassination of Jesse James with Brad Pitt, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee and The Revenant.
Holly is a volunteer with the Calgary Stampede First Nation Princess Committee, the Banff/Canmore Reconciliation Working Group, Winsport (Canada Olympic Park) and also, the No Greater Love music festival on the Stoney Nakoda Nation.
Holly is the recipient of the 2016 Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, Esquao Award for Culture and 2018 Alberta Aboriginal Role Model award. Holly is a mother of one daughter, two sons, and Kokum to three granddaughters.