Denise Baxter is a proud member of Marten Falls First Nation. She lives in Thunder Bay with her husband, John (Moose Cree) and two children Albany and Sophie. Denise is in her first year as the Vice Provost, Aboriginal Initiatives at Lakehead University. Prior to that she was the Principal of Adult and Continuing Education at Lakehead District School Board; she is concurrently completing her Ph.D. in Equity and Indigenous Education at York University. As an established education leader, Denise has worked in multiple contexts including public school boards, the Ministry of Education, Lakehead University and First Nations private schools. Within each of these contexts, she has built capacity and partnerships with multiple community stakeholders. Her work with the community has involved education conferences, workshop presentations, and capacity building with educators in First Nations schools. Denise's current doctoral research and professional writing support her educational experiences and are focused on decolonizing educational systems. She maintains that preserving and practicing cultural traditions and ceremony keeps her connected to the community, Aboriginal cultures, traditions, and protocol. All of this has allowed her to establish networks, strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities and governments, as well as build capacity between First Nations and public and private partners. This includes partnerships that have supported multiple initiatives that advance educational outcomes for Aboriginal students. Additionally, her cultural competency allowed her to serve as co-chair of the Ministry of Education, Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat's First Nations, Métis and Inuit Provincial Committee. Her extensive educational experience has included opportunities to lead and teach across multiple educational environments including public schools K-12, First Nations schools and First Nations private schools, and the university. As a public-school educator and leader, she has had the opportunity to work within high-need inner-city schools, French immersion schools, and adult and continuing education. These efforts have led to opening four new sites this year. Most recently, she developed and co-instructed Lakehead University's Principal Qualification Program Part I and II. Denise's masters work focused on building relationships with Indigenous parents and caregivers as a critical entry point for Indigenous families into the public school system. This research led to the creation of Aboriginal Presence In our Schools - A Cultural Resource for Staff which was adopted and adapted by several public and Catholic school boards across the province.