Four Nations, One Vision

Theresa C. Wildcat

Theresa Cecilia Wildcat (nee Minde) 1927-2011

Theresa Cecilia Wildcat, 1927-2011, a citizen of Ermineskin Cree Nation, received her teaching certificate from the University of Alberta in 1952 and became the first teacher from Maskwacîs. Theresa has been described as a visionary and dedicated educator, a pioneer in the field of education, a great inspiration and role model, and an advocate for both education and her community. She set an example of sixty years of dedicated service with a sincere and deep interest for the betterment of her people, the advancement of First Nations education and the preservation of Cree language and history.


“As parents, we must encourage our children to keep going to school and teach them our Cree language. Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders.”

- Theresa C. Wildcat


  • Ermineskin Indian Residential School, 1935-1944
  • St. Joseph’s Convent Red Deer, 1944-1951
  • University of Alberta 1951-1952, University of Alberta Normal School Teacher Certificate

List of Achievements, Awards, Distinctions

  • 1951 First high school graduate from Ermineskin
  • 1952 First teacher from Hobbema
  • 1952-1953 teacher, St. Mary’s Residential School, Kainai
  • 1953-1955 teacher, Crowfoot Indian School, Cluny
  • 1955-1956 teacher, Lestock School, Saskatchewan
  • 1956-1965 teacher, Ermineskin Indian Residential School (full and part time)
  • 1966-1968 First Female Band Councillor elected to Ermineskin Cree Nation
  • 1968-1970 Editor of Bear Hill’s Native Voice (Hobbema)
  • 1968-1970 Secretary-Treasurer, Four Band Homemaker Club
  • 1968-1976 Chairperson of Four Band School Committee
  • 1970’s Canada Manpower Committee
  • 1972 Hobbema Curriculum Project
  • 1974 Founding member of Alberta Native Teachers Society, ANTS, President 1977-79
  • 1970’s Living History Video Interviews, MCC
  • 1974-1980’s Maskwacis Cultural College, Founding member, Board member, Instructor
  • 1970’s University of Calgary, helped establish Red Lodge (Native Center)
  • 1978-1981 University of Alberta Senate
  • 1980-2011 University of Alberta: assisted in development of School of Native Studies, and Aboriginal Students Office, Augustana Campus; guest speaker, elder, advisor
  • 1978-2006 Creeway Program
  • 1979 Delta Kappa Gamma (International Society of Outstanding Women Educators)
  • 1981 Ermineskin Constitution: key organizer & planner along with Dr. Wilton Littlechild
  • 1981 Founding member of Ermineskin Education Trust Fund
  • 2001-2011 Maskwacis Health Services Board Member
  • Chief Robert Smallboy Award 1986
  • Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal 2002 (Grandfather Dan Minde received the
    Queen Elizabeth Coronation Medal 1952)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, The Tribal Chiefs Institute 2002
  • Esquao Award - Lifetime Achievement 2004
  • Alberta Centennial Medal 2005
  • Woman of Aspenland, Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum 2006
  • Augustana Alumni Association Citation Award 2010


Birth: December 9, 1927, Hobbema AB
Parents Joe Minde and Emma Memnook
Paternal Grandparents Dan Minde and Celina Saddleback, Hobbema AB
Maternal Grandparents Joe Memnook and Anna Chokan, Saddle Lake AB
Married: to Sam Wildcat 1957
Death: December 28, 2011, Wetaskiwin AB
5 children, Brian, Carol, (late) Darrel, Clara, Daniel
11 grandchildren14 great grandchildren and counting


New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, Europe, USA