Residential School Survivor and Knowledge Keeper, Saskatoon Survivor's Circle
A well-known, long-standing, and highly regarded cultural leader and mentor in Saskatoon, Maria Linklater was born at the Thunderchild First Nation. She was raised by her grandmother until the age of seven, when she was forced to attend residential school. Maria has dedicated much of her life to child welfare. She was employed by many social service agencies, and lovingly cared for over 350 foster children, many with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Maria offered each of these children a safe place, loving environment, one that supported pride in their cultural identity. Maria, along with Walter, were also the first Elders to join the Saskatoon Police Service’s Chief’s Advisory Committee, served as Elders overseeing the Peacekeepers Program, consulted on the design of the Cultural Room at the SPS headquarters, and assisted the SPS in the design of the Indigenous-specific training courses at the Canadian Police College.