EDMONTON, AB | Originally from Quebec, Diana spent her teenage years in Western Africa which was an early awakening to different cultures and the difficulties of living in a developing country. Following that experience, she obtained a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Sherbrooke with the intention of helping people to improve their standard of living by working on water and sanitation projects. Her first job was with Enbridge, in Edmonton, where she also became the youngest Rotarian of her club, the Edmonton Avenue of Nations Rotary Club, at age 26. She left Edmonton to work as a volunteer in Peru for two years on optimizing existing water and sewer systems. At the end of her contract, she came back to Alberta to work for CAWST with whom she pioneered train the trainer programs on household water treatment projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Diana then worked on water distribution and treatment systems for consulting engineering firms in Calgary and joined the Rotary Club of Calgary Olympic.
Aside from engineering, Diana is also an Algonquin Metis, an artist, and a musician. In the spring of 2016, one morning she woke up from a dream that had showed her the way to help Indigenous people by founding the Colouring it Forward project.
What is Colouring it Forward?
Colouring it Forward is a social enterprise including a not-for-profit organization called CIF Reconciliation Society and a business called Colouring it Forward Inc. The purpose of the social enterprise is to advance education on indigenous issues, art, language and culture through a grassroots approach.
CIF Reconciliation Society works in collaboration with organizations such as IndigeSTEAM, Stardale Women's Group, and more to deliver art-based workshops and events that provide education on Indigenous ways of knowing and promote healing and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Colouring it Forward organizes an annual Orange Shirt Day Walk and Event called Pokaiks the Children. Additional programming includes the Language Apps program for Indigenous Youth which they are organizing in partnership with IndigeSTEAM and Red Iron Labs.