Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent. She comes from the Cardinal Family at Peepeekisis First Nation and is the proud Mom of eight year old twins. Monique has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 20 years. Her formal training is as a Psychiatric Nurse and her work experience has been in the areas of Aboriginal Education, Stress and Trauma Recovery, Staff Development and Wellness, Strategic Planning and Addictions. Monique’s strong understanding of the Early Years has lead her to work as the previous Executive Director for Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC and National Aboriginal Advisor for Roots of Empathy and Seeds of Empathy; as well as an instructor for the Justice Institute of BC. She has had the privilege of doing contract work, facilitating workshops and keynote addresses across BC, Nationally and Internationally, with a focus on fostering an understanding of the strength and resiliency of First Peoples in Canada. Under the umbrella of her own business, Little Drum Consulting established in 1996, Monique is also an accomplished writer with a diverse body of work that continues to influence the Aboriginal Early Years field. Monique is currently working on her first novel that tells the history of Aboriginal people in Canada through a lens of strength, resiliency and hope.