Shirley Horn is the first-ever Chancellor of Algoma University, effective June 13th, 2015. She was sworn in at the University’s annual Convocation ceremony, thereby commencing her five-year term.
Horn is from Chapleau, Ontario, and at the age of five was sent to St. Johns Indian Residential School. She was then transferred to the Shingwauk Indian Residential School at the age of seven, where she remained for six years. In 1981, she helped found the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association (CSAA), a constructive organization that has been a leader at the national level on the residential school issue. She remained in a leadership position with the organization for 34 years.
In 2005, Horn returned to the Shingwauk Indian School Residential School site – now the home of Algoma University – to enroll in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. As a rare graduate of both the Residential School and the University, she received a standing ovation at Convocation in 2009. In 2015, she received the Alumni Achievement Award from the Algoma University Alumni Council.
Horn has been Chief of her own community, the Missanabie Cree First Nation for 3 years, and has also been a member of the Missanabie Cree Elders’ Council. Horn is also Co-Founder of the Echoes of the World Drum Festival, a former member of the Shingwauk Education Trust (SET), and an accomplished artist. Her piece, Project of the Heart, is on permanent display outside of the Doc Brown Lounge at Algoma U.
Chancellor Horn serves as the titular head of the institution. She participates in major ceremonies and events, including the annual September Induction as well as Convocation. Horn confers all degrees. By acting as an ambassador of Algoma U, she also helps to raise the profile of the University as well as assist in both relationship-building and fundraising initiatives. Horn provides support to the University President, as requested, and promotes the University’s special mission in regards to Anishinaabe education.