Jerry attended a Roman Catholic School in Fort Francis where he confronted the uniqueness of his background. “It was considered a colloquial school. I fought in town because I was Aboriginal and on the reserve because I looked white.”
Jerry joined the Labor movement -- following his grandfather’s footsteps -- and became president of the local Union for almost 20 years.
Jerry’s background in the labor movement and expertise as a negotiator served him well as a strong advocate for human rights. “I was appointed to the Human Rights Commission in Ontario. I stepped down when I moved to Manitoba and in 2000, was asked to set up a similar commission here.” Jerry was appointed vice-chair and became chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Manitoba in 2006.
When Jerry moved to Winnipeg he began connecting with Elders to rediscover his roots.” Jerry is a proud member of the Bear Clan; his spirit name, Ish Ka Dae Mukwa, means Fire Bear in Ojibwa.