Osaw Maskwa Darrell Anderson, also known as Osaw Maskwa, hails from the largest First Nation Treaty 8 Territory in northern Alberta, Canada, belonging to the Bigstone Cree Nation with over 10,000 members. As a dedicated father, he is committed to family and community, cherishing the teachings of his Cree upbringing, heritage, and experiences. Through hard work and self-motivation, he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Native Studies & Cultural Anthropology and a Master of Education Degree in International & Intercultural Education from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is also recognized as the first Cree quarterback at the University of Alberta's football team.
With his entrepreneurial qualities and passion for his people, Osaw Maskwa turned author of 6 published books, some of which are used in classrooms throughout Alberta today. His educational but cultured background, traditional knowledge, and commitment to family, community, youth, and elders make him an ideal advocate and educator for Indigenous knowledge, history, culture/language preservation, and practice.
Osaw Maskwa is deeply passionate about preserving the northern Cree Language and traditions through community-oriented activities, such as land-based teachings. He has spent his adult life influencing as many of his people as possible to lead positive, healthy lives, while ensuring that identity and pride in the Cree culture and language remain at the forefront. He has over 30 years of experience working in Indigenous communities in management and community development, striving to be a positive influence to all who he interacts with.
Osaw Maskwa's grandparents played a crucial role in instilling in him the importance of getting an education while preserving his native language and culture (Sakaw Nehiyawin). His continuous commitment to speaking Cree and sharing his traditional knowledge is a testament to his upbringing by his Elders. He firmly believes that knowledge is diverse and meant to be shared, respected, and honored. Osaw Maskwa is well-versed in Cree teachings, and he acknowledges that each individual's journey is unique, pointing in different directions, like the poles of a tipi, symbolizing the strength and support of family and community.