Mary Lou and Dan Smoke
Banner Image: Dan and Mary Lou Smoke give the Welcome Address at Ron Benner's 2022 Corn Roast at Museum London. Image courtesy of Keufner Photography.
Mary Lou and Dan Smoke are an exceptional couple. Mary Lou is Ojibway Nation, from Batchawana, on Lake Superior, and Dan is Seneca Nation from the Six Nations Grand River Territory. They met in 1972/3 and were married in the Onondaga Longhouse in a traditional Indigenous Haudenosaunee Wedding Ceremony in 1977. They have been happily married for 43years.
They have hosted "The Smoke Signals Aboriginal Radio Program," since 1990 and continue with this Western University campus-based radio program offering interviews with indigenous cultural workers and advocates from across Turtle Island. They have collected an extensive archive and books related to their decades of working as journalists and advocates. From 1999-2019 they worked with the London CTV Station.
Mary Lou and Dan Smoke received honorary doctorates, Honoris Causa, Noble International Environmental Peace University and are Adjunct Assistant Professors in the Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University. In 2006, they were invited to teach a course at Western University's Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS).
Over the years they have won several radio and TV Awards as well as a Teaching Award from the University Students Council for their teaching methods at Western. They taught, "The Representation of Indigenous Affairs in the Mainstream and Alternative Media." Recognized as Elders with many organizations and institutaions, they also taught an "Introduction to Indigenous Spirituality" for Brescia University College at Western from 2009 - 2016. They are frequently called upon to teach indigenous protocals and ethics, as well as perform indigenous ceremonies. On Dec. 10, 2020, Dan and Mary Lou received the Atlhosa Peace Awards for their work in truth and reconcilation.
Mary Lou was selected as a "Woman of Distinction" in 2015, by the YMCA London and was celebrated in an Awards Ceremony at the London Convention Center. A Native Women's Drum Group, "The Good Hearted Women Singers" sang her an Honour Song when she received her Award. Mary Lou directed that it be sung for all the other 7 women also being recognized.
Mary Lou is a gifted traditional and contemporary singer and has performed with Jim Buller, who was her agent, many years ago, and the founder of the Association for Native Development in Performing and Visual Arts (ANDPVA), Canada's oldest indigenous arts service organization. Recently, she was inducted into the Forest City London Music Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement on April. 28, 2019. She received a congratulatory text from acclaimed singer Buffy Sainte-Marie. She was Co-Chairperson of CARAS JUNO Indigenous Artist and Group of the Year for 2020/21.
Dan and Mary Lou Smoke are the proud grandparents of Ryan Isaac Smoke, who is 19 years old.
Western University Smoke Signals Radio. CHRW 94.9 FM
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