Ocean Wise Ambassador – 2021 Ocean Bridge Classic Cohort
Bonjour à tous! My name is Anisa Maya Dhanji and my pronouns are she and they. I am a racially mixed settler-Canadian neurodivergent French educator residing and dreaming on, and benefitting from these stolen lands, airs and coasts that rightfully belong to the Peoples of the Coast Salish First Nations, specifically Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen. I gratefully grew up on the ocean shore, falling in love with the ebb and flow of water (and whales – I love whales!)
I completed a duo-degree program in Linguistics and French at Simon Fraser University along with a French speaking proficiency certificate and a Speech science specialization certificate. Following my graduation, I went on to complete my teaching degree and am now working as a French teacher and learner in Surrey, B.C. I like being creative, using diverse mediums to create art about the landscapes of identity(ies), ancestral memory(ies) and the heartwork of love and relationships. My passions primarily lie in photography, poetry and prose, social justice (restorative and transformative) and I also work as a senior floral designer in White Rock, B.C. Other interests of mine include walking, figure skating, swimming, gardening and cuddling my two cats.
I look forward to the next year as an Ocean Bridge Ambassador for a few reasons! I would like to grow as a community engagement coordinator/leader and environmental activist with my partner who is doing this program alongside me. I believe that learning is not limited to Western research and that storytelling allows for us to discover and learn from each other and the world in more diverse and vulnerable ways. I hope to foster a personal sense of inquiry among myself and my learning communities where we can collectively act together and share our stories of love and care for our oceans. I hope to transform our personal and emotional connections to place into a mission to help restore and protect our local marine ecosystems. And lastly, I hope to use my unique position as a language teacher to raise marginalized voices and highlight their agency and inherent activism in my classroom.