Isabelle Knockwood received her bachelor's degree from St. Mary's University, Halifax, N.S. with a major in anthropology and a minor in English.
An elder of the Mi'kmaq Nation, she is the author of Out of the Depths: The Experiences of Mi'kmaw Children at the Indian Residential School in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia (1992, Fernwood Publishing; extended edition 2001), which she wrote about her own experiences in Shubenacadie. She wrote this book while still a student of English Professor Gillian Thomas, who also edited the book.
She is presently working on her master's thesis in interdisciplinary studies at the University of New Brunswick. This work analyzes the effects of the Canadian Prime Minister’s 2008 apology to residential school survivors on behalf of Canada and all Canadians.
Isabelle Knockwood, born in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, attended the Indian Residential School in Shubenacadie from 1936 to 1947. She is the mother of six children and has fourteen grandchildren. At the age of fifty-eight, she enrolled at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax seeking a major in anthropology and a minor in English; she graduated in 1992. She now lives at the Indian Brook Reserve, Nova Scotia. At a special Sunrise Ceremony at Indian Brook, Isabelle was given her Spirit name, Maqmikewe’skw, which means Mother Earth.