Researcher, organizational development consultant, author and educator
Of African American, Cherokee, Seminole and Polynesian heritage, Zainab Amadahy is a researcher, organizational development consultant, author and educator currently based in Toronto. Her background in community service is in the areas of Indigenous knowledge reclamation, curanderismo, non-profit housing, women’s services, migrant settlement and community arts as well as medical and photovoltaic technologies. She has also served on the board of a variety of organizations such as Muskrat Magazine’s Advisory Council, Anduhyaun Women’s Shelter & Healing Lodge, Ontario Coalition of Agencies Serving Immigrants, housing cooperatives, Bread and Roses Credit Union, ANDPVA, Mayworks Festival for Working People and the Arts, and others.
Among her publications is "Indigenous Peoples and Black Peoples in Canada: Settlers or Allies” (co-authored with Dr. Bonita Lawrence, 2009) and the novel Moons of Palmares (Sister Vision Press, 1998). Many of Zainab’s more recent writings can be found online, including on her own site swallowsongs.com.
In her role as consultant, Zainab has provided leadership to strategic planning, community consultation, resource generation, and program design and assessment projects. Zainab’s traditional knowledge comes from a variety of sources including her participation in the Kanenhi:io and Wahahi:iosinging societies, as well as her formal studies in curanderismo at the University of New Mexico. This knowledge has informed her academic, writing and community work.
As a community activist, Zainab was a founding member of Defenders of the Land, which called for a national Indigenous Sovereignty Week. She was a lead Toronto organizer of events during this week for three years and also worked briefly with the Idle No More Toronto Women’s Council.