University of Calgary

John W Friesen

  • Professor Emeritus of Education

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


A native of Saskatchewan John W. Friesen attended elementary school with Indigenous school-mates and thus developed a lifelong interest in teacher education and First Nations history, education and theology. He is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 50 books on education, religion, ethnicity, and Indigenous studies. His research and teaching have been honored by the First Nations community becoming the recipient of four eagle feathers, one of them authorizing him the privilege of teaching about Aboriginal spirituality.

Research & Scholarly Activity

John W. Friesen, Ph.D, D.Min, D.R.S, has spent the last 45 years as a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary where he teaches and conducts research in Indigenous Studies. He is also Minister of the Morley United Church on the Stoney Nakoda Sioux Reserve outside of Calgary.

Current Projects:


  • Native North American Theology Through a Christian Lens: Comparison and Contrasts


  • Inquiry Learning in Aboriginal Pedagogy: What’s All the Fuss About?
  • Foundations for Inquiry Learning in the Gospels
  • Towards a New Ethnicity: Canada’s Western Plains First Nations
  • Cultural Miscommunication Between European Explorers and Resident First Nations: A Case for Pedagogical Backtracking
  • First Nations Pedagogical Policy and Practice in Western Canada: A Case Study


Diploma in Religious Education
Bethany College

Concord College

Tabor College

Emporia State University

University of Kansas

Christian Bible College

Trinity Theological Seminary


Friesen, J. W. and Virginia Lyons Friesen. Could You Live This Way: Would You Live This Way? An Illustrated Compilation of Idealistic Experiments in North America. Edmonton, AB: Brush Education, 2011.

Friesen, J. W. and Trevor W. Harrison. Canada in the Twenty-First Century: A Historical Sociological Approach. Second edition. Toronto, ON: Canadians Scholars’ Press, 2010.

Friesen, J. W. and Virginia Lyons Friesen. And Now You Know: 50 Native American Legends. Calgary, AB: Detselig Enterprises, 2009.

Friesen, J. W. and Virginia Lyons Friesen. Western Canadian Native Destiny: Complex Questions on the Cultural Maze. Calgary, AB: Detselig Enterprises, 2008.

Friesen, J. W. and Virginia Lyons Friesen. In Defense of Public School in North America. Calgary, AB: Temeron/Detselig, 2001.

Friesen, J. W. Aboriginal Spirituality and Biblical Theology: Closer Than You Think. Calgary: Temeron/Detselig, 2000.

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