Aquash is a member of the Council of Three Fires, Walpole Island First Nation, Aazhwaakwaa Territory, Ont., Nimkeeg Indodem (Thunder Clan), Potawatomi/Ojibwe Anishinaabe. He has been married to his wife, Verna, for more than 26 years, has five children, many grandchildren, and a large extended family.
He credits his success in education and his career in Indigenous knowledge of Anishinaabe to attending and graduating from the Red School House, a culturally-based American Indian school in St. Paul, Minn., during the 1970s.
Aquash holds an undergraduate and Master of Education degree from the University of Minnesota, and completed his Doctor of Education degree (in Education Administration) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.
He began his career as a K-12 teacher, and later moved into curriculum development and administrative positions (coordinator, principal and director). He has been teaching at the post-secondary level for over 15 years; most recently, he’s taught courses in educational administration and leadership for aspiring principals and superintendents, and courses focusing on Indigenous teacher education.
Aquash maintains connections with First Nations, Aboriginal organizations and Tribal communities across North America. He says he was attracted to RRC because he believes the College is in a good position to address the many needs of Indigenous people and communities.
He encourages Indigenous people to become involved with their communities — and to register and vote in the upcoming election for the candidate they believe supports their best interests.