Dawnis Kennedy is an Anishinabe woman from Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation who grew up in Brandon, Manitoba. It is fitting that her true name, Minnawaanagogiizhigook, means Happy Day Woman. Although she has faced and witnessed the effects of racism at an early age, Dawnis has maintained her optimism for the future. She finds her greatest inspiration in knowing who she is as an Anishinabe woman, knowledge that has been safeguarded by her family, her community and the Anishinabe people.
Dawnis' family has taught her to work for the community in all that she does: in her career, in the ways she grieves loss, celebrates life, and relates to the world on a daily basis. With this sense of responsibility, she undertook the study of law and Anishinabe inendamowin (philosophy) in order to support her community. She now seeks to find ways to structure respectful relations between Canadian and Anishinabe law and in that effort to support and sustain today's communities.