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Shelley Cook

Columnist, Manager of Reader Bridge project - City

Shelley is a born and raised Winnipegger. She is a proud Indigenous woman with family ties to Brokenhead Ojibway Nation.

In 2011 Shelley graduated (for the first time in her life!) from Red River College’s Creative Communications program. It was a milestone moment for the two-time high school dropout, who took a chance on post-secondary education as a mature student at the age of 28.

This was an opportunity that changed her life, and one that she is so grateful for.

While stumbling around the University of Winnipeg for two years, dabbling in a number of different courses, Shelley started volunteering at Winnipeg Harvest (Now known as Manitoba Harvest). There she met many wonderful people who made an impact on her life, including Donald Benham, a former journalist, city councillor and journalism instructor, who encouraged her to apply for the Creative Communications program, thus helping her find a career path that seemed to fit.

Shelley was the first recipient of the John W. Dafoe Free Press scholarship for Aboriginal students in 2009. This scholarship led to her first newsroom experience. She enjoyed a work placement at the Winnipeg Sun in 2010 to 2011 and spent the summer after graduating CreComm as a reporter for the Portage Daily Graphic in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

Shelley’s other notable work includes covering the 2014 JUNO Awards, concert reviews and a weekly Mix of Six column for Metro Winnipeg.

From 2012 to 2021, Shelley worked in marketing and communications at Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries as a social media coordinator.

Shelley is a mom and stepmom of three as well as a companion to two rescue dogs. She and her partner Chris co-parent and raise their kids with Donna, her stepkids’ mom.

Shelley has always been a good storyteller, a trait she likely inherited from her dad, one of the most engaging and interesting storytellers of all time. She tries hard, though she makes a lot of mistakes. Thankfully for her, making mistakes is a good way to learn and to grow and to try to be better. It also usually always leads to something interesting to write about.

Shelley still gets excited to see her work published in the Winnipeg Free Press. Having a column has been a dream come true.