The Munro Family

Amarok Society was founded with one family at its centre: Dr. Tanyss Munro, Gem Munro and their four children.

Dr. Tanyss Munro has devoted her life and career to improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged people across Canada and abroad. She has achieved extraordinary success in this endeavour as teacher, principal, district director, senior advisor in the federal government and with First Nations government. She has been active in international education as a specialist with the Commonwealth of Learning and other international organizations and advises two international development organizations currently. In addition to co-founding Amarok Society, she has a long history of charitable and social activity. By adoption, she is a Wendat (Huron) Indian. She recently co-edited ‘Learning to Live Together: Using Distance Education for Community Peacebuilding”, a book of experiences from around the globe illustrating this new approach to peacebuilding in communities.

Gem Munro is Tanyss’ partner in life and in work, and has, with Tanyss, devoted his life to improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged people. As well as being Co-Executive Director of Amarok Society, Gem is a bestselling author and visual artist. Most recently, he has directed a documentary film, ‘Heart to Head: How Amarok Society Women are Teaching the World’s Poorest Children’.
Gem is a powerful speaker on peacebuilding, human rights, education, and international development. Whether addressing groups of a dozen or several thousand, Gem’s speeches have touched hearts with their evocative imagery, humour, and insight, echoing his passion for humanity.

Tanyss and Gem met in Toronto, whereupon they fell for each other hard. Soon, they departed together on an odyssey they couldn’t possibly have anticipated. They took jobs teaching in an isolated First Nation reserve in northern Alberta; the conditions they observed there, of poverty, disadvantage and despair, changed their lives forever. They became convinced that denial of normal educational opportunities was fundamental to the structure of disadvantage, and they resolved to commit themselves to readjusting and raising standards for aboriginal children. The pursuit of this objective carried them into residence in very unfortunate communities and neighbourhoods across most of Canada, before carrying them into the corridors of government and overseas.

In recognition of their work, Tanyss and Gem were awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals.

Their four children: Alastair, Azien, Gabriel & Grace were born in Saskatoon, SK, Fort Good Hope, NWT, Bella Coola, BC and Kamloops, BC respectively. The children absorbed principles of social responsibility by breathing them in and are active participants in, and contributors to, Amarok Society projects.

You can read excerpts of Gem’s latest book here.

What Albert thought of the book…

Amarok Society, 1001-3230 Yonge St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,

M4N 3P6. 1 855 945-7680.


Canadian Charitable Registration #876304676RR0001

Canada Revenue Agency