Dan David is Mohawk, Bear Clan, based at Kanehsatake Mohawk Territory, near Oka, Quebec.
After graduating high school, he was turned away from journalism school by Indian Affairs. He spent the next ten years as a construction labourer, a garbageman, and a printer at one of the first Indigenous community colleges in central Quebec, followed by a stint as a civil servant in Ottawa after the federal government closed the college.
Dan jumped at the chance to leave Ottawa to attend the Program in Journalism for Native Peoples at Western, an intensive one-year diploma course. After graduating top of his class, CBC recruited him for a stint in Whitehorse. After returning south, the CBC picked him up again for the its "Visible Minorities Program" meant to bring diversity to its newsrooms across Canada.
This led to him becoming one of a handful of CBC trainers invited by South African journalists to help them transform the South African Broadcasting Corporation from a state-controlled propagandist into an independent public broadcaster before their first-ever democratic elections in 1994.
Dan went back and forth for the next 7 years, working as a producer at TVOntario and Vision-TV before accepting a job at Ryerson University as the first ever Chair of Diversity at any school of journalism in Canada.
Back in South Africa, he became the first ever Mohawk to be head of TV training at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dan's trained TV producers and reporters across Canada, Indonesia, and Azerbaijan.
He's earned two National Magazine awards writing about his home community before, during and after the 1990 Oka Crisis.
He's been working too long on a book about his home community, past, present and future. Soon, he plans to launch a literary journalism web site for Indigenous writers and journalists.