Donna Joe is a member of the Sechelt Indian Band on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. As a child she used to go fishing with her mother and father, Marjorie and Cyprian August. In 1953 she began attending residential school and went on to complete a Bachelor of Education at the University of British Columbia (NITEP). She went on to earn a master's degree and found work with the Sechelt School District and Sechelt Indian Band as Supervisor of shashishalhem (the Sechelt language).
Donna and her husband Vern have three children and five grandchildren.