Velma Weeks Barker, born Velma Carmen Weeks, was born in Montreal in 1925. She graduated from Westmount High School and later studied at the Canadian Kindergarten Institute, graduating in 1945. In 1949 she graduated from Dr. Eliot's Nursery Training School of Boston, later known as the Eliot Pearson Department of Child Study of Tufts University. When she returned to Montreal she established a preschool program at the YMCA in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
Weeks Barker was Vice-President and Quebec representative to the Canadian Association for Young Children for several years and was a founder and lifetime member of the Nursery School Teachers of Greater Montreal. She is a highly regarded childhood educator and throughout her life, was a leader in the field of Early Childhood Education. In 1983, she received the Bothwell-Smith Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. In 1992, she received the Elks of Canada Academic Achievement Award. In 1993, she received an honorary doctorate from Concordia University for her contributions to the field (Doctor of Laws, honoris causa).
Weeks Barker attended the Negro Community Centre in Little Burgundy and Union United Church, where she married her husband Darnley Cecil Barker, with whom she had a son named Spencer. Velma Weeks Barker died in 2016.
Clippings. Velma Weeks Barker collection. C039-001, folder 19. Concordia University Special Collections, Montreal, Canada
Jacobs, Ellen. (1993). Honorary degree citation – Velma Weeks Barker. Concordia University. https://www.concordia.ca/offices/archives/honorary-degree-recipients/1993/06/velma-weeks-barker.html