Born in 1954, Niagara Falls, New York, Shelly Niro is a First Nations Affiliation: Mohawk.

Teacher, photographer, painter, and filmmaker Shelley Niro trained in Durham College's Graphics Programme in Oshawa, Ontario (1978) and at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Her work is consistently innovative, both in terms of its use of the photographic medium (hand-tinting, matte boards, and diptychs or triptychs) and its critical re-presentation of stereotypical images of First Nations people in general, and women in particular. Frequently utilizing strategies of masquerade, parody and appropriation, with herself or family members and friends as models, Niro's work is significant for its subversion and re-creation of new identities and images in counterpoint to the long and damaging history of white representation of Native peoples.