Media Releases

Great dreams from long ago: OISE appoints special advisor to the dean on aboriginal education

September 2, 2011

TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE) announced the appointment of Dr. Suzanne L. Stewart of the Yellowknife Dene First Nation as OISE’s first Special Advisor to the Dean on Aboriginal Education today. OISE is a leader in aboriginal education and among the first Canadian faculties of education to prioritize indigenous values and educational research following the signing of the Accord on Indigenous Education by the Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE) in June 2010. The accord was developed to create a respectful and inclusive education curriculum that reflects the needs of Aboriginal people.

“OISE did not leave the Accord to gather dust on a shelf,” says OISE Dean Julia O’Sullivan. “Our signature represented our commitment to action. The Special Advisor position sits at the highest level in Canada’s leading Faculty of Education reflecting the importance of Aboriginal education here and across the whole country.”

Suzanne L. Stewart is an assistant professor in the department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology. Her research and teaching expertise include Indigenous mental health and healing, and Indigenous pedagogies in education. In her new role, Suzanne will bring together a community-based Aboriginal Council to advise on institutional policies, procedures, practices and programs to ensure they reflect and respect the interests and needs of Aboriginal communities. She will also work within local Native communities and share her experiences with regional, national, and international health and government organizations. This position was established in consultation with the Anishnawbe Health
Toronto and was given the spiritual name Kitchae kaetae bojinanon (Great dreams from long ago) at a special naming ceremony last month. In her position as Special Advisor, Suzanne was also given a new spiritual name, Medicine Hand, to help guide the success of the initiative.

“This is a very special moment for OISE, the University of Toronto and for education in Canada,” said OISE Dean Julia O’Sullivan.

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For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Sipos-Smith
OISE Media Relations
416-978-1127
j.sipos@utoronto. ca