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.


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

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