New leaders bring Indigenous expertise

Posted on Monday, September 18, 2017

Two smiling women stand next to each other on the university campus.

Professor Brenda Macdougall (left) and Tareyn Johnson. Photo: Bonnie Findley

Two remarkable women have been chosen to fill important new leadership positions at the University of Ottawa. Brenda Macdougall has been named Academic Delegate for Indigenous Engagement and Tareyn Johnson joins uOttawa as Director of Indigenous Affairs.

David Graham, the University’s vice-president academic and provost, said the positions are part of a new governance structure intended to strengthen uOttawa’s constructive engagement with Indigenous issues and improve the coordination of Indigenous initiatives on campus.

“With Brenda and Tareyn joining our leadership team, we are beginning an exciting new phase in our journey of growth and development,” Graham said.

Brenda Macdougall, Academic Delegate for Indigenous Engagement

A professor in uOttawa’s Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, Brenda Macdougall is a leading expert in the history of Métis and First Nations peoples. As Academic Delegate, Professor Macdougall will provide strategic, academically focused leadership to the University’s senior management. In particular, she will work to create a more integrated vision and approach to all aspects of Indigenous engagement and work with the Director of Indigenous Affairs to develop new action plans for the University.

Professor Macdougall holds Ontario’s first Chair in Métis Research and is the founder of the Métis Family and Community Research Lab. Her research seeks to increase our understanding of Métis history in general, specifically as it relates to identity and community formation. She is Métis, descended from the original trading families of amisk waciwaskahikan (Beaver Hills House) and Fort Edmonton and St. Clements Parish, Red River.

Tareyn Johnson, Director of Indigenous Affairs

In her role as Director of Indigenous Affairs, Tareyn Johnson will lead the creation and implementation of initiatives, programs and services for Indigenous students, faculty and staff on campus. She will take part in developing the strategic plan for Indigenous initiatives at the University. She will also manage the human and financial resources associated with Indigenous affairs at uOttawa, including the Aboriginal Resource Centre.

Among other achievements, Johnson was responsible for creating a three-year Indigenization Plan that helped shape the official strategic plan of Georgian College, where she served as Indigenization Coordinator. Her prior experience includes work as Anishnaabemowin Resource Developer and faculty member (Georgian College), Heritage Genealogical Researcher (Chippewas of Georgina Island) and Interim Aboriginal Initiatives Coordinator (Lakehead University). Johnson’s expertise will be crucial in further integrating Indigenous perspectives, knowledge, culture and history into uOttawa’s classrooms and as central components of its academic mission. She is a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island.

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