Emily Carr University of Art + Design seeks to double number of Indigenous faculty

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      Emily Carr University of Art + Design has announced it's hiring five new full-time Indigenous faculty members, as part of the institution's strategic plan.

      The ""cluster hiring" of the interdisciplinary academics will double the number of tenured and tenure-track Indigenous faculty there.

      “Universities have a crucial role to play in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by integrating Indigenous knowledge systems into their curriculum, pedagogy and governance,” says Gillian Siddall, the new president at the school said in the press announcement today. “One of the most important ways we can do this is to increase the number of Indigenous faculty at the university who can lead that process. Hiring five faculty members at one time also creates a cohort of new Indigenous faculty and signals to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students our genuine commitment to indigenization and creating a safe cultural space for Indigenous students.”

      Indigeneity has been identified as a core priority at the university, which says it started making a concerted effort to increase the number of Indigenous instructors starting in 2007. In 2015, it appointed Richard Hill, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Studies. 

      The Aboriginal Gathering Place, a facility to provide the 100 Indigenous students studying at ECU with support, cultural programming,and a home away from home on campus, was established in 2010. Today, ECU offers courses such as Aboriginal design and technology, studies in contemporary Aboriginal art, and B.C. Aboriginal art history. Brenda Crabtree is the school's current Aboriginal program manager, providing academic, technical, and cultural support to students of Indigenous ancestry, also organizing events and workshops related to First Nations art and culture, including hands-on workshops and guest speakers.

      A table at the Aboriginal Gathering Place, Emily Carr University of Art + Design
      Kim Bellavance