Provost’s Task Force on Implementation of Western’s Indigenous Strategic Plan

Western's Indigenous Strategic Plan was unanimously approved by the University's Board of Governors and Senate in November 2016, after which the Provost & Vice-President (Academic) initiated the formation of a Task Force to begin the process of implementing the plan's goals and suggestions. The Terms of Reference (composition and responsibilities) for the Provost's Task Force have been developed in partnership with the Indigenous Strategic Initiatives Committee (ISIC) and the Indigenous Postsecondary Education Council (IPEC), and are as follows:

Composition of the Task Force (as of September 27, 2017):

  • Christy Bressette member of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation (Task Force Co-chair)
  • Alan Weedon, faculty member, Faculty of Science, and Special Adviser to the Provost (Task Force Co-chair)
  • Karen Campbell, Vice-Provost, Academic Planning, Policy and Faculty
  • A representative from the Faculty of Law (Dean Erika Chamberlain)
  • A representative from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry (Associate Dean Gerry Cooper)
  • John Doerksen, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs
  • Liz Akiwenzie, Visiting Elder appointed on the recommendation of the IPEC
  • Myrna Kicknosway, Visiting Elder appointed on the recommendation of IPEC
  • Jody Noah, Southern First Nations Secretariat, appointed on the recommendation of IPEC (Co-chair of IPEC)
  • Rick Ezekiel, Director of Research, Assessment and Planning, Student Experience (member of ISIC and Acting Co-chair of IPEC)
  • Rick Monture, Grand River Post-Secondary Education Office, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, appointed on the recommendation of IPEC
  • Janice Forsyth, Director of the First Nations Studies Program
  • Brent Debassige, Director of Aboriginal Education, Faculty of Education
  • An Indigenous Services staff member (Amanda Myers, Acting Director, Indigenous Services)
  • A representative of the Faculty of Health Sciences (Angie Mandich, Assoc. Professor & Director, School of Occupational Therapy)
  • An Indigenous undergraduate student representative (Kaitlyn Powless, member of IPEC and President of the Indigenous Student Association)
  • Chantelle Richmond, faculty member, Faculty of Social Science (member of ISIC)
  • A representative of the Faculty of Education (Dean Vicki Schwean)
  • An Indigenous graduate student representative (Maria Sinclair, SAGE coordinator)
  • Malcolm Ruddock, Executive Assistant to the President and Provost (administrative support to the Task Force)
  • Genevieve Fisher, Learning Resource Centre Assistant, Indigenous Services (administrative support to the Task Force)

Responsibilities of the Task Force:

The task force will:

  1. Review the Indigenous Strategic Plan and its Goals and Strategy Suggestions;
  2. Identify offices, roles and individuals who will be responsible for implementation of the Goals of the Indigenous Strategic Plan in partnership with indigenous faculty, staff, students, and external community members;
  3. Identify timelines and milestones for implementation of the Goals of the Indigenous Strategic Plan by those identified in 2, above;
  4. Identify mechanisms for periodic reporting to Senate, the Board, and IPEC on progress towards achievement of the Goals of the Indigenous Strategic Plan;
  5. Review the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and incorporate into the process in 1. to 4. above any recommendations not already addressed by the Indigenous Strategic Plan; and,
  6. Produce a report for the Provost in the spring of 2018.


In undertaking its work, the Task Force may co-opt additional members or establish sub-groups to advise on specific Goals and Strategies.

Readings and news related to Indigenous education in Canada:




ISIC was the Indigenous Strategic Initiatives Committee that developed Western’s Indigenous Strategic Plan, as called for in Western’s Strategic Plan (Achieving Excellence on the World Stage) approved by the Senate and the Board in January 2014. Members of ISIC, and their roles at the time, were:

  • Jana Luker, Associate Vice President (Student Experience)
  • Candace Brunette, Director, Indigenous Services (on parental leave as of February 2016)
  • Brent Stonefish, Interim Director, Indigenous Services (interim committee member in place of Candace Brunette)
  • Rick Ezekiel, Director of Research, Assessment and Planning (Student Experience)
  • Natalie Fletcher, Indigenous Postsecondary Education Circle (IPEC) Community Co-Chair
  • Kevin Lemure, Manager Fanshawe College, IPEC Community Member
  • First Nations Student Association (FNSA) President 2015-16
  • Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE) Coordinator 2015-16
  • Charmaine Dean, Dean of the Faculty of Science
  • Carol Beynon, School of Graduate Postdoctoral Studies Representative
  • Angie Mandich, Associate Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Jerry White, Professor, Faculty of Social Science
  • Susan Hill, Associate Professor and Director of the First Nations Studies Program
  • Brent Debassige, Associate Professor and Director of Indigenous Education within the Faculty of Education
  • Chantelle Richmond, Associate Professor and Director of the IDI in Applied Indigenous Scholarship, Faculty of Social Science
  • Marcia Steyaert, Community Relations Specialist, Communications & Public Affairs