Candace Brunette-Debassige, Special Advisor to the Provost (Indigenous Initiatives)
A Mushkego Cree woman originally from Fort Albany First Nation (Treaty 9 territory), Candace brings more than 15 years of experience serving Indigenous students and communities in educational settings. Previously, she served as Director of Indigenous Services at Western. In this former capacity, she was actively involved in the development of Western’s first ever Indigenous Strategic Plan.
Prior to joining Western, Candace was the Aboriginal Education Advisor for the Thames Valley District School Board and served in several roles related to the recruitment and support of Indigenous students at the University of Toronto, where she also earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Aboriginal and equity studies, and adult education.
Candace is a doctoral candidate completing research in the Faculty of Education that centers on the experiences of Indigenous women administrators enacting Indigenizing policies in Canadian universities. She also teaches a Becoming Educational Leaders course as part of the Masters of Professional Leadership in Education Program.
Indigenous Initiatives Portfolio
The Indigenous Initiatives portfolio consists of the three main areas: Indigenous Advisory Groups and Engagements; Indigenous Strategic Planning and Implementation; and Indigenous Learning Space-Engagement and Planning.
The Special Advisor chairs the Indigenous Faculty Advisory Council. Established in October 2018, the body engages Indigenous faculty leaders at Western in ongoing conversations surrounding academic Indigenization efforts at the university. Council members meet every other month to provide direction on key matters related to Indigenization, decolonization and reconciliation.