Indigenous Advisory Circle

The mandate of SSHRC’s Indigenous Advisory Circle—formed in 2014―is to provide guidance to senior management to support and promote Indigenous research and talent development to help advance understanding of reconciliation. Through an approach of collaboration and co-development, the Circle guides SSHRC in the development, validation and advancement of the following core areas:

With the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Final Report in December 2015, the Circle’s mandate was enlarged to support SSHRC in its reconciliation efforts.

The Circle is comprised of at least 15 members, including two co-chairs nominated by the Circle members, one Indigenous Elder and Indigenous researchers drawn from the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis groups, as well as non-Indigenous researchers with in-depth experience working in partnership with Indigenous communities.

Chris Andersen
Dean and Professor, Faculty of Native Studies; and Chair, Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research
University of Alberta

A Métis from Saskatchewan, Chris Andersen’s research focuses on several areas, including the racialization of indigeneity in Canada's courts, Indigenous statistics, particularly regarding the Métis population, and urban Indigenous identities.

Andersen is the author of two books: Indigenous Statistics: A Quantitative  Research Methodology, with Maggie Walter (Left Coast Press, 2013) and “Métis”: Race, Recognition and the Struggle for Indigenous Peoplehood (UBC Press, 2014). The latter won the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s Best Subsequent Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2016 Canada Prize. With Jean M. O’Brien, he also co-edited Sources and Methods in Indigenous Studies (Taylor & Francis, 2017). Andersen is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada, a founding member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Executive Council, as well as a member of Statistics Canada’s advisory committee on social conditions. He is also editor of the journal Aboriginal Policy Studies. Andersen is the former director of the Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research.

Jo-ann Archibald - Q’um Q’um Xiiem
Professor Emerita, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education
The University of British Columbia

Jo-ann Archibald – Q’um Q’um Xiiem, of the Stó:lō and St’at’imc First Nations in British Columbia, is the former director of the Indigenous Teacher Education Program and former associate dean for Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education at The University of British Columbia. A pioneer in the advancement of Indigenous education, she is nationally recognized for creating culturally relevant teacher education and graduate programs for Indigenous students. Archibald won a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education in 2000 and, in 2013, the Scholars of Color Distinguished Career Contribution Award from the American Educational Research Association. She was also appointed as an officer of the Order of Canada in 2018.

In 2010, Archibald co-led the Accord on Indigenous Education for the Association of Canadian Deans of Education, a groundbreaking collaboration to improve Indigenous education in Canada. She also served as editor of the Canadian Journal of Native Education.

Marie A. Battiste
Professor, Department of Educational Foundations
University of Saskatchewan

Marie Battiste is Mi’kmaw from the Potlotek First Nation, in Nova Scotia, and is professor in the Department of Educational Foundations. She is also the founding academic director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. Battiste is internationally renowned for her seminal research on the renewal of Indigenous knowledge, language and culture; Indigenous teaching and learning; and decolonizing and Indigenizing postsecondary institutions. She was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2014, received the Distinguished Academic Award in 2013 from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, and a National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Award (now Indspire) in 2008. She was a hub lead of the SSHRC-funded Canadian Prevention Science Cluster at the University of Saskatchewan.

Battiste’s widely cited publications include Visioning a Mi’kmaw Humanities: Indigenizing the Academy (CBU Press, 2017); Living Treaties: Narrating Mi’kmaw Treaty Relations (CBU Press, 2016); Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit (Purich Publishing, 2013) and, with James (Sákéj) Youngblood Henderson, Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge (Purich Publishing/UBC Press, 2000), which won the Saskatchewan Book Award. She has a master’s in education from Harvard University, a doctorate in education from Stanford University and has received four honorary doctorate degrees. Battiste was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 2019.

Cecil Chabot
Adjunct Professor, First Peoples Studies
Concordia University

Cecil Chabot holds a PhD in history from the University of Ottawa, where he was recipient of a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Grounded in a life-long relationship with the James Bay Cree, his research, teaching and professional work explores the complex interconnections between Indigenous, western and other cultures, and seeks to bring these traditions into deep dialogue on fundamental human questions. Rooted in the primary discipline of history, this focus is informed and enriched by interdisciplinary work in cultural anthropology, literature and philosophy, as well as diverse professional, not-for-profit, and public policy activities.

Peter Decontie
Elder and Sacred Fire Keeper, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg
Maniwaki, Quebec

Elder Peter Decontie is the husband of Yvette, father of four, grandfather of seven and great-grandfather of one. He is the sacred fire keeper for the Algonquin Nation of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg. In 1983, when Quebec provincial law prevented him from being able to access traditional Algonquin territory, he resisted by arguing for Algonquin rights, and, along with others, took the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. In 1996, the Supreme Court ruled in his favour, allowing him to continue to pass on traditional knowledge to younger generations. He is a strong supporter of carrying on Algonquin traditions and continually shares his teaching and prayers with others. He is a fluent speaker of his language, Anishinabemowin, and advocates for First Nations’ language rights, cultural revitalization, and the protection of Mother Earth.

Cindy Dickson
Executive Director, Arctic Athabaskan Council, and Director of Circumpolar Relations for the Council of Yukon First Nations

Cindy Dickson is of Gwitchin and Tlingit descent and a member of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. Dickson’s work centres on climate change vulnerabilities and adaptation, and traditional knowledge and food security issues in the North. She was instrumental in assisting Yukon First Nations communities in the development of a traditional knowledge guideline for the Northern Contaminants Program, and was a member of a coalition of northern Indigenous peoples that persuaded countries to conclude a global agreement to ban persistent organic pollutants, such as DDT and PCBs, that contaminate traditionally harvested foods. She participated in the development of the four-year comprehensive Arctic Climate Impact Assessment during which time she established the Elders’ Panel on Climate Change. Dickson was a key contributor to the establishment of the Indigenous Issues Committee for the University of the Arctic. She has participated on national committees such as the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, the Canadian Committee on the International Polar Year and was the lead for the Canadian pan-northern International Polar Year research on Arctic peoples, culture, resilience and caribou.  

Karen Favell
Lecturer, Educational Administration, Foundations and Psychology, Faculty of Education
University of Manitoba

Karen Favell is Anishinaabe and is originally from Kenora, Ontario. She specializes in the indigenization of postsecondary education, particularly the use of music and art to create culturally relevant curricula and a more welcoming environment for Indigenous students. Prior to joining the University of Manitoba, she was an instructor in the School of Indigenous Education at Red River College, where she also served as the chair of Indigenous Education and ACCESS programs.

Hadley Friedland
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law
University of Alberta

Hadley Friedland was called to the Alberta Bar in 2010. A distinguished emerging scholar in the areas of Indigenous laws, Aboriginal law, criminal justice, and family and child welfare law, Friedland has worked extensively with Indigenous communities across Canada to identify and articulate their own laws. As the first research director of the Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU) in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria, she co-created the methodology for the ILRU with Val Napoleon. She has published widely and collaborated to produce accessible Indigenous legal resources for Indigenous communities and legal professionals.

Her research has won several awards, including a Vanier Scholarship in 2011 and the inaugural SSHRC Impact Talent Award in 2013. Her PhD dissertation, Reclaiming the Language of Law: the Contemporary Articulation and Application of Cree Legal Principles in Canada, was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal in 2016. Her first book is The Wetiko Legal Principles: Cree and Anishinabek Responses to Violence and Victimization (University of Toronto Press, 2018). She is a married-in member of the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation.

Katherine Graham
Professor Emerita, School of Public Policy and Administration, and Special Advisor to the Provost
Carleton University

As professor emerita, Katherine Graham continues her research as a senior fellow of the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation, focusing on youth resilience and community capacity-building in Indigenous communities. A leader in community-based research, Graham served as co-research director on governance for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and is the founding chair of Community-Based Research Canada (CBRC), as well as the founding coordinator of the Carleton University Institute on the Ethics of Research with Indigenous Peoples. She is the co-applicant of the SSHRC Partnership Grant, “Youth Futures: Bringing Together Indigenous and Western Approaches to Promote Youth Resilience and Prosperity in First Nations Communities.”

The recipient of the Ontario Volunteer Service Award and the Leading Women Building Communities Award from the Government of Ontario in 2012, Graham was honoured by Carleton University with the establishment of the Katherine A. H. Graham Annual Lecture on Aboriginal Policy in 2009. In 2017, she received the inaugural CBRC Leadership Award from Community-Based Research Canada.

Carole Lévesque
Professor, Indigenous Peoples and Knowledge
Centre Urbanisation Culture Société, Institut national de la recherche scientifique

Carole Lévesque has conducted collaborative and co-production research projects with Indigenous communities, organizations, and institutions, in Quebec and elsewhere for over 45 years. In 2001, she founded, and continues to lead, DIALOG – Aboriginal Peoples Research and Knowledge Network. In 2009 Lévesque also established ODENA, a research alliance that focuses on urban First Nations communities. Lévesque has received numerous prizes in recognition of her research, including the Jean-Michel-Lacroix Prize (with her colleague Daniel Salée) in 2012, for an article published in the Revue internationale d’études canadiennes, a prize for excellence in research and creation (career stream) from the Université du Québec in 2015, and the Prix Marie-Andrée-Bertrand from the Quebec government, in 2016, for her contribution to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and social innovation. Lévesque holds a doctorate in social and cultural anthropology from the Sorbonne.

David Roy Newhouse
Professor, Indigenous Studies; Chair, Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies; and Professor, Business Administration Program, School of Business
Trent University

David Newhouse is Onondaga from the Six Nations of the Grand River. His research interests focus on the emergence of modern Indigenous society, and the shape and nature of governance as the key institutional idea that gives expression to Indigenous modernity. He is co-chair of the Trent Aboriginal Education Council and served as the first principal of the Peter Gzowski College at Trent University.

Newhouse has a distinguished record of professional leadership. He was founding editor of the Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development for the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO) and past chair of the CANDO Standing Committee on Education. He also served as a member of the policy team on economics for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, is a member of the National Aboriginal Benchmarking Committee of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board and the Chief of the Committee on Make Aboriginal Poverty History for the Assembly of First Nations.

Newhouse is currently the scientific officer for the Indigenous Health Research peer review committee for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and is national director for the SSHRC “Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network” project. He is also the Ontario lead for a five-year CIHR research project: “Poverty Action Research Project on Aboriginal Health, Economic Development and Poverty” with the Eabametoong First Nation and the Assembly of First Nations.

He is the co-editor of six books: In the Words of Elders: Aboriginal Cultures in Transition (University of Toronto Press, 1999); Hidden in Plain Sight: Contributions of Aboriginal Peoples to Canadian Identity and Culture, volumes I and II (University of Toronto Press, 2005 and 2011); Not Strangers in These Parts: Urban Aboriginal Peoples (Policy Research Initiative, 2003); Well-Being in the Urban Aboriginal Community (Thompson Educational Publishers, 2012); and Aboriginal Knowledge for Economic Development (Fernwood Publishing, 2013).

Sherry Pictou
Assistant Professor, Department of Women’s Studies
Mount Saint Vincent University

Sherry Pictou is Mi’kmaw from L’sɨtkuk (Bear River First Nation), Nova Scotia. Her research focuses on the decolonization of treaty relations, social justice for Indigenous women, Indigenous women’s role in food and lifeways, and Indigenous knowledge and food systems.  Pictou received a Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship—Doctoral in 2013 and is a collaborator on a SSHRC Connections Grant, “Looking Back to Move Ahead: Outreach, Knowledge Mobilization and Intersectoral Exchange to Advance Food Security in Nova Scotia.” She is also a co-investigator on the Canadian Institutes of Health Research–Atlantic Indigenous Mentorship Network at Dalhousie University.

In addition to her research, Pictou has served the Mi’kmaw community in several capacities, including as the former chief for her community and former co-chair of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP). She is currently a member of the WFFP Coordinating Committee.

Jean-Paul Restoule
Professor and Chair, Department of Indigenous Education
University of Victoria

Jean-Paul Restoule is Anishinaabe and his research focuses on bringing Indigenous worldviews to a wide audience, which includes indigenizing and decolonizing teacher education and investigating the use of Indigenous knowledge in online learning environments. He is principal investigator of a SSHRC Insight Grant and a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant. 

Restoule is also co-editor of Indigenous Research: Theories, Practices, and Relationships (Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2018), a groundbreaking collection for students and scholars interested in learning how Indigenous research is carried out in practice.

Lorna Wanósts'a7 Williams
Professor Emerita, Department of Indigenous Education and Linguistics
University of Victoria

Lorna Wanósts'a7 Williams is a member of the Lil’wat First Nation from Mount Currie. She held the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge and Learning and co-designed and developed three degree programs in collaboration with Indigenous communities: the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Indigenous language revitalization, and the Counselling in Indigenous Communities master’s degree program. In 2017, Williams co-edited, with Gloria Snively, Knowing Home: Braiding Indigenous Science with Western Science, Book 1, to support the indigenization of science curriculum.

Throughout her career, Williams has held a number of senior positions, including director of Aboriginal Education at the University of Victoria and director of the Aboriginal Enhancements Branch in the British Columbia Ministry of Education. She was a member at large of the Senate of the University of Victoria and chaired the Senate’s First Peoples Heritage, Language and Culture Council. Williams was a Canadian Council on Learning Minerva Lecturer in 2007 and was inducted into the Order of British Columbia in 1993. Williams received an Indspire Award in 2018 and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2019 for her contributions to Indigenous education and her advocacy of Indigenous language revitalization programs.

Ex-officio members

Sylvie A. Lamoureux
Vice-President, Research Programs

Brenda Gunn
Academic and Research Director
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

As a proud Métis woman, University of Manitoba law professor Brenda Gunn combines academic research with activism, pushing for greater recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ inherent rights as determined by their own legal traditions. After earning a JD at the University of Toronto and an LLM in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy at the University of Arizona, Brenda worked at a community legal clinic in Guatemala on a case of genocide submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She has also worked with Manitoba First Nations on Aboriginal and treaty rights issues. Brenda continues to be actively involved in the international Indigenous Peoples’ movement. She developed a handbook that is one of the main resources in Canada on understanding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and has delivered workshops on the Declaration across Canada and internationally. She has also provided technical assistance to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In 2013, Brenda participated in UN training to enhance the conflict prevention and peacemaking capacities of Indigenous Peoples’ representatives, which continue to impact her research. She aims to do research that will contribute to building a more just world for her daughter, her nieces and all their relations. Gunn began her five-year secondment to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation on September 1, 2021.

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