My term as Acting Dean began on July 1, and I would like to thank my colleagues, and especially Dean Lesley Cormack for welcoming me into this new role with such enthusiasm and warmth. I look forward to this next year, and to getting to know our faculty community even more than I already do. I hope to meet as many of you as possible in the coming days.
Over the last few months, I have watched with great emotion the conclusion of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee meetings and the submission of recommendations stemming from those meetings. I would like to acknowledge that we in the Faculty of Arts, and the larger university community, are on Treaty 6 land. As I write this, we are working on a formal response to the TRC recommendations, and are planning a celebration of the 140th anniversary of Treaty 6 in 2016.
Last week, I attended the opening ceremony of the CILLDI 2015 Summer School. The Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute, as some of you may know, is a tri-faculty initiative between the faculties of Arts, Native Studies and Education. It supports and assists Indigenous language advocates and educators in protecting, revitalizing and practicing their languages. At the ceremony, I was struck by the inclusiveness of the institute and its programs, and it reminded me of the work we do here in the Faculty of Arts: the collaboration, the research and the receptiveness to creative problem solving. We are a gathering place for ideas – and in this spirit, I extend to you my gratitude, and my excitement in anticipation of the year ahead.
Have a wonderful summer.
Acting Dean of Arts