The UBC First Nations Studies Program is excited to introduce Dr. Daniel Heath Justice as Chair of the First Nations Studies Program.
Here is a message from Daniel:
I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the vibrant community in the First Nations Studies Program and the Department of English. It’s a long way from the Huron-Wendat territory of Georgian Bay in Ontario, where I lived for the past five years (and in the Mississauga territory of Toronto for the five years before that), but having grown up in the Colorado Rockies, it’s wonderful to have mountains on my horizon again! There’s so much good work, encouraging energy, and genuine enthusiasm here, and I look forward to learning from, sharing with, and building strong and lasting relationships with community members, students, and colleagues, at UBC and beyond.
While a move from Toronto was not something that my husband or I had initially planned, a fortunate combination of changing life and professional circumstances for us both, and the exciting nature of this particular position, made UBC an enticing opportunity. We discussed it at length. It was a big jump: we both had secure jobs, and we had a house, family, and a warm and loving community in Ontario. Lots to consider. But we’re also open to new possibilities and interested in challenging ourselves to make the best contributions we can, and one question kept coming up: “In ten years, will we regret not having taken this chance?” We knew that an opportunity like this wasn’t likely to come again, so we had to decide: the familiar and perhaps too comfortable, or the somewhat scary adventure that comes from moving to a new place. To be honest, there weren’t many down sides other than fear of the unknown: UBC is one of the finest research universities in North America, and the Indigenous scholarship, community work, and activism on campus and in the region is second to none. Add to that a generous and committed intellectual and social climate and the natural splendour of the region, and in the end, for both personal and professional reasons, we knew that this was where we were meant to be. And we’ve never once second-guessed our decision, in part because of such incredible kindness and enthusiasm from so many people as we’ve been making our adjustments to our new lives here. It’s an honour and a pleasure to be guests in traditional, ancestral, and unceded Musqueam territory and to share in the good work that’s been underway, and we look forward to joining you in the continuing work to be done. Wado to everyone for the generous welcome!
If you’re around the First Nations Studies Program offices in Buchanan E and my door is open, please drop by and say hello. I hope to see many more of you around our halls in the future!
All good wishes,