Aboriginal Faculty Members

UBC has a growing number of Aboriginal faculty members across disciplines at the Vancouver campus. These faculty members are actively involved in research, teaching, and administration, much of it with an Aboriginal focus and substantial community engagement. The Indigenous Academic Caucus, an informal association of faculty members who identify as Indigenous, currently has twenty-seven members from seven faculties.

If you are looking for Aboriginal-focused programs within the various UBC Faculties, click here.

Faculty of Arts

Dr Candis Callison, Assistant Professor
School of Journalism

Dr Callison received her Ph.D. from MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society, and a M.Sc. from MIT’s Comparative Media Studies Program. Her research interests include media change, public engagement on complex science and environment issues, and how new media is shaping the efforts and practices of science journalists, scientists, and social movements. Candis is a member of the Tahltan Nation of northwestern B.C.

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Ms Natalie Clark, Instructor and Chair Field Education
School of Social Work

Natalie Clark’s work is informed and mobilized through her interconnected identities, including her English, Welsh and Indigenous ancestry, and as a solo parent of three Secwepemc children, an activist, counselor and academic. Natalie’s research focus is informed by Indigenous methodologies, intersectionality and critical participatory action research in the area of youth health, Indigenous health, and education. She currently holds a SSHRC examining Indigenous field education.

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Ms Dana Claxton, Assistant Professor
Art History, Visual Art and Theory

Ms Claxton is of Hunkpapa Lakota ancestry and her family reserve is Lakota First Nations -Wood Mountain in southwest Saskatchewan. She works in film, video, photography, single and multi channel installation and performance art. Her practice investigates beauty, the body, the socio-political and the spiritual.

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Dr Glen Coulthard, Assistant Professor
First Nations and Indigenous Studies and Political Science

Dr Coulthard has written and published numerous articles and chapters in the areas of Indigenous thought and politics, contemporary political theory, and radical social and political thought. His book Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (University of Minnesota Press) was released in August 2014. He is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.

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Mr Larry Grant, Adjunct Professor
First Nations and Endangered Languages Program

Mr Grant is an Elder from the Musqueam First Nation in Vancouver, BC. He is an Adjunct Professor in the University of British Columbia First Nations Languages Program, the Language and Culture Consultant for Musqueam First Nation.

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Dr Sarah Hunt, Assistant Professor, First Nations and Indigenous Studies and Geography

Sarah is Kwagiulth (Kwakwaka’wakw) from Tsaxis and is assistant professor of critical Indigenous geographies. Her scholarship in Indigenous and legal geographies critically takes up questions of violence, justice, self-determination and resurgence. Her writing and research emerge within the networks of community relations that have fostered her analysis as a community-based researcher, with a particular focus on issues facing women, girls, and Two-Spirit people.

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Dr Carl Johnson, Senior Instructor
Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies

A member of the Nhla7kapmx First Nation, Lytton Band, Dr. Johnson is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Classical, near Eastern and Religious Studies.

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Dr Shelly Johnson, Assistant Professor
School of Social Work

Shelly Johnson (Mukwa Musayett) is Saulteaux from Keeseekoose First Nation in Saskatchewan. She is an assistant professor in the UBC School of Social Work. Her works focuses on Indigenous women in leadership, child welfare, Indigenous methodologies, trauma, race/culture, social justice and activism.

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Dr Daniel Heath Justice, Professor
English and First Nations and Indigenous Studies
Chair, First Nations and Indigenous Studies

Daniel Heath Justice is a Colorado-born Canadian citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He specializes in Aboriginal Studies and Indigenous Native North American literatures, cultural studies and literary history, and speculative fiction.

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Dr Linc Kesler, Associate Professor
English and First Nations and Indigenous Studies
Director, First Nations House of Learning
Sr Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs

Dr Kesler’s indigenous ancestry is Oglala Lakota. His research work focuses on the relationship between technological change and the representation of knowledge, a topic vital to strategizing the survival of Indigenous communities. He is also interested in developing uses of emerging technologies that serve the needs of Indigenous communities.


Read about Dr Kesler on The Tyee: “An Aspiration to Overcome Racism”

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Dr Sheryl Lightfoot, Assistant Professor
First Nations and Indigenous Studies and Political Science

Dr Lightfoot is Anishinaabe, an enrolled citizen of the Lake Superior Band of Ojibwe, at the Keweenaw Bay Community in northern Michigan. Her research interests include global Indigenous peoples’ politics, Indigenous diplomacy, Indigenous social movements, and critical international relations. She publishes articles in both Indigenous studies and international relations venues.

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Mr Duncan McCue, Adjunct Professor
School of Journalism

Duncan McCue is a national reporter for CBC-TV News in Vancouver. His current affairs documentaries are featured on the CBC’s flagship news show, The National, and the 6 o’clock news Canada Now. Duncan has also taught documentary journalism to Indigenous students at First Nations University and Capilano College. Duncan is Anishinaabe (Ojibwa), and a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nations in southern Ontario.

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Dr Charles R. Menzies, Associate Professor

Dr. Menzies, a member of Gitxaała Nation and an enrolled member of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska, was born and raised in Prince Rupert, BC. His primary research interests are the production of anthropological films, natural resource management, political economy, contemporary First Nations’ issues, maritime anthropology, and indigenous archaeology. He is also the Director of Cultural and Heritage Research for Gitxaała Nation.

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Dr Dory Nason, Assistant Professor
First Nations and Indigenous Studies and English

Dory Nason is Anishinaabe and an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. She holds a joint position with First Nations Studies and the Department of English. Her research focuses on contemporary Indigenous Feminisms and related Native women’s intellectual history and contemporary Native literature.

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Dr Richard Vedan, Associate Professor Emeritus
School of Social Work

Richard Vedan, Secwepemc, joined the UBC School of Social Work in 1995 and is former director of the First Nation House of Learning and Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs (2001-2008). His research has addressed identity issues, authenticity, multi-generational traumatic stress disorder, violent behaviour in First Nations communities and the benefits of traditional healing practices. He retired on January 1st, 2014.

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Faculty of Education

Dr Cash Ahenakew, Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Studies

Research experience and interests focus on the areas of international indigenous studies in education, indigenous curriculum and pedagogy and indigenous health and well being. He has been a research associate in international research projects on global citizenship education, international indigenous networks, and critical intercultural education at the universities of Oulu (Finland) and Canterbury (Aotearoa/New Zealand). Cash is Plains Cree and his family comes from Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation.

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Dr Jo-Ann Archibald, Professor, Education
Associate Dean of Indigenous Education
Director, NITEP

Dr Archibald (Sto:lo) is a former director of the First Nations House of Learning and the Native Indian Teacher Education Program. She is currently the Associate Dean for Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education and editor of the annual theme issue of the Canadian Journal of Native Education. Her main areas of research are Indigenous education, oral tradition & storytelling, Indigenous higher education, and Indigenous knowledge systems.

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Dr Peter Cole, Assistant Professor
Curriculum and Pedagogy

Dr. Cole is a member of the Douglas First Nation (Southern Stl’atl’imx) as well as having Welsh/Scottish heritage. He has considerable experience as a researcher and educator in Indigenous education, with expertise in curriculum theory, Indigenous epistemology and pedagogy, research methodology, traditional indigenous technologies, and Indigenous perspectives in environmental and sustainability education.

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Dr Tracy Friedel, Assistant Professor
Curriculum and Pedagogy

Dr. Friedel’s research interests include critical analysis of Aboriginal education policy and practice, First Nation and Métis experience concerning work and learning, and an enhanced understanding of Indigenous theories on place and what this offers to the transformation of education and society more broadly. Her Indigenous affiliation is with Region 4 of the Métis Nation of Alberta.

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Dr Candace Kaleimamoowahinekapu Galla, Assistant Professor
Language and Literacy Education

Growing up in a sugar plantation town in Kaʻū, Dr. Galla was exposed to an array of languages and cultures from a young age and continued learning about her Hawaiian language and culture formally at Kamehameha Schools on Kapālama campus in Honolulu. She went on to study Linguistics at the University of Arizona and received a PhD in Language, Reading and Culture. Her research explores what types of technology initiatives Indigenous language communities are using to revitalize, maintain, and promote their language.

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Ms Lucetta George-Grant, Instructor
On-Campus Coordinator, NITEP

Ms George, Coast Salish, is the on-Campus Coordinator for year three, four, and five students in the Native Indian Teacher Education Program.


Dr Alanaise Goodwill, Assistant Professor Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education (ECPS)

Dr. Alanaise Goodwill, Anishinaabekwe of the Grand Medicine People and citizen of the Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation, is also a Registered Psychologist. She received her B.Sc. from Simon Fraser University where she completed her athletic career as a varsity swimmer, and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in counselling psychology at UBC. She researches the topics of gang prevention and intervention, Anishinaabe language in healing settings, and Indigenous approaches to counselling.

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Dr Jan Hare, Associate Professor
Language and Literacy Education

Jan Hare is an Anishinaabe from the M’Chigeeng First Nation. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education. Her research interests include the social practices of literacy in Aboriginal families, schools and communities. She has a particular interest in Aboriginal early learning and youth issues. She is mentoring doctoral students working on Aboriginal language revitalization and Aboriginal education.

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Dr Michael Marker, Associate Professor
Educational Studies
Director, T’Skel Graduate Studies

Dr Marker (Arapaho) studies the ethnohistory of education and the politics of Indigenous knowledge, primarily in the Coastal Salish region. His research has foregrounded the ways that colonizing powers have imposed ideologies and cosmologies on Aboriginal communities and the remarkable resistance strategies of Native people.

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Ms Marny Point, Adjunct Professor
First Nations Language Program
Urban Coordinator, NITEP

Ms. Point is a member of the Musqueam Band of the Coast Salish Tribes. As Urban Program Coordinator she is the program advisor for the first and second year NITEP students. She also teaches B.Ed. courses dealing with issues in First Nations education and the second year class for the First Nations Languages program, Intermediate Salish.

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Faculty of Land and Food Systems

Dr Eduardo Jovel, Associate Professor
Botanical Garden & Centre for Plant Research
Director – Indigenous Research Partnerships

Dr Jovel’s research interests include ethnobotany, mycology, natural product chemistry and Aboriginal health. In the last 10 years he has taken an active role in Aboriginal health research, including Indigenous medicinal systems, food security, environmental health, research ethics, and Indigenous research methodologies.

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Faculty of Law

Dr Gordon Christie, Associate Professor
Director, First Nations Legal Studies

Dr Christie has taught in universities in Canada and the United States, in Faculties of Law, and Departments of Philosophy and Indigenous Studies. Most recently he was an Assistant Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School (1998 – 2004) where he also acted as Director of the Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments. Dr Christie’s research fields include Aboriginal legal issues, legal theory, and tort. His ancestry is Inupiat/Inuvialuit.

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Ms Darlene Johnston, Associate Professor

Professor Johnston is a member of the Chippewa Nawash First Nation in Ontario. Her teaching areas include Indigenous legal traditions, Canadian Aboriginal and treaty rights, and law & colonialism. Her current research focuses on the relationship between totemic identity, territoriality and governance.

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Mr Johnny Mack, Assistant Professor
Law and First Nations and Indigenous Studies

Mr. Mack, a Nuu-chah-nulth law scholar, teaches in the Faculty of Law (home faculty) and the Faculty of Arts’ First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program. He is currently completing his Ph.D. at the University of Victoria in the Faculty of Law as a Trudeau Doctoral Scholar. His dissertation is entitled “From Liberation to Liberalization: Nuu-chah-nulth Constitutionalism in Context.” He has published and presented on indigenous law and constitutionalism, anthropology, and colonialism and is involved in a number of collaborative research projects related to these areas.

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Faculty of Medicine

Dr Nadine Caron, Associate Professor
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery

Dr Nadine Caron, Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery, teaches at the Northern Medical Program at the University of Northern British Columbia. She currently resides in Prince George, BC where she is a general and endocrine surgeon at the Prince George University Hospital. She is passionate about Indigenous peoples’ health and Canadian health policy. Nadine is Anishnawbe from the Sagamok First Nation.

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Faculty of Science

Dr Shawn Desaulniers, Instructor
Department of Mathematics

Dr. Desaulniers received his PhD from the University of Alberta in the area of abstract harmonic analysis. He has an interest in K-12 math education and sharing recreational math with the community. Shawn is a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario.

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UBC Library

Ms Sarah Dupont, Aboriginal Engagement Librarian
Xwi7xwa Library and Irving K. Barber Learning Centre

Ms. Dupont, Métis, is from Prince George, BC and an alumnus of the University of Northern BC. She received a Masters of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta, where her research interests focused on information seeking behaviours of urban, Métis youth. Ms. Dupont’s role at UBC Library includes providing reference and instruction services, programming, outreach, and working on special projects such as the Indigitization program.

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Ms Kim Lawson, Reference Librarian
Xwi7xwa Library

Ms Lawson is from the Heiltsuk Nation of BC. Prior to joining UBC, she worked as the Archivist/Librarian for the Union of BC Indian Chiefs Resource Centre. Her MLIS research looked at First Nations Perspectives on archives, libraries and museums.

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