Assistant Professor Keri Cheechoo (Iskwew/she/her) will lead the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (ITEP) for a three year mandate from July 2020 to 2023. As an Iskwew (Cree woman) from the community of Long Lake #58 First Nation, Cheechoo is both scholar and poet, who interweaves her educational research with the arts-based methodology of poetic inquiry. During her term as ITEP Director, she aims to bring more attention to curricular changes focusing on protocols that include ethical relationality, reciprocity and mamatowisin, the engagement of inner mindfulness. Cheechoo’s vision for the ITEP program includes adding an urban cohort to the program, with an eye to recruiting First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Teacher Candidates from Ottawa and surrounding areas.
“Using sound governance and formal protocols, I seek to contribute, innovate, promote, work and participate in a good way. I want to be a change-maker and see students flourish in a robust and focused program crafted with and for them. I am committed to strengthening and expanding collaborations to include new partnerships locally, nationally and globally, which will provide new opportunities for growth and continual improvement.”
- Dr. Keri Cheechoo
Dr. Cheechoo credits previous ITEP Director, Dr. Nicholas Ng-A-Fook for his past leadership in establishing relationality through community partnerships in and for the program, a foundation upon which she will build to enhance the training of Indigenous Teacher Candidates and to expand cross-faculty engagement with Indigenous research development.
With participation in the implementation of Indigenous Rights as one of five objectives of our strategic plan, Dr. Cheechoo’s directorship serves a vital role in the Faculty’s ongoing engagement in the work of reconciliation. Keeping in mind the strategic vision of the Faculty of Education, and the university-wide community, Dr. Cheechoo intends to share her Indigenous Knowledge and worldview by collaborating with partners to ensure that services, programs and research are mobilized into new ways of doing educational research, developing new forms of teaching and learning, and preparing innovative educational leaders.