Congratulations to Tesa Fiddler, named Outstanding Indigenous Educator

Congratulations to Tesa Fiddler (MEd, 2012), a teacher with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, who was recently named the 2019 Outstanding Indigenous Educator by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.  

Tesa is a member of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake First Nation) with family connections to Onigaming and Muskrat Dam First Nations. She has worked as an Indigenous Education Resource Teacher for the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board since 2011.

From 2011 to 2016, Tesa was a co-instructor with Dr. Lisa Korteweg in the course “Indigenizing Perspectives and Practices in Education,” at Lakehead University, among other classes.

She also taught at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education Institute, and York University.     

Pictured below: Tesa Fiddler, right, received a certificate from CTF President Shelley Morse after being named the 2019 Outstanding Indigenous Educator by the Canadian Teacher's Federation.


Master of Education Student Robin Faye’s Artwork Featured in Public Show

Robin Faye, a visual artist and Master of Education student with a focus on Environmental and Sustainability Education, has created an art piece (see below) currently on display at the “Breaking Ground” exhibition at the Baggage Building Arts Centre in Thunder Bay.

The artwork is an interactive piece about pedagogical learning spaces. Robin created it as part of an arts-integrated research project conducted by Dr. Pauline Sameshima, her thesis supervisor. The artwork invites viewers to gently move inside it and sit on a meditation cushion to contemplate.

Robin explains that Dr. Sameshima worked with yoga teachers in her research, inviting the participants to write about their training process and respond to art she had created. Robin then read what the participants had written, and responded with the creation of her own piece, which deliberately remains untitled.

“My artwork is my impression of the yoga teachers’ experiences,” she explains. “Viewers will have their own interpretations of it, but some themes include contemplation, personal growth, and internal experiences. It references a snake skin, as one of the participants described her experience of growing as a yoga teacher to be like shedding her skin, like a snake.”

Robin adds that arts-integrated research is a dialogic process between artist and participant, with a goal of authentic expression. It’s a fluid process that can change according to context – much like one’s impressions of art.

Robin’s artwork was selected as the cover art for the show, which is a spring exhibition of multidisciplinary works by 20 artists. It is on view until June 29th at the Baggage Building Arts Centre in Thunder Bay.

Her work is also exhibited online at Lakehead University's Arts Integrated Studies Virtual Gallery, which is curated by a jury coordinated by Dr. Sameshima. 

PhD Student Holly Prince Awarded Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship

Holly Prince is one of only 20 doctoral students from across Canada and the globe who has received a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards in Canada in the social sciences and humanities fields.

Prince is an Indigenous scholar and Anishinaabekwe from the Red Rock Indian Band, Lake Helen Reserve, and currently a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education (Thunder Bay campus), supervised by Dr. Lisa Korteweg, in the Joint PhD in Education program.

For more than a decade, Prince has been working as a researcher and project manager at the Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), focused on improving the end-of-life care in Indigenous communities with the active collaboration of community members.

Her current PhD work is situated in Indigenous community-based educational research, interdisciplinary in its focus on accessible, culturally relevant, well-being and education services, determined with and controlled by Indigenous people.

Prince has been awarded $180,000 over three years to advance her research into First Nations community-based palliative care education and programs, including funds to promote travel for research and scholarly networking and knowledge dissemination.

“I am extremely excited to have been awarded this honour and to become part of the new doctoral cohort in the Trudeau Foundation scholarly community,” said Prince.

“I feel both humbled and extremely responsible in my role as an Indigenous scholar, to see my own doctoral work as improving the conditions for academic research with Indigenous communities or bringing research back to life or positive repute in communities.”

“The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (PETF) encourages research that strives to make societal change through academia,” Prince said.

“Being part of such an accomplished and influential academic community will offer great opportunities to move Canadian institutions, like healthcare and education, forward in prioritizing Indigenous peoples, communities and our knowledge systems in research. I look forward to inquiring with fellow PETF scholars and mentors as to how academia can respectfully recognize the importance of Indigenous perspectives in the pursuit of knowledge and ideas.”

Even though Prince’s research is specifically situated in palliative care education in Indigenous communities, she said this kind of work is relevant for all research in Canada, given the “longstanding broken relationships between Indigenous communities and universities and an ongoing inadequate acknowledgement of the value of Indigenous knowledge systems and community-based control.”

The Trudeau Foundation receives nominations from top PhD candidates in the Social Sciences and Humanities fields from universities across Canada and internationally. About 300 exceptional PhD students are nominated by their home universities, but only 20 in total are chosen after a grueling application process, including flying to Montreal for personal and group interviews.

This is the first time Lakehead University has nominated a graduate student for the PETF scholarship.  

“For Holly to be awarded the renowned Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship is a phenomenal achievement and a testament to the outstanding quality of her scholarship,” said Dr. Korteweg, Prince’s supervisor.

“It is also a tribute to the pressing need for more Indigenous research by Indigenous scholars and with Indigenous communities. I couldn’t be prouder of Holly and for the national recognition of her Indigenous scholarship,” Dr. Korteweg added.

“For Holly to receive the prestigious Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship is a wonderful personal achievement and a tribute to her scholarship,” said Dr. Wayne Melville, Acting Dean of Lakehead University’s Faculty of Education.

“As a Faculty we wish her all the best as she pursues her vital research into First Nations community-based palliative care education programs. The award is also a testament to the quality of the Joint PhD in Educational Studies Program here at Lakehead, and the commitment of our faculty members to nurturing the next generation of researchers,” he added.

For more information:

Dr. Rita Shelton Launches New Book: American Refugees: Turning to Canada for Freedom

Dr. Rita Shelton Deverell, Contract Lecturer in the Faculty of Education (Orillia), will launch her new book, American Refugees: Turning to Canada for Freedom.

Date: Saturday, June 1

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Location: Orillia Public Library (36 Mississaga St W, Orillia)

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Dr. Shelton Deverell, a Texas-born Canadian, drew on some of her own history in writing the book. The book is published by the University of Regina Press and described as follows:

“When it became clear that Donald Trump would become the new US president on election night in 2016, the website for Citizenship and Immigration Canada crashed. It was overwhelmed by Americans afraid that the United States would once again enter a period of intolerance and military aggression. In American Refugees, Rita Shelton Deverell shows that from the Revolutionary War to the Underground Railroad through to McCarthyism and Vietnam, Americans have fled to Canada in times of crisis. Many still flee. All have sought better lives, while helping to shape Canada into the country it is today.”

Alumna Rachel Mishenene Wins Indspire Award

Educator, curriculum developer, and writer Rachel Mishenene (BEd, 2003; MEd, 2012) has won a 2018 Indspire Guiding the Journey: Indigenous Educator Award. The award recognizes the achievements of outstanding educators of Indigenous students who are leading the positive systemic change to education.

Rachel, a member of the Eabametoong First Nation, is currently an Executive Assistant in First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education at the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. For her demonstrated commitment to K-12 students over the span of a long career in education, she has won the award in the category of Community Service.

Rachel will be presented with the award in November, at the 2018 National Gathering for Indigenous Education ceremony in Edmonton, where hundreds of educators and supporters of Indigenous education from across Canada will gather to celebrate the award recipients.

“I’m very humbled and honoured to receive this award. My work is a responsibility to my ancestors, Indigenous Peoples, and to classroom teachers who are working to creating culturally responsive learning environments,” she says.

Indspire is a national Indigenous organization that invests in the education of Indigenous people by connecting educators of K-12 Indigenous students with programs, resources, and a professional learning community to improve educational outcomes, increase high school completion rates, and support sustained systemic change.

May Issue of Education Exchange Newsletter Published

We are pleased to announce that the May issue of our Education Exchange newsletter has been published. This newsletter brings our current and former students as well as our educational partners together to share news, successes, and innovations.

To access our Education Exchange newsletter, click the following link:

Education Exchange Newsletter (May 2019)

To see previous issues of the newsletter, visit the newsletter archives.

Dr. Pauline Sameshima Awarded SSHRC “Aid to Scholarly Journals” Grant

Dr. Pauline Sameshima (Professor and Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies), has won a SSHRC “Aid to Scholarly Journals” grant, for the open-access Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies (JCACS). Dr. Sameshima is Editor-in-Chief of JCACS. Lakehead Doctoral student, Holly Tsun Haggarty, is the Associate and Managing Editor of JCACS.

The three-year award, valued over $100,000, will support this Canadian journal in continuing to publish the most innovative and provocative curriculum work in Canada — experimenting in various modes of knowledge mobilization, and increasing dissemination, discoverability and readership of original research results.

JCACS publishes articles semi-annually in both French and English that address curriculum issues of interest to Canada and Canadians and an international readership such as curriculum pedagogies in elementary and secondary schools, undergraduate and graduate courses, and informal or community-based settings. The journal aims to reflect the diverse scholarship of the members of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, which includes the special interest groups: Science Education Research Group, Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada, Regroupement pour l’étude de l’éducation francophone en milieu minoritaire, Canadian Critical Pedagogy Association, and the Arts Researchers and Teachers Society.

"The funding is critical to developing a sustainable, accessible, and inclusive journal. We will be able to operationalize our goals of including bilingual abstracts, publish more French articles, support social media dissemination, develop mentorship/community dialogues, and update and secure our current platform, Dr. Sameshima says. "We are so grateful for the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council."

Dr. Pauline Sameshima Wins Contribution to Research Award

Congratulations to Dr. Pauline Sameshima (Professor and Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies), who has won a 2018 Contribution to Research Award for her relevant research activities over the past three years.

The award recognizes Dr. Sameshima’s productivity in quantity and quality, her interdisciplinary range, and her scholarly outputs such as peer-reviewed journals and books while she creates, disseminates, and curates research through the arts. It also recognizes her mentorship of graduate students, her attainment of funding, and her research collaboration with scholars across disciplines.

“The arts offer loving ways to engage communities in collaborative research, and through the arts, we can share research with different communities. I am honoured to have received this award and am grateful to co-researchers, community partners, graduate students, and Lakehead for making my work possible,” she says.

One of Dr. Sameshima's endeavors includes the addition of two new research art galleries that opened at Lakehead this year. She curates the Galleries@LakeheadU spaces, which are made up of five different locations for displaying research done at the University.

Below: Pauline Sameshima with Anne Klymenko (Director of the Office of Research Services) in front of artworks created by Pauline Sameshima and Patricia Morchel (PhD student at Columbia University, NY).

PhD Student Elizabeth Boileau Wins Graduate Studies Research Excellence Award

Congratulations to PhD student Elizabeth Boileau, whose research publication, “Insect and Human Flourishing in Early Childhood Education: Learning and Crawling Together” (co-authored with Dr. Connie Russell, Professor), has won the Graduate Studies Research Excellence Award, awarded during Lakehead University’s Research and Innovation Week.

The research chapter, which is published in the Research Handbook on Childhoodnature (Springer, 2018), explores how educators might “offer young children opportunities to develop ethical and caring relationships with insects, including those who are commonly feared, disliked, or simply overlooked.” Elizabeth has presented this research at two refereed conferences, and the publication is also being used as a course reading in a Master of Education course.

“Winning this award is very exciting and validating! I am proud of the positive impact that this publication has had already. I am very grateful for the guidance of my supervisor, Connie Russell, through the research, writing and publication process,” Elizabeth says.

She adds that this research bridges her professional and academic life, since it draws on her experiences working with children and working at an insect museum prior to the start of her PhD studies.  


Dr. Michael Hoechsmann Presents Public Talk: “Remix, Rhetoric and ‘Reality’ in the Era of ‘Fake News’”

Dr. Michael Hoechsmann (Associate Professor, Faculty of Education – Orillia) will present a public talk as part of the “Uncovering the Truth: Investigative Journalism in the Age of ‘Fake News’” series.

Date: Wednesday, February 27

Time: 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Location: St Paul's Centre, 62 Peter Street North, Orillia, ON

Description: How we produce, circulate and consume knowledge, information and “news” has changed dramatically with the participatory Web 2.0 and algorithmic Web 3.0. A democratized Internet gives voice to previously marginalized voices, and generally unleashes unfiltered views into circulation. Less able to rely on professional editors we actively curate information from multiple sources through search engines and social media. The apparent fake news ‘crisis’ of lies and propaganda in the media is fueled too by the rise of authoritarian populism and the celebration of opinion and affect (“I believe what I feel like believing”) over knowledge and science.

To purchase tickets for this talk, click here.