Chair on Truth and Reconciliation Chair
Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux served as Vice Provost for Indigenous Initiatives at Lakehead University for three years. Effective September 2016 she was appointed as the 1st Indigenous Chair for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada for Lakehead University and she continues to develop pathways forward to reconciliation across Canada. Cynthia is responsible for the development and implementation of the President’s Council for the Truth and Reconciliation and the eight modules that have been designed to engage the staff, faculty and administration of the Lakehead community.
Cynthia was the inaugural Nexen Chair for Indigenous Leadership at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and remains a faculty member in the Indigenous Learning program. She is a board member for the Teach for Canada non-profit which addresses the needs of Indigenous schools in Northern Ontario. Cynthia was inducted as a “Honourary Witness” by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2014, and is the Chair of the Governing Circle for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.
She is a member and resident of the Chippewa of Georgina Island First Nation in Ontario and has dedicated her life to building bridges of understanding between peoples. She sees endless merit in bringing people from diverse cultures, ages, and backgrounds together to engage in practical dialogue and applied research initiatives. She is deeply committed to public education and active youth engagement from all cultures and backgrounds.
Cynthia co-founded a youth project out of the University of Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan and Lakehead University. Information on the Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) can be found at: www.canadianroots.ca.