Senior Academic Management Team

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Senior Academic Management Team

The Senior Academic Management Team collaborates to ensure delivery of FNUniv’s academic plan in accordance with the budget, and through effective academic administration to achieve student outcomes.

Vice-President, Academic

Dr. Shalene Jobin

Dr. Shalene Jobin is Cree and Métis from Red Pheasant Cree First Nation. Dr. Jobin was founding Director of the Indigenous Governance program and holds a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Governance at the Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta.

Dr. Jobin’s focus has been supporting Indigenous nations in governance revitalization, and supporting student training in Indigenous governance and partnerships. Her recently published book Upholding Indigenous Economic Relationships: Nehiyawak Narratives (2023, UBC Press)details the way Indigenous peoples move with and between economic structures imposed by the Canadian state with a particular focus on prairie Indigenous life and philosophy.

Dr Jobin has led numerous institution-building endeavours and provided strategic advice to the Offices of the Provost and the President at the University of Alberta and has been involved in four multi-year, and community-led Indigenous nation building research projects. 

Associate Dean, Academic 

Fidji Gendron, PhD., B.Sc.

Dr. Fidji Gendron is a Professor of Biology and she is interested in the traditional uses of native plants. She works in partnership with Elders and has developed booklets on plant medicines. These teaching tools help promote native plants recognition and highlight their importance in the Indigenous culture. She is also involved in a group that examines the bio-active chemical components in native plants.

Another area of interest is how to braid Indigenous and Western Science in her Biology courses. She organizes hands-on activities in her labs under the guidance of an Elder who shares protocol and stories with students.

Associate Dean, Community, Research & Graduate Programs

Dr. Tara Turner

I’m an Associate Professor in Indigenous Social Work (INSW) at the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) at the Saskatoon campus. A citizen of the Metis-Nation Saskatchewan (MN-S), I’m from a small community in the mountains of British Columbia. Moving to Saskatchewan in 1999, I completed my PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan in 2010. My PhD dissertation, Re-searching Metis Identity: My Metis Family Story, was completed along with my family, exploring Metis stories, identity, child welfare, trauma and healing, separation, reunion, and Metis research methods. My research has helped me understand my Metis culture for myself, my family, and my work. Before becoming a faculty member at FNUniv in 2013, I was the Director of Health at the MN-S. I am grateful to be a mother to three boys. I enjoy learning and sharing Indigenous knowledges and methods, and I have a particular connection with the ceremony of circles.

Program Coordinators

Indigenous Business & Public Administration – Jason Bird

Indigenous Communication & Fine Arts – Audrey Dreaver

Indigenous Education – Dr. Angelina Weenie

Indigenous Education – Graduate Program – Dr. Kathleen O’Reilly    

Indigenous Health – Dr. Carrie LaVallie

Indigenous Languages – Andrea Custer

Indigenous Literatures in English – Dr. Jesse Archibald-Barber

Indigenous Studies  – Dr. Shane Keepness

Indigenous Knowledge & Science – Dr. Fidji Gendron

Indigenous Social Work – Undergraduate Program – Marlene McNab

Indigenous Social Work – Graduate Program Coordinator – Susannah Walker

Academic Administrator

Sheila Acoose

Sheila Acoose has been part of the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) since 1998 with the Department of Indigenous Studies and later worked with Science, Business, Indigenous Languages, English and Indigenous Education.

Sheila graduated with a Diploma of Associate in Administration – May 2006.


Lianda Tanner

Lianda Tanner is the Registrar at the First Nations University of Canada. She is very proud to acknowledge her Cree and Saulteaux heritage from Cowessess First Nation located along the beautiful Qu’Appelle Valley with Crooked Lake and the Qu’Appelle River. Lianda achieved her Bachelor of Administration degree in Management from the University of Regina, in federation with the First Nations University of Canada and is now pursuing a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and Leadership at Royal Roads University.  Lianda’s career journey has kept her working with the First Nations University of Canada in the area of Student Success Services and Registrar since entering the workforce upon completing an Office Administration program.  Lianda finds her career at the First Nation University of Canada very fulfilling because she is working in an environment where First Nations and non-First Nations people are learning and experiencing First Nations culture and traditions through learning pedagogies and ceremonies.

Director, Student Success Services (Interim)

Taylor Chetty

Taylor Chetty is an FNUniv alumni, attending both the Northern and Saskatoon campuses to complete her Indigenous Social Work degree in 2015. Taylor has also completed her Master of Social Work Degree in 2023 through the University of Regina.

Taylor spent the majority of her career stewarding victims/survivors of crime through the police and court processes through her jobs with the Government of SK and Saskatoon Police Service and is passionate about trauma-informed care and advocacy.

Taylor is happy to be at FNUniv serving students as they achieve their academic and professional goals in her role as Interim Director of Student Success Services. Taylor believes that education is one of the only things that no one can take from you and therefore, wants to create a space where students can achieve their academic goals successfully and with holistic support.

Director, Indigenous Continuing Education Centre (ICEC)

Reila Bird

Reila Bird has added the Director of Indigenous Continuing Education Centre (ICEC) to her profile.

Reila is a member of George Gordon First Nation and was raised in Regina. She is a graduate of the Indian Teachers Education Program from the University of Saskatchewan and completed her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Regina.

Throughout her career, Reila has had numerous opportunities to grow and learn in education from urban and rural perspectives. She was a K-12 classroom teacher for the Regina Public School Division and Prairie Valley School Division. She also held the position of First Nations and Métis Education Coordinator with Prairie Valley School Division and a Sessional Instructor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina. She is a council member of the Saskatchewan Provincial Education Council that provides oversight to the provincial education plan’s development, implementation, and governance from a strategic perspective. Reila is also Co-Secretary to the National Indigenous Accreditation Board of Directors.

Given Reila’s work experience in the education sector, she has profound knowledge and experience in K-12 education, strategic planning, program development, and establishing educational partnerships. Reila believes that education is a shared responsibility, and together, everyone can positively influence student achievement and student success.

Reila served as Senior Strategic Analyst for the past two years and as a Sessional Instructor at the First Nations University of Canada.

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