Six New Faculty Members Join First Nations University of Canada

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Six New Faculty Members Join First Nations University of Canada

July 6, 2021

On July 1, 2021, six new faculty members joined the First Nations University of Canada in Indigenous Studies, Indigenous Literatures in English, Indigenous Languages, Indigenous Education, Indigenous Health, and Indigenous Business & Public Administration.

Despite the many challenges throughout the pandemic, the number of new appointments highlight the University’s growth over the years.

Shane Keepness is a Lecturer in Indigenous Studies, located on the Regina Campus. Shane is a PhD Candidate (ABD) in Indigenous Governance with expertise in Indigenous health, community-based research, Plains history and Indigenous Governance.

Jade McDougall (any pronouns), is a Lecturer in Indigenous Literatures in English, located on the Saskatoon Campus.

Jade is a Métis PhD candidate specializing in Indigenous Literatures. She was born in Prince Albert, SK, and has been living in Saskatoon most of her life. Jade’s dissertation research, undertaken through the Department of English at the University of Saskatchewan, explores Métis family stories through community history, archival materials, and zine practice. Her most recent work has included co-editing the scholarly collection The Arts of Indigenous Health and Well-Being (forthcoming through the University of Manitoba Press, October 2021), providing illustrations for Cort Dogniez’s book Road to La Prairie Ronde (Gabriel Dumont Institute Press, December 2020), and serving as an artist-mentor for the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society’s Youth Storytelling Workshop program series.

Dr. Olivia Sammons joins us as an Assistant Professor in Indigenous Languages, located on the Regina Campus.

Olivia Sammons received her doctorate in linguistics from the University of Alberta in 2019, where her dissertation focused on nominal classification (the way nouns are categorized) in Michif. Her work focuses primarily on language documentation and community-based language revitalization, with further interests in language contact, lexicography, and second language acquisition. She has contributed to community- and university-based language workshops and courses throughout the United States and Canada, including with the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI; Alberta), the Institute on Collaborative Language Research (CoLang; Alaska, Florida), the U.S. National Breath of Life Institute (Washington, D.C.), the Oklahoma Native Language Association (Oklahoma), the Prairies to Woodlands Indigenous Language Revitalization Circle (Manitoba), and the Yukon Native Language Centre (Yukon).

Chris Scribe, a PhD Candidate, is an Assistant Professor in Indigenous Languages and Indigenous Education, located on the Saskatoon Campus.

Chris Scribe, Nakota/Nehiyaw (Assiniboine/Cree) is from the Carry the Kettle Nakoda Oyade & Kinosaeo Sipi Cree Nation’s and firmly grounds himself in his Indigenous culture, language, and tradition. His worldview, foundationally built on the life teachings of his father and grandmother, Chris has become an advocate for Indigenous Knowledge in Education.

Juliano Tupone brings his knowledge of Indigenous Business & Public Administration to FNUniv as a Lecturer. Juliano joins the Regina Campus faculty.

Cassandra J. Opikokew Wajuntah, an Assistant Professor in Indigenous Health, will be located on the Regina Campus.

Cassandra is from Canoe Lake Cree First Nation and was raised in Meadow Lake in Northern Saskatchewan. She graduated at the top of her class in 2009 from the U of Regina with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (BAJ) and a Certificate in Indigenous Communication Arts (INCA) from FNUniv. In 2012, she finished her Master of Public Administration (MPA) where she focused on Indigenous post-secondary education funding.

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