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Director of Indigenous Studies

Western University - Faculty of Social Science
London, Ontario (CA)
Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Closing date
Jun 12, 2022

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Teacher / Faculty
Contract Type

Faculty Position (Open Rank) – Director of Indigenous Studies

Faculty of Social Science

Western University

Expressions of interest and applications are invited for the position of Director of the Indigenous Studies (IS)  Program in the Faculty of Social Science at Western University (London, Ontario). Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Chonnonton, Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee and Lenaape Nations, lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796, and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. The IS Program at Western University was established in 2003.  With degree offerings of minor, major and honours specialization, IS is an interdisciplinary program of study that examines the history, culture, languages and modern-day realities of Indigenous Peoples and communities on Turtle Island and around the world.  Program curriculum emphasizes theories, concepts and methodologies related to legacies of colonialism, Indigenous Knowledge, resurgence and decolonization.

It is a very exciting time for Indigenous research and scholarship at Western University. In 2016, Western approved its first ever Indigenous Strategic Plan, followed shortly thereafter by the development of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and the appointment of a Vice-Provost and Associate Vice President for Indigenous Initiatives. We are presently building an Indigenous Learning Space and developing Indigenous- centred and -developed curriculum. Western University is presently embarking on an ambitious growth plan, which includes Indigenous faculty positions linked through the CRC program and the Provost’s cluster hire program.

Coinciding with these wider institutional efforts, the top strategic priority for the IS Program is growth.  The IS Program seeks growth in terms of people, students, and with respect to building new community relationships, and deepening existing ties. The Director will be centrally involved in the growth journey of the Program, and will be surrounded by a highly motivated group of Indigenous scholars, allies, students, community, and institutional support, including a dedicated administrative team. The Director will play a central role in making the IS Program the foundation from which Indigenous scholarship continues to be nurtured and enhanced at Western.

We seek an Indigenous leader who has demonstrated experience in Indigenous research and teaching, and whose leadership encompasses both academic and Indigenous community contexts.  The Director will enliven, inspire and further grow the base of Indigenous scholarship in the Indigenous Studies Program, while working reciprocally and respectfully with colleagues and students across campus, and Indigenous Peoples, communities and organizations in local, national and international contexts.

The Search Committee is open to an appointment at any rank. The anticipated start date will be July 1, 2022, or as negotiated. As part of Western’s commitment to respond to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the hiring process for this position will be limited to Indigenous applicants as outlined in Section 14 of the Ontario Human Rights Code. Candidates must self-identify in their cover letter. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Successful candidates must have a doctoral degree (or equivalent), completed or in-progress in a discipline relevant to Indigenous Studies, be engaged in a program of Indigenous research, and have a demonstrated record of scholarly excellence and leadership. Assessment of candidates will be based on their record of Indigenous scholarship, as portrayed in their research, teaching and leadership, and the impacts of their scholarship in university and community settings. Applicants considered for a probationary appointment must have a demonstrated record of, or a strong potential for, excellence in scholarly research and teaching, appropriate to career stage. Candidates considered for appointments with tenure must have a strong academic record including publications in academic and/or community outlets and significant experience in teaching.

Applicants may wish to refer to the description of relevant academic responsibilities in the Letter of Understanding - Indigenous Faculty Members in the UWOFA Collective Agreement. Western recognizes that Indigenous research is a relational process that Indigenous scholars may engage in to support community sovereignty in their own matters. It is a process that requires considerable time, commitment, and principled approaches, which is broader than mainstream conceptualizations and definitions of “research”; it is a relational approach that acknowledges the scholars’ ties to community, ceremony, human and non-human beings, the land, and sometimes even family. The successful candidate will join a transdisciplinary network of collaborative Indigenous researchers across Western University and will have an opportunity to shape partnerships with our University and community stakeholders at the local, provincial, national and international levels.

With an enviable national reputation and an international profile that ranks among the top universities world-wide, Western pushes the boundaries of pedagogical and scholarly excellence while setting a national standard for a student experience that is second to none. Western is fostering understanding and respect for, and reciprocal relationships with, Indigenous communities and organizations, including, for example, articulation agreements with Six Nations Polytechnic, and Memoranda of Understanding with the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre, Southern First Nations Secretariat and Indspire. The University is working to support the recruitment and success of Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students, the integration of Indigenous cultures, approaches and perspectives into curricular offerings and research, collaboration with Indigenous communities, and recruitment and retention of Indigenous faculty and staff. Western’s Recruitment and Retention Office is available to assist in the transition of successful applicants and their families.

Western recognizes that our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is central to the University’s mandate as a research-intensive institution of higher learning and a community leader and understands that our pursuit of research excellence and our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion are mutually supporting.

An application must include the following submitted as a single document:

  1. Application for Full-Time Faculty Position form;
  2. Cover letter addressing how the candidate’s leadership expertise fits this position and complements existing strengths in Indigenous Studies;
  3. Curriculum Vitae;
  4. Research Statement specifying plans for research at Western (up to 2 pages);
  5. Teaching Statement (up to 2 pages) summarizing teaching and mentoring experience, evidence of teaching effectiveness, areas of teaching expertise and plans for teaching and training at Western; and
  6. Names, institutional affiliations and contact information (including email addresses) for three academic referees.Community references may also be included.

Applications should be emailed to:

Chair, Indigenous Studies Director Search Committee

c/o Karen Foullong, Faculty Coordinator

Office of the Dean

Faculty of Social Science
Western University


The deadline for receipt of applications is May 15, 2022, or until position is filled.

Positions are subject to budget approval. Applicants should have fluent written and oral communication skills in English. The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Western is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, members of racialized groups, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Effective September 7, 2021, all employees and visitors to campus are required to comply with Western’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment process. If you require accommodations for interviews or other meetings, please contact Karen Foullong .

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