First Nations scholar and educator Dr. Dustin Louie is the first Aboriginal Scholar in Residence at the University of Northern British Columbia. He begins his four-month term this week.
Louie is from Nee Tahi Buhn and Nadleh Whut’en of the Carrier Nation of central B.C. and a member of the Beaver Clan. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education, teaching courses related to Indigenous education, social justice and educational philosophy.
“Congratulations to Dr. Louie and UNBC on this historical progress at a moment in time when we are truly beginning to understand and embrace what Indigenous culture and world views contribute to our society,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, in a press release. “Indigenous youth are the fastest growing demographic in the province and supporting their success through appointments of scholars who are strong role models like Dr. Louie will benefit everyone.”
The new Aboriginal Scholar in Residence program provides Louie with a unique opportunity to build relationships with Aboriginal students at UNBC, to engage with faculty members and travel to communities in northern B.C.
“It is a great honour to serve as UNBC’s first Aboriginal Scholar in Residence. As a Carrier academic who grew up in Prince George, Fraser Lake and Burns Lake this opportunity carries additional significance,” Louie said. “I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to give back to Indigenous students, hear the voices of Indigenous communities, share guest lectures on campus, and collaborate in the Indigenizing work of UNBC.”
During his time on campus, Louie will engage with the UNBC community through class presentations, the First Nations Centre and other events such as the Global Friday Speaker Series as a guest at the University.
“Welcoming Dr. Louie to UNBC as a dedicated Aboriginal scholar will inspire and encourage our students as he works alongside them in a supportive capacity,” said UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks. “UNBC’s motto, En Cha Huna, interpreted as respect for all others, inspires us to be a community and reminds us of our commitment to the success of Aboriginal students and to furthering Aboriginal initiatives at UNBC.”
The Aboriginal Scholar in Residence Program is funded by the provincial government’s Aboriginal Service Plan whose goals are to increase the access, retention, completion and transition opportunities for Aboriginal learners; strengthen partnerships and collaboration in Aboriginal post-secondary education and increase the receptivity and relevance of post-secondary institutions and programs for Aboriginal learners, including providing support for initiatives that address systemic barriers.
Louie graduated from Lakes District Secondary School in Burns Lake. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Canadian history, a Master’s degree in International Relations, and a PhD in Educational Leadership.