Sudbury·Audio

Laurentian University hires more aboriginal professors in Sudbury

Laurentian University in Sudbury has far exceeded its goal in hiring indigenous faculty members, an official says.
(CBC)

Laurentian University in Sudbury has far exceeded its goal in hiring indigenous faculty members, an official says.

The associate vice president of Academics and Indigenous programs said the goal in 2011 was to hire one indigenous faculty member per year for five years.

Sheila Cote-Meek says indigenous professors still form a fraction of the more than 300 faculty members at Laurentian University in Sudbury.
The school has surpassed that goal, Sheila Cote-Meek said, with the hiring of 10 indigenous faculty members since 2011.

The jobs are a result of vacancies from retirements and other moves.

“To level the playing field, if you will, it's really important that aboriginal faculty are seen in the university across a variety of disciplines,” Cote Meek said.

There has been an organized push to find qualified candidates.

“We've also used a recruiting firm to help us locate aboriginal faculty who may not be aware what Laurentian has been doing in terms of creating a great space for aboriginal faculty.”

She noted the indigenous professors still form a fraction of the more than 300 faculty members at LU.

The chief of the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve said the school could help current aboriginal employees advance.

Chief Duke Peltier said he’d like the school to recognize Anishinaabemowin as an official second language, so those speaking English or French plus their traditional language could apply for jobs that require bilingualism.

A petition last year to the Board of Governors to make that change did not succeed, however.

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