Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) announced today that it is recruiting five full-time Indigenous faculty members. The cluster hiring initiative, designed to introduce an interdisciplinary group of Indigenous academics to the university at the same time, will double the number of tenured and tenure-track Indigenous faculty at ECU.
Indigeneity is one of the core priorities of ECU’s strategic plan. The path towards indigenizing the university includes a commitment to increase the number of full-time Indigenous faculty. Aside from teaching and research in their respective fields, the new faculty will contribute to ongoing initiatives to build cultural competency at every level within the university through strategic planning and community workshops.
“Universities have a crucial role to play in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by integrating Indigenous knowledge systems into their curriculum, pedagogy and governance,” says Gillian Siddall, President of ECU. “One of the most important ways we can do this is to increase the number of Indigenous faculty at the university who can lead that process. Hiring five faculty members at one time also creates a cohort of new Indigenous faculty and signals to both Indigenous and non-Indigenousstudents our genuine commitment to indigenization and creating a safe cultural space for Indigenous students.”
ECU has a long history of supporting Indigenous creative practices and research methods. A concerted effort to increase Indigenousrepresentation among the faculty began in 2007, and the 2015 appointment of Richard Hill, Canada Research Chair in IndigenousStudies, marked another key milestone.
The Aboriginal Gathering Place, a purpose-built facility designed to provide the 100 Indigenous students studying at ECU with support, cultural programming and a home away from home on campus, was established in 2010. Today, ECU offers courses such as Aboriginal Design and Technology, Studies in Contemporary Aboriginal Art, and BC Aboriginal Art History.
“Although we have amazing support throughout the Emily Carr community with working towards decolonization, there is still much to be done,” says Brenda Crabtree, a practising artist who has been leading Indigenous programming at ECU as the Director of Aboriginal Programs since 1999. “Our goal is to infuse Indigenous ways of knowing throughout the university. Hiring five new Indigenous faculty members is an important step in reaching that goal.”
The hiring process is led by Bonne Zabolotney, ECU’s Vice-President Academic and Provost, and coincides with the recruitment of five other permanent faculty positions at the university. Interested applicants are invited to review the employment opportunities section of ECU’s website and submit their application online (ecuad.ca/current-job-postings). ECU will start reviewing applicants in March, and will accept applications until the positions are filled.