Laurier Appoints Vice-President of Indigenous Initiatives

Wilfrid Laurier University announced in a press release Tuesday that Darren Thomas, associate professor at Laurier’s Indigenous Studies program, has been appointed associate vice-president of Indigenous Initiatives.

Thomas is currently the most senior Indigenous leader at Laurier and “will provide strategic advice, support and expertise to academic and administrative units across the institution to achieve goals related to Indigeneity, including creating an environment of cultural safety for Indigenous faculty, staff, students and visitors,” the press release said.

As well, Thomas “will also further engage and strengthen partnerships with Indigenous communities.”

Laurier president and vice-chancellor Deborah MacLatchy described the university’s “institution-wide Indigenization strategy” in the news release which aims to more fully integrate Indigenous knowledge and practices into Laurier.

Guiding this development is outlined as “a core initiative in Laurier’s Action Plan for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and Indigeneity.”

“The relationship between EDI and Indigeneity at Laurier has been formed in the spirit of the Two Row Wampum. EDI and Indigeneity initiatives are moving forward side by side, down the same path, in pursuit of partnership and creating an inclusive, welcoming and just community,” the press release said.

Thomas will officially begin the role of associate vice-president of Indigenous Initiatives on July 1.

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