Department of Native/Indigenous Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon,
WINONA WHEELER is an Associate Professor and Department Head (term ending June 30, 2015), and a member of the Ockekwi Sipi (Fisher River) Cree First Nation in Treaty 5 Territory (northern Manitoba) with family origins in Gordon’s First Nations, Treaty 4 Territory (southern Saskatchewan). She has held faculty appointments at three universities in Western Canada and has taught seminars and guest lectured at universities throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, and the United States. She has received two awards for her commitment to Indigenous education—the Saskatchewan Centennial Award (2005) and Honouring Our Scholars Award, Shawane Dagosiwin, the Manitoba Aboriginal Education Directorate Forum (2010). She has also held research and lecturer fellowships at the Newberry Library, University of Winnipeg Oral History Centre, and Columbia University Oral History Centre.
Winona has written and published articles and chapters in the areas of Indigenous oral histories, women's history, history of Indigenous education, Indigenous Knowledge, and the nature and challenges of the discipline of Indigenous Studies. Her current work is focused on Cree intellectual traditions, oral history methodologies, and Indigenous farming. She is also completing a tribal history and is co-editor of the Historical Atlas of First Nations in Manitoba project. She served as Department Head at two universities and as Campus Dean at First Nations University of Canada and has served on national working committees including the executive of the Canadian Indigenous/Native Studies Association. She currently serves on the Aboriginal Perspective Advisory Committee of the Canadian Museum of History and the steering committee of the Berkshire Conference on Women’s History to be held in Toronto in May 2014. Her commitment to community service and engagement is evident in her teaching where she incorporates experiential community-service learning and applied research at the undergraduate level, in her bi-monthly column in the local Indigenous newspaper Eaglefeather News, and community based projects which include an oral history of the Ockewi Sipi peoples and establishing the research strategy and overseeing the major research projects for the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba.
It is an honour to be invited to stand for the election of President-elect as Mark Rifkin moves into the Presidency this year. I have been a strong supporter of NAISA since my involvement began in 2010 and have served as a member of the NAISA 2013 conference committee which raised the most financial support for our association to date. My commitment to Native American/Indigenous Studies goes back to my undergraduate years at the University of Manitoba in the early 1980s and through continuous faculty positions since 1988 in the discipline, as well as community based scholarship.
I am committed to continuing the work of our present and past presidents to building the association’s international membership, financial stability, and to promoting inter-disciplinary, trans-disciplinary and transformative Indigenous scholarship. I am particularly devoted to supporting community-engaged scholarship and to creating a safe place in universities and colleges for Indigenous languages and knowledge, not simply as subjects of inquiry, but as methodological foundations and pedagogies in their own rights. NAISA has grown momentously since its inception and I am committed to working to ensure it continues to grow in a relevant, inclusive and supportive manner.