Dr. Sheila Cote-Meek – Opening Keynote | 2020/21 BEd Program Orientation

“Aakode’ewin: Actions speak louder than words”

This presentation weaves personal and professional experiences in the context of research that documents the experiences of the Indigenous students and Indigenous professors in the academy. It points to the importance of understanding how education remains a central site of ongoing colonization and that bringing about transformation requires Aakode-ewin ~ bravery, the ability to change the way we do things.

Presentation Dates:

  • Faculty Orientation – Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
  • Student Orientation – Thursday, September 3, 2020, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

In preparation for her talk, Dr. Cote-Meek has provided the reading, From Colonized Classrooms to Transformative Change in the Academy: We Can and Must Do Better!, a chapter from her latest book, Decolonizing and Indigenizing Education in Canada.


Dr. Cote-Meek is Anishinaabe from the Teme-Augama Anishnabai. She is currently the inaugural Vice-President, Equity, People and Culture at York University where she is leading a new division that includes the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, Human Resources and Labour Relations. She is responsible for the development and implementation of a progressive strategy and structure that cultivates an equitable, inclusive, respectful and healthy work environment.

Prior to this she was Associate Vice-President, Academic and Indigenous Programs at Laurentian University where she where she led university-wide Indigenous initiatives. She played a lead role in several Indigenous initiatives including for example, increasing the number of Indigenous scholars, the creation of the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, the Master of Indigenous Relations program and the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute. She also worked extensively on the faculty relations portfolio in collaboration with Human Resources and the Provost Office.

Dr. Cote-Meek holds a PhD in Sociology and Equity Studies from the University of Toronto and is author of Colonized Classrooms – Racism, Trauma and Resistance in Post-Secondary Education (2014), co-editor of Decolonizing and Indigenizing Education in Canada (2020) and co-editor of Critical Reflections and Politics on Advancing Women in the Academy (2020). She is an active researcher and has extensive experience working on equity and inclusion in higher education including substantive experience working with Indigenous communities nationally and internationally on social justice and education issues. Dr. Cote-Meek has a strong history of building relationships that provide synergistic opportunities to advance institutions, and she is committed to working toward accessible higher education for all.