On May 11, 2022, Provost Christopher Manfredi announced the appointment of Prof. Celeste Pedri-Spade as McGill’s first Associate Provost (Indigenous Initiatives). Pedri-Spade’s five-year appointment begins September 1, 2022.
Pedri-Spade will oversee McGill’s ongoing response to the 52 Calls to Action articulated by the Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education. She will likewise work closely with academic leaders across McGill to further define the direction of McGill’s commitment to Indigenous scholars and scholarship, and to greater representation and inclusion of Indigenous peoples within the University community. She will play a critical role in furthering efforts to ensure the success of Indigenous students at McGill, and in building meaningful and active partnerships with Indigenous communities in Quebec and across Canada.
Specialist in Indigenous art and decolonization
An Ojibwe scholar and artist, Pedri-Spade is from the Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation in northwestern Ontario. She is currently Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies in the School of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University, where she also holds the title of Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Studies. Previous to this appointment, she was an Associate Professor in the School of Northern and Community Studies and the School of Indigenous Relations at Laurentian University where she also served as the inaugural director of the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute, the first Indigenous Research Institute in northern Ontario.
Pedri-Spade completed her PhD in visual anthropology at the University of Victoria and her MA in Culture and Communication at Royal Roads University. Her research interests include Indigenous art and decolonization; settler colonialism and Indigeneity; Indigenous visual/material culture; Anishinabemowin regeneration; and creative Indigenous research methodologies.
Pedri-Spade was raised in her home territory, and prior to her academic career she held professional appointments in the area of strategic communications and media relations for various Anishinabe political-territorial organizations and service providers in northern Ontario, including Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Dilico Anishinabek Family Care, Nishnawbe Aski Legal Services Corporation and Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation. In addition to her tri-council funded projects, Prof. Pedri-Spade has also led research projects related to advancing Indigenous education for various provincial territorial organizations including the Chiefs of Ontario.
At McGill, Pedri-Spade has also been appointed Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology in the Faculty of Arts, starting September 1, 2022.
Very exciting news! Bravo, congratulations! Welcome!
What a positive development for McGill. Having worked with Celeste and her partner Rob here in the UK, Treatied Spaces knows firsthand how talented, enabling and kind the Pedri-Spades are. They are superb representatives of their peoples. Celeste is the perfect person to make transformative change happen.