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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
April 23, 2014
Canadian Excellence

AEC Members 2013-2014

Kathy Absolon


Program Co-ordinator/ Professor, Aboriginal Field of Study, Faculty of Social Work, WLU

Minogiizhigokwe (Shining Day Woman) is Kathy’s Anishinaabe name.  Kathy is a member of Flying Post First Nation in Ontario and is both Anishinaabe and English.  She is currently an Associate Professor and also the Interim Program Coordinator of the Aboriginal Field of Study MSW Program in the Faculty of Social Work.   Kathy received her PhD at the University of Toronto in Adult Education with an emphasis in Aboriginal Adult Education.  Her doctoral work was on Indigenous worldviews and methodologies in search for knowledge (research) in the academy.  She has been teaching and working in Indigenous social work contexts for twenty years.  Her research interests have been in the area of Indigenous research, Indigenous social work practice, community healing and wellness and Indigenous knowledge.  Currently, Kathy teaches utilizing wholistic approaches to teaching and learning.   Her teaching, research and learning is guided by wholistic worldviews and Anishinaabek teachings. 

Jean Becker

Jean Becker

Senior Advisor: Aboriginal Initiatives, WLU

Jean is of Innu, Inuit and English ancestry and a member of the Nunatsiavut Territory of Labrador. Jean has a Master’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Guelph.

For the past thirty years she has lived in the tri-cities area of Ontario where she has been very involved with the diverse Aboriginal community of the region. Jean has served on the Board of Anishnabeg Outreach, a Kitchener Aboriginal employment agency, volunteered with the Native Sons at the Guelph Correctional Centre, the Native Social Worker Program at Guelph Family and Children’s Service Agency, and the Native Sisterhood at the Grand Valley Institute for Women. She is the former chair of SUNDANCe (Shared Universities Native Development & Navigation Committee). In 2003, Jean was awarded a Guelph YMCA Women of Distinction Award for her service to the community. In 2008 she received a Women of Distinction award from Zonta.

Max Blouw


Co-Chair AEC/President WLU

Dr. Blouw is well-known on the national scene, and enriches his academic career through volunteer roles that link universities and government with the private sector. His long-standing involvement with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) included acting as an executive council member and as chair of its award selection committees and committee on grants and scholarships. He served two terms as the chair of the university advisory group to Industry Canada and has been a member of the adjudication panel for the Ontario premier’s Discovery Awards, which recognize research excellence of the province’s finest senior researchers. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), AUCC’s Standing Advisory Committee on University Research (SACUR), Executive Heads of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), Executive Committee of COU, Co-Chair of the College-University Consortium Council (CUCC), Chair of the Standing Committee on Relationships with Other Postsecondary Institutions, a member of the Board of Canada Technology Triangle and of the Accelerator Centre (Waterloo). Dr. Blouw received the 2005 Science and Technology Champion Award from the BC Innovation Council in recognition of his leadership. In 2009, UNBC renamed the Quesnel River Research Centre, The Dr. Max Blouw Quesnel River Research Centre at Likely, in honour of Dr. Blouw’s efforts to have the former federal fisheries research station transferred to the university.

Cora Bunn


President, Grand River Metis Association

Cora is President of the Grand River Métis Council.  She earned a business diploma from Lethbridge Community College.  She has been a volunteer in her children’s schools assisting learning disabled children with literacy and math.  Cora sits on the MNO Region 9 Consultation Committee, Upper Grand District School Board Aboriginal Community Advisory Committee, University of Guelph Aboriginal Advisory Council, and is on the organizing committee of the Aboriginal Heritage Festival.  She is currently writing a book about her husband’s McIntosh family history.

Shawntelle Clarke

Aboriginal Student Association, Brantford Campus Rep, WLU

Brenda Davis

Co-Chair of AEC/Board of Directors, GRPSEO, SN

Brenda is a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, a retired educator, mother of two daughters and grandmother of four grandchildren. She has lived at Six Nations all her life, receiving her elementary education there. After graduating from post secondary as a certified teacher, she returned to work and to contribute to the education of children at Six Nations for over 35 years, holding positions as classroom teacher, consultant and principal.  She was an instructor for Brock University in the Native Teacher Education Program.  She was a member of the Experts Panel on Early Reading for the Ministry of Education that produced The Report on Early Reading in Ontario, 2003, which set the stage for the work on early literacy.
Presently she is doing consultant work related to Aboriginal Education, reviewing and validating Aboriginal content in elementary and secondary student textbooks and resources for major publishing companies such as Thompson Nelson Publishing, Pearson and Scholastic.  She was also the faculty liaison for the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program with Queen’s University, delivered at Six Nations Polytechnic.  Presently she is chair of the Grand River Post Secondary Board and member and past co-chair of the Aboriginal Education Council at Fanshawe College.  She also served a six year term on the Board of Governors at Mohawk College and in that role, sat on the Mohawk College Aboriginal Education Council. She also has served on the University of Western Ontario Aboriginal Education Council.  She is dedicated to the education of Aboriginal   students. 

Elvera Garlow

Executive Director, GREAT

Melissa Ireland


Aboriginal Student Support Co-Oridinator (Wateloo), WLU

Melissa has been active with local Aboriginal university community since 2004. She was a student representative on University of Waterloo's Aboriginal Education Council from 2005-2007, a committee member of SUNDANCe (Shared Universities Native Development and Navigation Committee) from 2004-2008, and a board member of Anishnabeg Outreach from 2004-2008.

Melissa holds an Honours BA in English Rhetoric and Professional Writing from the University of Waterloo. Melissa has Anishinaabe (Ojibway) heritage from Curve Lake First Nation and is a proud hand drum carrier.

Carol Jacobs

Alternate for Brenda Davis/ Board of Directors, GRPSEO, SN

Jo-Anne Lawless

Graduate Student Association Rep, WLU

Carole Leclair

Carole Leclair

Associate Professor, WLU

Every few years I make the journey back to Vassar, Manitoba. It is the place in my memory and imagination that still nourishes my Red River Metis roots and culture. That tiny village and the stories of generations of Metis kinship inflect and influence everything I do as an academic and as an urban aboriginal person. I carry those old ones in my heart, in gratitude for what they continue to teach me.

Deb MacLatchy

Dr. Deb MacLatchy

Alternate for Dr. Blouw/Vice-President Academic & Provost, WLU

Dr. Deborah MacLatchy (BScH Acadia University ’85; PhD, University of Manitoba ‘91) is the Vice-President: Academic & Provost and a Professor of Biology at Wilfrid Laurier University.

A founding Fellow of the Canadian Rivers Institute and a founding member of the Laurier Institute for Water Sciences, she was previously Dean of Science at Laurier (2007-2009) and Dean of Science, Applied Science and Engineering at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John (2004-2007). From 2001-2003, she was Director of the International Office at UNB Saint John and in 2003 Acting Director of UNB's Saint John College.

An ecotoxicologist and comparative endocrinologist, she is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and industry. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed publications in her field. She is a 2005 recipient, with Irving Pulp and Paper Ltd. and Environment Canada, of a NSERC Synergy award for partnerships for her collaborative work on the issue of endocrine disruption in aquatic environments from industrial contaminants.

She is a past President and Council Member of the Canadian Society of Zoologists and is currently Chair of the Science Directors of the Canadian Rivers Institute. She is a past member of the Committee on Research Partnerships at NSERC.and of the City of Waterloo Citizens Environmental Advisory Committee.  She is a member of the executive of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents.

David McMurray

Vice President: Student Affairs, WLU

David is currently the Vice President: Student Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON.  An accomplished, award winning student affairs and services professional, David has successfully implemented strategies in a wide variety of student affairs and services venues achieving high standards of excellence, innovation and recognition.  David’s student-centred leadership philosophy is on the comprehensive education and development of the whole student.  Integrated learning, and engagement are central to his commitment to the delivery of an exceptional quality of student life and learning experience. David has served in the country’s most senior capacities in the field of student affairs and services, particularly as president of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS); president of the Student Affairs and Services Association (SASA) of CACUSS; and president of the Ontario Committee on Student Affairs (OCSA).  He is the recipient of the CACUSS Award of Honour, CACUSS Award for Service, SASA Award of Recognition and the SASA Award for Service.  Nominated by the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada, David received Her Majesty The Queen’s golden jubilee medal for excellence in higher education, administration and student services.  David is a founder and current instructor at the annual Centre for Higher Education, Research and Development (CHERD), “Institute on the Student Experience” (ISE). He has presented extensively at regional and national conferences, delivered keynotes, conducted strategic planning workshops and been engaged as a consultant for numerous student affairs and services external assessments and reviews.

Deneen Montour

Native Advisor, GEDSB

Nicole Robinson


Equity & Diversity, WRDSB

With roots in Oneida Nation of the Thames in Southern Ontario, Nicole has lived in Northern Ontario for most of her life and moved to the Waterloo Region in 2007 to pursue her education. Nicole is a graduate of the M.S.W-Aboriginal Field of Study at Wilfrid Laurier University. She currently works at the Waterloo Region District School Board as an Equity and Inclusion Officer – Aboriginal Focus. In this role Nicole has been working with the First Nation, Métis and Inuit community in the Waterloo region to raise awareness at the school level, and to build bridges between the staff and students at the board and the First Nation, Métis and Inuit community within the region. Nicole currently chairs the provincial Equity Summit Group, which is comprised of school board equity personnel from across Ontario.

Brian Rosborough

Brian Rosborough

Senior Executive Officer, Brantford Campus, WLU

Brian has worked in public policy and government relations in Ontario since 1991 as a policy advisor and senior manager in a number of Ontario Government Ministries, as a consultant in private practice and, from 2004 to 2009, as Director of Policy and Government Relations for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Paige Sillaby

Aboriginal Student Association Rep, Waterloo Campus, WLU

Bonnie Whitlow

Bonnie Whitlow

Aboriginal Student Support Co-Oridinator (Brantford), WLU

Bonnie is a Mohawk woman, Bear Clan who was born and raised on the Six Nations reserve. A fluent Mohawk speaker and student of traditional onkwehon:we ancestral knowledge, she received her B.A. in Anthropology from McMaster University in 1996. She has specialized training and experience in Mohawk language education as well as in communications, management skills, finance and accounting, strategic planning and governance and control.