Piluwitahasuwin

Office of the Assistant Vice-President Indigenous Engagement

The University of New Brunswick recognizes that the unresolved relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people limits us from reaching our full potential as a society.

As leaders, UNB is in a privileged position to engage in meaningful truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. This must occur through relationships with Indigenous peoples.

The Piluwitahasuwin, or the Assistant Vice‐President Indigenous Engagement (AVP), serves as a vital link between the university and Wabanaki and Indigenous communities.

Mandate

Piluwitahasuwin is a Wolastoqey word gifted by Elder Opolahsomuwehs (Imelda Perley) meaning “one who promotes change in a good way toward truth.” It shares its roots with the word piluwitahasuwawsuwakon, which means “allowing your thinking to change so that action will follow in a good way toward truth.”

The role of the AVP is to develop and foster positive internal and external relations between the broader university community as well as with the Indigenous community, territory, and its stakeholders.

Priorities

As a bi-campus position, the AVP will play a key role in propelling the initiatives outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Strategic Action Plan forward.

This plan has been described as a Sacred Bundle, a path with responsibilities, obligations and guidance for action. The AVP will walk that path in partnership with the Indigenous Advisory Council, stakeholders, faculty, and staff to create a safe Indigenous academic institution for Indigenous peoples.

In collaboration with these group, the AVP will work toward:

  • Creating physical space at UNB that recognizes the traditional Wolastoqey territory
  • Expanding Indigenous content in curriculum and research activities
  • Recruiting Indigenous staff, faculty and students
  • Accessing and removing barriers for prospective students from First Nations communities
  • Improving upon how best to advise Indigenous students
  • Ensuring that experiential education is accessible and promoted to Indigenous students
  • Building an emerging leaders program for young and potential leaders from First Nations communities
  • Expanding the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre (MWC)

Piluwitahasuwin Amanda Reid

Amanda is UNB’s first AVP and a Dakota-Sioux with family and community connections in Wolastoqey ancestral lands. She is a band member of Birdtail Siloux First Nation.

She works as a course instructor and has been recognized for her dedication to integrating Indigenous perspectives of health and healing into her professional work.

Amanda is experienced in lecturing and facilitating dialogue across a variety of settings on topics which focus on Indigenous priorities. These topics include self-determination in research with Indigenous communities, cultural safety approach to Indigenous health, and introductory presentations on Indigenous-Canadian relations and colonization.

Piluwitahasuwin is about drawing strength from the past seven generations to make way for the next seven generations to come.