Fulbright Canada Jarislowsky Foundation Visiting Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies

Dr. Cynthia-Lou Coleman to Vancouver Island University (VIU) is our 2019 Fulbright Canada Jarislowsky Foundation Visiting Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies.

Dr. Coleman comes to us to from Portland State University where she is a professor in the Department of Communication. During her four-month residence, she will examine how scientific and cultural issues are discussed or overlooked in various communications channels, such as news and entertainment programs, websites public forums and social media. She will also explore how Indigenous Peoples, policy-makers, journalists and community members feel about how these issues are covered.

 Her project is called Comparing Science, Culture and Discourse about Indigenous Issues in Canada and the United States. It will help inform her book Studies in Media and Environmental Communication, which summarizes two decades of her research on how scientific and cultural issues that influence American Indian communities are framed.

The third Visiting Researcher was Dr. Virginia Drywater-Whitekiller and was appointed the Visiting Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies for 2018. Her research proposal, "Indigenous Cultural Resilience: Supporting Higher Pathways," directly aligned with VIU's Aboriginal initiatives and efforts in finding ways to make post-secondary education accessible to First Nations and non-traditional learners. She built on her research into social work in regards to health care, education, juvenile offenders, and child welfare by developing strength-based ways to assist First Peoples in overcoming challenging life barriers.

The second Visiting Researcher was Dr. Daniel Boxberger, Professor of Anthropology at Western Washington University. His body of work investigates the role of the expert witness in Aboriginal land and resource claims. During his term at at VIU between September and December 2017, he continued his research by studying southwestern BC First Nations communities and how outside experts engage the community in preparing research for litigation.

The first Visiting Researcher was Dr. Roy Janisch, Professor of Justice Studies from Pittsburg State University. His work focuses on restorative justice and Aboriginal communities. During his nine-month stay at VIU from September 2016 – September 2017, Dr. Janisch built on his research focusing on the rehabilitation of offenders through victim and community reconciliation.

More information about Dr. Janisch's work.

A Partnership in Success

The Fulbright Canada Jarislowsky Visiting Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies was made possible jointly by a generous gift of $125,000 USD from the Jarislowsky Foundation, matching the commitment from the Fulbright Canada Foundation, and is funded for five years.

This prestigious position focuses on engaging VIU’s Aboriginal students in the research process and strengthening relationships between the University, First Nations, Metis, Inuit and the broader community. VIU has had the privilege of hosting two Vising Research Chairs, Dr. Roy Janisch and Dr. Daniel Boxberger. The next Visiting Research Chair will be announced shortly.

“We would like to thank both the Jarislowsky Foundation and Fulbright Canada for their generous support which has made it possible to establish this important Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies. We would also like to recognize these organizations for their vision in creating this Chair at a time when reconciliation with Canada’s Aboriginal peoples is one of the critical challenges of our time. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission indicated that education will play a key role in creating pathways to reconciliation; through research focused on Aboriginal Studies, this new Chair will support that important work.”

-Dr. Ralph Nilson

President and Vice-Chancellor, Vancouver Island University

Fulbright Canada supports outstanding individuals in conducting research, lecturing, and taking part in academic programs across borders in order to create collaborative leadership for the global future. More information about Fulbright Canada and how to apply for a research chair position.

The Jarislowsky Foundation is based in Montreal and was founded by Canadian businessman and philanthropist Stephen Jarislowsky in 1991. Since then, it has supported the establishment of 30 chairs in Canada in a number of fields, including education, medicine, and art.

More information about the Jarislowsky Foundation.

Application info for the Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chairs program

Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chairs are pre-arranged affiliations that allow scholars to conduct research/lecture on subjects important to that university. Partner universities are excited to welcome the Fulbright Visiting Chairs into campus life and encourage them to engage with students, faculty, and the broader community.

Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chairs: How to Apply

VIU News

 Links to key Aboriginal activities at VIU, Research, and the Academic Plan

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