May 15, 2017
On May 10, the Faculty of Education hosted a special retirement reception recognizing the extensive contributions of Dr. Jo-ann Archibald. For more than 40 years, Dr. Archibald (Q’um Q’um Xiiem), Indigenous scholar, author and pioneer in the advancement of Indigenous education, has inspired many students and colleagues. A professor of Educational Studies, Dr. Archibald (B.Ed ’72) served as associate dean for Indigenous Education and director of the Indigenous Teacher Education Program (NITEP).
Member of the Stó:lō Nation, Dr. Archibald is described as a visionary and an agent of change, and is nationally recognized for creating culturally relevant teacher education and graduate programs for Aboriginal students. Her work transformed the learning landscape through curriculum and program development, policy, teaching, and research.
Author of Indigenous Storywork: Educating the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit, (UBC Press, 2008), one of Archibald’s research themes focuses on storytelling, and much of her pedagogy focuses on intergenerational learning and mentoring.
In 2000, Dr. Archibald won a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education and an AERA (American Education Research Association) Scholars of Color Distinguished Career Contribution Award in 2013. In 2015, she was presented with the UBC Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring. She also received the Association of BC Deans of Education 2017 award for Lifelong Service to Education.
Dr. Archibald officially retires July 1, 2017.
The reception commenced with a welcome from Musqueam Elder Larry Grant, and included many heartfelt remarks from colleagues, students, friends, family and community. Speakers included, Dr. Blye Frank, Dave Robinson, Dr. Verna Kirkness, Crystal Smith, Heather Commodore, Dr. Ali Abdi, Melanie Nelson, Kaleb Child, Marj Dumont, Peggy Janicki, and Talia London. A message from Dr. Linc Kesler was read and Dr. Archibald addressed the room.
Special elements of the evening included the unveiling of “Dancing Flames” a carving by Anishinabe artist Dave Robinson, a third-year NITEP student, commissioned by the Faculty of Education in Archibald’s honour.
Robinson was inspired by his experiences as a teacher candidate to create this maple wood sculpture (H 7’3” x W2’x D 2’) that evokes a metaphor of Dancing Flames to honour Dr. Jo-ann Archibald’s (Q’um Q’um Xiiem) legacy in Indigenous education at UBC. The sculpture will be installed at Education Ponderosa Commons at a later date (see below for artist’s statement).
Energy is exchanged when wood becomes fire, producing light and warmth. The artist invites viewers to imagine the transformative gift of fire and the movement of the flames while floating embers rise to spontaneous sparks. This movement of dancing flames signals the process of obtaining an energy balance. Similarly, education engages us in transformation that give rise to energetic sparks of creativity. When balance is obtained, one’s well-being is adapted to contemporary learning realities.
The wooden figures appear connected at the base of the sculpture, while continuing to move in individual directions. At one point there is a transformation of their energies. As individuals encounter education, one must also be willing to see the interconnections of their individual energy with those of community.
A name transition ceremony led by Musqueam Elder Larry Grant and modified for the University context, representing a way of passing on oral history and genealogy, also took place. The responsibilities of the name c̓ec̓əwəłtən sni̓w̓stənəq, given by Musqueam in 2005 to the UBC Faculty of Education’s Associate Dean for Indigenous Education position, held by Dr. Archibald, were passed on to Dr. Jan Hare as she now holds the position.
c̓ec̓əwəłtən sni̓w̓stənəq means one is a helper who assists others to learn teachings. The name, c̓ec̓əwəłtən sni̓w̓stənəq, signifies the educational link between the UBC Faculty of Education and the Musqueam community and reminds us to respect and use Indigenous knowledge wisely and for the benefit of the younger and future generations.