Indigenous Teacher Education Initiative

The Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) is at the beginning stages of work to support dramatically increasing the numbers of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis teachers by 10,000 and to promote the systemic changes necessary in leading to more sustainable Indigenous teacher employment opportunities in all areas of the country. Made possible through generous philanthropic support by the Mastercard Foundation, the RHF will be investing in excess of $45 million towards innovative community-driven approaches to achieving these objectives.

This long-term journey will involve the RHF:

  1. Working through collaborative partnerships that empower and amplify new and existing initiatives in pursuit of these system-wide objectives, including the support of:
      • Promotion of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis educator pathways that integrate outreach and awareness in middle and secondary schools;
      • Dramatic expansion of the number of qualified First Nations, Inuit, and Métis K-12 teachers in pursuit of a representative workforce;
      • Structural creating of conditions for meaningful and sustained Indigenous teacher employment;
      • Indigenous-led research outlining the opportunities and challenges related to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis teacher education and representative K-12 educational workforces
  2. Listening and learning, followed by concrete actions and funding that supports innovative Indigenous-led and community-driven approaches. Throughout 2021 the RHF engaged in listening and learning from many Inuit, First Nations and Métis teacher education programs across Canada. Throughout this process, we are encouraged to see a mix of both pride and humility in current achievements, barriers being overcome, and the vision and commitment towards future growth and impact. This process of listening and learning will continue throughout 2022 as we work towards sector wide allyship-based support.
  3. Working, through allyship, with Métis, First Nations and Inuit teacher education initiatives to enhance current capacities and support promising pilot projects across the country. Our partnerships will be informed by Indigenous-led initiatives led by local Indigenous communities working in collaboration with universities and colleges – focused on the recruitment, education, and employment of Indigenous educators.
  4. Supporting knowledge mobilization: we will collaboratively work towards filling a critical research and data void by supporting an Indigenous-led body of evidence, outlining opportunities and challenges experienced around Indigenous teacher education and representative K-12 educational workforces. Our approach, while national in scope, will reflect regional and cultural differences while empowering and amplifying First Nations, Inuit, and Métis leadership in education.
  5. Strengthening networks, through potential investments and an exploration of formal and in-formal networks in support of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis teachers, teacher candidates, and educational systems.

In keeping with the RHF’s approach to supporting system-wide change and lasting impact, we will work with Indigenous partners, partners in education, the private sector, and with varying levels of government to accomplish these goals.


Committee Co-chairs

A woman with grey hair in a beaded dressRoberta L. Jamieson, O.C., I.P.C, LLB, LLd (Hon), Director, RBC and Deloitte Canada and Chile, co-chair of CN’s Indigenous Advisory Council,former President & CEO, Indspire and Board Director at Rideau Hall Foundation.

Roberta Jamieson is a Mohawk woman who has achieved many firsts. They include being the first First Nation woman in Canada to earn a law degree; the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario; and the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. As President of Indspire, Canada’s largest Indigenous charity, Roberta oversaw an eightfold increase in bursaries and scholarships. Charity Intelligence Canada named Indspire as one of the 10 Canadian Charities with the most impact and Macleans and the Financial Post chose it as one of Canada’s Top Charities. Since 2004, Indspire has given a record $153 million in bursaries and scholarships to 49,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada.

During her time at Indspire, Roberta launched several highly successful initiatives: the first National Gathering for Indigenous Education, a unique conference where educators meet and learn the best practices for improving educational outcomes for K–12 Indigenous students; Rivers to Success, which supports mentorships for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students in high school, allowing them to attend post-secondary institutions and move into employment; the Indspire Research Knowledge Nest, which promotes Indigenous scholars and publishes the research and data that encourages investment in Indigenous education and employment; and Teach for Tomorrow, an innovative program training hundreds of Indigenous educators, and supporting them from high school though to employment.

Since leaving Indspire, Roberta has continued her involvement in philanthropy, most recently as a Founding Visionary of the Prosperity Project. Roberta has long been recognized as an effective and visionary member of corporate boards. She is currently a member of the board of directors of Deloitte Canada and Chile and the Royal Bank of Canada. She is also co-chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council advising the Board and CEO of Canadian National Railway on matters relevant to CN’s relationship with Indigenous communities in Canada. At Prime Minister Trudeau’s request, she served on the inaugural Gender Equality Advisory Council during Canada’s G7 Presidency. Roberta Jamieson has received 30 honorary degrees, earned numerous awards and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Mark S. Dockstator is the Former President of the First Nations University of Canada. A member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, he is currently an Associate Professor, Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, at Trent University and Director of the Indigenous Knowledge Initiative at Queens University. He received his Doctorate of Laws Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University where, in 1994, he was the first First Nations person to graduate with a doctorate in law. His doctoral dissertation, entitled “Toward an Understanding of Aboriginal Self Government”, is a blend of Indigenous and Western knowledge and was used as a foundation for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples final report. Dr. Dockstator has served as founding Chairman of the First Nations’ Statistical Institute, Senior Negotiator and Researcher for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, President and CEO of Rama Economic Development Corporation, Special Advisor to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People and Special Advisor to the Chief Commissioner of the Indian Land Claims Commission, to name a few. Dr. Dockstator is a Board Director at the Rideau Hall Foundation.


Committee Members
A smiling woman with glassesOriginally from Igloolik, now residing in Iqaluit with her family, Nunavut Tunngavik President Aluki Kotierk leads by example. Throughout her career and to this day, Aluki is driven by her passion to empower and improve the lives of Inuit. After earning her master’s degree in Native and Canadian Studies at Trent University, Aluki worked for various Inuit organizations including Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (now known as Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami), and Nunavut Sivuniksavut. She has also held management and Deputy Minister roles within the Government of Nunavut, Office of the Languages Commissioner and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated. In her current role as President, Aluki is keen in how Inuit language and culture can be better incorporated into the way in which programs and services are designed and delivered in Nunavut. Aluki is currently one of two co-chairs representing Indigenous People’s Organizations on the Global Task Force for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (IDIL) 2022-2032.



A woman in a red blouseAndrea Brazeau is an Inuk who was born and raised in the small Inuit community of Kangiqsualujjuaq, Nunavik. Andrea grew up in Kangiqsualujjuaq until she moved to Montreal to attend post-secondary education. After 7 years of post-secondary, she obtained a degree in Kindergarten and Elementary education at McGill University. Since graduating, Andrea has returned home to teach at the school she attended. She is the first university graduate from her community. Andrea is passionate about her culture, going out on the land and teaching the children in the community.





A woman in a white blouse and grey jacketDenise Baxter has served as Vice Provost Indigenous Initiatives at Lakehead University since 2017. She also teaches in both the Department of Indigenous Learning and Department of Continuing Education. She is completing her PhD in Equity and Indigenous Education at York University. As an established education leader, Denise has worked in multiple contexts including public school boards, the Ministry of Education, Lakehead University, and First Nations private schools for the past 29 years. Within each of these contexts, she has built capacity and partnerships with multiple community stakeholders. Her work with the community has involved education conferences, workshop presentations, and traditional pedagogy. She currently serves on the following boards: YES Employment, Children’s Centre Thunder Bay, the Thunder Bay Police Services Governance Committee, Keewatin Patricia District School Board and a provincial EDI advisory committee. A Marten Falls First Nation member, she maintains that preserving and practicing cultural traditions and ceremony keeps her connected to the community, Indigenous cultures, traditions, and protocols. She works to establish networks, strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities and governments, and build capacity between Indigenous, public, and private partners which have supported multiple initiatives that advance educational outcomes for Indigenous students.


A woman in a pink blouse and black jacketA visionary, an academic, and a committed lifelong learner, Dr. Evelyn Steinhauer is an agent for change in the advancement of nêhiyaw kiskinohamaksewin. Born in Alberta, and a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Dr. Steinhauer completed her undergraduate degree with Athabasca University at University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills (formerly Blue Quills First Nations College (BQFNC);
and a Masters of Education Degree, and PhD at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Education, where she specialized in Indigenous Peoples Education. Dr. Steinhauer is currently a Full Professor in the Faculty of Education and Coordinator of Indigenous Peoples Education specialization. In addition to these roles, Evelyn serves as the Director of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) – a position she has held since 2008. As much as Dr. Steinhauer enjoys every aspect of her work at the University of Alberta, her passion and deep commitment lies with the ATEP! In her own words, “My heart is with ATEP! Everything that we do in ATEP is done with our people in mind. I truly believe that ATEP changes lives. In fact, I would go as far as to say, ATEP saves lives. ATEP is not simply a Teacher Education Program- it is a process.”


A woman in a black blouse and purple jacketDr. Annette Trimbee is the sixth President and Vice-Chancellor of MacEwan University, having previously served as president and vice-chancellor of The University of Winnipeg. Under the leadership of Dr. Trimbee, MacEwan University has embraced a new strategic vision, Teaching Greatness. The vision is bold and aspirational and will guide the university over the next decade. Teaching Greatness emphasizes the university’s role in Alberta’s post-secondary system as an exceptional undergraduate university with teaching excellence at its core. As a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation, one of Dr. Trimbee’s proudest achievements was the development and approval of the Indigenous course requirement for all undergraduate students attending The University of Winnipeg, among the first in Canada. In 2022, Dr. Trimbee received the Indspire Award in Education, the highest honour bestowed by the Indigenous community, for her commitment to advancing Indigenous equality in society and in higher education. Dr. Trimbee currently serves as the chair of the Alberta Post-Secondary Network (APSN) and is a member of the International Red River Watershed Board (IRRWB). She has been recently appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Indigenous Teacher Education (NACITE). Dr. Trimbee spent over 25 years in Edmonton building a distinguished career with the Government of Alberta. During this period, she held several senior leadership positions, including appointments as deputy minister with Advanced Education and Technology and with Treasury Board and Finance. An accomplished academic, Dr. Trimbee holds a PhD (Ecology) from McMaster University, a MSc (Botany) from the University of Manitoba and was a postdoctoral fellow (Zoology) at the University of Alberta.

A man standing outdoors with green trees behind him.The Honourable Steven Point is a double alumnus of UBC and retained close ties with the University after receiving his Bachelor of Laws in 1985. Mr. Point served as director of the First Nations Legal Studies program at the Peter A. Allard School of Law from 1991 to 1994. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2013 for his exceptional commitment in the field of law, legal and Aboriginal education, and his leadership in the Indigenous community. In addition to his role as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Point’s career included practicing as a lawyer, working at the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and in the Department of Employment & Immigration, serving as a provincial court judge and the Chief Commissioner of the British Columbia Treaty Commission. Mr. Point is a member of the Skowkale First Nation and has advocated for Indigenous people throughout his career, pressing for greater recognition of their contributions and their fuller involvement in all aspects of life in British Columbia. Mr. Point is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals, the Order of B.C, the Joseph H. Cohen Award from the Justice Institute of British Columbia Foundation, a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Order of Chilliwack, and honourary Doctorate of Laws degrees from the University of the Fraser Valley and Capilano University.

A woman with a black blouse and grey jacketYvette Arcand is a First Nation woman from Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation in central Saskatchewan, Canada (Treaty Six territory). Yvette’s parents and grandparents distilled that her voice be used to speak for others who do not have a voice, ensure First Nation student success, commitment to create safe spaces, and share First Nation teachings and worldview. Yvette is a proud alumnus of the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) at the University of Saskatchewan. Yvette has worked for her First Nation as a classroom teacher and for the last 24 years she worked with ITEP as an Academic Program Advisor, Associate Director, Sessional lecturer and most recently Director. This is where she seen the importance of intertwining western and Indigenous knowledge in the classroom praxis.


A grey haired man with glasses.Dr. David Perley recently retired as Director of the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre at the University of New Brunswick. He is a co-founder of the Wolastoq Language and Culture Center located at Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick. Dr. Perley holds a B.A. (St. Thomas University) and M.A. (University of New Brunswick) in sociology. He specializes in Aboriginal education, Aboriginal studies, race relations, and analysis of social problems. Dr. Perley is a former Chief (1983-1989) and Councilor (2004-2010) of the Maliseet Nation at Tobique and has been employed as consultant for federal and provincial departments such as Education, Justice, Solicitor General, Child and Family Services as well as Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Dr. Perley has been recognized for his work in Indigenous education, cultural revival and promoting appreciation of Wabanaki histories, contributions and treaty rights among Canadian citizens in general and New Brunswick citizens in particular. In June, 2022, he was appointed to the Order of Canada for his work in preserving Wolastoqey teachings, language and philosophies, and developing curriculum for both public school system and university-level programs.

Nigaan Sinclair – Bio to come.

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