Dr. Marie Battiste joins Cape Breton University as Special Advisor

To the University community,

Dr. Marie Battiste has joined Cape Breton University as Special Advisor to the Vice President Academic and to Unama’ki College on decolonizing the academy.

Dr. Marie Battiste is a Mi’kmaw educator of the Potlotek First Nation, Professor Emerita at the University of Saskatchewan, a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow, and an Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada. Her passion, research and scholarly work for decolonizing education, protecting Indigenous knowledges, cognitive justice through balancing diverse knowledge systems and languages have earned her graduate degrees from Harvard and Stanford Universities, as well as four honorary degrees from the University of Ottawa, Thompson Rivers University, University of Maine and St. Mary’s University.

Dr. Battiste’s current research “Thinking Historically for Canada’s Future” involves a SSHRC partnership grant with researchers from 19 universities and 48 partner organizations across Canada, investigating history education across K-12 systems, teacher education, and curricula. Working across three research clusters, the research team is conducting a scan of history education in K-12 curricula, history education in teacher education, and teacher pedagogies over a seven-year period.

Dr. Battiste’s scholarly work includes books, chapters in books, journals, and reports, notably Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit and Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge, as well as multiple edited book collections, including Visioning Mi’kmaw Humanities: Indigenizing the Academy (CBU Press, 2016);  Living Treaties: Narrating Mi’kmaw Treaty Relations (CBU Press, 2016); Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision (UBC Press, 2000) and First Nations Education in Canada: The Circle Unfolds (UBC Press, 1995). More recently, she co-authored a report for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences Igniting Change: Final Report and Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization (2021) and co-guest edited the Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Based Research, Teaching, and Learning on the theme Indigenous and Trans-systemic Knowledge Systems.

An elected Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada, Dr. Battiste holds multiple awards including a National Aboriginal Achievement (now INDspire) Award; University of Saskatchewan Distinguished Researcher award; Distinguished Academic Award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers; Saskatchewan Centennial Medal for significant contributions to the people of Saskatchewan; Alumni Achievement Award, University of Maine; 125th Year Queen’s Award for Service to the Community; Canada’s Who’s Who, Yearly since 2010 University of Toronto Press; and multiple honouring feathers and blankets from First Nations communities.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Battiste to the CBU community. We have much work to do to decolonize the academy, and with her expertise, we will make this a reality.



Dr. Richard MacKinnon

Vice President Academic (Provost)