Indigenous academic leader Lynn Lavallée returns to Ryerson
Lynn Lavallée, former vice-provost, Indigenous engagement at the University of Manitoba, has been appointed strategic lead, Indigenous resurgence in the Faculty of Community Services (FCS). A member of Ryerson’s academic community from 2005-2017, Lavallée returned on January 1, 2019 in a new role dedicated to the renewal, recovery and advancement of Indigenous education in FCS.
Providing strategic leadership, Lavallée will work on initiatives that help to build a critical mass of Indigenous students, faculty and staff. An important aspect of her role will also include building and strengthening relationships between Indigenous communities, Indigenous community-based organizations and the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson. Lavallée will develop programs that promote retention and provide support for research benefitting Indigenous Peoples. She will also collaborate with FCS faculty, distinguished visitors and the dean, to develop programming and initiatives that promote Indigenous resurgence, including an upcoming speaker series.
“It is my great pleasure to welcome Lynn Lavallée back to Ryerson,” said Lisa Barnoff, dean, FCS. “Given her past achievements advancing the inclusion of Indigenous communities in the academy, Lynn is well-positioned to take on this new role where she will ensure Indigenous resurgence becomes foundational to the overall operations of the Faculty of Community Services.”
Lavallée was the inaugural vice-provost, Indigenous engagement at the University of Manitoba since September 2017, responsible for advancing the university’s commitment to Indigenous achievement as outlined in their strategic plan. Prior to her move to Manitoba, she served as associate director in Ryerson’s School of Social Work and chair of the Research Ethics Board. Lavallée was instrumental in establishing Ryerson’s Aboriginal Education Council (AEC) and was appointed as the inaugural chair of the Provost’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee, the predecessor to and catalyst of the AEC.
“Toronto and Ryerson has a special place in my heart, and I am so pleased to be back to make new memories and to strengthen the university’s relationships with the urban Indigenous community,” said Lavallée. “Like Ryerson, the city is my classroom – it’s where I grew up, in neighbouring Regent Park and where I conducted a lot of my research – so one of my leading priorities will be breaking down barriers, opening campus doors and inviting the Indigenous community in.”
Lavallée’s research interests include Indigenous health, cultural, sport and recreation programs, Indigenous epistemology, and Indigenous research methods. She is passionate about bringing Indigenous ways of knowing into the academy, both through teaching and research. She is the recipient of the 2016 Alan Shepard Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award, and has been awarded $2,849,331 in external research funding since 2005.
Ryerson University is committed to Truth and Reconciliation on campus and with the broader community. ‘Respect for Aboriginal Perspectives’ is a value in our academic plan, and the university continues to make progress on the Indigenization of campus and the curriculum by responding to recommendations in the PDF filecommunity consultation report, which includes incorporating Indigenous knowledges and content and increasing and retaining Indigenous staff and faculty.