Five Indigenous faculty members join Faculty of Arts in 2020
On July 1, five new Indigenous faculty members joined the Faculty of Arts: Jennifer Menness (Department of English), Lindsay Nixon (Department of English), Anne Spice (Department of Geography), Madeline Whetung (Department of Geography) and Brandon Martin (Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures). This marks the university’s largest single recruitment success ever for Indigenous scholars.
Pam Sugiman, dean of the Faculty of Arts, has prioritized increasing Indigenous voices.
“The whole Ryerson community will benefit from the enrichment of curriculum, collaborative community-based research, as well as Indigenous methodologies and ways of knowing,” Sugiman says.
Hayden King, professor in the Department of Sociology and advisor to the Dean of Arts on Indigenous Education, was instrumental in the recruitment process. He believes that Indigenous researchers, writers and educators are doing some of the sharpest work in academia.
“These educators challenge so much of the accepted way of doing things that students are pushed to think critically and creatively,” King says.
“In a time of such upheaval, the knowledge and ideas these new faculty members will bring and share can have a transformational potential,” he adds.
Read on to learn more about three of Ryerson’s newest professors.
Brandon Martin, The Polyglot
Martin joins the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. He’s from the Mohawk Nation, which is part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. His grasp of languages is extraordinary. In addition to being fluent in English and French, Martin speaks Mohawk and Seneca. He’s excited to share his knowledge of Haudenosaunee history and worldviews.
Fun fact: Martin’s had two stints in France. He first studied abroad there as an undergraduate student, and again, teaching English as an additional language to French high schoolers.