Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education.

Among the strengths of the Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education is establishing collaborative relationships with bi-epistemic Aboriginal communities, university faculty, and First Nation schools across Ontario and Canada.

In both our research and education endeavours, the Centre collaborates with Aboriginal graduate and undergraduate students and university educators in research teams and educational programming that are grounded in Aboriginal epistemologies. The Centre serves as the conduit to link educational communities and provide the cultural leadership in education and research-related programs.

Please take a moment to navigate the respective information on our website and feel free to contact us if you require any further information.

Thank you,

Susan Sydor
Assistant Professor and Director
905 688 5550 x5989
ssydor@brocku.ca

History and vision

During the meeting of February 13, 2004 the Aboriginal Education Council (AEC) at Brock passed a motion to support the creation of Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education (the Centre) and referred the proposal to the Council of Academic Deans.

In February of 2004 the Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, who are the descendants of Chief Tecumseh, unanimously passed Resolution No. 2004-03-009 which endorsed Brock University’s request to name the proposed centre the Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education.

The Centre was approved by Brock University Senate in the fall of 2004 to the cheers and applause of a small crowd of Aboriginal students and community members.

The vision of the centre was to establish a research focus at Brock University that connects Aboriginal and mainstream scholars, researchers, post-doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students to Aboriginal peoples and communities in a culturally appropriate manner in an effort to:

Further the understanding of the complex educational, health, socio-economic and socio-cultural realities of Aboriginal peoples, and to create new and innovative educational programming that promotes and encourages the transformation of those same realities. This direct connection between ‘research’ and ‘programming’ reflect the holistic nature of Aboriginal epistemologies.

The Centre places the Aboriginal community at the centre of the research enterprise and the Brock community is connected to the Aboriginal community via research and educational programming. Thus the Aboriginal community moves away from being the subject of research and becomes a full participant.

The Centre is conceived as an organic multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, international and collaborative research and educational entity that has the ability to expand to include Brock faculties, other universities as needs are identified, relationships established and resources become available. This approach to expansion encourages the participation of a diverse array of researchers, scholars, students and community members dedicated to the creation of the intellectual critical mass that is necessary to encourage societal change.

Brock University is fortunate to have an Aboriginal Education Council (AEC) that represents the diverse Aboriginal community in the Niagara region. This Presidential committee not only provides guidance and direction relevant to Aboriginal research, programming, and support services it also legitimizes Brock’s Aboriginal endeavours in the eyes of the greater Aboriginal community in Canada and internationally. AEC members representing Aboriginal community organizations participate as full voting members as do students in the programs administered by the Centre and those enrolled at Brock in other undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral programs.

All faculty who are actively engaged in research related to Aboriginal issues are encouraged to participate in the governance of the Centre as are representatives from the Office of Research Services, the Office of Graduate Studies and the Vice President Academic.

Aboriginal Research

The Centre’s activities will include creating research training and support for Aboriginal students and opportunities for Aboriginal and non-aboriginal scholars as well as a speaker series, colloquia, conferences, the sharing of resources, knowledge, collaborative research proposals and to generally foster intra-institutional communications relevant to Aboriginal issues, values, knowledge, experience and the contributions of Aboriginal peoples globally.

The Centre is committed to making a significant contribution in the development of the next generation of Aboriginal researchers and scholars. This commitment is achieved through three strategic initiatives. Connecting Aboriginal undergraduate and graduate students to training opportunities in Aboriginal research ethics/methodologies, support to access research funding and the latest software developments relevant to research etc. encouraging a wider conception of Aboriginal research and scholarship by connecting undergraduate and graduate students to local, national and international speaker series, colloquia and conferences. Finally, providing hands-on opportunities for Aboriginal graduate students to participate in the Centre research projects through graduate internships.

The Centre welcomes any inquiry from Aboriginal peoples, communities, service providers with a research interest in their disciplines. Contact us and let’s talk!

For more information about Aboriginal Research at the Tecumseh Centre contact:

Susan Sydor
Interim Director
905 688 5550 x5989
ssydor@brocku.ca

Aboriginal people are experiencing a revolution of consciousness, a revolution of knowing were the excesses and failures of the colonial project are connected to contemporary realities. This revolution does not represent a series of small incremental steps but is a massive, sweeping expansion of consciousness that leads to the enterprise, intellectual property; methodologies that are grounded in culture as well as meaningful community involvement are understood to be critical to that end. This revolution of consciousness has not been an isolated reality within the Aboriginal community alone.

After a year of extensive consultation involving the Aboriginal community the Social Science and Humanities Research Council recently adopted a new strategic theme that signals a significant paradigm shift in relation to Aboriginal research. The underlying motive of this shift is best capture in the thrust of the associated discussion paper: more research by and with Aboriginal peoples-not more research on or for Aboriginal peoples. This new direction will be actuated through various administrative measures and new programming designed to strengthen Aboriginal research across the Tri-Council which will in turn significantly change the research culture in Canada to better reflect Aboriginal cultural norms and address contemporary needs. Universities that align their research enterprise with this new paradigm will play a key role in the early unfolding of this new paradigm.

The Centre is the place where growing numbers of Aboriginal undergraduate and graduate scholars create inter-supportive networks, seek out support and training as they envision their research, their place in the struggle to promote healthy communities. It is the place where Aboriginal community and University researchers from many disciplines, guided by Aboriginal peoples, offer their expertise to our communities, and through that experience build a deeper understanding for the needs of Aboriginal communities. It is the place where the idea of research is demystified and connected to educational programming and the potential for change is trans-planted into community. It is the place where Aboriginal theory is discussed, crafted, and enacted for the benefit of our communities. The Tecumseh Centre is a place of being, becoming, and a place of convergence.