Jun 15, 2021
The Faculty of Education at the University of Regina announced on June 9, 2021, that Dr. Melanie Brice has been appointed to the inaugural Gabriel Dumont Chair in Métis/Michif Education for a five-year term.
This new Research Chair position is part of a successful partnership between the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) and the University of Regina Faculty of Education. “For over four decades, GDI and the University of Regina Faculty of education have partnered on many outstanding Métis-specific undergraduate and graduate programs,” said Viola Bell, GDI Board of Governors Vice-Chair. “It is from these unique teaching partnerships that the success for the Gabriel Dumont Chair in Métis/Michif Education will be grounded.”
Dr. Brice will begin her term this month. She is Michif/Métis born in Meadow Lake and has a strong understanding of Indigenous histories, cultures, languages and literacies, perspectives, educational experiences, and cross-cultural education issues. Dr. Brice is a proud alumnae of SUNTEP and also enjoyed the opportunity to return to SUNTEP- Saskatoon as one of their faculty from 2010 to 2014. Since 2018, Dr. Brice has been working with the University of Regina Faculty of Education as an Assistant Professor in Indigenous Education, Language & Literacy Education, and Educational Core Studies.
Dr. Brice will focus on research, learning, knowledge-keeping, language and cultural revitalization, reconciliation, and inclusion with and by the Métis through formal education systems. According to the Statistics Canada 2016 census, with a rising population of 51.2%, the Métis were the fastest growing population in Canada between 2006 and 2016. However, less than two percent of Métis people speak the Michif language, making the Michif language one of the most vulnerable Indigenous languages in Canada.
The Chair position will increase the teaching capacity in Métis/Michif education at the University of Regina and enhance academic engagement with GDI’s Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP). “We are pleased with the appointment of Dr. Melanie Brice. This Chair position is fundamental not only for Métis scholars and students but for the entire community as we work towards preserving the Michif language and Métis culture through education,” said Lisa Bird-Wilson, GDI Executive Director.