New role enhances Indigenous presence in Science

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Today, Savannah Sloat steps into the role of Manager, Indigenous Science Initiatives. The new position will identify systemic and systematic changes that move beyond Truth and the Reconciliation Calls to Action and develop a Faculty of Science-specific response and long-term vision for Science. 

Black and white portrait of Savannah SloatSloat is an Indigenous woman with mixed ancestry. Her father is Lenape and Haudenosaunee, born and raised on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve, and her mother is descendent from Scottish settlers in the Waterloo region.

"I am excited to be joining the Faculty of Science in this new role that supports Indigenous education and community development," says Sloat. "I am passionate about experiential learning and supporting the recruitment and retention of Indigenous students. I look forward to making a positive impact in the Indigenous student experience at UWaterloo."

Sloat brings her lived, professional and academic experiences along with a passion for supporting Indigenous peoples and practices.

She is a student affairs educator with nearly ten years of experience in training, development, strategic planning, curriculum design, student retention project management and program administration. Before joining Science, Sloat worked in the Office of Research as the Project Manager, Indigenous Initiatives.

In her new role as Manager, Indigenous Science Initiatives, Sloat will be a support and advisor to senior Science Leadership and act as the Science liaison with Indigenous communities. She'll advise researchers on Indigenous Ways of Knowing and on Indigenous research themes, methodologies and practices. 

Key initiatives of the role include: the development of an action plan for the Indigenization of the Science curriculum; creating a more inclusive environment for Indigenous students and faculty; and enhancing the recruitment of Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty. 

Additionally, Sloat will develop a communications strategy and online resources to grow awareness of Indigenous initiatives and issues as well as create an Indigenous presence in the Faculty of Science, including a dedicated space for Indigenous Science students.

“I am thrilled to welcome Savannah Sloat as our new Manager, Indigenous Science Initiatives," said Bob Lemieux, Dean of Science. "Savannah will play a critical role in integrating Indigenous cultural awareness in the Science curriculum and student experience, and in creating a welcoming and supportive environment for Science Indigenous students.”

This position was recommended by the Faculty of Science Indigenous Working Group in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada findings and calls to actions.

Welcome Savannah!