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Jean Becker named UWaterloo's first Senior Director, Indigenous Initiatives

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

This story was originally published in the Daily Bulletin.

Jean Becker will join the University of Waterloo on January 13, 2020 in the newly-created Senior Director, Indigenous Initiatives position reporting to the President, and Associate Vice-President, Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion.

President Feridun Hamdullahpur and Diana Parry, associate vice-president, human rights, equity and inclusion announced the hiring in a memo circulated to the campus community today.

In her role, Becker will provide strategic leadership to articulate a University of Waterloo-specific response to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, and identify systemic and systematic changes that move beyond the Calls to Action by creating a long-term vision for the University.

Jean BeckerBecker, known for her work locally, provincially, and nationally, was most recently Senior Advisor for Indigenous Initiatives at Wilfrid Laurier University. Jean is Inuk and a member of the Nunatsiavut Territory of Labrador, and has a Master’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Guelph.

"The foundations of Jean’s career are rooted in the Waterloo region, where she has been living and working with diverse Indigenous communities for over forty years," says the president and associate vice-president's memo. "During that time she has a long track-record of building reciprocal, respectful, long term, and continuous relationships between post-secondary institutions and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities. Jean will be a vital partner in continuing our work to respond effectively to the calls of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission."

"We are thrilled to have Jean join us. Her wealth of experience and success working collaboratively and strengthening relationships within a post-secondary environment and beyond is second to none. The Office of Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, and the University more broadly, will benefit from Jean’s leadership to further advance our campus community’s commitments to Indigenous Initiatives. We can think of no one better to take on this inaugural role."