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NSU professor selected as 2018-19 Fulbright Canadian Research Chair

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma) - Dr. Virginia Drywater-Whitekiller, a Northeastern State University social work professor, was selected as the 2018-19 Fulbright Canadian Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies at Vancouver Island University.

During the fall 2018 semester, she will work from Vancouver Island University on her research project, “Indigenous cultural resilience: Supporting Higher Education Pathways.” Her study will shed insight into cultural factors of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples in college retention and completion.

“I was very interested in looking at research opportunities abroad that would build upon my work with Native Americans and retention in higher education,” she said. “I felt that with Canada's movement toward indigenous Truth and Reconciliation and their efforts in building and expanding upon educational programs that support First Nations peoples, this would be a good fit.”

Whitekiller said she hopes her work will inform and benefit the First Nations peoples.

“I try not to conduct research for the sake of doing research, but for the research to be meaningful and have practical purposes,” she said. “I think it will benefit NSU and me in two ways: First, it will inform my work in the classroom and on other projects and provide more of an indigenous globalization perspective; Second, through NSU's loaning me as faculty to Vancouver Island University, it connects both universities in a shared relationship that has potential to open up other avenues for collaboration and knowledge sharing.”

In August, Whitekiller met with the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Canada's Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. The meeting was held at the Minister's request, and Whitekiller was able to share the history of NSU and how traditional Cherokee culture addresses gender relations.

Drywater-Whitekiller has more than 20 years of experience developing and teaching social work and indigenous studies courses.

Published: 10/26/2018 2:58:01 PM

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