U of R welcomes Lori Campbell as new Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Engagement

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: March 15, 2021 11:00 a.m.

Lori Campbell begins her new role as Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Engagement) on June 1.
Lori Campbell begins her new role as Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Engagement) on June 1. Photo provided by Lori Campbell

Lori Campbell BA’95, BA’05, MAEd'16 has dedicated her career to ensuring that Indigenous students can see themselves in post-secondary institutions. An intergenerational survivor of the Indian Residential School system and a child from the Sixties Scoop generation, Campbell grew up without a strong sense of who she was or where she came from. Being led to believe that Indigenous people did not attend post-secondary institutions, Campbell didn’t see herself attending university.

It was Campbell’s basketball career that brought her to the University of Regina in 1991, where she played on the Cougars team. During her first year, she discovered the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now First Nations University of Canada) and it gave her a completely new perspective.

“That’s where I saw Indigenous scholars and Indigenous students. I found people who knew who I was and why I had been adopted,” says Campbell. “For the first time, I felt that as an Indigenous person I could be Indigenous and I could be at a university, and I could be successful.”

Campbell is now returning to the U of R to fill the newly-created role of Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Engagement). She sees it as an opportunity to be an Indigenous voice and decision maker within all areas of the campus community.

“Indigenous peoples need to be at decision-making tables that affect all peoples within post-secondary institutions, not just invited to tables where the conversation relates to issues only for Indigenous peoples,” says Campbell. “I see these senior leadership roles at institutions as opportunities to be at those decision-making tables.”

Campbell is 2-Spirit nēhiýaw āpihtāwikosisān and is a band member of Montreal Lake First Nation, Treaty 6 territory. Currently, she is the Director of the Shatitsirótha’ Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre and program developer and Adjunct Lecturer in the Indigenous Studies academic program at St. Paul’s University College, University of Waterloo. With 13 years of progressive leadership in student services, academics, research and administration, she is an experienced leader in education with a proven track record particularly in building community and advancing processes of Indigenization, reconciliation, and decolonization.

University of Regina Interim Provost Dr. david Gregory says the creation of the Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Engagement) position was incredibly important to foster the integration of Indigenous ways of knowing within the University, including teaching and research. One of the focal areas within the University's 2020-2025 strategic plan, All Our Relations or Kahkiyaw kiwȃhkomȃkȃninawak in Cree, is Truth and Reconciliation. Within this focus, the University’s goal is to take significant action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action relevant to post-secondary education. 

“Our work toward reconciliation is predicated on engaging Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of our community through honest and respectful relationships,” says Gregory. “University administration, along with our Elders and Knowledge Keepers, will walk with the Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Engagement) in a collective effort to advance Indigenous engagement and transformation through communication and collaboration.”

Gregory added that the University is a place for all people. “We need to ensure we are supporting all of our students, faculty, staff – and other members of the University’s community – by truly committing to embracing the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.”

During Campbell’s time as a student at the University of Regina, she completed a Bachelor of Indian Studies degree, a Bachelor of Psychology degree, and a Master of Adult Education. Now, she looks forward to returning to the University in a senior leadership position and having an opportunity to create more systemic changes that are embedded in the institution’s policies and procedures.

“I have a deep connection to the University of Regina, and the impact that it had on me really set the course for my career. I really wanted to be able to dedicate my career to ensuring that other Indigenous students can see themselves [here],” says Campbell. “It’s really an honour for me to come back to where I am from and take on this inaugural role.”

Campbell will begin her new role as Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Engagement) on June 1, 2021. 


Truth and Reconciliation: U of R’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan Series, Part 3 of 6