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Annual Report

Amanda Reid named and installed as Piluwitahasuwin

Amanda Reid

Assistant Vice-President Indigenous Engagement

Amanda Reid has been named Piluwitahasuwin (Assistant Vice-President Indigenous Engagement) at the University of New Brunswick.

Piluwitahasuwin [pronounced BILL-WEE-DUH-HUZZ-WIN] is a Wolastoqey word meaning “one who promotes change in a good way toward truth.” Piluwitahasuwin shares roots with piluwitahasuwawsuwakon, a Wolastoqey word that means “allowing your thinking to change so that action will follow in a good way toward truth.”

Reid, RN, is Dakota-Sioux with family and community connections in Wolastokuk. As a course instructor and recent graduate of UNB master’s in nursing program, she has used a community-based collaborative participatory action research approach focused on the experiences of Wolastoqey women who are descendants of survivors of the Indian residential school experience in Canada.

Across a variety of settings, Reid is experienced in lecturing and facilitating dialogue on topics that centre Indigenous priorities including: self-determination in research with Indigenous communities, cultural safety approaches to Indigenous health, and introductory presentations on Indigenous-Canadian relations and colonization. Ceremonially, she has been recognized for her dedication to integrating Indigenous perspectives of health and healing into her professional work.

Reid was formally installed as Piluwitahasuwin at a traditional celebration on the Fredericton campus.

“Reflecting on this historic moment for UNB, the installation ceremony is an envisioning exercise for all those involved as well as a sacred commitment to piluwitahasuwawsuwakon,” says Reid.

“In Waponahki territory, I have learned from many teachers that each person is born with a gift. This position gives me the opportunity to work meaningfully and collaboratively to reshape the university setting into one where Indigenous students may see it as a place to acquire a higher level of education that nurtures their inherent gifts.” The installation ceremony is required to maintain traditional Wolastoqey protocol related to sacred responsibilities. The event was held in a long house in the Richard J. CURRIE CENTER and included a sacred pipe ceremony, a water ceremony, dancing and drumming, and the presentation of a wampum.

Reid received a Sacred Bundle, a wrapped collection of sacred items. The sacred bundle will be passed on to her successor.

The position of Piluwitahasuwin reports directly to the Office of the President and will promote and expand Indigenous culture and opportunities on UNB campuses and within the community.

“It is truly a momentous occasion to install the first Piluwitahasuwin at the University of New Brunswick,” says Dr. Eddy Campbell, then-UNB president and vice-chancellor. “As leaders in education, we have important work ahead of us in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action. This is a ground-breaking step forward for UNB in its commitment to reconciliation and reconcili-action with Indigenous communities.”

The establishment of the Piluwitahasuwin was identified as a priority in UNB’s Truth and Reconciliation Strategic Action Plan, released in March 2018.

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