Andrea Belczewski

Associate Dean, WBED coordinator

Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre

Marshall d'Avray Hall 343

1 506 451 6890

Dr. Andrea Belczewski is Associate Dean of the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre and a Teaching Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick. She coordinates the First Nations Governance and Leadership Certificate Program in the community of Wulamukotuk along with the Wabanaki Bachelor of Education Degree Program for UNB, and she teaches elementary science education in the 10-month school years BEd program.

Andrea grew up in the “northside” of Fredericton. She joined the MWC family as an undergraduate student after responding to an advertisement for a science tutor who could support students enrolled in the Bridging Year Program. Her experiences tutoring students in this program opened her eyes to some of the deeply troubling ways in which Indigenous peoples in her own community had been rendered systematically invisible to her throughout her own educational journey. Years later, as a Ph.D. student studying biochemistry at Queen’s University in Kingston, she responded to another advertisement – this time to teach the very same Bridging Year classes at the MWC – in hopes that she could return to her home community and continue to help nurture and facilitate those relationships between Indigenous peoples and the university.

In 1998, Andrea returned to UNB to take up this work. Her desire to support both Indigenous peoples and the MWC, combined with her passion for science, led her to seek out additional academic training in the neuroscience of learning. She has been Assistant Director of the MWC for seven years, and she served as Acting Director in 2019-2020. In 2015, she joined the “Stories of Hope” collaborative research team, connecting with a network of Elders, researchers, and graduate students across Canada who were engaged in highlighting positive initiatives in Indigenous education. Andrea served as the primary researcher and facilitator for this project in Wabanaki territory, organizing a land-based gathering for Wabanaki Elders and research team members in 2018.

In all of her work, Andrea has been most satisfied and empowered when able to lend her skills and energy to others, ensuring in every successful program or event that it is not her own voice but rather the voices of Indigenous peoples that are being amplified and heard. Between 2015 and 2019, Andrea helped restructure the Wabanaki Bachelor of Education program in consultation with Wabanaki communities, MWC’s Council of Elders, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (First Nations Office) and in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action for Education. In 2022, she is helping to rework the Wocopsqoltine weci Spiqiqahtuqweq/Weligweji Elaqsultiek program that first brought her to the MWC as an undergraduate science tutor.