Team

Christy Bressette

Christy Bressette

Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Initiatives)

e: cbresse@uwo.ca
t: 519.661.3117
Western University
Stevenson Hall, Rm. 3107N
1151 Richmond Street
London, ON N6A 5B8

Candace Brunette-Debassige

Candace Brunette-Debassige

Special Advisor to the Provost (Indigenous Initiatives)

e: cbrune2@uwo.ca
t: 519.661.3117
Western University
Stevenson Hall, Rm. 3107N
1151 Richmond Street
London, ON N6A 5B8

paula cornelius hedgepeth

Paula Cornelius-Hedgepeth

Community Relations and Space Coordinator

e: phedgepe@uwo.ca
t: 519.661.2111, 83240
Stevenson Hall, Rm. 3107N
1151 Richmond Street
London, ON N6A 5B8

sara mai chitty

Sara Mai Chitty

Curriculum & Pedagogy Advisor

e: saramai.chitty@uwo.ca
t: 519.661.2111, x80231
Rm 122, D.B. Weldon Library
Western University
1151 Richmond St.
London, ON N6A 3K7





Christy Bressette
Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Initiatives)

christy bressette

Christy R. Bressette is Western’s first Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Initiatives). Christy—whose Anishinabek name is Neeta-Noo-Kee Kwe (Hard-Working Woman)—joined Western on March 1, 2021, after serving as the National Coordinator for Indigenous Education with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada since 2008. Serving with passion and commitment over the past two decades, Christy has also supported area Anishinabek, Haudenosaunee, and Lenape Nations, as well as Friendship Centres, within work to advance education outcomes for Indigenous learners in the areas of policy, curriculum, and governance.

As one of the first Indigenous women to earn a PhD in Educational Studies from Western, where she also earned her BA (Honours) in History and BEd (with distinction), Christy has strong ties to Western. In addition to teaching at the primary and secondary level in Ontario and British Columbia, she has also taught several graduate-level courses related to Indigenous culture and education in Western’s Faculty of Education since 2004. In 2017/18, she co-chaired the Provost’s Task Force on the Implementation of Western’s Indigenous Strategic Plan (2017/18). Throughout her career, Christy has demonstrated an astute ability for bridging cultural differences between people to help ensure inclusive, equitable, and quality education opportunities for all.





Candace Brunette-Debassige
Special Advisor to the Provost (Indigenous Initiatives)

candace-brunette-debassige.jpg

A Mushkego Cree woman originally from Fort Albany First Nation (Treaty 9 territory), Candace brings more than 15 years of experience serving Indigenous students and communities in educational settings. Previously, she served as Director of Indigenous Services at Western. In this former capacity, she was actively involved in the development of Western’s first Indigenous Strategic Plan.

Prior to joining Western, Candace was the Aboriginal Education Advisor for the Thames Valley District School Board and served in several roles related to the recruitment and support of Indigenous students at the University of Toronto, where she also earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Aboriginal and Equity Studies, and adult education.

Candace is a doctoral candidate completing research in the Faculty of Education that centers on the experiences of Indigenous women administrators enacting Indigenizing policies in Canadian universities. She also teaches a Becoming Educational Leaders course as part of Western’s Master of Professional Education Program (Aboriginal Educational Leadership) program.

 



Paula Cornelius-Hedgepeth
Community Relations and Space Coordinator

paula cornelius hedgepeth

Paula Cornelius-Hedgepeth works with the Acting Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Initiatives) as Community Relations and Space Coordinator.

In this role, Paula manages the development and implementation of project plans, requiring active partnership and engagement with Indigenous Peoples and communities, in particular Western’s Indigenous Postsecondary Education Council (IPEC). She also supports the ongoing implementation of Western’s Indigenous Strategic Plan.

Paula is a Haudenosaunee woman from the Oneida Nation of the Thames First Nation and of the Wolf Clan. Since 2013, she has worked in education, most recently at the Greater Essex District School Board, in the area of Indigenous initiatives.

Paula earned Bachelor’s degrees in History and Education from the University of Windsor and is a graduate of Western’s Master of Professional Education Program (Aboriginal Educational Leadership). She is also a member of the Ontario College of Teachers.



Sara Mai Chitty
Curriculum & Pedagogy Advisor

sara mai chitty

Sara Mai Chitty is an Anishinaabekwe storyteller, educator and member of Alderville First Nation.

After completing her Master's of Journalism at Western in 2015, Sara Mai worked with Journalists for Human Rights in two fly-in OjiCree communities in northern Ontario, teaching community journalism. Returning to Deshkan Ziibiing to be closer to her family, she has since worked for the Institute of Indigenous Learning at Fanshawe College, teaching storytelling and WRIT in Chippewa, Oneida and on the main campus.

Sara Mai is an active member of the local arts and music scene and was involved with programming for the 2019 One Book, One London initiative at London Public Library, and has led "Indigenous Art and History” walks for Museum London.

Sara Mai joined Western’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives in 2019 as the Indigenous Curriculum and Pedagogy Advisor. In this new role, she develops and facilitates Indigenous learning opportunities across campus and with community partners.