Candace Brunette-Debassige

Photo of Candace Brunette-Debassige

Candace Brunette-Debassige is a mixed Mushkego Cree iskwew scholar with Cree and French ancestry and ties to Peetabeck Albany in Treaty 9 Territory. She is an Assistant Professor in Critical Policy, Equity, and Leadership Studies in the Faculty of Education at Western University. Her research centers on advancing the liberatory needs of Indigenous Peoples in Euro-Western colonial educational spaces. Beyond her scholarship, Candace brings extensive leadership experience in Indigenous education at the K-12 and postsecondary levels. She was the first Indigenous Education Advisor for the Thames Valley District School Board from 2009-2012, and was the Director of Indigenous Student Services at Western from 2012-2017. At Western, she also served as Acting Vice Provost/Associate Vice President for the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, and Special Advisor to the Provost, from 2018 to 2021




Research Interests

  • Indigenizing and decolonizing education
  • Indigenous leadership, Indigenous women in leadership
  • Indigenous critical policy studies
  • Indigenous student affairs
  • Indigenous storytelling; arts-informed research
  • Indigenous research; Indigenous and decolonial research methodologies


  • PhD, Western University, 2021
  • MA, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education,, University of Toronto, 2010
  • BA (Hons), Indigenous Studies/Equity Studies, University of Toronto, 2008


  • Peace and Reconciliation Award, Association of Commonwealth Universities, 2021
  • Atlohsa Peace Award (Humility), 2020
  • Great Ideas for Teaching (GIFT), UWO, 2018
  • Award of Distinction, Thames Valley District School Board, 2010

Current Teaching

  • Aboriginal Education: Toward a Decolonizing Pedagogy, B.Ed. program
  • Becoming Educational Leaders, M.P.Ed. program


Brunette, C., & Wakeham, P. (2021). Translating the four R’s of Indigenous education for literary studies: Learning from and with Indigenous stories. Studies in American Indian Literatures (SAIL)32, 3-4, 13-41.

Peach, L., Richmond, C., & Brunette, C. (2020). “You can't just take a piece of land from the university and build a garden on it": Exploring Indigenizing space and place in a settler Canadian university context. Geoforum 114, 117-127.

Debassige, B. & Brunette, C. (2018). Indigenizing work as “willful work”: Toward Indigenous transgressive leadership in Canadian universities. Cultural and Pedagogy Inquiry Journal Special Issue 10(2).

Brunette, C. (2018). From Subjugation to Embodied Self-in-Relation: An Indigenous Pedagogy for Decolonization. In Sheila Batacharya, & Renita Wong, (Eds.), Sharing breath: Embodied learning and decolonization. (pp. 199-288) Edmonton, Alberta: Athabasca University Press.