Meredith Rusk receives a 2021 SSHRC Doctoral Award

The Okanagan School of Education is pleased to share that Meredith Rusk has received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) doctoral award.

Rusk was awarded $20,000 for her doctoral research in Indigenous Education. Specifically, her research focused on how breaking down racism, power and privilege through sharing circles and conversations can help to engage and validate Indigenous knowledge systems. Her research was conducted in collaboration with Sewépemc Knowledge Keepers, and local school district teachers.

“The research conversations took place last year, and we’ve already begun having post research discussions on next steps to create a model within our own school system that would continue to work towards validating Indigenous knowledge and also Indigenous voice,” says Rusk. “My hope is that in the future as we continue to learn and grow, we can share that information with others to help guide them through the process.”

She is pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Leyton Schnellert and Dr. Karen Ragoonaden. She is in the final phase of the program, currently writing her dissertation with the goal of summer 2022 as her completion date.

“This SSHRC award is an acknowledgment of the quality and potential contribution of Meredith’s scholarship,” says Dr. Schnellert. “As an Indigenous scholar, her research contributes to an emergent body of research examining how breaking down barriers caused by systemic racism and focusing on building relationships with local Elders from place-based First Nation communities can respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.”

Rusk is Dene from the Fort Nelson First Nation. She has been a K-12 educator for nearly 40 years, within Alberta and British Columbia. She has facilitated and helped plan Aboriginal workshops for the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF). She was a member of the BCTF Aboriginal Advisory for five years and the president of the BCTF Aboriginal Specialist Association for two years. Rusk presently works as the District Indigenous Resource Helping Teacher for the North Okanagan – Shuswap School District.

Congratulations Meredith Rusk!