Bill Cohen

Assistant Professor


Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

My research interests are extended family pedagogies informed by traditional Indigenous knowledge: particularly a Syilx children-centred model informed by capti̓kʷɬ stories to transform schools to be more appreciative and sustaining of place-based relationships and cultural and ecological diversity.


Bill Cohen is from the Okanagan Nation with extensive kinship ties throughout BC and Washington. He specializes in the areas of Indigenous knowledge, research, education, and transforming pedagogy. For over twenty-five years, he has engaged in community-driven, transforming projects, as parent, volunteer, advisor, facilitator, and director. He is an educator, artist, story-teller and author. The focus of Bill’s continuing research is to identify, understand and theorize the transforming potential of Indigenous and Okanagan knowledge and pedagogy through organic language and cultural knowledge revitalization. As an educator, he has organized numerous community, school, arts, language, literacy and numeracy projects involving elders, fluent speakers, parents and children.


Creative Writing, En’owkin Centre
Bachelor of Arts and Science with Distinction, University of Lethbridge
Master of Education: Administrative Leadership First Nations Focus, SFU
Education Doctorate: Policy and Leadership, UBC

Selected Publications & Presentations

Cohen, W.A., Dlouhy-Nelson, J. & Niedballa, M. (2023) Coyote Stories: Igniting, Indigenizing Imagination, and Transforming Snow White Monsters in Markides, J. & St. Georges, D. (Eds.) Arts Creation: A Curriculum of Relationality, Resurgence, and Renewal.

Cohen, B. and Chambers, N. (2021) “Emerging from the Whiteout: Colonization, Assimilation, Historical Erasure, and Okanagan-Sylix Resistance and Transforming Praxis in the Okanagan Valley”  in White Space – Race, Privilege, and Cultural Economies of the Okanagan Valley Daniel Keyes and Luis Aguiar Eds. UBC Press: Vancouver BC

Illustrator. (2020). kwu?c’?xw?ntim t?l stunx isck’wuls / Lessons From Beaver’s Work, Dual Language nsyilxcən and English by Harron Hall. Theytus Books: Penticton BC

Cohen, B., and Chambers, N. (2013). “Emerging From the Whiteout: Colonization, Assimilation, Historical Erasure, and Okanagan Syilx Resistance and Transforming Praxis in the Okanagan Valley.” In Hinterland of Whiteness: White Fantasies in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia., (Eds.,) Aguilar, L., Berg, L., and Keyes, D. (Submitted). UBC Press: Vancouver

Cohen, B. (2001) “Spider’s Web: Creativity and Survival in Dynamic Balance” Canadian Journal of Native Education. Vol. 24, 140-148.

Illustrator. (2013) The Moon Speaks Cree by Larry Loyie; (1997) Kwulasuwut II by Ellen White; (1995) Just A Walk by Jordan Wheeler, Theytus Books: Penticton BC.

Editor, (1998) mayx twixmntm tl q’sapi lats k’ulmstm i snklc’askaxa (stories and images about what the horse has done for us): an illustrated history of okanagan ranching and rodeo. Theytus Books: Penticton BC.

Selected Grants & Awards

2023/24 Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Innovation

Professional Services/Affiliations/Committees

First Peoples’ Cultural Council Silent Speakers Program


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