Changes to native studies faculty

St. Thomas University will lose two of its three full-time native studies professors at the end of this school year.

Roland Chrisjohn is the only full-time professor who will return in the fall. He declined to comment, as did D’Arcy Vermette.

STU communications director, Jeffrey Carleton, spoke on behalf of the department.

“D’Arcy Vermette has resigned his position in native studies. I believe he’s going to be teaching at a school out West, he’s accepted a position there,” Carleton said.

Carleton says the university will fill Vermette’s teaching assignments with part-time faculty for the short term.

“The other position related to native studies is Dr. Andrea Bear Nicholas, she’s the endowed chair in native studies. Her term ends June 30 this year. We’re going to advertise shortly to fill that chair on a three-year term.”

Zack Paul is a third-year STU student minoring in native studies.

“I think it’s a lot for one prof to handle. But Chrisjohn is a genius. I think he’ll do fine,” Paul said.

Vermette expressed his opposition to the creation of the Aboriginal Resource Centre earlier this year. In a flyer distributed by the Native Student Council it says “The Native Student Council cannot meet in the Centre since a) their property was not relocated to that space and b) such meetings would be under the watchful eye of STU officials. Democratic, student-driven advocacy and governance has been destroyed and replaced with paternalistic management of student interests.”

In a document to the STU Senate on Feb. 28 2012, it states the average annual number of native studies majors awarded between 2002 and 2010 was 4.75.

With files from Liam McGuire.

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