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Meet FAHSS's Indigenous Scholars

 
 
The Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (FAHSS) welcomed six tenure-track faculty members hired through the President’s Indigenous Peoples Scholars Program, which responds to the historic under-representation of Indigenous peoples in leadership roles on campus. "The range of expertise of our new colleagues allows for a broad-based Indigenous enrichment of our curriculum," states Dr. Marcello Guarini, former dean, faculty of arts, humanities and social sciences. Dr. Guarini points to new courses with Indigenous content and cutting-edge research opportunities as elements that will enhance FAHSS. It's exciting for FAHSS students and faculty to work with such accomplished researchers and teachers.
 

Meet FAHSS’s Indigenous Scholars

Andrea Sullivan-Clarke, PhD, Philosophy
Ashley Glassburn, PhD, Women’s & Gender Studies
Sandra Muse Isaacs, PhD, English & Creative Writing
Onawa LaBelle, PhD, Psychology
Rebecca Major, PhD, Political Science
Cynthia Stirbys, PhD, Social Work
 

Did you know:  FAHSS offers a Minor in Indigenous Studies

 

Faculty Profiles

Dr. Andrea Sullivan-Clarke, assistant professor, Philosophy
Andrea Sullivan-Clarke
, PhD

Assistant Professor, Philosophy
(519) 253-3000 Ext: 2392
Andrea.Clarke@uwindsor.ca
Room 2188 Chrysler Hall North
 
Teaching/Research Areas
  • Philosophy of science
  • Analogy
  • Metaphor
Andrea Sullivan-Clarke is a member of the Wind clan of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma.  A first-generation college student, Andrea graduated in 2015 from the University of Washington with a PhD, specializing in the use of analogy and metaphor. She is interested in topics relevant to Indian Country, such as allyship, sovereignty, and mixed-race contributions to knowledge production.
 
Dr. Sullivan-Clarke is chair person of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Native American and Indigenous Philosophies and is writing an entry on Native American Philosophy for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
 
Having previously developed a summer enrichment program for high school students at DePauw University, Andrea is looking forward to collaborating with the local first nations communities to develop similar programs at the University of Windsor.
 
 
 

Dr. Ashley Glassburn, assistant professor, Women's and Gender StudiesAshley Glassburn, PhD

Assistant Professor, Women’s & Gender Studies
519-253-3000 x2315
Ashley.glassburn@uwindsor.ca
Room 250-2 Chrysler Hall South
 
Teaching/Research Areas
Throughout her courses, Dr. Glassburn teaches students to engage each other and the world around them with thoughtfulness and generosity.  Her lower level courses emphasize applying feminist thought to everyday life and interactions while her upper level courses require significant work outside of the classroom to practice the skills of engaged citizenry.  
 
Ashley Glassburn is an interdisciplinary scholar with a PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies who uses feminist analysis of power and knowledge production to understand the role of historical narrative in shaping Indigenous subjectivity, political rights, and belonging.  Glassburn is a member of the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana with whom she serves as a research consultant and Myaamia language educator.
 
Her book manuscript (in-process) “Settling the Past:  Epistemic Violence and the Making of Indigenous Subjectivities” draws on Miami historical narratives and contemporary political projects to explore the dynamics of race, land, and historical evidence in constituting contemporary Indigenous identity.  Glassburn approaches the archives through a Miami feminist standpoint, which critically interrogates the relationship of power and knowledge through a distinctively-Miami informed perspective.
 
As an adult Glassburn became involved in the efforts to recover and revitalize the Miami language in the early 00s.  Glassburn was one of several Miami who founded the saakaciweeyankwi summer immersion camp for Miami youth in 2007.  Since then she has developed a model for teaching Myaamia grammar, which she is developing into a workbook for Myaamia learners to study remotely.   She is also working on a set of essays that bring feminist analysis of gender, power, and knowledge to current trends in the industry of Indigenous language revitalization.
 
Glassburn serves on the nomination committee of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and was a co-founder of the National Women’s Studies Association Indigenous Peoples Caucus.  Glassburn works with a consortium of Women’s and Gender Studies scholars to collect data on how the rise of PhDs in the field is changing the field.  Her work within this consortium focuses on how interdisciplinary feminist methods and feminist theory pedagogy continue to shape the field.
 
Glassburn, like many other members of the Miami Nation are assigned BIA payroll numbers and were named in the 2009 Cobell settlement as “Adult American Indians” even though the Miami Nation of Indiana lost their status as a federally recognized tribal in the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act.  If you are interested to learn more about the membership status of Dr. Ashley Glassburn or her genealogy, feel free contact the Miami Nation of Indiana or read about the history of the Bondy line in Stewart Rafert’s The Miami Indians of Indiana: a persistent peoples 1654-1994
 
 
 

Dr. Sandra Muse Isaacs, assistant professor, English and Creative StudiesSandra Muse Isaacs, PhD

Assistant Professor, English & Creative Writing
Room 2112 Chrysler Hall North
sandra.muse@uwindsor.ca
519-253-3000 x2292
 
Teaching/Research Areas
  • Indigenous Literature
  • Native Oral Tradition & Storytelling
  • Indigenous Literary & Critical Theory
  • Nineteenth-century Detective Fiction
 
Siyo, Boozhoo, Skano, Tansi, and hello. My name is Sandra Muse Isaacs, and I’m of Eastern Cherokee (Ani-tsisqua, Bird Clan) and Gaelic heritage (Clan MacRae). As the professor of Indigenous Literature and a President’s Indigenous Peoples Scholar, I’m also a proud alumnus of the University of Windsor.  I hold both a BA in Honors English and an MA in English and Creative Writing here at Windsor.  My PhD is through McMaster in English and Cultural Studies. I was the first recipient of the Harvey Longboat Graduate Scholarship for First Nations, Inuit and Metis students, and received that honor an additional three times.  Previously, I taught Indigenous Literature at Saint Mary’s University in Mi’kmaq’i (homelands of the Mi’kmaq people), and at McMaster and Laurier-Brant (Haudenosaunee territory), and Native journalism courses at UWO (Anishnaabe, Leni-Lunaape, and Haudenosaunee lands).
 
I am honored to now live and work once again in the traditional territories of the Anishnaabe Peoples, of the Three Fires Confederacy.  I grew up on the west side of Detroit with twelve siblings and am deeply connected to the Detroit/Windsor region.   
 
My first book, Eastern Cherokee Stories: A Living Oral Tradition and Its Cultural Continuance won the 2020 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award from the Western North Carolina Historical Association. The book was released in July 2019, through the University of Oklahoma Press in their “Cherokee Studies” line.  The work documents and examines Eastern Cherokee Oral Tradition as both an ancient and contemporary literary form with emphasis on cultural survivance, nationhood, Indigenous resistance, and tribal sovereignty, along with its modern usage in land reclamation, cultural regeneration, and language revitalization amongst a highly literate and technical Native American band in the southern Appalachian Mountains. 
 
My field of research is in Indigenous Literature and critical theory, Indigenous oral storytelling and spoken word art, Orality theory, Oral Histories, Indigenous relationships with our Earth and non-Humans, Creative Writing, and Post-Colonialism.  My work examines the parallels between Indigenous oral traditions and their Earth-connected teachings which are becoming more pertinent with the changing global climate and recognition of the damage to the Earth caused by human practices of resource extraction – stealing the life-giving bloods of the Earth.  Much of Indigenous literature is based on the ancient oral stories which are the foundation of the 500+ nations/tribes throughout Turtle Island (North America) and in my courses, we look for ways that the old storytelling appears within the written works of literature.  I’m also interested in the interstices of Cherokee society and that of early Scottish settlers, along with the parallels between Indigenous cultures here and ancient Gaelic culture.
 
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Dr. Onawa LeBelle, assistant professor, PsychologyOnawa LaBelle, PhD

Assistant Professor, Psychology
(519) 253-3000 Ext: 2290
Onawa.Labelle@uwindsor.ca
Room 251-2 Chrysler Hall South
 
Teaching/Research Areas

Teaching:

  • Positive Psychology (undergrad and graduate level)
  • Research Methods
  • Introduction to Psychology as a Social Science
  • Applied Social Psychology

Research:

  • Recovery from Substance Use Disorder
  • Positive Psychology
  • Close Relationships
 
Dr. Onawa LaBelle holds a PhD and MA from the University of Michigan and BA from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, all in Psychology. In addition, LaBelle has held internships and research assistantships at Harvard Medical School, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
 
In her scholarly work, Dr. LaBelle draws heavily upon positive psychology in her study of recovery from alcoholism and substance use disorder and close relationships. She is particularly interested in examining the social origins of addiction and the parallel between the use of social support programs as a pathway to recovery (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous, Refuge Recovery, SMART recovery). LaBelle currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Recovery Science
 
At the University of Windsor, Dr. LaBelle founded the Lancers Recover Program in 2020, the first student recovery community in Ontario, and the second program in all of Canada. The Lancers Recover program provides students in recovery with peer support and educational programming through weekly meetings and monthly social events and offers recovery ally training for the campus community. For more information, please visit the Lancers Recover website at www.lancersrecover.com.
 
 

Dr. Rebecca Major, assistant professor, Political ScienceRebecca Major, PhD

Assistant Professor, Political Science
(519) 253-3000 Ext: 2393
Rebecca.Major@uwindsor.ca
Room 1154 Chrysler Hall North
 
Teaching/Research Areas

Teaching areas:

  • Indigenous Policy
  • Indigenous Governance
  • Indigenous Land Claims
  • Indigenous Political Feminism
  • Federalism
  • Public Administration and Policy
  • Current Political Issues

Research and Publication areas:

  • Indigenous pedagogy
  • Indigenous identity and ways of knowing
  • Indigenous Political Feminism
  • Indigenous Constitutional and Policy Engagement
  • Institutionalism
  • Policy Learning
 
Dr. Rebecca Major is a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario, identifying as Métis through her mother and maternal grandmother, both of whom hold/held Métis membership. Reconnection and learning from community has been decades-long work and where Dr. Major finds enjoyment and commits much of her time. Dr. Major’s father’s family identifies and is recognized as Mi’kmaw from New Brunswick and her father and his knowledge was also a strong presence in her upbringing.
 
Dr. Major holds a PhD from the University of Saskatchewan in Indigenous Public Policy from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. Dr. Major’s Master’s degree is from the University of Saskatchewan in Indigenous Studies (formally the Department of Native Studies) in Indigenous land claims with a specialization in Specific Land Claims. Her undergraduate degree was a double honour’s degree in History and Indigenous Studies from the University of Saskatchewan. Additionally, Dr. Major holds a specialization in Indigenous Governance and Politics from the Political Studies Department at the University of Saskatchewan.
 
Aside from her academic work and experience, Dr. Major spent a couple of years working as a policy analyst for the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan in the departments of Environment and Intergovernmental Affairs, as well as spent one summer as the manager of Intergovernmental Affairs. Following this time, Dr. Major returned to teaching in post-secondary at NORTEP in La Ronge, SK for the University of Saskatchewan, and returned to complete a PhD. During her time as a PhD student and candidate, Dr. Major served as Métis local president in the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan followed by a successful election as the Area Representative for Western Region IIA (Saskatoon Region) for the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan.
 

 

Dr. Cynthia Stirbys, assistant professor, Social WorkCynthia Stirbys, PhD,

Assistant Professor, Social Work
(519) 253-3000 Ext: 3083
Room 212 Windsor Hall, 167 Ferry Street
 
Teaching/Research Areas
  • Mental Health
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Participatory action research
  • Qualitative research
  • Grounded Theory
  • Transpersonal Counseling
  • Gender Studies
  • Indian Residential Schools: Trauma and Resilience
Dr. Cynthia Stirbys holds a PhD in Social Work from the University of Ottawa, an MA from Saint Paul University, and BA (Hons) from Carleton University, all located in Ottawa, ON.
 
Dr. Stirbys has over 15 years’ experience in individual, group and community work in the following areas: Mental Health and Addictions; Social Determinants of Health; Indian Residential School; Governance; Gender-based Analysis; Research Ethics; Trauma and Transpersonal Counseling. Over her career, Dr. Stirbys has provided context and advice to identify policy gaps in services, and in developing interventions that meet the needs of Indigenous Peoples.  She is passionate about supporting students learning and understanding of the complex social issues impacting wellness of all peoples and cultures including Indigenous Peoples.
 
 
 
Updated: October 6, 2021
 
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