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Wilfrid Laurier University: Indigenous Scholar in Material and Visual Cultures

Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo (Region), Ontario (CA)
Closing date
Jan 19, 2022

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Position Type
Cultural Anthropology
Full Time
Organization Type
Level of Experience
Any level of experience considered
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Inclusive Excellence Cohort Hiring Initiative: Seeking Indigenous Scholar in Material and Visual Cultures

Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier) is a multi-campus university renowned for its extraordinary learning environment and highly personalized educational experience. As a comprehensive university with more than 19,000 students, Laurier has grown rapidly in research intensity while at the same time preserving our well-earned reputation for excellent undergraduate teaching and learning. With a multi-campus and multi-community culture, Laurier offers students an exceptional range of more than 100 academic programs. As a leader in higher education for more than a century, Laurier has offered students a transformative experience, an ethos that is offered in Laurier’s intention to inspire lives of leadership and purpose.

Laurier is taking a step toward Indigenization and reconciliation and equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) by hiring six new Indigenous faculty members and six new Black faculty members. The initiative is part of Laurier’s broader Faculty Rejuvenation efforts to advance strategic academic and research goals, enhance academic excellence and student experience, and strengthen collaborative and interdisciplinary initiatives.

Laurier’s campuses and locations are on the Haldimand Tract, within the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. A short 2.5-hour drive of 18 First Nations communities, including the Six Nations of the Grand River— the most populous First Nation in Canada — and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Kitchener-Waterloo and Brantford both have large urban Indigenous populations. There are 12 Métis councils within a 3-hour radius. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their right to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming, research, and co-curricular activities. Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge through diverse ongoing initiatives, programs, funding events, and positions, including the university’s Indigenous Student Centres, its Centre for Indigegogy, the Indigenous Knowledge Fund, Indigenous Education Week and the annual Indigenous Research Symposium. Laurier welcomes a regular stream of Visiting Elders and has an Indigenous Curriculum Specialist, not to mention a growing number of Indigenous faculty, students, and staff.

Waterloo/Kitchener: Nestled around one city block, Laurier’s Waterloo campus is home to more than 15,500 students in undergraduate and graduate studies. Known for its small community feel, the campus is a welcoming environment for students and staff. The Waterloo Region, consisting of the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, as well as the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich, is home to Canada’s fastest-growing technology sector and is part of the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor. Neighbouring Laurier's Waterloo and Kitchener campuses are The Healing of the Seven Generations, White Owl Native Ancestry Association and the Grand River Metis Council.  Located approximately one- hour west of Toronto, the Waterloo Region offers a unique blend of modern, energetic urban centres and scenic, rural landscapes, and is easily accessible by road, rail and air. Waterloo Region is renowned for higher education and research. Internationally recognized research organizations also make their home in Waterloo: the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Institute for Quantum Computing, the Balsillie School for International Governance Innovation.

Faculty and Department/Area:
Faculty of Arts, Departments of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, and Religion and Culture Position Location:
Waterloo with program courses offered in Waterloo and online. Area of Specializations:
An Indigenous scholar engaged in innovative research in areas at the intersection of material and visual cultures, cultural heritage and religion. Potential specializations might include, but are not limited to material culture, visual arts, visual ecologies and the environment and human influences on the landscape, cultural heritage management, and digital humanities for rock art, epigraphy, and paleography.


Rank/s of the Position:

Assistant Professor

Type of Position:


Faculty/Department/Program Description: The Archaeology and Heritage Studies undergraduate program ( is recognized for its academic excellence with many graduates going on to world-class graduate programs in archaeology, museum studies and related fields, and careers in all parts of the world. Archaeology and Heritage Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University is also renowned for its experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students. It is the only undergraduate Archaeology program in Ontario that has mandatory field courses, and undergraduate students can gain additional hands-on learning experience through faculty-led research, the Work Study program and volunteer opportunities. Religion and Culture undergraduate program requirements can be fulfilled with a robust curriculum of intramural and online courses ( The MA program in Religion, Culture and Global Justice ( shared with the Global Studies Department fosters strong inter-cultural competencies for confronting global- and local-level challenges and transformations. The joint PhD program with the University of Waterloo in Religious Diversity in North America ( trains scholars in multidisciplinary theories and methods with an emphasis on the diverse nature of religious interactions.

Position Summary: Archaeology and Heritage Studies and Religion and Culture are seeking a scholar engaged in innovative research that explores mediums, methods and the meaning of material and visual cultures from an Indigenous perspective using an interdisciplinary approach. The successful candidate will be an effective teacher and active participant in shaping curriculum and programming in both units while directly addressing strategic priorities to develop teaching and research strengths in cultural heritage and also establishing the study of Indigenous material/visual cultural heritage and religion as a comprehensive strength at Wilfrid Laurier University. This includes developing and expanding on existing experiential learning opportunities for students, and engaging with scholars from other programs, departments and faculties at Wilfrid Laurier University.


A strong scholar with a promising record of research whose work engages with material and visual cultures, and who will build and enhance interdisciplinary strengths in the fields of archaeology, heritage studies, and religious studies. Successful candidates will be emerging or respected scholars and teachers in all career stages, including those who are suitable for appointment at the rank of lecturer, as well as assistant, associate and full professor. Outstanding candidates without a PhD will be considered if they are a recognized Indigenous knowledge-holder, hold connection to Indigenous communities, employ Indigenous research and teaching methodologies, and have notable scholarly outputs recognized by other Indigenous scholars. Successful candidates’ scholarships should support and enhance at least one area of priority listed above under

Area of Specializations. Able to teach a selection of existing courses  and to assist with development of online courses in the undergraduate programs of Archaeology and Heritage Studies and Religion and Culture, and to offer graduate-level seminars and to contribute to graduate advising for programs in Religion, Culture and Global Justice and Religious Diversity in North America. The successful candidate will also have opportunities to develop additional courses within their area of expertise.

Deciding to Become a Candidate

The following is a list of the steps we anticipate in the recruitment process for this position. We would also like to bring to your attention several key issues we would recommend you consider as you navigate the search process.

How to apply (Indigenous Faculty Cohort)

Candidates who identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) are encouraged to apply by including the following in their application. Please note that additional materials may be requested through the review process as required by the home department.

  • a letter of intent including the candidate’s research and teaching interest and where this best aligns with Laurier’s areas of priority;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a statement on teaching philosophy, and any evidence of teaching effectiveness (such as course syllabus/description, a peer teaching review and student/participant feedback).
  • sample publication, scholarly output or writing sample
  • the names and contact information of three referees (will not be contacted without the candidate’s consent).
  • Indigenous Identity Fraud/Theft has been a significant issue highlighted in the media, and we will be taking steps to confirm Indigenous Identity as part of the recruitment and selection process. The process used to confirm identity is being developed in consultation with the Indigenous Initiatives office.

Applications can be addressed to Mike Young, Executive Search Associate and submitted electronically to Review of applications will begin on October 29th and will continue to be collected and evaluated until all of the Inclusive Excellence cohort positions are filled. Candidates are encouraged to apply once interested as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to employment equity and values diversity. Laurier welcomes applications from qualified members of the equity-seeking groups.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, as per Canadian immigration laws, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. To comply with the Government of Canada’s reporting requirements, the University is obligated to gather information about applicants’ status as either Permanent Residents of Canada or Canadian citizens. Applicants need not identify their country of origin or current citizenships; however, all applicants must include one of the following statements in their cover letter:

  • Yes, I am a current citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • No, I am not a current citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Applicants are encouraged to address any career interruptions or special circumstances that may have affected their record of research and teaching, in accordance with Tri-Council definitions and guidelines.

Laurier strives to make our application process accessible and provides accommodations for both applicants and employees as outlined in Policy 8.7. If you require assistance applying for this position, to obtain a copy of this job description in an accessible format, or would like to discuss accessibility and accommodations during the recruitment process please email

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