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Advancing Indigenization

Memorial's first vice-president (Indigenous) appointed

By Memorial University

Catharyn Andersen has been appointed as Memorial’s first vice-president (Indigenous).

The position focuses on continuing to build meaningful relationships with Indigenous Peoples and advancing Indigenization.

Ms. Andersen has served as special advisor to the president on Indigenous affairs since 2015 and led the creation of the first Strategic Framework for Indigenization.

The Board of Regents approved the framework, which was developed through extensive Indigenous community collaboration, in March 2021.

The first strategic priority of the framework called for strengthening Indigenous leadership within Memorial University.

In response, the position of special advisor to the president on Indigenous affairs was converted to vice-president (Indigenous) and approved by the Board of Regents in May 2021.

Second in Canada

This is just the second vice-president (Indigenous) position at a Canadian university.

President Vianne Timmons says it is an appropriate step towards advancing reconciliation and Indigenization at Memorial.

“Catharyn has done a tremendous amount of work already to build relationships with Indigenous communities and internal stakeholders,” Dr. Timmons said.

“She is a collaborative and intuitive leader, who brings Indigenous ways of being, knowing and doing to this position. I am delighted that her work will now be recognized appropriately as a vice-president.”

“This is a pivotal time for this country with regards to truth-telling and reconciliation.” — Catharyn Andersen

Ms. Andersen will focus on implementing the Strategic Framework for Indigenization and the specific action items it contains.

She will also join the Vice-Presidents Council, the senior leadership body that is responsible for pan-university decision-making.

Looking ahead

“I am honoured by this appointment, and look forward to continuing to be of service to Indigenous Peoples and communities, and to the university, and thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the dynamic leadership team at Memorial,” said Ms. Andersen.

“This is a pivotal time for this country with regards to truth-telling and reconciliation. This is hard work, but it is also where change can happen, and that’s exciting.”

The vice-president (Indigenization) is a five-year appointment, eligible for an additional five-year term. The position special advisor to the president on Indigenous affairs has been made redundant.


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