The University of British Columbia Okanagan's Dr. Jeannette Armstrong has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr. Armstrong is a researcher and an associate professor of Indigenous Studies and also the Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy.
The RSC is also known as the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada, and it is the senior national, bilingual council of distinguished Canadian scholars, humanists, scientists and artists.
"To be honest, I’ve never been someone looking for recognition," Armstrong said in a news release from UBCO. "I care deeply about my work and my focus has always been on how my research can help support the Syilx Okanagan Community. With that being said, I am honoured that my peers from across the country see the value in the work I do, and chose to elect me. I’m really looking forward to engaging with fellow scholars in the society."
Dr. Armstrong says she never planned on pursuing a life in academia. After graduating from university with her bachelor’s degree, she worked for local Indigenous organizations before coming to the realization that she could make the most change from inside the academy.
She returned to university, earning both her master’s and doctorate, and began teaching Indigenous Studies in the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
The Royal Society of Canada is a scholarly body founded in 1882 by John Campbell, the ninth Duke of Argyll. Its purpose is to promote Canadian research and recognize those who have made remarkable contributions in their respective fields.
Dr. Armstrong says, "I wanted to attract Syilx and B.C. Interior Salish graduate students to join me and research their own histories, cultures and languages. Developing these relationships is really what I’ve enjoyed most—working in collaboration to advance knowledge in our schooling and health systems, and bringing awareness to the legal history related to administration and management of our resources.
"If I do nothing else in my life, it’s this idea of giving back knowledge through research that I am most proud of," Dr. Armstrong says.