Ashley Rae Ens is the 2023 recipient of the Enı̨htł’èdeè Xàetaa Studentship. Hotıì ts’eeda is proud to her support PHD studies. Read along for to learn about Ashley, and her research, in her own words:
Danch’uh Ashley Rae Ens vilzhii. I come from the Gwich’in Nation, born and raised along Nagwichoonjik known in English as the Mackenzie River in Inuvik, N.W.T. I currently reside in Lethbridge, Alberta with my family and am a PhD student at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies.
The research: Post-secondary institutions are beginning to identify and confront the systemic prejudices embedded in governance structures, course content, funding and priorities, administrative decision-making and faculty and staff. Despite the drive to Indigenize academia, systemic change efforts have lacked the resources and evaluative frameworks to measure Indigenization efforts.
In order to understand if efforts to Indigenize are effective, it is critical that activities are evaluated regularly to better inform future planning and implementation. From a Northern perspective, there is an even greater lack of available research in these areas despite the presence of six institutions which serve significant Indigenous populations. The North, given its relatively small size and large Indigenous population, is particularly well suited to lead the development of an evaluative framework to analyze the impact of Indigenization. .
This journey is one of financial uncertainty and with the support of Enı̨htł’èdeè Xàetaa Studentship I have been able to continue my passion of advancing critical Indigenous methods to investigate how we measure Indigenization efforts.
Mahsí to Ashley for sharing!