The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) has awarded Vancouver Island University (VIU) President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Deborah Saucier, with their prestigious Indigenous Women in Leadership Award, sponsored by TD Bank.
Dr. Saucier is “a proud Métis who is committed to advancing reconciliation on university campuses and in academia,” says a media release from CCAB.
As the president of Vancouver Island University, Dr. Saucier works to fulfill its mission to close the education gap for Indigenous youth and empower them achieve their full potential and strengthen their communities. Previously, she served as president of MacEwan University, where she worked to incorporate UNDRIP and the TRC Calls to Action into institutional decision making. She implemented both policy and physical changes on campus to ensure that Indigenous students saw their heritage reflected in campus spaces.
A distinguished researcher and educator in psychology and neuroscience, Saucier also advocates for more women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“A major focus for me as an administrator has been to change the narrative about who goes to university, which helps to move the needle and increase the number of women and Indigenous peoples in leadership positions,” said Dr. Saucier. “We still have a long way to go to remove barriers and create supportive, inclusive learning and working environments. For me, this award recognizes the importance of this work, and I am honoured and humbled to be recognized in this way.”
“Economic empowerment starts with a solid education that celebrates Indigenous identities and cultures,” says Tabatha Bull, president & CEO, CCAB. “Dr. Saucier’s work is ensuring that the next generation of Indigenous entrepreneurs, visionaries, and leaders get the support and education they need to be successful for themselves and their communities.”
The award will be presented on September 16 at CCAB’s Business Recovery Forum, a live virtual conference and unique experience to discover innovative ways to network, collaborate and exchange ideas to rebuild businesses and prosper in this new reality and uncertain economy.