Dr. Lianne Leddy
Assistant Professor and Program Co-ordinator, Indigenous Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
HBA, History and English, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2005
MA, History, Western University, 2006
PhD, History, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2011
By: Matthew Benoit, 3rd year Honours English Student, Wendat / Algonquin Métis
Dr. Lianne Leddy chose to pursue her doctorate in history at Wilfrid Laurier University to explore the story of her community in more depth and to pursue an academic career in history and Indigenous Studies. She is Anishinaabe kwe from the Serpent River First Nation and grew up in Elliot Lake, Ontario. Since completing her PhD in 2011, Lianne worked at the Memorial University of Newfoundland as an assistant professor in the Department of History, and she was excited to join Laurier's faculty of Indigenous Studies in the fall of 2014 as the Brantford campus' first full-time hire in Indigenous Studies.
When asked why she chose this academic career path, Lianne explains that her love of research was what guided her decision making. She loves being able to take a research question and, using archival work and interviews with knowledge holders, discover the answer. She finds it both rewarding and challenging to be able to independently decide which questions she asks and how she conducts her research. Teaching Aboriginal history and contemporary topics from an Indigenous perspective enables her to teach and engage students in a learning process very different from their previous experiences in the education system. Aboriginal students can see themselves reflected in the curriculum and non-Aboriginal students can learn about Indigenous perspectives, making the material more meaningful as a result.
It is extremely significant for Lianne that she is able to incorporate her culture into her research and work with Indigenous knowledge holders, in order to reflect those voices and perspectives. She introduces and affirms an Indigenous perspective in the classroom as part of her teaching methods, using cultural examples to help students to understand issues by discussing importance of oral history and drawing on her research with her own community as a real-life example.
Assistant Manager of External legal Services at TD Bank
2011, Honours Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
2014, Juris Doctor, University of Ottawa
Kelly shares her personal story of her career journey to find purpose and meaning. Perseverance and determination has helped her move towards her goal of becoming a lawyer.
Growing up in Northern Ontario community of South Porcupine, Ontario, Kelly was witness to ongoing subtle instances of discrimination that greatly impacted her emotional wellbeing. By the end of high school she observed and experienced overt discrimination, which was the catalyst for her decision to go to law school and work towards making changes for the aboriginal community and increasing awareness worldwide.
Law school is an ambitious goal, and Kelly states that the most important piece of advice she could give to applicants is to take the initiative to obtain valuable experiences. Kelly suggests shadowing people working in the field of law, so you can be sure it is something you really want to do. If you are sure you want to practice law, take the opportunity to try to learn more about the communities you want to serve in a legal capacity before you get to law school. She exerted herself as much as possible to become involved with the Indigenous community during her undergraduate degree. For instance, Kelly was able to attend one of the largest healing ceremonies in Alberta by obtaining funding from Goldcorp. There are also many writing, scholarship, and bursary opportunities geared to Indigenous students which you can learn about at the Aboriginal Student Centre. As an avid writer she constantly applied for essay competitions, and in her fourth year of studies, she won a national essay contest held by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) (now known as Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada). She had an amazing opportunity to meet Peter Kent and present her essay about Indigenous entrepreneurs and why the government should continue to provide funding for Aboriginal businesses.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier Essays - ManyEssayscom
Sir Wilfrid Laurier C.I. is committed to fostering a caring, challenging and safe environment that nurtures the intellectual, personal, physical and social potential of its students. This potential is encouraged by a learning atmosphere that supports global concern and understanding, mutual respect, fairness and cooperation among students, staff and the local, national and international communities. Our school will strive to accomplish this by providing: