Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux is the former Vice Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives) at Lakehead University. Effective September 16th 2016 she is serving as the 1st Indigenous Chair on Truth and Reconciliation on behalf of Lakehead University, Thunder Bay and Orillia. She also serves as an adjunct assistant Professor for the Faculty of Anthropology and Research Affiliate of the Centre for Health Care Ethics. Her research and academic writing is directed towards understanding the continuing transmission of unresolved intergenerational trauma and grief primarily within the Indigenous community of Canada.
Cynthia is a Board Member for Healthy Minds Canada and the newly formed Teach for Canada non-profit. She is a member of the Governing Circle of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba and was inducted as a “Honourary Witness” by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. In August 2016, she was appointed as the Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada Minister’s Special Representative (MSR) on Child and Family Well-Being.
Interested in environmental and humanitarian causes, she is actively engaged in a variety of initiatives across Canada and is an active and engaging media representative. Cynthia is a member of the Chippewa of Georgina Island First Nation in Lake Simcoe, Ontario and has dedicated her life to building bridges of understanding between people. She sees endless merit in bringing people from diverse cultures, ages, and backgrounds together to engage in practical dialogue and applied research initiatives, and is deeply committed to public education and active youth engagement.
Cynthia co-founded and chairs a youth project out of the University of Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan and Lakehead University. More information on the Canadian Roots Exchange can be found at: www.canadianroots.ca