Search for new Director, First Nations House of Learning and Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs

February 06, 2018

UBC is embarking on a search for a new Director, First Nations House of Learning and Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs, following the decision by Dr. Linc Kesler to step down from these roles. Dr. Kesler’s second term will end on June 30, 2018.

An advisory committee has been established to consider the selection of his successor. Members include:

  • Jeannette Armstrong, Assistant Professor, Indigenous Studies, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, UBC Okanagan
  • Gage Averill, Dean, Faculty of Arts
  • Patricia Barkaskas, Instructor, Peter A. Allard School of Law, and Academic Director, Indigenous Community Legal Clinic
  • Tanya Bob, Associate Director, First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program
  • Ian Cull, Associate Vice-President, Students – UBC Okanagan Campus
  • Eric Eich, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs
  • Kathy Walker, PhD student, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts
  • Larry Grant, Elder in Residence, First Nations House of Learning
  • Anna Kindler, Professor, Faculty of Education
  • Leona Sparrow, Director, Treaty, Lands and Resources — Musqueam Indian Band
  • Andrew Szeri, Provost and Vice-President, Academic (Chair)
  • Adina Williams, undergraduate student, First Nations and Indigenous Studies Program, Faculty of Arts
  • Leah Walker, Associate Director, Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health
  • Kevin Ward, Research and Communications Officer, First Nations House of Learning
  • Kory Wilson, Executive Director, Aboriginal Initiatives and Partnerships, British Columbia Institute of Technology

The work of the committee will be supported by Higgins and Davies Park executive search firms. If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me through Pamela Moffett ( or Selina Fast (, co-secretaries of the advisory committee.

I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous impact that Dr. Kesler has achieved in these roles, which has been critical to advancing Indigenous initiatives at UBC. He directed the launch of the First Nations and Indigenous Studies program, and was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Aboriginal Strategic Plan.

He has advised numerous Faculties, departments, programs and projects, and his community outreach efforts have strengthened UBC’s relationships with Indigenous communities and partners. We are indebted to him for his role in the development of the Indian Residential Schools History and Dialogue Centre, and for reinforcing our commitment to attracting and supporting the success of excellent Indigenous students, faculty and staff. Dr. Kesler’s leadership will leave a lasting legacy at our university.

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President Academic 

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