Team LeaderUniversity-Based TeamCommunity-Based TeamCommunity Partners

Project Team Members: University-Based


Onowa McIvor
(M.A., University of Victoria; Ph.D., University of British Columbia)

Onowa is an Assistant Professor and Director of Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria. She is Swampy Cree and Scottish-Canadian. She was born and raised in Northern Saskatchewan and has been a grateful visitor on Coast and Straits Salish territories for over 15 years. She completed an M.A. in Child and Youth Care, and served for several years as the liaison for First Nations communities that partnered with the School of Child and Youth Care to deliver a two year diploma program in early childhood care and development, called the First Nations Partnerships Program. Onowa completed a PhD in Education at the University of British Columbia in 2012; her dissertation îkakwiy nihiyawiyân: I am learning [to be] Cree explored adult Indigenous language learning. Her current areas of research are Indigenous language revitalization and Indigenous education (K-12 & post-secondary), as well as early childhood bilingualism, cultural identity development, and early childhood care and education.

Visit the Reports page to access some of Onowa's publications and presentations.



Mary Caroline Rowan
(M.A., U. Victoria; Ph.D. student, U. New Brunswick)

Carol is a Vanier scholar and PhD student working at the Early Childhood Centre at the University of New Brunswick. She completed an MA in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria, with a thesis entitled Exploring the possibilities of learning stories as a meaningful approach to early childhood education in Nunavik. Carol has been working with children, families, educators, directors, program administrators, government policy makers, and program creators on the development and delivery of licensed child care services in Inuit and First Nations communities since 1987. Her current program of research explores the use of learning stories as a catalyst to work with community stakeholders on crafting childcare programs gounded in Inuit ways of knowing and being. Carol is married to Jobie Weetaluktuk, an internationally acclaimed Inuk writer, broadcaster and filmmaker who hails from Inukjuak, Quebec. They have two sons and a daughter and live in Montreal.



Ron Tsakiy George
(B.S.W.; M.A. Cand., Ed. Leadership, UVic)

Ron (Tsaskiy) served as the lead Indigenous Advisor on the first research study of Indigenous Fathers in Canada. He also served as a member of the Steering Committee for the first national study of Father Involvement in Canada, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, CURA Program. He was born in Smithers, B.C. and is a Hereditary Chief of the Wet'suwet'en Nation. After working in the logging industry, where he became a shop steward in his union, and in the building trades, where he was a glazier, Ron became involved in Native politics. In 1970, he was a Board member of the B.C. Association of Non-Status Indians, and then he was founding Vice-President of its successor, the United Native Nations, from 1976 to 1978. He was President of UNN from 1985 to 1991. In 1991, he was elected National President of the Native Council of Canada, which represents the majority of Aboriginal peoples in Canada – those who do not live on reserves. Ron has been involved in every aspect of the struggle for justice by Aboriginal peoples in Canada. He has been instrumental in the development of Aboriginal-run community services in B.C. in areas of housing, child welfare, youth employment, economic development, and justice. A central theme of Ron's work has been the need for healing at both the individual and political level in Canadian society. Ron completed his B.S.W. at the University of Victoria in 2007.



Denise Hodgins
(M.Ed.; Ph.D.)

Since 1989, Denise has worked with children, youth, parents and educators in a variety of capacities: school age childcare provider; preschool teacher; workshop facilitator; and director of a non-profit organization. Denise has a MEd in early childhood education and a PhD in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria, where she also works as a sessional instructor. Denise is involved in several projects that explore and support innovative pedagogies in Early Childhood Education. Her research interests include gender as a material/discursive phenomenon and the implications that post-foundational theories and methodologies have for early childhood research and practices.

Visit the Reports page to access some of Denise's publications and presentations.



Enid Elliot
(Ph.D. Early Childhood Education, University of Victoria)

Enid is a faculty member in the Early Learning and Care program at Camosun College in Victoria and an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria. She is currently investigating early learning programs that promote young children's connection with nature. Enid's earlier research explored the impacts of children's participation in early learning programs on parents' experiences of social support. She has also written courses in the First Nations Partnerships Program ( Enid is particularly interested in babies, their families, other caregivers, and attachments. She has written extensively about the work of infant/toddler caregivers and the continuum from theory to practice.



Karma Chimi Wangchuk

Karma Chimi Wangchuk is a Bhutanese lecturer in the Royal University of Bhutan, Paro College of Education. He was the in-country lead in a national scoping study on demand for early childhood care and development programs and professional development in Bhutan. He is leading a team of lecturers at Paro College of Education in Bhutan to develop post-secondary courses leading to a certificate, diploma and degree in early childhood care and development in order to strengthen the country's capacity to develop this emerging sector. Karma Chimi is a member of the Sharchop ethnic population and grew up in a remote Himalayan village. He has experienced firsthand the importance of learning one's cultural traditions and mother tongue – knowledge and lived experiences that he carries with him today, although he now resides far from his village and cultural centre of origin, in the town of Paro. He is deeply committed to ensuring retention of cultural traditions, Indigenous knowledges, and spirituality through early childhood education as Bhutan modernizes and opens up beyond the Himalayas to the global arena.



Tasha Wyatt
(Ph.D., University of Hawaii)

Tasha is an educational psychologist who studies the intersections of culture and education. Tasha's scholarly and applied work has spanned many levels and locations, including national school reform in Greenland, faculty development at the University of Hawaii's College of Education, and multiple public schools and preschools across the Hawaiian Islands and elsewhere. Tasha is strongly committed to transforming pedagogical practice for both teachers and students in order to support learners with diverse cultural and linguistic strengths, needs and goals. Tasha was born and raised on the Hawaiian Islands. She is raising her two daughters with her partner while pursuing her research and providing professional development support to educators to work effectively in Indigenous communities and in educational settings with high cultural diversity.



Leslie Butt
(Ph.D. Anthropology, McGill University)

Leslie is a medical anthropologist. She has an extensive record of research and publications focused on Eastern Indonesia, addressing a range of topics including reproduction, birth registration, families, health care, sex work, and HIV/AIDS. She currently leads two research projects on the impact of international migration on the experiences of eastern Indonesian families. She has consulted for UNICEF and USAID, and has collaborated with researchers from Indonesian universities and non-governmental organizations. Leslie is a faculty member in Anthropology at the University of Victoria, and a Research Fellow in the Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives (CAPI), where she supports several initiatives within the centre's Migration and Mobility Program.



Harriot Beazley
(Ph.D. Human Geography, Australian National University)

Harriot is a cultural geographer specializing in participatory community development and child centred research in the Asia Pacific region. She is a Lecturer in Human Geography and the Discipline Leader in Development Studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Her doctoral research involved an analysis of the geographies and identities of street children in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Harriot has worked as a community development practitioners and research consultant in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Vanuatu for AusAID/DFAT, UNICEF, and Save the Children. She has experience in rights-based child centered research with children and young people, and in community based, gender-focused research in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. She has published in the areas of children's geographies and gender and development. Harriot's current research interests include participatory research with marginalized communities in Indonesia and Cambodia. She is the Commissioning Editor (Pacific) for the Routledge Journal 'Children's Geographies: Advancing interdisciplinary understanding of younger people's lives.'



Jaime Apolonio
(B.A., M.P.A., University of Victoria)

Jaime is the webmaster for Early Childhood Development Intercultural Partnerships ( He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Victoria, completing an advanced policy report on how to forge strong relationships among local and First Nation governments in British Columbia. He previously served as Program Assistant with the First Nations Partnership Programs (