Distinguished Academic Award Recipient 2017: Dr. Judy Thompson
Dec 17, 2018
This award recognizes the contributions to the non-academic community made by faculty members who are at an early point int heir careers. Edōsdi, which literally means someone who raises up pets and children, or more simply, "someone who is a teacher," was born and raised in La̱x Kxeen (Prince Rupert, BC) on Ts'msyen territory and is a member of the Tahltan Nation. Her clan is crow and her crest is frog. For almost 25 years, as a student, educator and researcher, Edōsdi has built relationships with Aboriginal communities, which includes connections with youth with their Elders. Edōsdi has developed many courses and programs, which have often included ways to Indigenize curriculum, decolonize teaching, and provide support for Aboriginal learners.
Edōsdi / Dr. Thompson completed her PhD at the University of Victoria, where she also completed an MSc in Environmental Studies. Edōsdi's doctoral dissertation, Hedekeyeh Hots'ih Kāhidi - "Our Ancestors Are In Us": Strengthening Our Voices Through Language Revitalization From A Tahltan Worldview, employed a Tahltan research paradigm and spoke to the ways in which the voices of her people can gain strength and healing through the revitalization of her language. Dr. Thompson's doctoral research guided the development of a Tahltan Language and Culture Framework, which focuses on governance, programming, documentation, and training and professional development. Since 2012, she has also been the Tahltan Language and Culture Lead for her Nation.
Commenting on the impact of her work, one of her nominees described Edōsdi as follows: "Edōsdi is a remarkable woman. A member of the Crow Clan of the Tahltan Nation, through her mother's side, she was born and raised in Prince Rupert on Ts'mysen territory. I got to know all of her family over the years, including her Tahltan grandparents Charles and Julia Callbreath. Edōsdi spent many hours with these wonderful elders and travelled with them several times Telegraph Creek where they were raised. The time she spent with these and other elders gave her exceptional insights and experiences and, I am convinced, gave her the determination and commitment to become the wonderful teacher and researcher she is today. She also gained many of the traits and skills that make her so successful: integrity, thoughtfulness, compassion and empathy, and a delightful sense of humour."