Search for interim, permanent IRSHDC academic director underway

UBC is searching for a new academic director for the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC).

On June 30, Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s term as the first academic director for the IRSHDC ended. Since then, UBC has been searching for a tenured or tenure-track faculty member to serve as an interim and permanent academic director.

The IRSHDC serves as an on-campus resource and learning centre for residential school and intergenerational survivors. Despite its rocky beginnings in 2018, Turpel-Lafond and other IRSHDC staff members say the centre has improved.

In June, Turpel-Lafond said she was excited to see what her successor does at the centre and hoped they brought something new.

UBC Media Relations said it was unable to provide comment on the search process while the search is still ongoing, but did provide The Ubyssey with a copy of the interim director’s job description.

According to the job description, the interim academic director will support the IRSHDC in its goals and objectives for 12 months, with the term ending in June 2023.

The interim will act as a “content expert” for the IRSHDC and is expected to ensure that the centre serves as a space where residential school and intergenerational survivors are able to “access their Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) records and other relevant materials,” and engage with Indigenous communities and organizations, among other things.

Initially, the search was led by Dr. Eduardo Jovel, who served as the interim director of First Nations House of Learning while Dr. Margaret Moss served as the interim associate vice-president equity and inclusion of UBC.

According to a statement sent to The Ubyssey by the Provost Office, Moss and Dr. Jan Hare became co-leads for the search after Moss’s return to the FHNL director role.

UBC Media Relations did not provide a timeline for the two searches.