Greetings and Hadih from the New Director of NITEP

My name is Dustin Louie and I am of Dakelh and European ancestry from the unceded territory that we now call central British Columbia. I am a member of the Nee Tahi Buhn First Nation, maintain strong familial ties to Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, where I sit with the Lhtsumus’yoo (Beaver) clan in our Balhats system. In my role as NITEP Director, I am honoured to be a guest on the unceded territory of the Musqueam people. I believe as guests we are obliged to walk gently and intentionally to honour those who have stewarded this land for millennia, while maintaining our vigilance to decolonize ourselves and the systems in which we operate. The magnitude of responsibility and opportunity of carrying the mantle of NITEP director is an honour. The three Indigenous women who have preceded me in this role are among the most prominent scholars and practitioners in our field. Dr. Jo-Anne Archibald (Q’um Q’um Xiiem), through her leadership and vision, established the innovative and foundational NITEP program. Drs. Jan Hare and Margaret Kovach subsequently directed NITEP to maintain decolonizing and indigenizing foundations, while meeting the needs of Indigenous teacher education students, and ensuring the highest academic standards. In joining the NITEP team I am delighted with the expansive network of field schools and learning opportunities in Vancouver, Okanagan, Bella Coola, the Cariboo, and Gitwangak. Moreover, the faculty and staff of NITEP are the heart of the program that carry institutional and cultural
knowledge that is the lifeblood of the program. I am privileged and eager to learn from and work alongside the community of committed staff. Indigenous teacher education is a critical space in faculties of education, and I am thrilled and grateful to be a part of the transformative work happening at UBC and NITEP.