Dr. Onowa McIvor is nehiyaw from Norway House and Cross Lake Cree Nations in Northern Manitoba and has been a visitor on Coast and Straits Salish territories for nearly 20 years. Onowa completed her Ph.D at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Language and Literacy Education focused on adult Indigenous language learning. Onowa’s research focuses on Indigenous language and cultural revitalization and all of her research work is Indigenous community-based, and driven by community needs and wants. The funding she received while at UBC (both SSHRC and other scholarships) allowed her to focus on her studies while raising a young family, and assisted her to launch in a successful career serving Indigenous communities in the working together to ensure the continuation of the first languages of Canada.
She is currently the Director of Indigenous Education and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria, where she helped to build both an undergraduate and graduate program in Indigenous language revitalization.