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REF NO.: 189

SUBJECT: Distinguished aboriginal educator to deliver Henrietta Harvey Lecture at Memorial University

DATE: Feb. 10

Note to editors:

One of the foremost aboriginal educators in the country, Dr. Verna Kirkness, will deliver the Henrietta Harvey Lecture at Memorial University on Thursday, March 3. Her lecture, titled Aboriginal Research Discourse: Giving Voice to our Ancestors, will examine the recent trend towards post-secondary education for Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples. The lecture will start at 7 p.m. in room A-1043 of the Arts and Administration Building.

Professor emerita of the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Education, Dr. Kirkness has worked in the field of aboriginal education for over four decades. She has received many honours, including three honorary doctorates, the Order of Canada and the Aboriginal Achievement Award, as well as being appointed to a number of boards including the Millenium Foundation.

As a speaker of Cree, a classroom teacher, school supervisor and curriculum consultant, Dr. Kirkness pioneered the use of Cree as the medium of instruction in the classroom in the 1970s. She was the driving force behind the establishment of First Nations House of Learning, a dedicated facility for aboriginal students at the University of British Columbia, where a scholarship has been established in her honour. She has also published extensively on the topic of protection, preservation and promotion of aboriginal languages in Canada. Her depth of experience and national perspective will be of immense interest to anyone interested in aboriginal education and languages.

The Henrietta Harvey Lecture

Henrietta Harvey was a Nova Scotian who came to Newfoundland in 1905 to visit her aunt, Lady Whiteway, the wife of Newfoundland's prime minister. A year later she settled in St. John's as the wife of St. John's businessman John Harvey. When she died, in 1964, her will directed a substantial portion of her estate to Memorial University.

The Henrietta Harvey lectureship is possible in any year where there are funds left over from the funding of the Henrietta Harvey research chair, the primary purpose of the endowment fund left by Ms. Harvey. In 1970 a building on the St. John'scampus - then the home of the library - was named for her. Nominations for the lectureship are made by university departments, and lecturers must be senior academics in the humanities or social sciences discipline and be from outside Memorial University. In addition to at least one public lecture, visiting academics are expected to contribute to seminars and lectures of the sponsoring department.

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For further information, please contact Ivan Muzychka, manager, Memorial University News Service, 737-8665, 687-9433, or


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