Dr. Candace Brunette-Debassige, PhD

Assistant Professor - Critical Policy, Equity and Leadership Studies

PhD, Western University, MA, OISE, University of Toronto, BA (Hon), University of Toronto

Dr. Candace Brunette-Debassige, PhD

Assistant Professor - Critical Policy, Equity and Leadership Studies

PhD, Western University, MA, OISE, University of Toronto, BA (Hon), University of Toronto

Wachay/Hello, my name is Candace Brunette-Debassige. I am a Mushkego Cree iskwew with Cree and French ancestry originally from Peetabeck (Treaty 9 Territory) born and raised in small town northern Ontario. My scholarly work and professional practice centers on advancing the liberatory struggles of Indigenous Peoples in educational settings. My current research agenda is located in the areas of Indigenous and decolonial approaches to education with a deep commitment toward advancing Indigenous theorizing, Indigenous methodologies in research, and Indigenous pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning.  I am also passionate about advancing Indigenous educational leadership and policy theories and practices that contribute toward transformative decolonial change in various educational settings most notable higher educational settings.


My research interests are in the areas:

  • Indigenous education;
  • Indigenizing and decolonizing the academy;
  • Indigenous educational leadership, Indigenous women in leadership;
  • Indigenous and critical policy studies;
  • Indigenous approaches to teaching and learning;
  • Methodologies: Indigenous, decolonizing, storying and arts-informed research approaches.

In The News

Recent Publications

Book Chapters

Brunette-Debassige, C., & Viczko, M. (under review). Critical perspectives for educational leadership and policy in higher education. Palgrave Handbook on Critical Policy and Leadership.

Brunette, C. (2018). From Subjugation to Embodied Self-in-Relation: An Indigenous Pedagogy for Decolonization. In Sheila Batacharya, & Renita Wong, (Eds.), Sharing breath: Embodied learning and decolonization. (pp. 199-288) Edmonton, Alberta: Athabasca University Press.

Restoule, J.P., Wolfson, E., Brunette, C., Smillie, C., Mashford-Pringle, A., Chacaby, M., & Russel, G. (2014). Spirituality as a Support for Aboriginal Adult Learners in Post-secondary Education Institutions in Ontario. In N. Wane, A. F. Adyanga, & A.A. Ilmi (Eds.), Spiritual Discourse in the Academy: A Globalized Indigenous Perspective, (pp. 55-62) New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Book Reviews

Brunette-Debassige, C. (forthcoming). [Review of the book Decolonizing and Indigenizing Education in Canada, by S. Cote-Meek and T. Moeke-Pickering] Canadian Journal of Educational

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Brunette-Debassige, C., & Wakeham, P. (2021). Reimagining the Four Rs of Indigenous education for literary studies: Learning from and with Indigenous stories in the classroom. Studies in American Indian Literature (SAIL) 32(3) p.13-40.

Peach, L., Richmond, C., & Brunette-Debassige, C. (2020). “You can't just take a piece of land from the university and build a garden on it": Exploring Indigenizing space and place in a settler Canadian university context. Geoforum. Fall issue. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016718520301524

Debassige, B. & Brunette-Debassige, C. (2018). Indigenizing work as “willful work”: Toward Indigenous transgressive leadership in Canadian universities. Critical and Pedagogy Inquiry Journal Special Issue 10(2).

Hammond, R., Sadler, K., Johnson, M., Brunette, C., Gula, L., Chartrand, D., & Tithecott, G., (2017). Indigenous student matriculation into medical school: Policy and progress. International Indigenous Policy Journal. 8(1). Retrieved from: https://ojs.lib.uwo.ca/index.php/iipj/article/view/7507

Crooks, C. V., Snowshoe, A., Chiodo, D., & Brunette, C. (2013). Navigating between rigor and community-based research partnerships: Building the evaluation of the Uniting Our Nations Health Promotion Program for FNMI youth. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health 32(2), 13-2

Restoule, J., Mashford-Pringle, A., Chacaby, M., Smillie, C, Brunette, C., Russel, G., (2013). Supporting Successful Transitions to Postsecondary for Indigenous students: Lessons from an Institutional Ethnography in Ontario, Canada. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 4 (4). Retrieved from: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/iipj/vol4/iss4/4

Social Media Impact

Allen, S. (2021, September, 5). Dr. Candace Brunette-Debassige-Undoing the silence. (Episode 85). Phronesis: The International Leadership Association. https://practicalwisdom.buzzsprout.com/979897/9142246-dr-candace-brunette-debassige-undoing-the-silence

Lokhun, N. (Host). (2021, month, day). Belonging at university- an equal future? (Episode 3.) The Internationalist. Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).


Brunette, C. (2016, June). Exploring Destiny: Indigenous Leadership. Walrus Talks, Western University, London, ON https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DutsU1aSx0k

Sample Curriculum Publications

Brunette-Debassige, C. & Richmond, C. (2018). Guide for Working with Indigenous Students. Western University. https://teaching.uwo.ca/pdf/teaching/Guide-for-Working-with-Indigenous- Students.pdf

Teaching and Supervision

Teaching innovation work

University-wide Teaching Fellow, 2021-2024

Project lead for Western’s Indigenous Learning Bundles Project

Peace and Reconciliation Grant, 2021-22

Project lead to develop two modules to assist Western instructors in decolonizing their pedagogies.

Graduate courses taught

Becoming Educational Leaders in the Masters’ Professional Educational Leadership in Aboriginal Contexts Program (MPEd) 

Undergraduate courses taught

Aboriginal Education: Toward a Decolonizing Pedagogy in the Bachelor of Education Program (BEd)


Awards of Distinction

Peace and Reconciliation Grant, Association of Commonwealth Universities, 2021

Inclusive Education Award, Faculty of Education, UWO, 2021

Graduate Excellence in Teaching Award, Faculty of Education, UWO, 2019

Peace Award in Humility for Truth & Reconciliation, Atlohsa, 2019

Great Ideas for Teaching (GIFT), UWO, 2018

Award of Distinction, TVDSB, 2010