On June 23, Christy Bressette successfully defended her doctoral dissertation,Understanding Success in Community First Nation Education Through Anishinabe Meno-Bimaadziwin Action Research, making her the first indigenous student at Western to earn a Ph.D in Educational Studies. Christy’s thesis discussed how she worked with the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation to develop a culturally relevant research process to encourage and facilitate active community involvement with education and how that process came to fruition in the development of a new vision statement for education.
A large group of supporters from several First Nation communities in the region, including Christy’s two children and her parents, as well as graduate students and professors attended the public lecture, where a drumming circle offered an honour song in recognition of Christy’s ancestors who set the stage for her accomplishments.
Christy has had a long involvement in education as a student, a parent, a teacher in First Nation and provincial schools, an instructor at The University of Western Ontario where she has taught in the pre-service, continuing education and graduate education programs, a curriculum developer for the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Indigenous Education Coalition, and as Chair of the Board of Education at Kettle and Stony Point. She holds a B.A. (Hons.) in history and a B.Ed (with distinction) from Western, and an M.Ed (with distinction) from the University of British Columbia. She also has completed the Principals’ Qualification Program.