Moving Indigenization Forward at Selkirk College

Welcoming Dianne Biin to Manager of Indigenous Education & Engagement Role


Selkirk College’s new Manager of Indigenous Education & Engagement has traveled the path of Indigenous education and Indigenization in public post-secondary for a long time, both as a student and an academic leader.

Selkirk College released its Our Journey Together: Indigenization Plan 2019-2024 last December, a living document that brings together the vision of how the institution can make a difference in the lives of both Indigenous students and members of the college community. Arriving to the West Kootenay this past May after a decade at Camosun College in Victoria where she was both a faculty member and Indigenization Coordinator, Dianne Biin is now charged with leading the effort at Selkirk College. 

Dianne Biin

With a career in education that spans more than 25 years, Dianne Biin is Selkirk College’s new Manager of Indigenous Education & Engagement. Originally from the Chilcotin region of British Columbia, Biin arrived to the West Kootenay this past spring after spending a decade at Camosun College in Victoria.

“It takes time and you have to give people time to become comfortable with the uncomfortable,” says Biin, who is Tsilhqot’in from Tsi Del Del. “Everything that was taught to me within the education system showed Indigenous people as a dying race and a vanishing peoples, that we were being absorbed into the body politic. That position is being changed now, where Indigenous Peoples and history are coming back into education. Indigenization is about creating a balance in perspectives, technology and practices; it’s not about saying that one is better than the other. Both worldviews and practices can exist harmoniously and it’s up to everyone to make sure that the weaving together continues.”

Recognizing that foundational change does not happen quickly, Biin’s patience and persistence is a promising way forward for a college committed to delivering a model that encourages deeper understanding for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners.

“Through consultation, we have created a plan aimed at improving participation and success in post-secondary education for Indigenous students,” says Selkirk College President Angus Graeme. “Having focused leadership from Dianne and her team means that we can dig even deeper into the work of Indigenization and realize important change at the post-secondary level that will improve Selkirk College and make a significant difference in the lives of students and staff.”

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