From a News Release for Brescia University College, September 24, 2018
London, ON – How much more impact could Indigenous Peoples have if their voices were more broadly heard when it comes to international decision making? This question is what Brescia faculty member Dr. Andrew Chater will examine firsthand when he visits the University of Washington in spring and fall quarters 2018–19 as the Canada Fulbright Visiting Chair in Arctic Studies.
As the first faculty member at Brescia University College to hold this unique honor, Dr. Chater is one of the 19 individuals selected across the country to join the prestigious alumni community of Canadian Fulbright scholars for 2018–19. The Canada Fulbright Visiting Chair in Arctic Studies allows exceptional Canadian scholars and professionals to conduct research and lecture within the United States on subjects that are important to that university. Dr. Chater will visit the University of Washington from February through June 2019, where he will teach the ARCTIC 401 course for the Arctic Minor and complete a research project on Indigenous Peoples in international relations. Dr. Chater’s research will specifically analyze this in relation to the Arctic Council, which is the major international institution for the Arctic region, made up of all of the Arctic states and six Indigenous Peoples’ organizations.
“The Arctic Council is the only international institution in which Indigenous Peoples have a type of membership. Clearly, the situation is unique. I want to examine how this unique situation translates into results,” explains Dr. Chater. He goes on to say, “Outside of this case, I think that understanding what ‘participation’ or ‘membership’ means for Indigenous Peoples in institutions is one of the profound questions of our times, especially in this era of reconciliation.”
Dr. Chater’s previous work and dissertation on the Arctic Council made the University of Washington a natural fit for his research. The university houses the Canadian Studies Center, which is a robust research center with an avid interest in the Arctic region. In addition to completing a manuscript and gaining new and diverse research connections, Dr. Chater hopes to bring his unique experience back to Brescia to help further enhance the university’s research profile.
Known as one of the most prestigious and competitive fellowship programs in the world, the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America (Fulbright Canada) is a binational, treaty-based, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization with a mandate to identify the best and brightest minds in both countries and engage them in residential academic exchange. Named after former U.S. Senator James William Fulbright, the program launched in the United States in 1946 and is now offered in more than 160 countries.
Dr. Chater is both humbled and motivated by this unique honour, saying, “I feel a sense of responsibility to make the most of this opportunity. I also feel a healthy amount of pressure to produce a quality research product. I believe 59 Fulbright alumni have won a Nobel Prize, so it is an intimidating and inspiring group!”