Meet the Faculty’s first Indigenous Student Engagement Specialist

The Faculty of Education is excited to introduce Corinne Riedel, the first Indigenous Student Engagement Specialist in our Faculty.

A poet and beader from the Métis Nation of Alberta (with extensive ancestry from Red River Métis people), Riedel describes the new role as being “an auntie” for all Faculty of Education Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students, where her support is more on the human, social and relationship side, kinship, as opposed to just academic.

“The goal is to build community and facilitate events and safe spaces for Indigenous students in Education, which also means creating a permanent student lounge for Indigenous students where they can unwind, study, gather, feast, smudge; I want to continue to advocate for students, to empower them,” says Riedel.

“While it’s challenging to think about how I’ll do this with remote delivery as opposed to face-to-face, I’m thinking about hosting virtual teas with door prizes, virtual craft sessions from Human Ecology students, Elder visits, drop-in office hours and more.”

While it’s a brand new role in the Faculty, Riedel isn’t new here. She has worked with the Indigenous Language Teacher Development Projects as an advisor for a year and a half. The community-building and mentorship role is one Riedel remembers valuing when she was an undergraduate student in the Transition Year Program and as a peer mentor in the Faculty of Arts while she finished her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing.

“Advisors to Indigenous students are key to the success of our students,” she says.

“They are always there to guide and support. In the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the University’s dedication to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, it is the responsibility of the University community to uphold its recruitment and retention of Indigenous students. Oftentimes, it is the advisors to students who play an integral role in this. As a Métis woman, I look forward to serving students according to my community obligations, which are spiritual obligations, while creating a bridge to those obligations in which the University must also uphold.”

Want to contact Riedel directly? Email