Shalene Jobin

Shalene Jobin
Shalene Jobin

Category: Indigenous Community Alumni Awards

Name: Shalene Jobin

UVic degree and year: Master of Arts, 2005        

Other degrees: Bachelor of Commerce, 2001 from University of Alberta; PhD, Political Science and Indigenous Studies, 2015 from University of Alberta

Current hometown: St. Albert, Alberta                          

Dr. Shalene Jobin is an associate professor of Native Studies and director of the Indigenous Governance program at the University of Alberta. She currently holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Governance. Jobin is Cree from her mother (Wuttunee family) and Métis from her father (Jobin family) and is a member of Red Pheasant Cree First Nation (Treaty Six). Jobin’s first book, Nehiyawak Narratives: Upholding Indigenous Economic Relationships, will be published by UBC Press. Jobin has published in various journals, edited collections and is involved in numerous community-centred research initiatives. She loves spending time with her partner, Kevin, and son Kingston. 

Q: What was the moment you realized your career calling?

SJ: Teaching my first university class in 2007.

Q: What is your advice to younger people entering your line of work or who feel lost or confused about their future?

SJ: It is okay not to have a straight line in your career path. Try to get opportunities to work with people you want to learn from. Find mentors.

Q: What’s a part of your daily routine that you can’t do without?

SJ: Smudging is an important way for me to pray and feel centered.

Q: How did UVic, or your faculty specifically, shape you as a person?

SJ: My time in the Indigenous Governance program at the University of Victoria was transformational to my personal and professional life. It was during my graduate degree (2003-2005) that I developed a passion for research and academic life, seeing a path where community work could be accomplished within a university setting.

The MA program I took at UVic was grounded in an ethic of being in respectful relations with and in response to Indigenous nations’ goals of self-determination. My work has been guided by the philosophical, theoretical, and applied training I received at UVic.

Q: Where do you find strength and motivation?

SJ: My community and family; my son, Kingston, and partner, Kevin, help me to stay grounded and remind me to have fun.

Q: What is your favourite memory of being a student at UVic?

SJ: My Master's defense in 2005 was outside, with community. We started with a pipe ceremony, and then I shared the community-governance project and had the defense, and then we had a feast.


For the full list of 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, click here.