HSD Indigenous plan

 Nick XEMŦOLTW̱ Claxton

Nick XEMŦOLTW̱ Claxton to lead HSD Indigenous Plan project

Nick XEMŦOLTW̱ Claxton, assistant professor with UVic’s School of Child and Youth Care and Chief of the Tsawout Nation (elected July 2019), will serve as academic lead in developing an HSD Indigenous Plan starting July 1, 2021, and concluding June 30, 2022. In this role, Claxton will make recommendations to the Dean on how best to advance faculty goals dedicated to decolonizing education, anti-racism and anti-oppressive leadership.

Claxton, a UVic alum, earned a BA in Psychology, an MA in Indigenous Governance and a PhD in Educational Studies. He has worked on campus for more than 10 years as an advisor and liaison for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students on cultural issues, protocol and Indigenous ways of knowing. He made headlines in 2015 coordinating the first SX̱OLE reef net fishery on Canadian waters in 100 years, bringing back the Tsawout Nation’s traditional reef-net fishing practice to empower and reconnect his community. He was given the ceremonial name ȻWENÁLYEN, meaning Reef Net Captain.

Eco-restoration, teaching children and youth about their connection to land and water, are recurring themes in Claxton’s community-based research. He remains one of two UVic academic leads behind an historic community-of-practice group overseeing the Living Lab Project, a community-UVic-schools project he helped create, connecting eco-cultural restoration and science education with Indigenous knowledge and well-being. Claxton is also leading a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant and team to support culturally appropriate, coming-of-age resources for urban Indigenous youth in care on Vancouver Island.

Claxton speaks and studies the SENĆOŦEN language, which he is learning from his father, who remains one of a few fluent speakers within the WSÁNEĆ community today.

As HSD’s faculty lead for this project, Claxton is tasked with placing Indigenous teachings, knowledge and ways of being as foundational to how students, staff and faculty collectively support and advance excellent Indigenous scholarship, decolonized curricula and pedagogies, and cultural humility within our academy and with the partners and communities we serve.
Email: nickclax@uvic.ca
Phone: 250-472-4948 (campus local is 4948)