Dr. Gabriela McBee

Dr. Gabriela McBee
Assistant Teaching Professor

Study Leave Sep-Dec 2023

Office: CLE A413

MA, PhD (UVic)


I was born in Cuba and raised in Mexico, lived in Germany, the United States, and eventually moved to Canada. Since 1998 I teach in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies, and since 2015 I also became an instructor at the Gustavson School of Business. I have taught courses in Continuing Studies and give guest presentations on Indigenous Latin America in schools and various communities in the area.

Research and Teaching

In the classroom I aim to incorporate Indigenous methodologies to encourage avid student participation and broaden understandings of differing worldviews. Central to my role as an educator is to acknowledge my position as a white woman and to teach with respect and gratitude. Dr. Lorna Williams, former Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge and Learning, has been my diligent guide in this delicate bridge-building process between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous worlds.

My research focuses on Indigenous Latin America, with a primary interest in culture, social justice, the environment, and political issues. I teach courses aimed at increasing students’ awareness of the cultural wealth and vibrancy inherent in Indigenous populations in Latin America, as well as the many challenges they face today. I also teach Spanish from beginner level to advanced, including lessons in Hispanic culture as an intrinsic part of language acquisition.

Principal Teaching Areas

  • Indigenous Latin America
  • Spanish Language     

Conference presentations

  • La política de Nancy Morejón. Situating Hispanic Knowledge. Connecting Literature and Social Justice. An interdisciplinary conference at the University of British Columbia, B.C., Canada (1998).
  • Danza del Urogallo Múltiple: Alegoría Redentora a la Mexicana. Theatre of Latin America. A Festival and Symposium. University of Kansas, Kansas, USA (2000)
  • Return from Oblivion: Coatlicue Arises. Exile in the Hispanic and Italian World. 16th Annual Colloquium Hispanic & Italian Studies, University of Victoria, B.C., Canada (2000)
  • Two Mexican Female Icons Interpreted by Jesusa Rodríguez. Telling Stories: Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Victoria (2001)
  • Cacique Panchito: An Indigenous Cuban Chief (Tainos). Nuns, Monks & Priests in the Hispanic and Italian World - 22nd Annual Colloquium Hispanic & Italian Studies, University of Victoria (2006).
  • Small Is Beautiful. December 2006 Travel Report: Resource recovery and agriculture in Cuba. 2nd Latin America Research Group Workshop, University of Victoria (2007)
  • Descendientes de los Taínos en Cuba. Panchito y los Ramírez Rojas. Taller Fundación Antonio Núñez Jiménez. Cuban Non-Profit Organization Workshop. Baracoa, Guantánamo, Cuba (2009).
  • Indigenous Migration. Inner and Outer Journeys. 27th Annual Colloquium Hispanic & Italian Studies, Migration in the Hispanic and Italian World, University of Victoria (2011).
  • Doña Reina Ramírez, Cuban Taíno Elder. 5th Latin America Research Group Workshop, Ethnicity, Justice and Development in Latin America, University of Victoria (2013).
  • A Heroine’s Journey: Rigoberta Menchú Tum. 30th Annual Colloquium Hispanic & Italian Studies, Performing Gender and Genre in the Hispanic & Italian World, University of Victoria (2015).

International activities 

  • Initiated contact between BC’s Aboriginal Friendship Centre in Victoria and the Maya youth group Mojomayas in Guatemala to jumpstart the Youth Helping Youth project. Spanish and English interpretation and translation, including translation of all documents necessary for the CIDA grant to fund the five-year project (2005-09).
  • Research project: Organic urban farming and recycling in Cuba, with Dr. Jutta Gutberlet (Geography). In conjunction with Cuban NGO Fundación Antonio Núñez Jiménez (2007).
  • Book translation: Panchito, Mountain Chief. A Cuban-Taíno Testimony by Francisco Ramírez Rojas and Dr. José Barreiro. Volunteer project to benefit Panchito’s community in La Ranchería, Guantánamo, Cuba (2008)          
  • Coordinator of the first Cuba Field School with Dr. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier (Anthropology). One month in eastern Cuba with students from the UVic and other universities (2014).Jo
  • International Colloquium Indigenous Languages of America, La Habana, Cuba. Interpreter (2018).
  • UNESCO International Indigenous Language Conference, Victoria, BC. Interpreter (2019).
  • Hellinger Constellation Work and Circle Building: workshops and training in Canada, Germany, United States (ongoing since 2000).