Candidate Statement for President-Elect

I have over 35 years of experience as a mathematics teacher, as a mathematics teacher educator, and as an educational leader. I am a member of one of the recognized Indigenous Nations in Canada, the Métis Nation and have had the privilege of serving in leadership roles in TODOS: Mathematics for ALL; NCTM; NCSM; Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group; and local mathematics education organizations. I grew up in diverse communities - communities where there were individuals of multiple ethnicities, colours, and religious beliefs. I've always worked within diverse contexts where there were youth, and teachers, from underserved populations. My professional life has provided me with opportunities to work in mathematics education with diverse school communities across Canada: rural, urban and suburban; in northern, rural, and urban Indigenous / Native American communities; and in diverse faith communities such as Jewish, Christian and Muslim. More recently, in the past 10 years, I've had the privilege to work internationally in mathematics education in East African communities in Tanzania and Rwanda. Throughout these experiences I've come to learn about the systemic racist and misogynistic policies and practices that exist within local, national, and international educational systems. 

Over the past 18 months I've also been engaged in these conversations within a University context. In addition to my work as a mathematics educator I serve as Vice-Provost Indigenous Programming & Research at the University of Alberta where my work is to lead the development of initiatives related to engaging with Indigenous peoples, worldviews and knowledge systems across multiple disciplines and to develop research protocols for respectfully working with Indigenous peoples and communities. 

I've always pushed back against the inequities I've experienced and observed. Initially in my mathematics training I needed to 'push back' that an Indigenous person and a woman was capable of 'doing mathematics.' Next it was as a young Indigenous woman teaching high school mathematics and becoming a provincial leader in mathematics education. I came to realize that youth I taught and the teachers I worked with also experienced systemic barriers for a variety of reasons: language, colour of skin, faith, or physical / cognitive abilities. As I've come to learn more about the teachings of Indigenous knowledge holders the systemic racist and misogynistic policies and practices have become more clear and I now consistently work to infiltrate those policies and practices to make changes. While I have very little experience directly working with Hispanic / Latinx youth and teachers, I've learned through my engagement with TODOS, NCTM, and NCSM of the ways in which Hispanic / Latinx youth and families, similar to Indigenous youth and families in Canada, have been systemically underserved within US educational systems.

It is my long commitment to equity and living with diversity that will impact my leadership in TODOS. We would engage in an equity, diversity, and inclusivity (EDI) review of TODOS practices and policies as while we are an organization that is committed to equity we might unknowingly still perpetuate inequity. The review would question the ways in which people are invited to become an active contributor to TODOS: Mathematics for All. The review would question the ways in which TODOS' policies and practices as an organization make space for diverse members to contribute in diverse ways. I've learned that an EDI review helps an organization to determine actions that ensure that policies and practices are implemented in equitable, diverse, and inclusive ways. As human beings, we have all been "taught within colonial systems." An EDI review helps organizations and individuals to make visible the ways in which they are committing to "walking the talk."

The COVID-19 pandemic has also made the inequities within systems more visible. TODOS has engaged in many wonderful activities over the recent years, the development of the social justice position paper, the diversity of resources (such as the webinars and podcasts that are now available), and hosting a conference where there are so many worldviews and experiences circulating in an ethical space together, to name a few. I believe that TODOS will be faced with thinking creatively about the ways in which we can invite more members into the conversation and create diverse professional learning opportunities post-pandemic.

I will bring a commitment to working collectively and individually, as a good relation, within the Cree principle of wichitowin, as President-Elect as TODOS: Mathematics for ALL continues to navigate the ways in which we advocate for equity and high quality mathematics education for ALL, all students who have systemically been underserved in educational systems, and in particular Latina/o students.