Skip to main content
Conferences & lectures

Evaluating Excellence: Academic Assessment and Decolonizing the Academy


Date & time
Thursday, April 25, 2024
12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Registration is closed


Sheila Cote-Meek, Taima Moeke-Pickering (absent with regrets)


This event is free



Please note that Taima Moeke-Pickering conveys her regrets as she is no longer able to participate in this panel discussion.

In recent years the methods, criteria, and processes through which the quality, impact and value of academic work are evaluated and measured have come under increasing scrutiny. Academic assessment methods in virtually all fields have focused on quantitative metrics such as publication counts, journal rankings, and h-index scores, but initiatives such as the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment and DORA (the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment) have been advocating for the diversification of evaluation methods and of the outputs which are valued.

Sheila Cote-Meek, Full Professor and Director of Indigenous Educational Studies Programs at Brock University, and Taima Moeke-Pickering, Full Professor and Interim Director of the School of Indigenous Relations at Laurentian University, will discuss the relationship between reforming academic assessment and decolonizing and indigenizing the academy, including implementing Indigenous research ethics, recognising the different kinds of work that are essential to working in partnership with Indigenous communities, and principles of transformational change in university regulations and practices.

Do traditional methods of researcher evaluation reinforce existing power structures, including colonial practices? Could research assessment reform help to remedy the overburdening of Indigenous and racialized researchers with administrative work, by enhancing recognition and rewards for this work? Could reforming researcher assessment incentivize and facilitate reforming research practices and improving partnerships with communities, including Indigenous communities? What are some existing examples of integrating decolonial practices into university administration?

This talk is the fourth event in the Evaluating Excellence: Rethinking Academic Assessment speaker series co-organized by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies and Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic. The series aims to provide a platform for insightful discussions and practical advice about the evolving landscape of academic assessment and inclusive excellence. It will feature prominent leaders in academia, policy, and academic administration who are at the forefront of driving this transformation.

Funding for this series is provided by the Canada Research Chairs Program Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Grant.

About the speakers: 

Taima Moeke-Pickering (PhD Psychology, Waikato University) is a Maori of the Ngati Pukeko and Tuhoe tribes. She is a full professor and Interim Director in the School of Indigenous Relations at Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario where she teaches courses on Indigenous research methodologies, international Indigenous issues, and United Nations and Indigenous social work. Her PhD used a decolonizing methodology to evaluate Indigenous-based programs. Moeke-Pickering is an author of numerous articles dedicated to promoting Decolonization strategies, social change and Indigenous wellbeing. She has extensive experience working with international Indigenous communities, women empowerment, evaluative research, big data analysis, and photovoice methodologies. She is an active twitter user @tmoekepickering. She is co-editor of the books Decolonizing & Indigenizing Education in Canada (2020); Perspectives on Indigenous Pedagogy in Education: Learning from one another (2023) and lead editor for the book Critical Reflections and Politics for Advancing Women in the Academy (2020).

Sheila Cote-Meek is Anishinaabe from the Teme-Augama Anishnabai. A leader in Indigenous postsecondary education, she is currently Director and Professor of Indigenous Educational Studies at Brock University. Prior to this she was the inaugural Vice-President, Equity, People and Culture at York University where she led the development of York’s first institutional-wide Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) strategy and their Black Inclusion Strategy. She was also the inaugural Associate-Vice-President, Indigenous and Academic Programs at Laurentian University where she led several initiatives including the development of the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, the Maamwazing Indigenous Research Institute and the Master of Indigenous Relations. Cote-Meek is author of Colonized Classrooms – Racism, Trauma and Resistance in Post-Secondary Education (2014) and three co-edited books, Decolonizing and Indigenizing Education in Canada (2020), Critical Reflections and Politics on Advancing Women in the Academy (2020) and Perspectives on Indigenous Pedagogy in Education: Learning from One Another (2023). Cote-Meek is well-known provincially and nationally for her work in advancing Indigeneity, equity and inclusion in higher education.

About the moderator:

Aphrodite Salas is an associate professor in the Department of Journalism where her research focuses on mobile journalism, collaborative journalism with Indigenous communities and, more specifically, the decolonization of journalism education.

Her most recent work is called “Arctic Shift to Clean Energy.” The multimedia project shares a story of Inuit climate leadership and was screened alongside Indigenous partners at the UN Climate Conference COP 27 and the UN Biodiversity Conference COP 15. Her industry honours include six RTDNA awards for excellence in news reporting.  

Back to top

© Concordia University