Dr. Karla Jessen Williamson, PhD
Department of Educational Foundations, University of Saskatchewan
Karla Jessen Williamson, PhD (Univeresity of Aberdeen) is born a ‘kalaaleq’ - an Inuk from Greenland. She received her primary education in Greenland, and attained her high school education in Denmark. Since moving to Canada, Karla undertook Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in her third language (English) through the University of Saskatchewan. Her Master’s thesis dealt with Inuit child-rearing practices as these relate to Inuit relationship to the land in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Her Doctoral studies at University of Aberdeen in Scotland involved studying gender relations in post-colonial Greenland Inuit communities from an emic point-of-view, offering insight on social construction of gender relations.
Karla has published a number of articles and book chapters, and she has edited the Journal of Indigenous Studies. She is a board member of Inuit/Etude/Studies, and a member of several national organizations such as the Advisory Committee for the Minister of Natural Resources, and previously Canada’s International Polar Year National Committee and the Canadian Council on Learning. She has actively adjudicated in the review committees for all three national granting councils, applying her extensive knowledge on research and processes as they involve Inuit and other Aboriginal peoples in Canada and elsewhere. Dr. Jessen Williamson was appointed Executive Director of the Arctic Institute of North America at the University of Calgary, the first female Executive Director since its inception in 1945. Karla taught at the University of Saskatchewan for 16 years on matters dealing with Canada’s multiculturalism, antiracism and Aboriginal epistemologies as these relate to education.