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University of Ottawa names Claudette Commanda first Indigenous chancellor

The University of Ottawa campus is quiet, Wednesday, April 22, 2020 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS) The University of Ottawa campus is quiet, Wednesday, April 22, 2020 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
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The University of Ottawa has named its first Indigenous chancellor in the school’s 174-year history.

First Nations activist Claudette Commanda, an Algonquin Anishinaabe from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, will become the chancellor on Nov. 9.

"This means honour, pride, and happiness to me, but it also means bringing the validation and recognition that Algonquin people have so much to contribute, and we continue to contribute," Commanda said in a statement.

"It's so meaningful and I'm so honoured to be chosen for this position.”

Commanda holds degrees from the uOttawa Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section. Commanda has taught at the Institute of Women's Studies, the Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Education. Commanda became the first ever Elder in Residence appointed to the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law in 2017.

Commanda will be the third female chancellor at the University of Ottawa.

Calin Rovinescu's second term as chancellor will end in the fall.

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